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Database Design Question

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  • Database Design Question

    Hello, it has been a while since I've written. I have a basic or maybe not so basic question. I am building a student tracking database for all the students that have ever taken any classes from us in Adult Continuing Education. If all goes well, I'll be able to pull from the main college system the last 5 years worth of data that belongs to our department. Also, I have a large Access database which I will be converting to Alpha 5 V9 that tracks our grants. The students that participate in the grants are also entered into the colleges registration system (the one that I'm planning on pulling info from). The paperwork we have to send to the state each month on each grant has more demographic info than what is entered into the colleges registration system.

    Question from a database design point of view is this - Should I create a database that is designed to handle just the grant students or should I create a database that encompasses all the possible info regardless where that data comes from? Non grant students will have several empty fields, so is that too much overhead? We are talking about several thousands of students potentially residing in the database.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Ben

  • #2
    Re: Database Design Question

    Ben,
    I just have one thing to say. It is far easier to cull than it is to add. Translated is I would go with the ALL and have all the data you might need and trim down. That is given that you are electrtonically adding application records instead of manual entry. If you are entering data outside of an import format, and this is manual entry.... make it exact for what you need now and the near tomorrow. That's my take...
    Mike W
    __________________________
    "I rebel in at least small things to express to the world that I have not completely surrendered"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Database Design Question

      Make a single database for a single population - students. Put the students in one table and the grants in another and link them. A few thousand records with an empty field is nothing in the scheme of things.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Database Design Question

        Originally posted by bluize View Post
        Non grant students will have several empty fields, so is that too much overhead? We are talking about several thousands of students potentially residing in the database.
        For situations like this you can create a 1:1 set. The parent table will contain the fields to relate to all students. The child table will only contain the linking field and the fields related to the grant information.
        Andrew

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        • #5
          Re: Database Design Question

          Thanks everyone for your suggestions and input. I repeat something I said a while back after joining this group, "Ya'll are the greatest and many KUDOS to everyone here". It is a pleasure knowing that as I venture into this new world of Alpha that there are people here that don't mind helping and advising. That is worth so very much to the ones of us trying to convert from old school to new and improved way of doing things.

          Thanks so much,

          Ben

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          • #6
            Re: Database Design Question

            Hi,

            I came across this site for general purpose database designs:

            http://www.databaseanswers.org/data_models/index.htm

            It even has a couple relating to students (see 48). This may give you some ideas.

            regards, Ron

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            • #7
              Re: Database Design Question

              Thanks so much for the link ...

              Ben

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              • #8
                Re: Database Design Question

                Originally posted by rleunis View Post
                Hi,

                I came across this site for general purpose database designs:

                http://www.databaseanswers.org/data_models/index.htm

                It even has a couple relating to students (see 48). This may give you some ideas.

                regards, Ron
                What an amazing resource! Thanks from me, too!

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