Introduction to Databases

Learn about Access XP databases and understand how they work in this free lesson.


The next time you are in a restaurant, supermarket, or driving through a stop light, think of what is going on around you, and try to see what goes on behind the scenes as if everything supporting it is managed by a database.

Here are some examples:

  • A restaurant needs to buy food to make menu items. The menu is structured in some manner. The restaurant has to pay bills. Customers have to pay for meals.
  • The supermarket is stocked with items. Items are ordered, shipped, and stocked in the store. The supermarket has bills to pay. The cash register looks up prices. The customer pays for products.
  • Streets are built in towns. Traffic lights are installed at intersections. How do these lights work? Do they all turn red at the same time? Do they all turn green at the same time?

Now think of your home and view it in terms of a database. For example, you buy products. How is your checkbook managed? There are different rooms in your house. What are they, and what is contained in each? You make dinner throughout the week. Is there a menu driving what you have, or do you eat certain dishes on certain nights?

Come up with two different aspects of home living and think about whether each can be supported by a database. This is not to say that we are going to create a database for it; this is just an exercise to get you thinking of a structure or organization behind a particular process.