The best way to understand databases is to learn how to view the world and the things in it, and then to think of structures that best serve to organize this information.
For example, think of your music collection in terms of a database. The database might be called music collection. What tables might be in this database?
- Do you have both CDs and tapes, or just tapes? Could this media type be an example?
- Do you listen to different styles of music? Could music style be a table?
- Do you listen to different musical artists? Could musical artists be a table?
- Do you have more than one recording for any artist? Could specific recordings be a table?
Here is your assignment:
- Using the questions above, outline a structure using those questions for which you answered "yes" (or any other questions that you might think of).
- List at least five items from your collection that could go into each category created in the first step. If your music collection is not large enough to list five items in each category, think of artists you know about and use this information as if you owned it.
- After completing the second step, the database has some information defined to it. What report might you want to print that tells you about some part of the information in the database?
The last step above—looking at the information to be categorized—is the first step toward designing a database.