Database guys, Access/SQL... my head is spinning :)

Brandon779978Brandon779978 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm a recently graduated tech student trying to get my head around a little database stuff... just to get more familiar with some of it. Alot of the jobs (helpdesk/desktop support) i've been applying for require "office experience", mostly i see word and access sited, so... here i am.

Here is my experience with databases, I've NEVER used Access or SQL of any form, but i have used a custom application built for music cataloging (i'm a record collector as well)...

So i'm googling stuff on relational databases, i'm getting some of the concepts and the "framework" of relational databases (tables, queries, etc)...

My questions are:

Who the hell uses these things? I know every company in the world uses databases of some sort, and the rabbit hole does get deep, but what would the environment be like if they are citing Access as a requirement for troubleshooting... How does it fit together? Does a database programmer create the database on the backend and then create "some way" (forms?) for the client to use Access on the desktop to manipulate data on the backend server?

What should i be learning about Access/SQL/relational databases as an entry level networking kid?... i've set my career path on a MS systems adminstration so i know i'll need to get a grasp on database stuff eventually to a certain extent... What kind of stuff would a helpdesk or desktop support employee be expected to troubleshoot or train with Access?

Like i said, i'm a complete newbie to the concepts, so any input from other helpdesk folks, technicians, experienced database gurus, etc would be welcome.

Side note: I have since lost the backups of that music cataloging database program as i've been out of the record collecting game for a minute, but i'm going to turn my room upside down trying to find it. I think a good project for me would be to try to build a custom database that would perform the same function and import the data.

Comments

  • SmallguySmallguy Member Posts: 597
    I've done a bit of database work but it has been a few years

    basically most DB's are relational.... sometimes you'll have reasons not have thme relational but the stadard is generally relational.

    jsut read about designing rekatuional DB's and for the most part 3rd normal form is as far and u need to go.

    interms of designing forms in all db's i've made i had ot do the forms too in access you generally use vb script (as of 4 years ago anyways) you cna alwso use web interfaces and an ODBC connectio or other programming languages ot design interfaces with an ODBC connection.

    but I'd start with just using access and making ur own custom DB sounds liek a great project
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,323 Admin
    You need a really basic book on Microsoft Access that also explains the concepts of a relational database system (e.g., tables, keys, relationships). It would be good if the book also contained a tutorial that guided you through creating a database application using Access--perhaps even a music catalog application (a very commonly-used example). You need to learn the following:

    1. How relational databases are designed, so you can architect the structure of your database.

    2. The SQL language, which is used to add, modify, remove, and search for information in your database.

    3. How to use the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of Microsoft Access (or whatever database management tool you decide to use) to build and maintain your database and application.

    Obviously, a beginning relational database class at a local community college using Microsoft Access would be just the ticket here. Your next option would be to use computer-based training for Access or find a good Web tutorial. Finally, you can search Amazon.com for a good Access book, or find a Web site where a lot of Access people hang out and ask. (I don't use Access and therefore don't have a book recommendation for you.)

    And if you need a free Access work-a-like, check out the database tool in OpenOffice at openoffice.org.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,323 Admin
    If you are looking for a great media cataloging program whose functionality would be good to emulate in your project, have a look at TVersity.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    In my experience helpdesk really aren't going to be troubleshooting Access databases. It's possible that some HR moron just wanted to list all of the Office applications they knew about and posted the ad.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    I know that there is a great database prof out there that was teaching still. I was able to get some of his notes in the past..but I am not too sure about copyright policies about such a thing, so I will only say that if you would search for cs1555, you should find something interesting.

    Good luck.

    Dont ask me more about this, I dont know if this is right already to be posting about these materials. Mods, delete this post if it is otherwise.
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • plettnerplettner Member Posts: 197
    Who the hell uses these things? I know every company in the world uses databases of some sort, and the rabbit hole does get deep, but what would the environment be like if they are citing Access as a requirement for troubleshooting... How does it fit together? Does a database programmer create the database on the backend and then create "some way" (forms?) for the client to use Access on the desktop to manipulate data on the backend server?

    What should i be learning about Access/SQL/relational databases as an entry level networking kid?... i've set my career path on a MS systems adminstration so i know i'll need to get a grasp on database stuff eventually to a certain extent... What kind of stuff would a helpdesk or desktop support employee be expected to troubleshoot or train with Access?

    A lot of places have in-house developers which write custom databases for users. We have a DBA (Database Administrator) as some departments require very specific databases as off-the-shelf software is not available. They also required highly-customised reports to be generated. Some of our laboratories use customised databases to determine Salmonella outbreaks and pass these reports to the Department of Health.

    In a helpdesk environment, you would not need to know every detail of these databases developed in-house but determining what might be an Access-generated message compared to an error message written into the database would be helpful. For example, you could then escalate the job to the developer if their program was flawed of to the desktop support if Access needed a patch or upgrade.

    Further down the track as an administrator, a good knowledge of SQL Server would be a great asset. It's not critical now.
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