Areas of Discussion for the Class Session:
♦ What is a database?
◊ Define a database as a collection of related records. Talk about the evolution and history of databases. (See link in reference section at the end of the article.)
♦ What are some examples?
◊ Talk about the everyday examples of databases everyone knows about: the telephone book, the IRS and State tax databases, and some commercial products like Money and Tax Cut.
♦ What are the Most Common Types of Databases?
◊ Discuss flat-file, hierarchical, relational databases and object-oriented databases. A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet table can be used as a flat-file data base. Microsoft's Encarta Encyclopedia is hierarchical, and Microsoft Access is relational.
♦ How do databases differ from spreadsheets?
◊ Discuss how a database and a spreadsheet both share the table architecture, but both have different uses and applications.
♦ What can databases do?
◊ Emphasize the data storage and management role of the database. Return to everyday examples of the phone book. Mention how database fields can be merged with other files for marketing and advertising.
♦ Why should you learn database programming?
◊ Emphasize the advantages of learning database from the point of increasing skills and qualifications. People who know database operation tend to be more competitive in the job market.
♦ In this course, what, specifically will we learn?
◊ Describe Microsoft Access as a data management system with distinct “objects": fields, tables, queries, forms, reports and macros. Learning will be through a “stair-step" approach to mastering database learning.