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Microsoft Access/Database for beginner.

I have a little programming experience mainly using Borland C++ in the past. I am nowadays trying to create a software which mainly will do the following :

- The user will select a list of variables (e.g. symptoms of a disease)
- The software will list the possible disease according to the symptoms selected
- The software will suggest a proper therapy.

And this should go vice versa . (e.g. selecting a therapy , then the software will automatically list the diseases which can be treated with this therapy, or selecting a disease and then the software will automatically list the symptoms etc.)

I've been told that the best way to do it is to use Microsoft Access (Database). Since i don't have really any serious experience with Microsoft Access or Database programming in general, I would appreciate if i could get some general guidelines regarding the design of your database tables and relationships. (most important thing is to know where to start, what should i study in order to accomplish my goal).

Thanks a lot.
3 Solutions
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
First thing is that Microsoft Access is only available with Microsoft Office Professional.  The current version is $399.99 from the Microsoft Store http://products.office.com/en-us/professional .  It appears that you can get it cheaper other places.  They all appear to be downloads.
Id suggest the tables for the three entities (Diseases, Symptoms, Therapies), then junction tables that link pairs of these items together (Disease_Symptoms and Disease_Therapies).

You populate the dropdowns in the user interface:
a)  from the DISTINCT values in symptoms and can then query for matching diseases and matching therapies.
b)  from the DISTINCT values in therapies and can then query for matching diseases and matching symptoms.
EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
Assuming that you have set up Access ....
Perform a search for something like beginners guide to access
youtube is a great resource for beginners and intermediate users.
There are also some excellent tutorials here on EE.  Start with this one.

Your project is fairly complex and rather than jumping in at the deep end you should start with a few simple projects. then you might be able to use/comprehend SimonAdept's response..

Before you tackle your main project, create a simple flat database for something like your DVD collection
Even as a beginner, it should take less than an hour.

Then create a somewhat more complicated database for your Contacts/Customers and your communications with those customers.  This will require two tables and a one-to-many relationship. You will also have a few forms, one of which will contain a subform. As a beginner this might take you 4-7 hours.

Once you have done that, you can then start your main project with much more confidence and you will be able to ask the right questions here. Just create the tables and relationships and post a description of the project here with a screenshot of the relationships.

Make sure you have read up on many-to-many relationships which involve junction tables

Read this guide when designing your main project
Phillip BurtonDirector, Practice Manager and Computing ConsultantCommented:
Dave, Access is available separately, which would be a lot cheaper - less than $100. It is also available in Office 365 pay monthly form.
The fundamental skill required for starting a database from scratch is data normalization.
A VERY good tutorial is here

Walk through it, with your prospective data in mind!
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