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Need a sample scheduling database!

I am new to using Access, I took a beginning Access course but I have never built anything more than a VERY simple database.  I have been asked to create a very complex database at work and I am having a tough time getting started since I know that the biggest part to creating a good product is good planning (especially with a database).  Since I haven't ever built anything on this scale and don't understand the full capabilities of Acces, I am having a hard time planning.  I would like to look at several databases similar to what I am doing so I can see how they work and if parts can be used in my database.

I am looking for a scheduling/training Access database, if you have anything similar and are willing to share please send them to jleonard28@hotmail.com.  As far as points go I will split the points between the best databases.  Thanks!
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jwleonard1
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jwleonard1
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1 Solution
 
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
It's against EE guidelines to communicate via email. It gives those experts an unfair advantage and doesn't provide solutions which can be added to the knowledge base here at EE, which is, after all, what EE is all about. Not only that, but it's generally considered "bad form" to ask others for full solutions, especially with the specific intent of using portions for your own work. A code snippet here and there is one thing, of course, and is really what EE is geared towards. I realize you're looking more at structure than anything else, but in general EE is geared more towards providing you with answers to specific questions, or to solicit comments on your design.

What exactly are you trying to accomplish? You really should be able to express what your db is intended to do in a paragraph or two (i.e. a "high level" view). If you can't do that, then you aren't ready to start coding. Before you begin any project, you really should do what's known as requirements gathering - i.e. determing exactly what your database will do, what information needs to be stored, what information you want to present to users (i.e. reports), and how it all will be used. Once you've decided this, you would move on to beginning your table strucuture, figuring out your logic flow, etc etc.

There are many scheduling demos on the web. A good idea is to download these and review them. You won't get the table structure for them, but you will get a sense of what yours may need to accomplish. What you're doing can be extremely complex and can trip up experienced developers. Given your experience level, I'd say the requirements gathering phase of your project will be critical to the success of your project.

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jwleonard1Author Commented:
Where is it written that you can't communicate via e-mail, I looked at the member agreement again right before I posted and didn't see anything about e-mail.  I know it is not a good idea and created a new e-mail account just for this post, I didn't want to give out my new address.  The funny thing is I just told someone the other day that it wasn't a good idea to post their e-mail on EE, but I didn't know it was against policy.

You are correct that this question isn't geared towards EE that well, I know that but I was hoping it would work.  Also, I don't intend on using what anyone provides me with, I only want to learn from it.  I am sure that there is not a perfect database out there for what I need to do anyway.  What I am really asking for is knowledge on how to design a database for scheduling in a training environment.

I don't know where to begin explaining what this database needs to do and if I did I don't think you would want to read it all.  I will try to summarize it though:
- Provide scheduling for 18 offices
- Forcast classes four months ahead of time
- Track all instructors in two offices
- Track student information, which courses they are required to take, which ones they have completed, and which ones they are overdue to complete.
- Track all courses offered at the two offices
- Be able to import data from an ancient database program
- Print a report with all forcast classes each month
- Search database for information on courses taught, instructor utilization, requests for courses, how many students actually attended each course, and how many didn't show up.  This should also be printed in a monthly report.
I know there is more but this is what comes to mind right now.

I would appreciate it if you could post a link to the demos you are talking about, I searched google and didn't really find anything useful.

 I also realize this is the most important phase of building a database, that is why I am asking for assistance.  I know I can get this done, it is just a matter of how long it will take and how many time I will have to scrap what I have done and start over again (I would like to avoid that as much as possible)!

Thanks for posting even though you don't agree with my question, I appreciate that you took the time to explain and still offered help!
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jwleonard1Author Commented:
I have a new idea!  What I really would like is information on how to design and build a database.  Are there any good books or courses out there that I can purchase and read that will help me learn database design.  Everything I have used so far has been geared more toward using Access not designing a database.  I know how to use Access I just don't know what to do with it!
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Regarding Email: http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi99

<I don't know where to begin explaining what this database needs to do>
Then I don't think you've got a good enough grasp of what you're wanting to build to even begin reviewing other apps, db structures, etc. The list you've given seems to be a good start, but now you'd want to flesh this out. Do you want this database to actually track schedules (i.e. Bob is supposed to take Test1 on May 5th) and then use this to determine how many people can take TestA on May 5th (kind of like a reservation system)? If so, this can be very, very complex and requires a good deal of experience to build and implement. If all you want to do is store info on employees, tests, and instructors, then doing this would be quite simple.

As an example, consider this item:

Track all instructors in two offices

Right there, you have enough information to begin formulating a few tables:

tblInstructors
=========
lngInstructorID [PK, Autonumber]
lngOffice [FK to tblOffices, stores lngOfficeID]
strLastName
strFirstName
etc etc

tblOffices
========
lngOfficeID
strDescription
strAddress
etc etc

In general, however, you would want to be much further along in your requirements gathering before you begin to consider building tables ...

<Also, I don't intend on using what anyone provides me with, I only want to learn from it.>
In your original post, you wrote "I would like to look at several databases similar to what I am doing so I can see how they work and if parts can be used in my database." ... perhaps I misunderstood if so my aplogies

<Thanks for posting even though you don't agree with my question,>
It's not that I don't agree. It's just apparent that you need to do more work before you begin this project. By your own admission you haven't built any complex databases, and scheduling database can be extremely difficult, even for seasoned developers.

Google search:
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2005-04,GGLD:en&q=ms+access+scheduling

There are several good books that are geared towards building solid databases:
Database Design for Mere Mortals http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0201694719/104-8500991-8733554?v=glance
Mastering Access Development: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0672314843/qid=1113056088/sr=2-1/104-8500991-8733554?v=glance&s=books


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jwleonard1Author Commented:
Thanks for the info, you would think EE would put that e-mail part (and everything else on that page) in their member agreeement!
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