Sep 10 2010

Advice on OpenOffice Database design?

I’ve been doing the tutorials, because I need to make an inventory database for my business. The paper one really ins’t cutting it.

The easiest way would be to include forms for entering orders, rather than adjusting item stock levels one at a time. However I’m having a bit of trouble thinking how to plan the forms for it.

If I have a table for orders, then I have to somehow make it so it can handle an unknown quantity of differing items within it’s entry. And while that may be possible I think it would mean some easy-to-break parsing of multiple entries in a single table cell.
The alternative seems to be to create a sales table where each item type per sale is it’s own set of data, but some may share an order number. I think it would also mean the order contents would only be visible in Query results after entering, not the order Form, which would be a problem if I needed to amend an order. Can entry forms collate data like that? I suspect so, but the tutorial I ran through didn’t mention it, only display of single table entries.

Both would need me to design a form capable of extending as needed, ideally with drop-down menus of items to select from.

The latter seems the most reliable solution atm.

I need to get this done soon, so if someone can offer advice on more options or point me to guides on this sort of aspect of database building, I’d be very grateful!

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