Access Templates for General Contracting Business


R

RD Wells

Have been attempting to work out a DB program using Access. What I would
like to end up with is to have reports that can break down cost by specific
construction categories like: temporary elec supplies, temporary plumbing
supplies, carpentry rough, etc. Are there well established templates
available for something like this that I could easily download and avoid
reinventing the wheel? If there is a more suitable newsgroup to inquire in
a suggestion as to where would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

Ray
 
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J

John Vinson

Have been attempting to work out a DB program using Access. What I would
like to end up with is to have reports that can break down cost by specific
construction categories like: temporary elec supplies, temporary plumbing
supplies, carpentry rough, etc. Are there well established templates
available for something like this that I could easily download and avoid
reinventing the wheel? If there is a more suitable newsgroup to inquire in
a suggestion as to where would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

Ray
It's very unlikely that anyone has designed a template specifically
for *your* business. You know your categories, your business
practices, and so on - most database developers or book authors will
know how to translate requirements into a working database, but they
won't know your requirements!

I would suggest that you either get a good book or two on the subject
(_Designing Relational Database Systems_ by Rebecca Riordan, if you
can find it; there are several others) and design it yourself; or hire
a good consultant, one who'll *listen* to you, to get the basic design
put in place (or, depending on your budget, implement the whole
thing).

You might want to post a question in
microsoft.public.access.tablesdbdesign expanding a bit on your needs.
Just a few suggestions:

- DON'T design the database on the basis of the reports you need.
Reports are the final product, not the basis for structure! The
structure of your tables should be driven by logical relationships
among the data, not by the desired look of a final report. Build your
tables and relationships first, then the Queries that link them, then
the Forms to edit them - and only *then* start on the Reports.
- Avoid storing any calculated fields in Tables. It's almost always
better to store just base data (costs say) in tables; use Reports or
Queries to do the calculations.
- Remember that relational databases are inherently modular. Start
with the basic things you need, and leave "hooks" to be able to add
new features later. Don't be afraid to redesign tables if you must,
but try to get them right first; just as it's easier to change a
house's paint job than it is to repour the foundation, it's easier to
rewrite a Report than to restructure your tables!


John W. Vinson[MVP]
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