Database - How To Movies
1. Setting up and creating tables and fields 2. Formatting Fields. 3. Creating Primary Key and Relationships 4. Searching and Creating Reports 5. Editing Reports
Home DatabaseUsing Information Internet NAB/Coursework Revision Legal Responsibilities



Before using database systems, you need to learn some database terminology, and the facilities provided by database systems.

A multimedia database

A multimedia database uses different media (sound, text, pictures, video clips) to present information.


A file is the complete collection of data on one topic.  For example all the data for a sports club would be stored in one file, possibly called ‘Sports Club’.  All the data about student in a university would be stored in one file, possibly called ‘Students’.


An individual entry in the file for each person or for each car is called a record.  A record contains all the information for one item / person in the database.


Each piece of information in a record is stored in a field.  Each field has a field name.

Database Facilities

Most database systems have similar facilities.  This means that similar operations can be carried out by different database systems.  These are listed below:


Input is the word used to describe the entering of data into a computer.  When a database is created, data is required to be input into the database.


Information from most databases can be viewed (displayed) on screen or on a report in two different formats:

Record or Page format is viewing one record on each page, sometimes more.  This will depend on how many fields are in the record.

Column format is viewing many records at once, in columns, with the fieldnames at the top of each column. 


All database software which allows files to be created must also allow files to be saved.  Database systems on CD ROM will not allow for changes to be made to the data, or new files to be created, as CD ROMs are Read Only.


Navigating means finding your way around a database system.  How the software allows you to move around and see other records is very important.  Some simply let you move up and down pages until you come to the record you want; others provide ways of jumping to any record or going immediately to the top or bottom of the datafile.   


Computers can very quickly sort large amounts of information into order.


Querying is sometimes known as ‘searching’ or ‘finding’.


Creating a printout of information - you can select the fields to include and change the layout of the information.


All dababase allow you to change the contents (edit).


When creating a database, it is necessary to specify the type of data to be stored in each field.  A field can be specified to hold text, number, date or time etc.  Then, when entering data into the field, only data of the specified type will be accepted.  For example, if you try to change the price of a car, and wrongly enter letters instead of numbers then the computer will not allow letters to be entered.  A check is carried out by the computer to make sure that the data entered into certain fields is valid (the correct type).  This is called validating data.


Most software packages will allow you to customise the way you use it.  For example, many applications have toolbars positioned somewhere on the screen, which provide a faster way of editing data, rather than finding your way through menus.  These toolbars could be customised to only have certain buttons (options) on them, or they could be displayed in a different position on the screen, depending on the user’s preferences.


The options available to a software user are vast, and only the most popular options will be available on a toolbar.  Therefore, to use other features, it may be necessary to find your way through menus to get the required feature.  It would be desirable to make the process of carrying out the instruction faster.  This can often be done by using ‘hot keys’, where a specific action such as selecting all the text in a document can be done by simply holding down the Control Key and pressing the A key.  Data entry may be partially automated using pop-up menus, where the user only needs to click on the appropriate data for it to be entered in the field.  Macros may be used to automate by combining a number of actions together into one keystroke.


Most software packages will allow you to format data to a style of your choice, for example applying £, $ or % signs to numbers.  Data can also be aligned (positioned) to the left, right or centre of a document / column, and in the case of text, fully aligned - with a straight margin down both sides.  




Intermediate II Home
Database | Using Information | Internet | NAB/Coursework| Revision
Log into Glow | School Website | Contact Us