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Thread: Introduction

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    56

    Introduction

    Hello all,

    My name is Sam and I currently work for a marine construction contractor in the engineering department. I am looking for advice because what I am looking to do is kind of out of my discipline of civil engineering. I would like to create a database for our equipment, mainly cranes, that is based around engineering and maintenance specifications. This is the first time I have ever done any databasing, but I am willing to go out of my comfort zone because a database like this is really needed and could be a great tool for the company. Almost all of our equipment is old and most of the information on it is in paper files. This makes it very hard to find in a timely manner. I've done some reading on using microsoft access and excel, but still don't understand which would be better for the database I am trying to create. I was hoping I could get some veteran database users/creators input and direction. Here is what I am looking to accomplish with the cranes:

    Each piece of equipment has a unique identifying number for the company along with the manufactures serial number. I want to link each crane with its specifications such as make/model, power/engine, horsepower, etc. (There is a long list of specifications because some cranes are barge mounted which have barge specs. too) I would also like to include maintenance specifications such as filter and belt replacement. Now my problem with sorting out the database is that 1 crane can have multiple setups that can be used that will results in some different specifications but not all the specifications will change and, at the same time, not all the same specifications change between cranes when a different setup is used.

    I would just like an opinion on how someone would lay the structure of the database out to reduce repeated data and if I should just go simple with an excel file.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    56
    Ok maybe I started off asking too much, so let me try something that might be easier to answer.

    I have started listing specifications (engine, hp, filters) for a certain type of equipment (hydraulic power unit) in one table. So in that table I now have specifications listed for model A, B, and C of that type of equipment, but we have multiple of the same model. (ie 2x A, 3x B, 1x C). So the other table I have started is a list that consist of each piece of equipment we own that can be uniquely identified by its company equipment number and to a certain extend its manufacturer's serial number. What is a simple way to make a connection between the two tables? The goal is that someone can look up a piece of equipment by its company equipment number and see that it is a model A and view the specifications for a model A.

    You don't have to give an exact answer. I really just need a place to start looking for information.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    Google the term "Foreign Key" (without the quotes).

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    56
    thank you for the advice

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    56
    ok does this structure make sense with a primary key and foreign key:

    Table 1: (Equipment Master)
    WMI# (primary key)
    Equipment Type
    Make
    Model

    Table 2: (Vibratory Hammer Specs.)
    Serial Number (primary key)
    WMI#(foreign key)
    Weight
    etc....

    Table 3: (Diesel Hammer Specs.)
    Serial Number (primary key)
    WMI# (foreign key)
    Weight
    etc....

    Will this link table 2 and 3 to my master list in table 1?

    I can't put equipment spec tables together because every type of equip has different specifications.

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