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Wanted: Book Recommendations

P: n/a
Hello All,

I would like a couple of book recommendations to get a jump start on Access
and to gain some knowledge on Access.

I have a few years in programming Basics, then to PDS 7.0, then finally went
to VB Pro 5. I have a few years in designing and utilizing flat file
databases, but this is my first foray into a relational database.

Project I am designing is for a boat shop where we want to keep history and
data on the boats, yet we are not incorporating any accounting features into
it. This would leave us with: List of parts, purchase orders, receiving (no
stock counts needed, just receipt of arrivals), invoicing (used to determine
parts/labor used per boat and real invoice generated by accounting package
off this paper copy), lookups of what parts used per boat, per task, per
employee hours, etc...

Since accounting functions and inventory tracking units is not a part of
this package, I believe I can tackle it once I figure out relationships
between all the tables (still designing). But I do think a book or two on
understanding relationships and how to design/build a database would be an
efficient use of my time before getting underway.

Any book recommendations that may help?

Tim
Nov 13 '05 #1
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8 Replies


P: n/a
Tim,
Since accounting functions and inventory tracking units is not a part of
this package . . .
I beg to differ. The features you requested are accounting functions. And
here I go again yelling about buy vs. build. Ok, maybe not yelling, but
probably ranting. Anway, the cheap version of Quickbooks was $140.00 from
CompUSA when I looked at their web site. I for one, couldn't finish a
project like this in under 90 minutes, which is what $140.00 would buy at my
current bill rate. I don't suck as a developer/designer (yeah, right) and
I'd guess this would take me a month or so to get to a first version.
Assuming 178 hours worked in a month, that's $17,660 more than the cost of
QuickBooks for something that would still need a year or more of work to
come close to what QuickBooks can do right now.
Now, you asked for book recommendations. I have been a fan of the Access
Developers Handbook for some time. I first bought it when it covered Access
2 and have kept buying it as the editors have released new editions. I only
own one of Ralph Kimball's books--The Data Warehouse Toolkit. But it has
been a huge influence on the way I design databases.
So . . . I'd rethink that assumption that what you want does not involve
accounting functions. From your post I think accounting is a critical part
of what you want. And I hope the books help.

--
Alan Webb
kn*******@SPAMhotmail.com
"It's not IT, it's IS
"Parts Manager" <pa**********@howardmoe.com> wrote in message
news:NI********************@comcast.com... Hello All,

I would like a couple of book recommendations to get a jump start on
Access and to gain some knowledge on Access.

Project I am designing is for a boat shop where we want to keep history
and data on the boats, yet we are not incorporating any accounting
features into it. This would leave us with: List of parts, purchase
orders, receiving (no stock counts needed, just receipt of arrivals),
invoicing (used to determine parts/labor used per boat and real invoice
generated by accounting package off this paper copy), lookups of what
parts used per boat, per task, per employee hours, etc...

Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
See:

http://www.ltcomputerdesigns.com/JCR...ces.html#Books

--
Jeff Conrad
Access Junkie
Bend, Oregon

"Parts Manager" wrote in message
news:NI********************@comcast.com...
Hello All,

I would like a couple of book recommendations to get a jump start on Access
and to gain some knowledge on Access.

I have a few years in programming Basics, then to PDS 7.0, then finally went
to VB Pro 5. I have a few years in designing and utilizing flat file
databases, but this is my first foray into a relational database.

Project I am designing is for a boat shop where we want to keep history and
data on the boats, yet we are not incorporating any accounting features into
it. This would leave us with: List of parts, purchase orders, receiving (no
stock counts needed, just receipt of arrivals), invoicing (used to determine
parts/labor used per boat and real invoice generated by accounting package
off this paper copy), lookups of what parts used per boat, per task, per
employee hours, etc...

Since accounting functions and inventory tracking units is not a part of
this package, I believe I can tackle it once I figure out relationships
between all the tables (still designing). But I do think a book or two on
understanding relationships and how to design/build a database would be an
efficient use of my time before getting underway.

Any book recommendations that may help?

Tim


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Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
"Alan Webb" wrote in message
Tim,
Since accounting functions and inventory tracking units is not a part of
this package . . .
I beg to differ. The features you requested are accounting functions.
And here I go again yelling about buy vs. build. Ok, maybe not yelling,
but probably ranting.

So . . . I'd rethink that assumption that what you want does not involve
accounting functions. From your post I think accounting is a critical
part of what you want. And I hope the books help.

Alan, I meant that although I am trying to create a database to handle
tracking of what parts are used and what tasks used what parts, etc.....;
this database will not be doing our accounting. Our accounting is done
through another application. That accounting software handles all finances
and what I am trying to do is move from an Excel spreadsheet for tracking
what we buy and use per boat, to a database that is more suited for this
purpose.

