Database specifications part 3

In step #3, you sketch out how you want your forms to look. You will view and enter data on the computer using forms. Generally you have one form per data entity, although in some cases you might need multiple forms for one entity.

The term “form” is a bit misleading, because often times people use that word to mean something printed on a piece of paper. We use form to mean an on-screen tool used for data entry. Forms are how data gets into the database.

The general design of forms and the layout of fields upon a form may be left up to the consultant, but you have some choices to make.

A common way of designing a form that must contain many fields is to use tabs across the top of the form. Click on a tab and a new page of fields pops up on the screen. You should decide what tabs your form should have, and which fields should go with each tab.

You may also have some special needs for your forms. For example, perhaps a certain staff worker does a great deal of data entry using printed forms that are filled out by hand (like questionnaires). It might be helpful to create a special data-entry form on the computer for this employee that corresponds to the printed form.

Draw your forms on paper. Then move on to step #4.

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