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Database Books

Discussion in 'Scripting & Programming' started by Metalstar, May 25, 2008.

  1. Metalstar

    Metalstar Kilobyte Poster

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    Hi all

    I'm the general IT Manager for a smallish finance company. One part of the business currently have their own database which is maintained very occasionally by one of the directors brothers!

    He will be retiring this/next year so they are looking for someone to maintain the current one or create a new one. I would love to build the DB myself but would like to know if anyone can recommend some books for me. The DB is currently built in access which I have some experience with but not enough to confidently build a DB or maintain one.

    I'd be very grateful for any recomendations!
     
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  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Access has many books available about it. You will need to determine which version you have because Microsoft keeps changing things.

    General database books, while useful, may not be very applicable to Access, as it is somewhat of a toy database.

    Don't get me wrong - Access is very useful in many applications, but it isn't up there in the heavyweight class!

    Harry.
     
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  3. Metalstar

    Metalstar Kilobyte Poster

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    Heh, I suppose this is where it gets tricky then. The current DB is built using Access 2003. I use open office but have a spare 2003 licence at the office.

    What other options are available . . and which of the many access books would you recommend. I guess the route i could go down is maintain the access db and migrate it to something better at a later date.
     
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  4. mark_uol

    mark_uol Bit Poster

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    Hi there,
    I am always attracted to anything to do with MS Access as it is the application that I started out on. I see that you are UK based so there will be a tech. near you. A while ago I took a series of MS Office based courses offered by Learn Direct. The version that deals with Access is a three part course. At the time these were subsidized by the UK Govt. and I paid a nominal fee of £2 for each course but they may be more expensive now.
    As for the courses they were excellent as they demonstrated enough technique to get you started whilst explaining the main concepts behind relational databases, the logical table structure, referential integrity, normalized forms and the rest.
    As for Access itself, it is a good tool for smaller databases but has a file size limitation of 2GB (at least it did the last time that I looked). In practice I found that after much over 1GB things start to slow up. If your company is running Server 2003 I believe that SQL Server comes as a part of the bundle. There are tools to migrate an existing DB from Access to SQL Server. As you mention OpenOffice you may be working with UNIX so open source MySQL may be the better choice; it is very like SQL Server from the developer’s point of view.
    One final comment; you interact with referential databases using Structured Query Language (SQL). Many DB management systems offer a tool to build queried using a GUI and called query by example. These are a great aid to productivity, but do not become dependant upon them as they will not always be appropriate or even available. When you start out making queries always check the SQL pane to see what you have done using QBE and try to understand it. SQL is simple enough once DB theory is understood and you will soon pick it up.
     
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  5. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I usually buy Microsoft books for Office apps - there seems to be more detail in those. Their style can be a little dry though.

    Harry.
     
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  6. Metalstar

    Metalstar Kilobyte Poster

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    cheers folks. I have ordered the O'rielly database design and programming book today(cost nothing thanks to a few left over gift vouchers). I will go for the Microsoft Press books when i'm sure when the users versions of office will be updated.

    I'm just wondering now how best to go about sorting it all out! Do I continue and use Access to maintain their current database and make the changes the guys want, or do i just use it to maintain and work out how to use another DB.

    I also have another project coming up for a fairly simple sales figure database which will be used mostly for reporting rather than being user friendly. Not sure if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good route for me to go down for both? (Sorry for asking so many questions!)
     
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  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Unless you are running beyond the limits of Access I'd stick with it. Changing it to something else would be a *serious* job.

    And I'd not change the versions either until you had a *very* good handle on the problems you might encounter!

    Harry.
     
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  8. Metalstar

    Metalstar Kilobyte Poster

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    Sounds sensible to me! Thanks again.
     
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