Project 1: Intro
A database program that uses only one table for the fields is a flat file database, also called just a flat database. In the previous lesson, you saw how a spreadsheet can work as this type of database, IF the fields for one record are put in a single row. A spreadsheet is not the best tool for databases with a large number of records or when you want to do queries and reports.
A database program is designed to make it easy to:
Most databases that have been around a while have evolved into relational databases but there are still some old-fashioned flat file databases out there.
Microsoft Works includes a simple database feature that works as a flat file database. We won't hang around long in Works. It is a very simple database and is rather awkward to use.
Microsoft Works: A Simple Flat File Database
The illustration above is of datasheet view, called a list in MS Works, where the records are in rows and columns. It looks very much like a spreadsheet. Microsoft Works is very limited in what it allows you to do with a database.
In many ways Excel actually is more user-friendly in its database features than Microsoft Works, but not in everything.
In Excel there was data entry form, but you could not modify the form.
Even in a basic database
like Microsoft Works, you can rearrange and format the form
view to suit
yourself. Color is nice, but even nicer is being able to see all the fields
in the window at once.
in Microsoft Works can give you a basic print-out. Some of the fields in
the Star Wars Collectibles database need more room than the default
Clearly the report is based on a spreadsheet layout.
You can move fields to a second row for the report and group the records.
The example at the right groups the records by YearMade and puts a dividing line between the groups. It also formats the fields to wrap the text.
If you have Microsoft Works installed on your computer, you can open the sample database and play. Just click the image below.
Experiment! Play around with it.
~~ 1 Cor. 10:31 ...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~~
Last updated: 30 Apr 2012