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Using MS Access/MS Access setting up tables


Hello Julie.
I am creating a detailed database for a charity which specialises in rehabilitation. It is a residentail charity.
I need to create a database which will hold alot of detailed information. For example: Residents personal details, daily activities, care plans, accident reports, finances, medical information and reports. All of this information will be presented in a form format. (each piece of information will be displayed in a small window on a page and using tabs.)
What I am asking you is how to set up the tables. I am usually an excel guy so am used to working with multiple sheets but when I spoke to someone a while back about setting up a database they told me it was not the same principle.
So based on the examples above, how should I organise the data? Is it one table for residents, one for diary, one for finances,  or should I create one big table and amalgamate the data in there somehow?
I would appreciate any help you can give and I hope you can understand what I am asking.
Many thanks


Hi James,

Hopefully I can explain this clearly.

For each piece of information where there will be many associated bits of information you will need a new table.

Therefore your main table would be Resident.

Then for each of the others ask, will the related table have many bits of information for that particularly resident.

So each resident would have many daily activities, thus would need a separate table.
Not sure but possibly the resident would have more than one care plan as you would want to keep the old care plans for reference, thus another table.
Also a table for accident reports and finances
Medical information, could possibly included in the same table as the resident.

Reports are a completely different thing, and you are not quite up to them yet?

I would suggest reading my free tutorial on my website, this will give you an idea of how to link the tables using Primary keys and foreign keys.

In this example I use a linking table as I use a library as an example, because clients can borrow many books and each book can be borrowed by many clients.  Doubt you will need a linking table, but the rest of the information is valid.

Good luck  

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Julie Misson


My area of expertise is Microsoft Access 2000-2007. I have been building microsoft databases for the past twelve years. I would be competent in answering questions from novice Access 2000 users to the more advanced including VBA. If I cannot help, I am more than likely be able to point you to websites that can.


I have a Microsoft Access business where I build database for small businesses. These are usually one off designs, where there is no off the shelf software avaliable to meet the business needs. I also teach Microsft Access to beginners. I am the owner of the website.

Self taught in Microsoft Access. Have done some units in normalisation and SQL, but most of what I know I have learnt from books originally and more recently the Internet.

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