Access Database Design and Programming

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Access Database Design & Programming takes you behind the details of the Access interface, focusing on the general knowledge necessary for Access power users or developers to create effective database applications. When using software products with graphical interfaces, we frequently focus so much on the interface that we forget about the general concepts that allow us to understand and use the software effectively. In particular, this book focuses on three areas:

  • Database ...
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Access Database Design & Programming takes you behind the details of the Access interface, focusing on the general knowledge necessary for Access power users or developers to create effective database applications. When using software products with graphical interfaces, we frequently focus so much on the interface that we forget about the general concepts that allow us to understand and use the software effectively. In particular, this book focuses on three areas:

  • Database design. The book provides an enjoyable, informative overview of database design that carefully shows you how to normalize tables to eliminate redundancy without losing data.
  • Queries. The book examines multi-table queries (i.e.,various types of joins) and shows how to implement them indirectly by using the Access interface or directly by using Access SQL.
  • Programming. The book examines the VBA integrated development environment (IDE). It then goes on to provide an excellent introduction to Data Access Objects (DAO), ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), and ADO Extensions for Data Definition and Security (ADOX). These sections serve as a handy introduction and primer for basic database operations,such as modifying a table under program control, dynamically adding and deleting a record, and repositioning a record pointer. The concluding chapter focuses on common programming problems, such as computing running sums and comparing two sets.
Unlike other Access books that take the long, detailed approach to every topic of concern to Access programmers, Access Database Design &Programming instead focuses on the core concepts, enabling programmers to develop solid, effective database applications. This book also serves as a 'second course' in Access that provides a relatively experienced Access user who is new to programming with the frequently overlooked techniques necessary to develop successfully in the Microsoft Access environment.Anyone interested in learning Access in depth, rather than just scraping the surface, will enjoy and benefit immensely from reading this book.
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Editorial Reviews


Making Access More Accessible

From an industry observer's point of view, Microsoft Access-97 is a potent symbol of many of the things that have made Microsoft despised, feared, and enormously successful: determination, persistence, nearly unlimited resources, disregard for backward compatibility, contempt for open standards, fragmented design, lack of quality assurance and software engineering, and, of course, the ability to leverage its software suites, massive bankroll, and control of the operating system platform to outmarket, outmaneuver, outlast or simply gobble up the competition. But from a purchaser's point of view, Access is mostly a symbol of Microsoft's unilateral decision to ship its gigantic powerful complex software products with virtually no printed documentation at all.

Consequently, the would-be Access developer's first act is typically to run down to the nearest technical bookstore and try to find something that explains how the darn thing works. Unfortunately, the third-party market for Microsoft Access books is split between simple beginner-oriented books that teach users how to design forms and reports using the built-in wizards and controls, and recycled Visual Basic books that describe Access as a sort of Visual Basic clone with some grafted-on database function calls. There has been, until now, a conspicuous absence of books that approach Access from a database analyst and developer's point of view -- books that explain how Access implements relational database concepts, its data definition language, its object model (such as it is), and its degree of compliance with ANSI standard SQL.

Steven Roman's Access Database Design and Programming goes a good part of the distance toward filling this void. It starts with a discussion of entity-object relationships, keys and superkeys, and normal forms, then goes on to introduce relational algebra, query languages, and SQL. A brief diversion into Visual Basic for Applications and its relationship to the Jet Database Engine is followed by a fairly extensive explanation of Access's family of objects, collections, and properties -- always one of Access's most confusing and least stable characteristics. The book closes with two chapters on programmatic data definition and data manipulation in Access, topics which often receive short shrift in the recycled Visual Basic books I alluded to earlier.

This is not a very long book, and the code examples are fairly trivial, but it will save you a lot of time and frustration if you are just getting started with Access database development.--Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596002732
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 450
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.52 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Roman, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of mathematics at the California State University, Fullerton. His previous books with O'Reilly include "Access Database Design and Programming", "Writing Excel Macros with VBA", and "Win32 API Programming with Visual Basic".

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Table of Contents


Part I: Database Design

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Entity-Relationship Model of a Database

Chapter 3: Implementing Entity-Relationship Models: Relational Databases

Chapter 4: Database Design Principles

Part II: Database Queries

Chapter 5: Query Languages and the Relational Algebra

Chapter 6: Access Structured Query Language (SQL)

Part III: Database Architecture

Chapter 7: Database System Architecture

Part IV: Visual Basic for Applications

Chapter 8: The Visual Basic Editor, Part I

Chapter 9: The Visual Basic Editor, Part II

Chapter 10: Variables, Data Types, and Constants

Chapter 11: Functions and Subroutines

Chapter 12: Built-in Functions and Statements

Chapter 13: Control Statements

Part V: Data Access Objects

Chapter 14: Programming DAO: Overview

Chapter 15: Programming DAO: Data Definition Language

Chapter 16: Programming DAO: Data Manipulation Language

Part VI: ActiveX Data Objects

Chapter 17: ADO and OLE DB

Chapter 18: ADOX: Jet Data Definition in ADO

Part VII: Programming Problems

Chapter 19: Some Common Data Manipulation Problems

Part VIII: Appendixes

Appendix A: DAO 3.0/3.5 Collections, Properties, and Methods

Appendix B: The Quotient: An Additional Operation of the Relational Algebra

Appendix C: Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

Appendix D: Obtaining or Creating the Sample Database

Appendix E: Suggestions for Further Reading


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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    Good Introduction to Database Design But Poor On Programming

    This author does a good job explaining the relational database model and how to design good relational databases. However, I purchased this book because I wanted to learn how to program in Access to create more complex database applications. The author fails in this regard. The author crams a lot of vocabulary and examples at the reader without adequate explanation on any topic. It is not uncommon to see pages of diagrams and source code with only a paragraph or two devoted to explaining how they work. Unless you already have an understanding of Visual Basic, ADO, and DAO, this book will be of no help to you. It would be much better for someone interested in this topic to buy two books, one about Visual Basic, and the other about ADO and/or DAO.

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