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Beginning Database Design by Clare Churcher

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CHAPTER 1What Can Go Wrong

The problem with a number of small databases (and quite probably with many large ones) is that the initial idea of how to record the data is not necessarily the correct one. Often a table or spreadsheet is designed to mimic a possible data entry screen or a hoped-for report. This practice may be adequate for solving the immediate problem (e.g., storing the data somewhere); however, mimicking a data entry screen or report in your database design often causes problems later. It can make it difficult, if not impossible, to get information for different reports or summaries that were not originally envisaged but nevertheless should be available given the data collected.

This chapter gives examples drawn from real life to ...

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