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Microsoft® Access® Small Business Solutions: State-of-the-Art Database Models for Sales, Marketing, Customer Management, and More Key Business Activities by Brent Spaulding, Leigh Purvis, Larry Linson, Truitt Bradly, Teresa Hennig

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Chapter 4. People, Organizations, Addresses

What information do you need that spans all, or almost all, of the functions of your business or organization? Of course, that is information about people. Businesses and commercial organizations need to track, relate, and report information about employees, customers, suppliers, and vendors. Noncommercial organizations deal with information about members, sponsors, donors, and others.

So it is quite understandable that people and organizations are a key component of many database applications, regardless of the main business objectives. Managing the data can be quite challenging because the data often has multiple uses and can easily become fragmented or copied into multiple locations, and the more places that data is stored, the more difficult it is to update and ensure that it is consistent and accurate.

To complicate the matter even more, youwill frequently discover additional kinds of data that you want to store. For example, in most business functions you don't need to know about the family of a person, but to enhance customer, employee, or member communications, that is useful information. You have several options for handling how you add this data to existing tables. An easy way to consistently use field properties is to copy an existing field—say, FavoriteColor—and rename it to SpouseName. Alternatively, add a new field named SpouseName, or you might add a separate FamilyMember table that includes spouses, children, significant ...

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