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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4

    Unanswered: Access Newbie needs help

    Hello all,

    I need some assistance in the creation af a database. The intent is to use this database with an Excel spreadsheet I have created for cost estimating of Heavy Construction Projects.

    The costs in my estimating form are broken down into several types. The ones I wish to use access with are Equipment, labor, crews, material and subcontractors. My first question is should these all be grouped in the same database? Or should each of the differing types have their own database?

    Also, I believe that using Access is the way to go for this, but if additional worksheets in Excel would be better please let me know.

    Last question for now. Is there anywhere on the web that has many different templates to choose from to minimize the initial setup?

    Thank you all for your time and look forward to being a part of this community.

    Mark Medlin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    559
    mark,

    Some times it is easier to upload the example, like the spreadsheet you are using, to the forum so we can take a look at it and figure it out for you. There are a great deal of templates out there, many of them show you specific things. If you are looking more for some thing that you don't have to do much work to, I'd say go check out the MS Office Online Access area, they have some templates for download there you can use.

    if you want us to look at it and see a solution for you or see what can be done, then upload your spreadsheet and we'll give it a whirl.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4
    Thank you for the response. Please see the attached Excel file. The main sheet for entry is the tab "southwest quad II". What I wanting to link access for is the sub entry, material entry etc... Also I would like to link the sheet called "crew makeup" and allow that info info to be more flexible. Any input is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    559
    What exactly would you like this database to do? There are databases that you can download that have like a "customer tracking" feel to them, if that's what you're looking for, not for 'customers' but for jobs, materials, etc.

    How long do you have to create this and get it up and running?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4
    Thanks again for the reply. I have as long as it takes. This is a spreadsheet that I use to accomplish my work and there is no timetable. In fact alot of the reason I am going to try and do this is so I can learn to use Access. I just think it would be much easier if I had a template to get off to a good start. I will comtinue to appreciate any and all input (and help!!!). Thank you for your interest.

    Mark Medlin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    559
    Mark,

    I'd say first, if you can, go to like Barnes&Nobels, Borders, Amazon and look into a book called, "Beginning Database Development". It'll get you started on how to start the method of thinking behind databases.

    Also, do a 'google search' on database normalization, read some of the articles there. We need to break down your spreadsheet into different 'things' / fields so that you can program the database to use them.

    Is there a simpler way you can display your data? Like on a 'customer data' form you'd put:

    customer id
    first name
    last name
    address 1
    address 2
    city
    state
    zip
    phone

    we need to break your excel spreadsheets down into things like that. You can take a look at the db that I'm working on as i attached it here. It's not complete and not fully functional, but you can get an idea. When you unzip, hold the shift key and you'll see how I did things. It's a tracking database for documents brought through the command area.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    19
    mkmed, I work in the construction industry and I build Access databases like what you're looking to build. When I started with the company I work for now, they were using an Excel spreadsheet as a tracker database much like what you're doing. As just about everyone else on this forum can attest, you're a lot better off using Access than you are using Excel. At first, everyone was upset over the new way of doing things, but now that they're all used to the new databases, no one can live without them anymore. Tracking construction projects including subcontractors, materials lists, labor hours, etc., etc., are all so industry-specific I'd rather not waste everyone's time with the construction-speak and industry-specific items as they relate to your database(s). I'm about to head out of the office for the long weekend, but if you'd like, you may email me at home, editor@tinboxacres.com and I'll point you in the right direction as far as setting up the database, linking tables, writing reports that contain only pertinent info for each department (shop, field, office, etc.) and other priceless little gems of knowledge that you'll need. Since I've already been down that rough road, I don't mind guiding you around the obstacles.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4
    Blondeveloper,

    I have tried to send you email at the account in the post above. One came back as undeliverable. I would appreciate any help you may offer. Please let me know how to contact you.

    Thanks,
    Mark

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