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Bonus TIPS for Successful Posting

Try a Search First
It is highly recommended that a Search be done on your topic before posting, as many questions have been answered in prior posts. As with any search engine, the shorter the search term, the more "hits" will be returned, but the more specific the search term is, the greater the relevance of those "hits". Searching for "table" might well return every message on the board while "tablesum" would greatly restrict the number of messages returned.

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The more detail you provide about your problem or question, the more likely someone is to understand your request and be able to help. A sample database with a minimum of records (and its support files, zipped together) will make it much easier to diagnose issues with your application. Screen shots of error messages are especially helpful.

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Similarly, if you are uploading a zipped archive, you should simply create a .ZIP file and not a self-extracting .EXE as many users will not run your EXE file.
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A question to Certified Alphaholics

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  • A5student
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    John,

    Many Thanks for your detailed response and advice.

    I really appreciate your help and assistance.

    Thank you.

    Regards,

    Djamal

    Originally posted by jjfcpa View Post
    I've been working with applications based on databases for the last 23 years and even though I find it relatively easy to put together a set of tables for an application, I just want to reiterate that the more planning you do BEFORE you start coding the app, the less time you'll spend actually coding the app.

    I will typically use Word to spec out my applications. Here are the fundamental parts of my spec sheet.

    1. General overview of the application.
    2. Layout the menu structure for the application.
    3. Make a list of the tables that will be needed to contain the apps data.
    4. Make a list of the fields that will be contained in each table paying close attention to eliminating redundant data in multiple tables.
    5. Make a list of the data entry forms that will be needed to maintain the tables. Basic notes about the format of the data entry screens.
    6. Make a list of the reports that will need to be generated.
    7. Finally, I will make a list of application-wide settings that the user can configure... for example, where their data files are located, backup location, password settings, etc.

    Once you have this done, you should let it sit for a few days, then go back and look it over to see what you missed. What I find is that if I step away from a spec'd app, and then go back to it, those things that need changes tend to stand out like a sore thumb. If everything looks good after that, you're ready to create the app.

    I hope this helps you out.

    Leave a comment:


  • jjfcpa
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Originally posted by A5student View Post
    Hello,

    I would be grateful if you could suggest a learning path for Alpha 5 and recommend any books & manuals that may help designing effective databases.

    Thank you.
    I've been working with applications based on databases for the last 23 years and even though I find it relatively easy to put together a set of tables for an application, I just want to reiterate that the more planning you do BEFORE you start coding the app, the less time you'll spend actually coding the app.

    I will typically use Word to spec out my applications. Here are the fundamental parts of my spec sheet.

    1. General overview of the application.
    2. Layout the menu structure for the application.
    3. Make a list of the tables that will be needed to contain the apps data.
    4. Make a list of the fields that will be contained in each table paying close attention to eliminating redundant data in multiple tables.
    5. Make a list of the data entry forms that will be needed to maintain the tables. Basic notes about the format of the data entry screens.
    6. Make a list of the reports that will need to be generated.
    7. Finally, I will make a list of application-wide settings that the user can configure... for example, where their data files are located, backup location, password settings, etc.

    Once you have this done, you should let it sit for a few days, then go back and look it over to see what you missed. What I find is that if I step away from a spec'd app, and then go back to it, those things that need changes tend to stand out like a sore thumb. If everything looks good after that, you're ready to create the app.

    I hope this helps you out.

    Leave a comment:


  • A5student
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Thanks for your detailed response Glen, I really appreciate it.

    I will definetely order the book you recommended.

    Djamal

    Originally posted by glenschild View Post
    Djamal

    Personally I would break down a response into 2 parts. A learning path for Alpha 5 and designing effective databases are really 2 separate issues.

    When I first started down the road of database design I learnt how to use Alpha 4 (It was a while ago!) and then I realised that I was making fundamental mistakes with the design of my databases. Alpha 5 will not "design" databases for you although there are some very good templates provided. Alpha 5 gives you the tools to build your database.

    A book that really helped me get my head around the design of databases was "Database Design for Mere Mortals" by Michael J Hernandez.

    If you consider what needs to happen when building a house! You don't rush out and purchase materials and start building, you start by planning what the house will look like. The layout etc etc and then draft a set of blueprints. The builder then uses those blueprints to establish what materials are needed and then the build starts. Now some people might then decide to do everything by hand (aka the MS Access way!) the cleverer people might bring in the proper equipment to get the job done more efficiently and effectively (aka the Alpha 5 way :) )

    Leave a comment:


  • A5student
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Thanks for your help Andrea.

    I really appreciate it.

    Djamal

    Originally posted by NoeticCC View Post
    Agreed with the previous message - also, try the sample and tutorial databases that ship with Alpha5, plus the videos on Alpha's website.

    Leave a comment:


  • A5student
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Thanks for your help Mike,

    Much appreciated.

    Djamal

    Originally posted by MikeC View Post
    Djamal,
    As far as I am concerned, after going through a tutorial or two, the fastest way to learn is by doing, read the messageboard (even if you do not totally understand what is read it will help in the long run), and perhaps most important of all, is to be able to search this messageboard for answers.....even this question you have posed has been asked and answered many times in the last couple of years.

    Leave a comment:


  • glenschild
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Originally posted by A5student View Post
    Hello,

    I would be grateful if you could suggest a learning path for Alpha 5 and recommend any books & manuals that may help designing effective databases.

    Thank you.
    Djamal

    Personally I would break down a response into 2 parts. A learning path for Alpha 5 and designing effective databases are really 2 separate issues.

    When I first started down the road of database design I learnt how to use Alpha 4 (It was a while ago!) and then I realised that I was making fundamental mistakes with the design of my databases. Alpha 5 will not "design" databases for you although there are some very good templates provided. Alpha 5 gives you the tools to build your database.

    A book that really helped me get my head around the design of databases was "Database Design for Mere Mortals" by Michael J Hernandez.

    If you consider what needs to happen when building a house! You don't rush out and purchase materials and start building, you start by planning what the house will look like. The layout etc etc and then draft a set of blueprints. The builder then uses those blueprints to establish what materials are needed and then the build starts. Now some people might then decide to do everything by hand (aka the MS Access way!) the cleverer people might bring in the proper equipment to get the job done more efficiently and effectively (aka the Alpha 5 way :) )

    Leave a comment:


  • NoeticCC
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Originally posted by A5student View Post
    Hello,

    I would be grateful if you could suggest a learning path for Alpha 5 and recommend any books & manuals that may help designing effective databases.

    Thank you.
    Agreed with the previous message - also, try the sample and tutorial databases that ship with Alpha5, plus the videos on Alpha's website.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeC
    replied
    Re: A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Djamal,
    As far as I am concerned, after going through a tutorial or two, the fastest way to learn is by doing, read the messageboard (even if you do not totally understand what is read it will help in the long run), and perhaps most important of all, is to be able to search this messageboard for answers.....even this question you have posed has been asked and answered many times in the last couple of years.

    Leave a comment:


  • A5student
    started a topic A question to Certified Alphaholics

    A question to Certified Alphaholics

    Hello,

    I would be grateful if you could suggest a learning path for Alpha 5 and recommend any books & manuals that may help designing effective databases.

    Thank you.
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