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1 or more tables?

P: n/a
Hi all,

This is my first time using a database. I am using Access 2003. I want to
design a database for extracting marriage data from our county marriage
records. There are four sections with a total of 15 fields. My question is:
which is better, 1 table with 15 fields or the 15 fields spread over 4
tables (sections). There is no duplication between the tables (sections) at
present. tia

Dwight
Aug 4 '06 #1
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6 Replies


P: n/a
there's no way to answer your question from the information you provided. in
Access, table design has nothing to do with how the data in collected in a
paper format, or how it will be entered or displayed within the database.
table design is based on relational design principles, also referred to as
normalization. if you want to build your database correctly, you need to
learn and follow those rules. for more information, see
http://home.att.net/~california.db/tips.html and focus first on tips 1 and
2, in that order.

hth
"Dwight" <ed*******@comcast.netwrote in message
news:dZ******************************@comcast.com. ..
Hi all,

This is my first time using a database. I am using Access 2003. I want to
design a database for extracting marriage data from our county marriage
records. There are four sections with a total of 15 fields. My question
is:
which is better, 1 table with 15 fields or the 15 fields spread over 4
tables (sections). There is no duplication between the tables (sections)
at
present. tia

Dwight


Aug 5 '06 #2

P: n/a
Dwight wrote:
Hi all,

This is my first time using a database. I am using Access 2003. I want to
design a database for extracting marriage data from our county marriage
records. There are four sections with a total of 15 fields. My question is:
which is better, 1 table with 15 fields or the 15 fields spread over 4
tables (sections). There is no duplication between the tables (sections) at
present. tia

Dwight

Perhaps you may need to elaborate a bit on what these 15 fields are
talking about. But I suggest you first google on "genealogy database
design" to get an idea of how complex this could be.
--
Smartin
Aug 5 '06 #3

P: n/a
I am slow today. The fields are:

County: County Groom: LastNameGr Bride: LastNameBr
MarriageData: LicenseIssuedDate
Book GivenNameGr
GivenNameBr MarriageDate
Page AgeGr
AgeBr MarriagePerformedBy
ResidenceGr
ResidenceBr
Parents/GuardianGr
Parents/GuardianBr
Suriety

Hope this helps.

Dwight
"Smartin" <sm********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:a7******************************@giganews.com ...
Dwight wrote:
>Hi all,

This is my first time using a database. I am using Access 2003. I want to
design a database for extracting marriage data from our county marriage
records. There are four sections with a total of 15 fields. My question
is: which is better, 1 table with 15 fields or the 15 fields spread over
4 tables (sections). There is no duplication between the tables
(sections) at present. tia

Dwight

Perhaps you may need to elaborate a bit on what these 15 fields are
talking about. But I suggest you first google on "genealogy database
design" to get an idea of how complex this could be.
--
Smartin

Aug 5 '06 #4

P: n/a
Newsreaders tend to make a "mishmash" out of data that you have carefully
spaced to try to represent its original look -- as it has done to yours in
my reader. It would be better if you would list the items of information,
one per line.

From what I understand the items to mean, unless you have quite a number of
people who are included more than once in these records, you can probably
keep this information in a single table.

The counterargument might be that "sometimes I need to search on a name and
it isn't obvious if it is male or female", in which case a separate "people"
file might make it easier to search.

I am also not certain what information may be included in some of the items,
for example, "Parents/Guardian," if this may contain both parents' names,
it might be better to break it apart so they can be searched separately.
Nor do I know what the content of the item named "Suriety" would be.

But, I would second the suggestion that you investigate genealogy
software... there are some very good packages available, at least one of
which is freeware. One may suit your needs for this, and other
record-keeping/searching chores without your having to do any development at
all.

