That Blue Square Thing


A well made database is a key element of DiDA portfolios.

You need to produce screenshots to show how you made the database, in particular the validation rules you used. Try to explain why you've done what you have done in your writeup - it really helps when trying to get the top marks.

PDF iconWriting frame for database screenshots - this will show you the sorts of things to include in your write up

Data Entry Forms

Data entry forms are used to make it easier to enter new data into a database. They look a bit like forms on the web and can be made really easy to use with a bit of thought.

A very basic form will look a bit basic and not be all that easy to use:

Image of basic data entry form

But forms can be improved by adding some other features to them.

PDF iconCreating a basic form - and some improvements

PDF iconAdding drop down boxes - to make it easier to add items

PDF iconAdding buttons

This should allow you to produce a much nicer data entry form which is really going to score high marks.

Complete data entry form with buttons and combo boxes

Note: you'll need to screenshot your data entry form as well. Annotate it to explain what you've done to make it easier to use.

Queries - Searching the Database

Once you've got all your data in the database you'll need to search it. Database searches are called queries.

It's important to think about what you want to get from the query before you do it. And to write this down. You can use a Query Design Grid to help you record what you plan to search for and, really importantly, how you make adjustments to your search criteria.

MS Word iconQuery design grid - for planning and recording queries

Note that you will probably want to take screenshots showing your search criteria and the changes you make to them. These can go in the grid or in another document.

PDF iconCreating queries - a guide to how to do it

Producing Reports

Once you have your queries you need to produce reports. These just format the results of the query into a style better suited to printing.

Sample database report

PDF iconCreating reports - a guide to how to do it

PDF iconA sample report - showing you the sorts of things you can do to get reports suitable for printing

Once you have your reports you'll need to save them as PDF documents. Do this by going File > Save As and choosing PDF.