To actually make my designed solution relatively successful I am going to have to make three tables, one for the videos in stock in the video rentals shop, another for all the members on record at the video rentals shop and finally I will be required to have a table showing which customers have rented which particular videos, a rentals table. With minimal information actually being required about the actual customer he or herself, the tables will actually be quite brief and relatively simple. The tables will contain the fields mentioned above.
Design of Solution: Having completed my research, I have decided that the information, which is to be entered into the computer, could be done straight from the current files in the filing cabinet. Therefore, a Code must be given to each video and also to each customer, to ensure that the correct number of figures is imputed, I am going to use input masks. For the customer codes I am going to use, The C obviously standing for customer, and by using three figures after the letter, it would enable the shop to have a maximum of 999 customers. With the videos table, I am going to go along the similar lines as the customer codes except I am going to add an extra digit to the code, to enable the video shop to have 9999 videos as their maximum number of videos in stock, because video shops obviously have a larger number of videos than members.
I am going to construct my tables using the fields mentioned previously, input masks included so that information cannot be inputted incorrectly. Once all my tables are completed I am going to connect them using macros to connect my forms and tables together. A diagram into how the forms and tables are to be linked is displayed below: Data collection, capture and input: Because the customer wishing to open a membership with the video shop does not wish to be stood arranging their membership details with the employee behind the counter, their view would be that the less information required for them to give the better, as this is time consuming, we will try to keep the required information required to a minimal for many reasons, one being to save room on the database another simply to keep the data-capture form relatively simple as possible and the final reason is not to ask the customers for unnecessary information to save their and our time. In more detail, the fields, which are going to be used, are as follows.
Although there are input masks in place, it doesn’t make the process faultless, after a new members details have been entered, the new member should read through it to make sure there are no errors. Or if it is a film, the employee who entered the details should ask a fellow employee to check over it, ensuring no errors have occurred. Data and program structures: I tried to lay out all the forms as simple and straight forward as possible to try and be user friendly. Below is a picture of my opening form, which contains buttons, which can take you to all parts of my database.
From the other pages you can go to various pages in my database by using the FORWARD and BACK buttons situated at the top of the screen. Output Format: My Database possesses several ways of outputting. The first output feature is the letter, which is sent to members who have currently got overdue videos and have forced the rentals shop to enforce a fine because the film is overdue, the a letter which is printed out and sent to the members look like this below: The second feature which can be outputted are my tables, they can be printed out if the manager or any particular person required them for any reason.
Any information, which is in tabular form, can be printed out as a graph therefore allowing employees and managers to see weather business has risen of fallen, so he/she can make changes accordingly. Testing: For the testing of my solution, I started out by inputting false information into it, information I had made up, to allow me to try and perform searches and stock takes etc. one my three tables were full of at least 25 pieces of information (25 videos, 25 members etc.) I was able to try my forms, which were very successful.
Initially I came across a problem, with the 5 digit area codes, as my input mask was only designed to allow a 4 digit area code, I was told that the problem could easily be solved, all that was required was a validation rule. The validation rule was a form of explanation, which explained about the four and five digit area codes, once I had inputted a validation rule; I had no problem inputting four or five digit area codes.
Above is a screen shot of the tables whilst I was inputting my information to allow me to carry out the various tests. On the Previous page is a screenshot of a completed table for my videos, to which I have added a search engine, which can allow me to search for a particular video at any particular time. Following this I tested my form of search engine and it was successful, it allowed you to search by film title or customer name or by code. For the loaning a video, the procedure was relatively straight forward, in that you type in the date of the rental and the customer and video codes and the computer does the rest for you.
For security reasons, I felt it would be beneficial to the rentals shop to have a password feature to prevent any unauthorised personnel using the computer, because they could cause a problem to the whole system. Therefore I added a password to the database to enable each employee to have his or her own username and password. Setting up a password was also successful, as I managed to make two different passwords and username, which were both valid.
Documentation of Solution: The best way to explain to a new user how the program works would be to send a document of instructions along with the program to explain to the new user how the software and it’s features work. Ideally I would like to create a basic wizard which can explain to the new user how all the buttons and features work and take the new user through the particular tasks step-by-step showing them also how various techniques can be achieved. By adding a query to the input masks will no doubt help any person who did not understand what information they were being asked to obtain.