Larry Linson
Microsoft Access MVP
"Dwight" <ed*******@comcast.netwrote in message
news:l6******************************@comcast.com. ..
>I am slow today. The fields are:

County: County Groom: LastNameGr Bride: LastNameBr
MarriageData: LicenseIssuedDate
Book GivenNameGr GivenNameBr
MarriageDate
Page AgeGr AgeBr
MarriagePerformedBy
ResidenceGr ResidenceBr
Parents/GuardianGr
Parents/GuardianBr
Suriety

Hope this helps.

Dwight
"Smartin" <sm********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:a7******************************@giganews.com ...
>Dwight wrote:
>>Hi all,

This is my first time using a database. I am using Access 2003. I want
to design a database for extracting marriage data from our county
marriage records. There are four sections with a total of 15 fields. My
question is: which is better, 1 table with 15 fields or the 15 fields
spread over 4 tables (sections). There is no duplication between the
tables (sections) at present. tia

Dwight

Perhaps you may need to elaborate a bit on what these 15 fields are
talking about. But I suggest you first google on "genealogy database
design" to get an idea of how complex this could be.
--
Smartin


Aug 5 '06 #5

P: n/a
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.notwrote in
news:qGUAg.917$rd1.848@trnddc01:
Newsreaders tend to make a "mishmash" out of data that you have
carefully spaced to try to represent its original look -- as it
has done to yours in my reader. It would be better if you would
list the items of information, one per line.
If everyone wrote and read their Usenet posts in plain text (which
is the only valid format for Usenet posts -- check the RFCs), there
would be no problem using "typewriter" spacing and fixed-width
fonts. But the OP was perhaps using a proportional font, or used
tabs (which are completely unreliable for spacing as you don't know
what the tab settings are for your intended readers).

It's perfectly possible to lay out information in a usable format in
a Usenet message as long as both the writer and the reader use plain
text and fixed-width fonts.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Aug 5 '06 #6

P: n/a
Dwight wrote:
I am slow today. The fields are:

County: County Groom: LastNameGr Bride: LastNameBr
MarriageData: LicenseIssuedDate
Book GivenNameGr
GivenNameBr MarriageDate
Page AgeGr
AgeBr MarriagePerformedBy
ResidenceGr
ResidenceBr
Parents/GuardianGr
Parents/GuardianBr
Suriety

Hope this helps.

Dwight
"Smartin" <sm********@yahoo.comwrote in message
news:a7******************************@giganews.com ...
>Dwight wrote:
>>Hi all,

This is my first time using a database. I am using Access 2003. I want to
design a database for extracting marriage data from our county marriage
records. There are four sections with a total of 15 fields. My question
is: which is better, 1 table with 15 fields or the 15 fields spread over
4 tables (sections). There is no duplication between the tables
(sections) at present. tia

Dwight
Perhaps you may need to elaborate a bit on what these 15 fields are
talking about. But I suggest you first google on "genealogy database
design" to get an idea of how complex this could be.
--
Smartin

I think in this situation I would opt for a two table design (as
suggested by Larry Linson also). Since "marriages" consist of "people"
and each entity has its own set of particulars, it makes sense to split
these up.

table Marriages
===============
MarriageID (autonumber, primary key)
BrideID (FK to People table)
GroomID (FK to People table)
County
LicenseIssuedDate
MarrigeDate
PerformedBy
Book
Page [not sure if "Page" is a reserved word]
Suriety

table People
============
PersonID (autonumber, primary key)
Gender
LastName
FirstName
DOB (see note)
Residence
ParentGuardian
re DOB: I would not recommend storing age as it is a calculated value.
Age can be determined by taking DateDiff of marriage date and DOB.

The two table design makes it a little easier to search for a person as
you only need to check one or two fields in the person table, rather
than two or four fields in a single table of marriages, although either
is possible.

If your needs dictate you could extend the "Parent/Guardian" information
to yet a third table, although this complicates things a bit and may not
have a bearing on what you are trying to accomplish.

Also, consider extending "Residence" to separate fields like Address1,
Address2, City, County, State, PostalCode, Country, etc.

--
Smartin
Aug 6 '06 #7

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