So this database will not have to worry about paying invoices on incoming
parts, employee payroll, invoices coming in with payments, and this database
won't have to track quantity of parts on hand since we push the parts to the
boat as they arrive for the most part and keep very minimal supplies in
stock.

As this database will not be in charge of accounting, you are correct that
some of the aspects resemble that of an accounting package. But from Excel
to Access, this step is needed; the goal here now is not only move to Access
but to also add features of tracking that we don't currently have using a
spreadsheet.

Tim
Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
"Jeff Conrad" wrote in message
See:

http://www.ltcomputerdesigns.com/JCR...ces.html#Books


Thanks Jeff! I kept that link as it has more than just book recommendations.
:-)

Tim
Nov 13 '05 #5

P: n/a
Parts Manager wrote:
Since accounting functions and inventory tracking units is not a part of
this package, I believe I can tackle it once I figure out relationships
between all the tables (still designing).


From a concept point of view, it would be nice if accounting and
maintenance were harmonized. based on your response to Alan, you should
look at the accounting package you have and see if there is anything in
this that can be used for tracking maintenance. perhaps purchases" can
be looked at as work orders. Does the accounting package allow for
different types of purchases? That could be altered to have a purchase
type as "maintenance" or "work order" or something.

Finances are so tied into EVERYTHING that integration with financial
systems is simply the top issue I see in my area, which is facilities
(including vehicle and equipment) maintenance management. However, many
finance packages are sometimes designed by unimaginative lunkheads who
design data structures that look like holdovers from the 70s and GUIs
that a 12 year old kid with a Tandy 25 years ago might have been proud of.

So there's another alternative - design your maintenance package/parts
disbursement tracking program and THEN try integrating it with your
finance package. If you don't, YOU ARE DOOMED FOREVER TO A FATE OF
DOUBLE DATA ENTRY THAT OFTEN DOESN'T RECONCILE PROPERLY BETWEEN THE TWO
SYSTEMS!!!!

So, I would go with trying to adapt or, if possible, alter the finance
package your organization uses. If the clunkiness of the finance
package precludes this, then do the second option I describe above.

--
Tim http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "Whatcha doin?" - Ditto "TIM-MAY!!" - Me
Nov 13 '05 #6

P: n/a
"Tim Marshall" wrote in message
Parts Manager wrote:
Since accounting functions and inventory tracking units is not a part of
this package, I believe I can tackle it once I figure out relationships
between all the tables (still designing).


From a concept point of view, it would be nice if accounting and
maintenance were harmonized. based on your response to Alan, you should
look at the accounting package you have and see if there is anything in
this that can be used for tracking maintenance. perhaps purchases" can be
looked at as work orders. Does the accounting package allow for different
types of purchases? That could be altered to have a purchase type as
"maintenance" or "work order" or something.


Tim, we are using Quickbooks right now for the accounting. The detail at
which we want to track for building a boat, we do need a separate
program/database for. We only send out a 'couple' of invoices per month.
:-) We build large 65'-110' yachts in a small shop here. We can only build
at most 3 or 4 boats at any one time so that would be 4 invoices for the
month to send out.

For incoming, we don't keep inventory since most items are purchased (custom
built yachts) as needed and used as they arrive. So we get about 100 A/P
invoices to remit each month. Quickbooks seems to fit this fine.

While it would be nice to have it all together, I thank you for your
suggestions, I as a beginner may not be up to a challenge of adding
accounting (payroll/AP/AR) into this tracking database as of yet. I do have
in the back of mind though that I might interface later our Access database
with Quicken's database. I think I read there is a way to transfer data
between the two. But that is in the future.

Tim
Nov 13 '05 #7

P: n/a
Parts Manager wrote:
I as a beginner may not be up to a challenge of adding
accounting (payroll/AP/AR) into this tracking database as of yet. I do have
in the back of mind though that I might interface later our Access database
with Quicken's database. I think I read there is a way to transfer data
between the two. But that is in the future.


That's the way to go then. But, without deliberately trying to be
annoying 8) I predict that once you get your app going, you'll find a
requirement to want to transfer data to the Quicken program (I know zip
about Q) will appear very quickly.

All the best in your endeavour!
--
Tim http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~tmarshal/
^o<
/#) "Burp-beep, burp-beep, burp-beep?" - Quaker Jake
/^^ "Whatcha doin?" - Ditto "TIM-MAY!!" - Me
Nov 13 '05 #8

P: n/a
"Parts Manager" wrote in message:
news:ru********************@comcast.com...
See:

http://www.ltcomputerdesigns.com/JCR...ces.html#Books
Thanks Jeff!


You're welcome, I'm glad you like it.
I kept that link as it has more than just book recommendations.


Yes, I know.
;-)

I update it frequently.
--
Jeff Conrad
Access Junkie
Bend, Oregon

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Nov 13 '05 #9

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