Data Modeling

I am designing a small temporary database to track the emails that are contained in PDFs and make comments about them. Numerous emails are printed to a single PDF file. Each PDF contains numerous emails. The PDFs are not going to be stored in a database. Only the file path and file name will be tracked.  This will be only one comment per file. This will be a single user Access database.

Here is a sample report:
c:\email\file1.pdf
Comments: File contents: 2013 tax preparation.

Here are the proposed entities:
Files
Path

Here are the proposed attributes:
Comments
File name
Mark01Asked:
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mbizupCommented:
Ok - you've described what you're working on.

Do you have a specific question/issue that you need help with?
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mbizupCommented:
Are you looking for table structure suggestions?

If you are only dealing with one comment per file, and only one user --- you CAN get away with a single table structure:

tblFiles (fields listed below)
----------
FileID  (Autonumber/PK)
FilePath  (Full path of file -- text or memo)
Comments (memo)

However, I'd recommend a separate table for comments, which would allow you room for easy growth to multiple comments per file, OR to multiple users (ie: develop with an eye on possible growth rather than a restrictive single comment/single user setup):

tblFiles
--------------------
FileID  (Autonumber/PK)
FilePath  (Full path of file -- text or memo)
' etc -- any other file related attribute you might want to include

tblComments
------------
CommentID  (Autonumber/PK)
FileID  (Foreign key/link to the files table)
CommentDate (Date/Time)
Comment (Memo)
' UserID (Foreign key to link to a Users table when/if you ever need to expand to a multi-user scenario)
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Mark01Author Commented:
I am working on the attributes and entities now. Please comment on the proposed attributes and entities.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
That's kinda hard to do. The Attributes you list could certainly be valid Attributes for your Entities, but we don't know if they are or not - we'd have to know a lot more about your project, your data, what you're storing (and for what reason) etc etc ... in other words, while we could suggest Attributes that might be appropriate for an Email storage system, it's impossible for us to know if they're valid or not.

So the right way to approach this is for YOU to list out the Attributes that you feel should be associated with the various Entities, and describe what those Entities are and how/why you're storing them. Then we can perhaps suggest whether you're on the right track or not.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
And - how is this question different from http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/MS_Access/Q_28503991.html? In both you seem to be asking about Entities and Attributes, and EE doesn't allow duplicate questions. Perhaps I've missed something ...
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Mark01Author Commented:
This is not a duplicate question. This database only tracks PDF images. The other question involves tracking more information: 1) The date and time the e-mails were sent.
2) The sender’s first and last name.
3) The text of the message body will be copied into a field.

I expect to spend a lot more time on the other database before I can use it. This is simple a small, temporary database that I will use until the other database is functioning.

Here is some more detail:

Entity: Files
Description: Numerous emails are printed to a single PDF file. Each PDF contains numerous emails. The PDFs are not going to be stored in a database.
Attributes: Comments, File name

Entity: Path
Description: The location of the PDF. Example: c:\email\file1.pdf
Attributes: ?
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
That would be:

tblPath
  Id: Autonumber
  Path: Text(255)

tblFiles
  Id: Autonumber
  PathId: Long (Foreign Key. Id of tblPath)
  Comment: Text(255) or Memo

/gustav
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Mark01Author Commented:
gustav and mbizup, I appreciate your comments but I am using Scott Pletcher's advice about the importance of the design and definitions of the data.

Here's the link:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/MS-SQL-Server/Q_28503680.html#accepted-solution
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
And so?
You asked for a (different) temporary solution? It doesn't make sense.

/gustav
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Mark01Author Commented:
I am asking for help with the entities and attributes.
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
> I am asking for help with the entities and attributes.

And you got it. Now what?
Your task seems so simple that it hardly justifies a question. Is there another story behind?

/gustav
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Mark01Author Commented:
@Jim Horn
This is not an academic assignment. I am learning about database design through self-study. In a previous question, I learned from Scott Pletcher that the first step is logical design: i.e., "entities" and "attributes."

For this question, I would like to know if the proposed entities and attributes are correct. If they are not correct, please suggest the correct entities and attributes.
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Mark01Author Commented:
Thank you, Gustav Brock, mbizup, Scott McDaniel.
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