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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Which database program has this capability?

    Hi, I admit that I'm new here and I don't know much about databases (except excel). I'm trying to test out an idea, and I have about 15 word lists (each about 1000 words, sorted by syllables, from 1 to about 5), and I'd like to see them all side by side in their own columns. The capability that I'd like to have is the ability to scroll through the individual columns without affecting the others. I'd use Excel, but you can only freeze certain columns and then the unfrozen ones all move together, but I'd like something that resembles 15 wheels, all of which can be turned independently of one another. Is there a program out there that already does this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    no, not that Im aware of

    however you could implement this in Access using say linked combo/list boxes. do a google on cascading combo/list boxes... or search this site
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I looked into that, but unfortunately, it only lets me look at one item at a time, whereas I was hoping I could see all the lists (or whatever fits on the screen) and choose which ones I wanted to scroll through. But access looks promising, maybe there's another way it can loop through the columns?

  4. #4
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    all the lists?
    well depending on how large your combo/list boxes are determines the number of rows shown
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  5. #5
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    Ah, I guess it's hard to explain what I want. Maybe the easiest way is like this. Put 1000 words into 10 notepad documents, open them all up so the width of each one allows you to only see the whole words (and the rest of the words go down in a column), and so all of them fit on your screen. Then, I'd be able to scroll through each column (in this case, each separate notepad document) without affecting the other ones. And I can't seem to find a program or package for any programming language that might let me do that

  6. #6
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    Since you are new to databases, lets start by clearing up some terminology and concepts.

    except excel

    Excel is NOT a 'database'. It is an APPLICATION (one of Micro$oft's) which uses its own type of file structure - again, not a database.
    Although through the use of ODBC connections Excel can work with data FROM a database, but that is not trivial.

    What you are describing is an APPLICATION which can USE a Database - Not the Database itself.

    Don't worry, this is a very common mis-conception of MANY individuals who are new to this.

    Think of a 'Database' as a 'container' for data.
    Sometimes that 'container' is dumb - merely holding the data, and sometimes it is 'intelligent' - in that it might have a simple language which enables it to work with its data, but NOT create a User Interface.
    So, in summary, a Database does not, by itself, include an Application nor an Application Development tool.

    Yes, there are a few situations where the reverse it true - Application Development tools/languages which include their own form of a Database - notably Visual Foxpro, M$ Access, etc.
    And those tools can generally optionally work with 'external' databases instead of their 'native' ones.
    But, again, those are Application Development tools/languages, not by itself a 'Database'.

    You need to be looking for Application Development tools/languages which you can learn (or hire a consultant) and through which you can create the described User Interface and Functionality that you want while working with a 'back-end' database of choice.

    Good Luck

  7. #7
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    Another thought re:
    Maybe the easiest way is like this. Put 1000 words into 10 notepad documents, open them all up so the width of each one allows you to only see the whole words (and the rest of the words go down in a column), and so all of them fit on your screen. Then, I'd be able to scroll through each column (in this case, each separate notepad document) without affecting the other ones.

    It sounds like this would best be handled by a good data table 'architecture' which could then be utilized within the Application's User Interface as needed.

    The design of the data table architecture can make things easy or difficult depending on how things are organized.

    I am not sure how you are envisioning this data going into your data table fields, but you might want to give it more thought.
    You might want to read up on Data Normalization (https://www.google.com/#q=data+normalization )
    Sometimes what seems to be the most simple approach only makes things more difficult to work with in the end.

    Good Luck

  8. #8
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    you can do this in Access (strictly speaking) which is a front end tool with various formjks of data storage behind the scenes

    so as a generalised answer Access can do this
    however Im not entirely clear what your requirement is
    sticking to your 10 files
    you could have 10 list boxes
    you could do whatever you decided to

    ...ferinstancer you could look for the same word in the other 9 list boxes

    the data design is quite trivial
    table mydata
    docID
    word

    PK is a composite of both
    so you could have "word" in more than one document, but not more than twice in the same document. if you needed to see multiple instances of the same word within the same document then you probably don't need a PK, set set an index on the word that allows duplicates
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  9. #9
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    Put 1000 words into 10 notepad documents, open them all up so the width of each one allows you to only see the whole words (and the rest of the words go down in a column), and so all of them fit on your screen.

    From a Data Table architecture perspective you might begin with a single data table containing 2 fields
    GROUP (where the Group a word belongs to is entered)
    WORD (where the word itself is entered)

    Then at the Application User Interface Form level you might have 10 Grids (not ComboBoxes) each displaying the word field values for the specific Group.

    The user could then scroll down through all of the words for each Group.
    Although a Form with 10 Grids on it can get pretty crowded. Maybe you want to re-think how this would appear.

    That could be done quite easily (at least easy for an experienced developer) in Visual Foxpro or Access.

    You might want to think about how are you going to Populate the Data Table.
    You haven't mentioned how the values are to get INTO the data table.
    Will your Application need a Maintenance utility to use as well?

    A good reference site you might want to look at for free on-line Visual Foxpro tutorials would be: Free Visual FoxPro Videos

    Good Luck

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys for all the helpful info. I guess I need to start looking at different types of architecture, and I'll look into normalization. I've talked to a few programming buddies and I think they'll be able to help me write some code in visual basic and a few other languages to create a program that essentially sifts through a huge list and brings up the results in multiple columns depending on the command I enter. I'm not sure, but they say it's the best way since I'll also be updating the algorithm for the search process over time and for a couple other reasons. And UI is important since I'd like to access multiple categories of words with ease. Sorry if this sounds vague, it probably is lol. But over spring break, I'll work on it and post my progress (if there is any) or more questions. Thanks for all the help again!

  11. #11
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    Visual Basic is a good Application Development tool/language but it will only develop the User Interface Application itself.

    By itself, it has no 'native' database/data tables.
    It relies on the use of an 'outside' database to provide the data tables - like M$ SQL Server, etc.

    That's not a bad thing. In fact it is quite normal.
    But it does mean that you will have to become familiar with 2 different entities.

    Regardless, working with the direct assistance of a professional sounds like a good idea since you are not 100% sure of what you want and how to get there.

    Good Luck

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