Developing Your Skills

In order to develop the skills necessary to incorporate database functionality into your solutions, you must invest time learning many new things. Some of the areas that you may need to learn or brush up on include the following:

♦ The general use of one or more database products such as Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server

♦ Database design and development techniques. Unless you are using a database that someone else put together, you'll need to create and populate the tables in a database.

♦ Structured Query Language (SQL)

♦ ActiveX Data Objects (ADO)

Entire books have been written on each of the items mentioned, so you can correctly surmise that it is impossible for me to tell you all that you need to know about each topic in one chapter. Hopefully you'll find enough material in this chapter to help you solve a current problem or get you started in the right direction.

NOTE Check out the informative, developer-oriented book, the Access 2002 Developer's Handbook Set, by Paul Lit-win, Ken Getz, and Mike Gunderloy (Sybex, 2001), for in-depth coverage of Microsoft Access. Alternatively, Mastering SQL Server 2000, by Mike Gunderloy and Joseph L. Jorden (Sybex, 2000) provides a wide range of information related to Microsoft SQL Server.

If you are totally new to working with databases and this all seems overwhelming, it is important that you just start learning and trust that it will become clear. It gets easier. Synergies exist between all of the items I just mentioned. As you learn more about one of them, you'll find that it gets easier and easier to learn about the others.

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