The way you build the database plays a large role in how users interact with a database. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a database expert to build a nearly perfect database for you and your users.
The way you build your database is going to determine how successful it is. Access makes it easy to design databases, even if you are not a developer. Like a developer, you need to know what the customer’s expectations are, but that is only the beginning
The following six principles will help you design a better database, regardless of your Access level.
1. Take the Time for Training
Training can be anything from a class to spending time going through the wealth of available online tutorials. The more you know before you get started, the better your database will be. Access has a lot of tools and potential. Training is an important part of ensuring you make the most out of what you have.
2. Have an Expert You Trust
Before you get started, you need to have someone you trust to help you when things get difficult. Have someone who understands Access database recovery and how to do proper maintenance so that you have the help you need when things get rough. The last thing you want is to lose all of your work because your file was corrupted.
3. Set up Testing and Meetings
You need to get volunteers to help you before you even start. Have some end users who are willing to test and discuss the database as you build it. This ensures that what you create meets the needs and expectations of the intended end users. If there are only a few people who will use the database, it should be much easier. Do make sure to get their input though. This can save you hours of redesigning later.
4. Design a Flexible Database
When you first start learning to create Access databases, this will be difficult. It will probably take a couple of mistakes before you learn what it means to have a flexible database. It is important to build relationships between the tables, but there is more to it. As time progresses, you will want your tables to have better interaction.
Think about how fields and tables could be related later down the road. It is fine to implement a database that isn’t quite where you want to go. If you build flexibility into the database, you will be able to makes updates later.
5. Design for Reusability
The easy way to build a database is to constantly copy and reuse different aspects of the database. Instead of simply copying forms, design them to be reusable. This means forms can have fields that are hidden based on user responses. This is not only easier to maintain, it takes up less space on the drive.
6. Create a Database for Easy Maintenance
There are many ways to create a database. As more people use the database, it will quickly become unwieldy. When you first design the database, think about what will need to be maintained, as well as what is likely to need to be expanded later on as the company expands. Keep a record of why you made certain choices in the design. This will help you remember where you want to take your database later.
Victor Ren is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including Excel recovery utility and word recovery utility. For more information visit www.datanumen.com