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Access Database Design and Programming
     

Access Database Design and Programming

by PhD Steven Roman, Ron Petrusha (Editor)
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Duncan

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780596002732
Publisher:
O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/28/2002
Series:
Nutshell Handbooks Series
Edition description:
Third Edition
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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