Relational Databases and Microsoft Access
Ron McFadyen, University of Winnipeg
Pub Date: 2016
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The text does a solid job of providing a comprehensive explanation of basic relational database theory and Microsoft Access functionality, read more
The text does a solid job of providing a comprehensive explanation of basic relational database theory and Microsoft Access functionality, specifically regarding table structure. The breadth of detail on forms and queries is not as extensive as the chapter on tables, but it is good. As a resource for an Introduction to Microsoft Office applications, this text provides more than enough detail of tables, forms and queries to meet my objectives. While I did not notice any content on Access reports, this omission does not diminish the adequacy of this text for a basic computer applications course. In fact, I will likely only utilize half of this text to supplement my other Microsoft Office resources.
Did not notice any errors in the text's material or grammar. Not even any Canadian lingo - which was a minor disappointment. :)
For the most part, the text is software-version-neutral. The examples and illustrations do not appear to be specific to any version of Microsoft Office, which will allow it to be relative for longer than the typical software text.
The prose is consistent and easy to follow. However, while the chapter on tables is very detailed, the content on forms lacks clarity and needs additional examples. The Exercises are weak, and not extensive. Students would benefit from more hands-on examples. with accompanying illustrations.
Author does a fine job of presenting the material in a consistent manner. The framework from chapter to chapter is true.
The text is divided into appropriate chapters. I plan to use about 80 of the 221 pages for my course, primarily from the first six chapters.
The text's organization is on-point. I appreciated the early discussion of database theory followed by coverage of tables, forms, and then queries. This is the appropriate structure for creating and learning about databases. An over-arching exercise that tied these three objects together would bring even more flow to this structure.
There were no issues regarding navigation of the text or it's images.
The grammar was spotless, and the author had no need to apologize for any grammatical errors. The author was wise to avoid any exercises utilizing terms like color or check.
I found no issues regarding cultural insensitivity.
I was very pleased to find an Access book that covers Entity Relationship Modeling and Normalization. Having an Access book that includes database read more
I was very pleased to find an Access book that covers Entity Relationship Modeling and Normalization. Having an Access book that includes database theory, such as the Boyce-Codd Normal Form, is very useful to me. In this area, the book is very comprehensive. However, its treatment of topics typically covered in an early Access class may not be sufficient for it to be used as the primary book in a course. The introduction of core concepts start out strong. Chapter 2 provides an adequate introduction to table design, and it goes into a good level of detail. However, this pattern does not continue, as the next chapters jump directly into the details of query and form design. What's there is good, but more information as to how each object is used would be helpful. Finally, using Access to create reports is omitted entirely. This is unfortunate, as having a built-in reporting tool is something that makes Access unique in the world of database software.
Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
The fundamentals of relational-database design has changed little since the late 70's. The book acknowledges this, and uses these fundamentals as its foundation. It is likely to age well.
Providing additional context for the use of queries and forms would help to with the technical nature of these topics.
The book made consistent use of database terminology.
This book appears to have been compiled so that it can be easily divided into modules. For example, I plan to make use of the last for chapters of this book for their coverage of modeling and normalization.
The order each topic presented is logical. Additional introductory prose providing context would smooth the transition between each topic in the first half of the book.
The text is easy to navigate.
No grammatical errors were noted.
Nothing was noted as offensive in the examples provided within the book.
Thank you for writing an Access book that incorporate relational database theory!
Relational Databases and Microsoft Access provides a fairly comprehensive introduction to both relational database principles and using Microsoft read more
Relational Databases and Microsoft Access provides a fairly comprehensive introduction to both relational database principles and using Microsoft Access to build and use these databases. When reviewing this textbook I was delighted to see that the author chose to focus considerable effort on explaining database design principles in an easy to understand manner. The authors choice to begin the textbook by discussing related data in terms of verbalization's has helped me in introduce my beginning students to relational principles quicker than the current textbook I use. The Microsoft Access portion of the textbook is not a comprehensive as other comparable textbooks as it lacks discussion of Reports and Macros. These issues aside, the textbook goes into ample detail on Tables, Queries and Forms, using examples and hands-on activities in an easy to follow and understand manner. While the textbook includes lab activities and exercises, additional material would need to be created to use this text in a classroom setting. Overall, I would recommend this book as a good introduction to relational database theory by using Microsoft Access as the database tool.
I found no issues with the accuracy the material presented in the textbook.
This textbook is written to ensure that it will maintain its relevance as long as Microsoft Access is still in use. The textbook does not rely upon any specific version of Access in its examples and exercises.
The clarity of the book is refreshingly clear. The complex topics of relationships, normalization, and other design concepts are written in simple language and presented in a way that most students will not have difficulty understanding
I found no issues with the textbook in terms of consistency.
The modularity of the textbook chapters and sub-section is adequate to serve as learning segments of a course.
The organization and flow of the textbook is done is a straightforward and correct manner to properly teach access principles. The one area I might have changed would be to include greater discussion of the database design principles within the Access Chapters rather than have moved it to the rear of the textbook within its own section - but this is a person preference.
I found no issues with the interface of the textbook.
I found no issues with the grammar in the textbook.
I found no issues with the cultural relevance of the textbook.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
- 1 Relational Databases and MS Access
- 2. Creating Tables
- 3. Creating Forms
- 4 Microsoft Access Queries
- 5 Relationships and the Relationships Tool
- 6 Microsoft Access Queries – Advanced
- 7 Entity Relationship Modelling
- 8 Mapping an ERD to a Relational Database
- 9 Data Definition Language (DDL)
- 10 Normalization
Appendix A: Forms Involving Multiple Tables
Appendix B: SuperTypes and Subtypes
About the Book
This text is a free introductory text that introduces MS Access and relational database design. The motivation is to support a second-year course on database systems which, to the student, is either a service course providing an introduction to database concepts, or, as a prerequisite for more advanced study in the field.
About the Contributors
Ron McFadyen is a Professor in the Computer Science department at University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB.