Regardless of the application you are designing, you need to be familiar with the terminology and the building blocks of database design. This chapter explains the terms and the elements of a database. While this book uses an Access database, the concepts are applicable to all databases. We are addressing the parts of the database providing the data storage of an application, rather than the user interface, typically viewed as the forms and reports.
The collection of data storage elements is referred to as the schema. In Microsoft Access the schema elements are known generically as objects, and include the following:
Tables: are used to store data. Fields and indexes are essential parts of the table.
Relationships: help to control the data by defining how tables are related.
Queries: are generally used to request information from the tables, but can also be used to add or change information as well as to modify other schema objects.
The following sections expand on each of these schema objects, explaining what they are used for and how they are constructed. It is important that you have a basic understanding of these objects so that you can build a solid schema for your database.
When building or working with any type of project, whether it is a tree house or a database, it is important to have all the necessary parts, but that's not enough—you need a plan. If you're building a tree house, the plan will help you ensure ...