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To use relational or not to use relational?

Discussion in 'Information Technology' started by Rick B, Jul 28, 2006.

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  1. Rick B

    Rick B
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    Guest

    I have already received some excellent advice from this group regarding my
    attempts to understand relational database design so I hope you don't mind
    if I seek your help once more.

    Briefly, I am trying to build a database in MS Access to track my online
    auction activities. Data entry for each item sold takes place over a period
    of time: a) the initial placement, b) details of the winning bid, c)
    despatch data, and so on. Therefore, I need to create forms to handle each
    of these procedures with, of course, everything tied into an auction number
    and an item name.

    I have tried creating several tables with fields pertaining to each section
    and using related links back to the auction number/item fields in the first
    table - but with little success.

    It came to me, however, that I am doing too much work. Surely creating one
    table with all the fields required for all sections and then creating forms
    from that would work. Do I really need to bother with related fields and
    multiple tables? Surely having one table will enable me to pull the auction
    number/iten name fields into each form I create without the hassle of using
    related links.

    My question - finally - is does this sound reasonable or am I missing
    something blindingly obvious?

    I can see the use of relational databases when dealing with otherwise
    'standalone' items like stock lists, customer contacts, etc., but where
    tracking something as integral as an auction item is concerened do I need a
    relational database?

    You advice, as always, would be very welcome.
     
  2. Sylvain Lafontaine

    Sylvain Lafontaine
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    Guest

    What you are describing is called a 1-1 relation: one record on one table
    correspond to exactly one record in the other table(s). (1 or zero to be
    more precise but that's not important here). Excerpt for some exceptions,
    like a great number of columns or a security problem, 1-1 relations are not
    very useful; hence your question.

    You will see the real advantage of relations when you will begin to use 1-N
    and N-N relations. For example if you when to store *all* the bids for an
    item.

    --
    Sylvain Lafontaine, ing.
    MVP - Technologies Virtual-PC
    E-mail: http://cerbermail.com/?QugbLEWINF


    "Rick B" <rb22@btinternet.com> wrote in message
    news:wdydnfVxIfUdf1_ZRVnyqQ@bt.com...
    >I have already received some excellent advice from this group regarding my
    >attempts to understand relational database design so I hope you don't mind
    >if I seek your help once more.
    >
    > Briefly, I am trying to build a database in MS Access to track my online
    > auction activities. Data entry for each item sold takes place over a
    > period of time: a) the initial placement, b) details of the winning bid,
    > c) despatch data, and so on. Therefore, I need to create forms to handle
    > each of these procedures with, of course, everything tied into an auction
    > number and an item name.
    >
    > I have tried creating several tables with fields pertaining to each
    > section and using related links back to the auction number/item fields in
    > the first table - but with little success.
    >
    > It came to me, however, that I am doing too much work. Surely creating one
    > table with all the fields required for all sections and then creating
    > forms from that would work. Do I really need to bother with related fields
    > and multiple tables? Surely having one table will enable me to pull the
    > auction number/iten name fields into each form I create without the hassle
    > of using related links.
    >
    > My question - finally - is does this sound reasonable or am I missing
    > something blindingly obvious?
    >
    > I can see the use of relational databases when dealing with otherwise
    > 'standalone' items like stock lists, customer contacts, etc., but where
    > tracking something as integral as an auction item is concerened do I need
    > a relational database?
    >
    > You advice, as always, would be very welcome.
    >
     
  3. Peter the grate

    Peter the grate
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Relational databases are particularly useful when you create a one to many
    connection. ie similar to - user has a car model 'A' and year 'B' and you
    have a second table with lots of information already populated about all the
    different types of car that exist. hence ist is easy to dertermine (say) the
    horespower of the car and whether it is a station wagon or RV.

    If all of your related records in one table are related to only one record
    (each) in the secoind table. you simply dont need two tables.

    "Rick B" wrote:

    > I have already received some excellent advice from this group regarding my
    > attempts to understand relational database design so I hope you don't mind
    > if I seek your help once more.
    >
    > Briefly, I am trying to build a database in MS Access to track my online
    > auction activities. Data entry for each item sold takes place over a period
    > of time: a) the initial placement, b) details of the winning bid, c)
    > despatch data, and so on. Therefore, I need to create forms to handle each
    > of these procedures with, of course, everything tied into an auction number
    > and an item name.
    >
    > I have tried creating several tables with fields pertaining to each section
    > and using related links back to the auction number/item fields in the first
    > table - but with little success.
    >
    > It came to me, however, that I am doing too much work. Surely creating one
    > table with all the fields required for all sections and then creating forms
    > from that would work. Do I really need to bother with related fields and
    > multiple tables? Surely having one table will enable me to pull the auction
    > number/iten name fields into each form I create without the hassle of using
    > related links.
    >
    > My question - finally - is does this sound reasonable or am I missing
    > something blindingly obvious?
    >
    > I can see the use of relational databases when dealing with otherwise
    > 'standalone' items like stock lists, customer contacts, etc., but where
    > tracking something as integral as an auction item is concerened do I need a
    > relational database?
    >
    > You advice, as always, would be very welcome.
    >
    >
    >
     
  4. Arvin Meyer [MVP]

    Arvin Meyer [MVP]
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Consider this:

    You have a bid list of names, addresses, etc. Do you really want to re-enter
    all of that information every time John Smith bids? OK, now the items you
    are auctioning, are they unique? Do you ever sell the same thing a second
    time, or have multiples to sell? How about places you auction? Do you sell
    at the same place every time? Do you want to re-enter that information every
    time?

    Can you see the reason for relational tables now?
    --
    Arvin Meyer, MCP, MVP
    Microsoft Access
    Free Access downloads
    http://www.datastrat.com
    http://www.mvps.org/access

    "Rick B" <rb22@btinternet.com> wrote in message
    news:wdydnfVxIfUdf1_ZRVnyqQ@bt.com...
    >I have already received some excellent advice from this group regarding my
    >attempts to understand relational database design so I hope you don't mind
    >if I seek your help once more.
    >
    > Briefly, I am trying to build a database in MS Access to track my online
    > auction activities. Data entry for each item sold takes place over a
    > period of time: a) the initial placement, b) details of the winning bid,
    > c) despatch data, and so on. Therefore, I need to create forms to handle
    > each of these procedures with, of course, everything tied into an auction
    > number and an item name.
    >
    > I have tried creating several tables with fields pertaining to each
    > section and using related links back to the auction number/item fields in
    > the first table - but with little success.
    >
    > It came to me, however, that I am doing too much work. Surely creating one
    > table with all the fields required for all sections and then creating
    > forms from that would work. Do I really need to bother with related fields
    > and multiple tables? Surely having one table will enable me to pull the
    > auction number/iten name fields into each form I create without the hassle
    > of using related links.
    >
    > My question - finally - is does this sound reasonable or am I missing
    > something blindingly obvious?
    >
    > I can see the use of relational databases when dealing with otherwise
    > 'standalone' items like stock lists, customer contacts, etc., but where
    > tracking something as integral as an auction item is concerened do I need
    > a relational database?
    >
    > You advice, as always, would be very welcome.
    >
     
  5. Rick B

    Rick B
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Once again, thank you for your prompt and helpful advice. I am beginning to
    understand things a little better now.

    Rick
     

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