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Design tables for a new Access 2007 database

Data, divided into separate tables

Save time and effort with a plan

Before you start planning, remember a key fact: Databases organize your information into separate tables, and each table contains unique data. For example, a table of asset data shouldn't contain sales information, and a table of employee data shouldn't contain medical records.

The database then uses relationships to join the data in the tables in a meaningful way. That set of tables and relationships is called a relational structure, and the picture shows this. The original spreadsheet places the data in one long list, while the database divides it into tables. In turn, the tables are related together in a way that lets you find information and extract meaning from your data.

Relational structures have several advantages over simple lists. First, they reduce the amount of data that you enter and manage because you only store a piece of data once. Also, reducing the amount of repeated data helps ensure accuracy, because you know you're not counting an item more than once. In addition, relational structures make it easier to extract answers from your data. For example, you can find out which company supplies most of your furniture, or which computers have had the fewest support calls.

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