Thinking about Database Design

Learn what database design elements to consider, as well as how to create an Access database, in this free lesson.

Plan table fields

Once you know what tables you need, the next step is deciding what fields belong in each table. Remember that fields are the smallest chunk of information in any record.

Let's look at our Ready-2-Read bookstore example again. There will be several fields in our Customers table. We'll obviously want each customer's first name and last name. We'll also need an address if we need to send a customer his order. Email will be necessary if we need to contact the customer if there is an issue with the order.

Planned Fields in Customers TablePlanned Fields in Customers Table

We will also need several fields in the Books table. Title and Author make sense for books. We'll need a Price for each book. Category will help us know what type of books sell the best so we can order more books that fit into this category.

Planned Fields in BooksTablePlanned Fields in Books Table

The Orders table will have fewer fields. We'll need this table to track the Customer who is placing the order, the Book the customer is ordering, and the Date the order is placed.

Planned Fields in Orders TablePlanned Fields in Orders Table

Don't worry if your plan doesn't include every possible field you may need. Access lets you add fields to tables whenever you need another one!