In Part two, you learned the fundamentals of creating a custom database. You saw that you could create tables and fields whenever you need them. You learned how to polish layouts and add features and designs that make your data easy to maintain and analyze. You even added simple scripts for creating quick reports with the click of a button.
And you did all those things in an organic fashion; as the need arose, you created elements that gave your database more power. And you didn’t have to do a lot of prep work to add that new whiz-bang feature. But as the databases you create get more sophisticated and the tasks you need them to perform get more complex, you’ll find that the right kind of planning and preparation makes development go more smoothly down the road. It’s time to start thinking like a database developer, so that your database can grow as your needs grow.
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to create a roadmap for the tables and fields that comprise your database. (Database nerds called this map their database’s schema.) Before you define the first table in your database, it pays to sit down and think about the kinds of data you’ll be storing. Think about the basic tasks the database handles and how those tasks get carried out. This chapter shows you how to plan your database schema, and then start putting that plan into action.
Go back and read the box on These Terms Are Relational if you want to review basic database ...