Databases?! You will soon ...
In this unit, you will be introduced to the wonderful world of databases! You may not know it yet, but databases are crucial to almost all industries. Schools...libraries...companies...shops...they all use databases of varying kinds.
You will be creating your very own database - one for a dating site! Think of what you're going to call yours!
A real dating site implemented online is likely to have a very complex structure with multiple tables (a relational database). We will not be creating something quite so complex, but introducing to all the relevant concepts!
In the end of topic assessment you will be submitting screenshots of your entire database (table, form, queries and reports) as well as answering questions about some of the essential theory about databases
What are databases?
Can you think how databases are used in your school? What sort of information are teachers keeping about you in their database?!
1. Watch the following video on how to create a table in Microsoft Access. Note the need for a primary key. What is a primary key and what would yours be?
2. Create your own table for your very own dating database. What fields do you think you would need? (e.g. Name, Gender, Hobbies, Occupation, Date of birth, etc.) Keep in mind we are only creating a flat file database in this topic. Add about 20 (or as many as you can manage) people to your database. Make sure you have a range of individuals in terms of their gender, age etc, so that we can have some fun with queries and searches later. Extension If you are well ahead of the game and feel confident about creating a relational database, go ahead and do this, checking with your teacher that you're on the right track first.
3. Watch the video on flat file and relational databases and note the difference. What is the advantage of having a relational database? Discuss with a partner and be prepared to share with the class, if asked.
Did you know databases are used in Game Design? Think of some of your favourite games ...discuss with a partner how databases are likely to be used in the game you describe?
Creating forms: A table isn't terribly user-friendly, and our next step is to create a beautiful form into which the main user will enter data more easily. You can customise your form to make it match your required house style (colour and brand), add a logo, buttons and more. So let's get started ....
Creating a simple form from a single table
1. What will you have on your database form? (example: Next and previous buttons that are more obvious? A search feature? What else? Discuss with your partner and then try and implement your ideas in the Main tasks!
1. Create a form for your dating website single table (that was created in the previous lesson). Make sure it has a header and footer, is coloured in appropriately to fit in with your proposed house style and theme and has features such as buttons, save and print operations etc.
Additional instructions on how to create a form are here:
2. When you collect personal data from individuals, the data protection act is an important law to know! Find out a little more about the data protection act and discuss its implications with a partner. You may want to jot down some notes based on your research as the data protection act will come up in your end of topic assessment!
If you're serious about Computer Science and programming, you may want to look into MYSQL databases. Check out the following video which talks a little about how Facebook uses databases.
Also check out: https://youtu.be/FR4QIeZaPeM
There wouldn't be much point to having a database that you couldn't search for useful and relevant information. That's where queries and reports come in. Queries allow you to ask a question of the database and return an answer. Reports are basically just formatted (well presented) versions of queries that you can customise the look and feel of.
Creating a simple query
Here's another tutorial video on queries:
1. What sort of queries would be relevant to your dating database? Discuss with a friend and be prepared to share your answers with the rest of the class.
1. Watch the following (and any other relevant videos/tutorials you find) on creating queries and reports. Create your own queries and reports and make sure you save them with sensible names!
Another link to creating queries/reports: https://youtu.be/WQkI5QdojII
Watch this video to gain an insight into Google's data centre.
Some of the key theory concepts you need to know in this topic include:
1. Flat file and relational databases
2. What is a Primary Key and a Secondary Key?
3. What is an E-R diagram?
4. What is the Data Protection Act?
5. Describe the terms: "table", "form", "query" and "report". Screenshot your own versions of these objects where possible.
6. What is SQL? In your own words describe how SQL is used in databases and why it is so important.
For this topic/unit you will submit the following for assessment:
1. Your complete database which will include a table (or tables if you have extended yourself and created a relational database), form, queries and reports.
2. Your research powerpoint that covers some of the essentials from this unit.