I need to learn Access

Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2005 09:37 pm
Anyway, I think I do. I've got a few jobs I've been doing in Excel, but the jobs have grown to the point where I'm simply spending too much time with it.

Is there a good course book out there? There is one available through the community college, but it doesn't work without some master disk having been loaded onto the hard disk. The course it accompanies is a two day affair, by the way, with long hours of classwork on Friday and Saturday, with no chance to work outside the classroom. I'm not sure it would work for me even if my hearing would let me follow the instructor.

Possibly an online tutorial?

Who knows? The company might even pick up the cost of this one.
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Reply Sun 31 Jul, 2005 09:45 pm
Oh, my lord! I just googled Access Tutorials. There's over a thousand of them out there. I still need recommendations with a book, or in sorting all that stuff, if anyone has any related experience.
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Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 06:38 am
Hmmm I took a class through, I think it was Strafford tech; they offer classes here in Boston and in other areas. Here's a link to their latest newsletter: http://www.straffordtech.com/newsLetter.asp?newsid=49

I have found that most books are not wonderful unless you have a lot of time to devote to them. Still, I did get acquainted with Brio Query (now Hyperion) by using a book. But it took me -- I kid you not -- 6 months. The Strafford class took something like 6 hours.

Part of it is getting acquainted with databases versus spreadsheets. Have you done any database work? I found it was a bit difficult to wrap my head around database work, at least initially. One thing that helped was that I had already done some data analysis in Excel by using Pivot tables and Filters. Have you used either? Some of the simpler Access queries are like that, they filter out some information or do some simple mathematical operations on data (regular averages and the like).
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Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 07:16 am
No data base work at all, and haven't used pivot tables except very briefly in an Excel class. This is going to be a fun project, I can see. There just isn't the big pool of background knowledge floating around the office that makes things go smoother.
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Reply Mon 1 Aug, 2005 11:33 am
Hmmm, the thing about databases is that they are essentially a collection of spreadsheets, but the spreadsheets are interrelated.

When I've made databases for myself, I usually make a big table, called RawData and put most of the data in there but in a lot of abbreviated forms. Then a number of smaller tables are created that are lookups.

For example, if I was doing a schedule, I might have a table with, I dunno

Code:Name DayAbbrev
Jane Tues
Mary Mon
Dave Sat

And that would be the RawData table, whereas I'd also create a DaysLookup table and that would be
Code:DayAbbrev DayName
Mon Monday
Sat Saturday
Tues Tuesday

And then if I wanted to see the data in the RawData table but with the days spelled out, I would link at DayAbbrev (the field common to both) and it would show up in the query as:
Code:Name DayName
Jane Tuesday
Mary Monday
Dave Saturday

Access can be sorted in any number of ways, including multiple sort levels, so you can sort by name of day or name of person or both in a hierarchy.

I hope this didn't add to the confusion.
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