The Problem: The Drama department have always had a highly under-organised technical store cupboard. In this cupboard, they have a stock of all sorts of technical equipment, such as Lantern Lamps, Dimmer Pack Fuses, 15Amp Extension cables etc.
When there is a show in the making at the school, it is very important that the chief technician in charge is aware of what is in stock in the cupboard, and what the department is short of so that it can be ordered in.
Therefore it has been suggested that a computer-based database would be extremely useful in order to allow the technicians to easily see what is in stock.
Why Access? For this databases, I have chosen to use the program Microsoft Access. This is because it is a program that has been explicitly designed for anybody to design simple databases. In fact, it is such a good program, you can make your database as simple, or as complicated as you require.
The program allows the user to create a table for the information to be entered in. In this table, you can have as many or as few fields as you like (fields are where each record is organised into). You can then create different designs for the table, and different forms.
With Word, you can only have a table in the document, so it is very easy to accidentally delete work. Like wise with PowerPoint.
I could have used Excel, however, it is mainly designed for creating spreadsheets. I cannot identify a Key Field in Excel.
The other benefits and advantages of using Access is that I can create searches and extract information that I require from my database, at basically a click of a button.
Overall, Access is a very simple and easy to use program that will allow me create the best possible database.
Analysis of the problem: In order to deal with the problem, I have had to think about what needs to be in the database, how the database will be used and what I intend to be able to get out of the database.
* Information that’s going to have to be in the database:
o The Names of products in the store cupboard
o How many there are in stock
o Where they were bought from
o The suppliers telephone number
o What price are (new)
o How long it takes to deliver
o What the product code is
o The location of them
o The Min Quantity
o The Max Quantity
o The Re-Order Quantity
* How the database will be used:
o It will be used by the head of drama, possibly other staff, and the chief technicians
o It will be used to monitor what stock is in the store
o It will be used to alert people when stock is short
o It can be used as an itinerary of all the products that the Technical team have
* What do I want out of the system:
o To be able to clearly see the information stored in the system in a clear table
o To have the opportunity to display the information in a well set out form
o To be able to print records of stock, as well as the whole system
o To be able to search the system for certain records
o To be able to alert the user of low stock
o To be able to create queries to search the system
o To be able to create reports to display information
Information that I am going to have to collect:
In order to fill in my Database, I am going to have to acquire the following information:
* The Names of products in the store cupboard
* How many there are in stock
* Where they were bought from
* The suppliers telephone number
* What price are (new)
* How long it takes to deliver
* What the product code is
* The location of them
* The Min Quantity
* The Max Quantity
* The Re-Order Quantity
To acquire this information, I am going to have to use the store itinerary that is in the store cupboard, and then update this list to what we have now. I will also have to gather the prices by looking through suppliers catalogues.
Back-up Procedures: When I am creating this database, it is important that I do not loose the work that I am working on. To do this, there are a number of things that I can do:
* Use an online data- backup program. This is a very good way of backing up data, as your computer automatically connects to a special server, and creates a backup of everything that you have saved. People who have subscribed to the service can only use this.
* Save to floppy disks. This creates another hard copy of the database, however, they are not very large, so cannot store large databases.
* Save to CD-R’s. By saving a copy of the database to a CD-R, then you again get another hard copy of the database. CD-R’s can save larger files than floppy disks.
* Save to Zip-Drive. This is similar to saving to floppy discs, but can save larger files again.
The methods that I am going to use to back-up my database, is save to CD-R’s. This way, I can be sure that there is a hard copy of my database, in case something goes wrong with my main pc.
Keeping My Database safe: When some databases are built, it is important to keep the information safe, in order to prevent unauthorised access. For my database, I will set a user password, which means that only people with a password will be able to open it. To do this, I did the following steps: