Planning my database 

October 16, 2017 September 1st, 2019 Free Essays Online for College Students

I first needed to know who I was doing it for. It was the librarian at my school Mrs Flude she wanted to keep the information where it was safe and easy to access which would make it faster for her and the students. The two main problems of the current system are:

1st problem:

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They have to use an index to find books, and this is slow and very inefficient.

2nd problem:

They use a card index to keep all the information needed about the students and to keep track of which students have books, this method is not reliable because you can mess up or mix up the cards or lose them and it also takes a long time which leads to inefficiency.

The solution to fixing these problems is creating a database; a database is a collection of information stored in a computer in a systematic way, such that a computer program can consult it to answer questions.

Before I started using the computer to make my database, I made a rough copy of what I wanted my database to look like and how it would function. It was a table which I had to fill in with information about my database.

I wanted my database to be reliable and fast, to make it fast I had to make it simple and easy to use. To do this I divided it into 3 sections which are:

1) Student’s database- it would have all the names of the students in the school.

2) Book’s database- this would have all the books in the library

3) Issued books database- this would show which books were borrowed and who borrowed.

They have to use a card index to keep all the information needed about the students and to keep track of which students have which books. It would be a lot easier to use a database though, for several reasons, one of which a card based index can get messed up very easily. To make my database work while its divided into three sections I needed to form a relationship between the three different sections, but before I did that I had to start with a plan for my database.

Below is how I planned my database:

Field name

Data type

Data format

Data size

Why is this data important

Book ID

Auto number

Number

Up to 100, 000

Each book has to have its own unique number to identify it in the database.

Book title

Text

Text

Up to 100

Each book must have a name in order for you to save time looking.

Author

Text

Text

Up to 30

If you don’t have its number you will still be able to find it

Publisher

Text

Text

Up to 30

If you don’t have its number you will still be able to find it

Date published

Date

Number

Up to 10

This helps the library when a book is obsolete/out of date

Illustrated

Tick/no tick

Tick/no tick

No number needed

This helps in that you can arrange books in order of illustration

Above is a table of my book database and all the information I put about the books. This information is helpful because if a book was lost and the librarian needed to replace it this information would help to find the correct book.

The second step was to write about the table of students below are the steps I took for my students database:

I gave each student a number so that it would be easier when issuing books. I also put the student’s name, sex, address and form. This information will help the librarian find who has an overdue book and were to find him/her.

Field name

Data type

Data Format

Data size

Why is this data important

Student number

Auto number

Number

Up to 1500

It makes issuing books easier

Students name

Text

Text

Up to 50

To know who has borrowed a book

Sex

Text

Text

Up to 1

Helps with surveys regarding with which books appeal to the sexes

Address

Number & text

Number & text

Up to 100

To trace overdue returns

Form

Number and text

Number & text

Up to 20

Again to trace late returns

I then did a table for issues as shown below:

Field name

Data type

Data Format

Data size

Why is this data important

issues id

Number

Number

Up to 1500

To know which issue you are dealing with

student id

Number

Number

Up to 1500

To know which student borrowed a book

book id

Number

Number

Up to 10000

To know which book was taken out

date borrowed

Date

Date

Up to 12

To when the book was taken out

date due back

Date

Date

Up to 12

To know when the book should be returned

Above is the third section of my database, which is the ‘issues section’, this section is necessary because it shows which books have been taken out and who has taken them out and the details of the book and the person who has borrowed the book.

After I had done all of the above mentioned things it was time to make my database and below are annotated screenshots of how I made my database. I started by making the books section first and below is what I did:

To make the books section I had to use the ‘design view’ table which helps me to design and specify what my database should do and how to execute my specifications.

This is the ‘Description’ field

This is optional if you want to fill it, but it’s were you must describe or tell how your criteria will function.

This is the ‘Data type’ table

This is were you choose the format of the field you’re designing e.g. numerical

This is the ‘Field name’

This is were you put the name of the field you are designing e.g. Book ID, title, author.

As you can see above this is a screenshot of my issues section in ‘design view’.

As you can see above is a screen shot for my students table in ‘design view’.

The next step was to enter my data, which was the information about the books and the information about the students and below are screenshots of what my database looked like for each section.

Above is what my books section looked like after I had entered all the required data about the books.

Above is what my students’ database looked like after I had entered all the necessary data that was required.

Above is what my issues table looked like after I had done it.

Improvements:

My database was relatively simple when I first did it and that also made it inefficient, in the sense that when you put information in one table you had to key in that information repeatedly in all the tables and thus the issue of the inefficiency. Before I fixed that problem I had to deal with the issue of entries that may be very similar and how I had to make each entry unique and stop it being confused with another entry, to solve this I had to make a ‘Primary Key’.

A primary key is used to make each entry unique and use a certain value that will make that particular record unique from the others. In my database I made the ‘Book ID’, ‘Issues ID’ and the ‘Student number’ unique or primary keys. To do this I had open a table in design view and then selected the field I wanted to make a primary key and I then clicked on the primary key symbol on the toolbar.

ABOVE: is the highlighted Book id to its left is the primary key symbol.

This is the student number.

Above is the issues ID.

As I mentioned above that my database was inefficient because when you made any changes you had to repeatedly key in those changes in other tables, to get around this I had to make my database ‘Relational’, a relational database is a method of structuring data as collections of tables that are logically associated to each other by shared attributes, a relational database has the flexibility to generate new tables from existing records that meet specified criteria.

With my database I decided the following criteria to have a relationship:

In the student table, the student number field has a 1 next to it. This means that the entry in that field can only appear once. The same is true of book ID in the books table. However, both of these fields can appear many times in the issues table (hence the infinity sign being next to them). This shows that one student can take out a variety of books and that one book can be taken out many times.

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