Part 2: Provider Database (MS Access)
Use the project description HERE to complete this activity. For a review of the complete rubric used in grading this exercise, click on the Assignments tab, then on the title Case Study Part 2 – Provider Database (Access)– click on Show Rubrics if the rubric is not already displayed.
As you recall, data is a collection of facts (numbers, text, even audio and video files) that is processed into usable information. Much like a spreadsheet, a database is a collection of such facts that you can then slice and dice in various ways to extract information or make decisions. However, the advantage and primary use of a database over a spreadsheet is its ability to handle a large volume of data and yet allow for quick access to the information that is desired.
Databases are everywhere now and impact our lives in a multitude of ways. It can accurately be said that “your life is in a database” or, more accurately, in multiple databases, and information about you (a retrieval of facts about you) is easily accessible. Your shopping history, credit history, medical history, even your driving history, is stored in one or more databases.
This exercise will introduce you to the basic building blocks of any database – fields, records, and files (also called tables). Although you will create a database with a single table containing a small amount of data about computer component Providers, the more applicable use of databases involves the creation of many tables linked together with a common field or “key.” Regardless of the size of the database, the data is stored in the same way – in fields which are combined to create a record. And those records are stored in a file or table. The data is entered into the field via a data entry form, and the information is extracted (to answer a particular question or need) via reports and/or queries. Note that Access uses the Field Size parameter in Design View to limit the number of characters or digits in a given field. There is a small tutorial on field sizes located in the topic “Optional Tutorial – Access project” in the Readings list for Week 5.
Specific instructions for the project can be found in the table below.
Create a provider database and related reports and queries to capture contact information for potential PC component providers that might be used to purchase the equipment your specified in your MS Word project – the PC specifications. You can use some actual PC suppliers in your table (Dell, Toshiba, Best Buy, etc.). However, the contact information, addresses, phone numbers, YTD orders, etc. can be fictional.
This MS Access database assignment has the following parts:
- a simple database table to hold provider contact information; some of the required fields in the table require that a Caption be added to the field characteristics. The Caption will be displayed in the report that is to be generated.
- a simple database form that can be used to enter data into the database table;
- two simple database reports that can used to present the data as information; and
- a separate MS Word document answering questions about the database.
All aspects of the assignment will be evaluated according to the following criteria and overall professional, business-like appearance. This would include clear readability and formatting for both screen and print-based output.