I'm a little stumped as to how I can improve the design or idea for this form:
When creating a new section for a study program, the program code, year and a single alphanumeric character is used to properly label the section.
In a form, they are chosen separately from three list boxes. Pressing a button (create section) will call an update query that will get the values of the three and place them in a single cell (detects 'is null' so that it will only do this for records without existing section labels), it will also refresh the records so that the new data will be shown in the form.
It's working fine. No errors so far and all I need to do is make bigger navigation buttons. Still, I've been staring at it for over an hour now and it doesn't feel right (interface control wise).
The labelling at the top is confusing... especially since the text refers to things that are not there. Also, don't call a form a form. Users generally think of paper forms when they see "form". Use "screen" instead.
Make sure your combo boxes have descriptive content. Out of all of the fields, only Schedule would make sense to the layman. Use descriptive content in combo boxes and control tip texts instead of labels at the top of the form.
The title of the form is also confusing... if it is "New Section" then why can I see all the other sections and I have to click on New Section button to start entering a new section... why not just show a blank record that can be filled out? Futher, why can I edit existing sections and delete sections? Seems to me like a "section management screen" more than a "new section form".
Clean up your code too, it's a mess... it looks like it has been written by Access wizards ... YUK!! Also, please, for the love of God, NAME your command buttons! I look at the code and see Command654_Click() and think "what the hell is that" and then I close the code window!
Sorry about that, I didn't warn you beforehand. Its admittedly a ghastly database, I'll try to improve on it as I learn more.
My codes were either on access wizards, or copy pasted from other codes I used as reference. Believe me, if I wrote the code, it probably wouldn't even run.
You're right, they aren't "new xxxx" and more of management screens. I'll label those properly. As for the look of the the FE, I'm still on a barebones structure.
I'm happy to tell you that the combo boxes do have descriptive content -which I omitted, for office rules and all. Some of the field names in the Packages table has been turned to gibberish. Fields with "name" like program name, package name, student name, school name, etc, originally do contain actual names.
And well, yes, I'll go look at the command buttons and name them appropriately. You just made me realize that if I ever do get a real developer to work on this, the poor soul will have a pretty tough task. =D
I also just read about the hungrarian notation thing, which I'll try to use as I go along.
I hope that what you've seen hasn't displeased you so badly that you wouldn't want to answer my questions any longer! =)
Not at all, I'm only trying to do my best to help you. I hope I haven't offended you by pointing out flaws in your design!
We all start somewhere! My first databases were quite a mess... in fact, my first database just didn't work; it took me three re-designs to figure out many to many relationships.
I use my own form of naming conventions personally. I don't like the "standard" ones. For example, it annoys me to have all my tables prefixed with tbl and my queries prefixed with qry or qsel etc so I don't. My table names are CAPITALISED and my queries are Proper and well named and I cope with that fine....tbl and qry be dammed!! However, in public I try to use it... for the sake of clarity.
You're most welcome, and I understand that it can be intimidating to show your work around here. Criticism can be taken many ways... the best way of course is a learning experience. I have the sometimes unfortunate situation of being involved in a major gaming forum and the "kids" there will rip you to pieces for the smallest mistake so that has made me pretty hesitant to "show my work" too ^^
Just got the relationships now. I turned off primary keys for the legend-Programs table (made program name my primary key), foreign-ed it on list-sections; then I set sec_code as primary (which I linked to section field in the student list).
I used to join gaming forums too, the highly competitive atmosphere made me too critical about things often. Eventually, I just grew tired of it. I figured that I'd rather spend time enjoying what games I do play at my own pace rather than be pressured to stay at a certain tier. =)
Yeah, there's a lot to be said for the seriousness of gamers out there... I thought games were all about fun, but the kids out there playing online are often so wound up trying to win that they lose sight of the fun and they can get quite upset when they lose... some of them even get upset when they win because you weren't a good enough challenge. I've lost a lot of interest in online gaming now though... cheating is too rampant.
Anyway, sounds like a good move with the primary keys... if you have a truly unique field, then that should be the PK. If not, I usually resort to an AutoNumber.
some of them even get upset when they win because you weren't a good enough challenge
I've met those too. Somewhere along the line, a lot of them have forgotten about the concept of new users who are still learning the game. Even worse, a lot of them lose sight of the point of gaming, which is to have fun.
I've lost a few students, and some staff(!) to competitive online gaming. I stick to games that I can play on my own, without having the need to be online unless I choose to. On the off-note, I installed a copy of Star Control II on my faculty workstation, I miss games like that (ElderScrolls4 is nice too).
About the database, I also realized that I would not have gotten this far if it weren't for all the help I found in this forum too. Thanks!