house_sm (28K)

In common with many other consumer households, we have an increasing number of entertainment media in our home, including over 90 VHS tapes, 40 music CDs, photo album CDs, 30 purchased DVDs and many home-generated DVDs.

The Home Entertainments database provides a means to catalogue the mass of videocassettes, CDs and DVDs acquired and generated by the author.

This page includes a number of screenshots to indicate how the Home Entertainments database solution is achieved.

User Interface

Opening Screen

From the users perspective, the database is divided into 3 sections: DVD Library, CD Library and VHS Library. When the database is opened, the opening switchboard provides the user with these entry options.

Main_Switchboard_sm (7K)

Selection of one of these libraries takes the user to further switchboards to enable new media to be added or existing media to be edited. For the CD Library section, separate data entry forms are available for Artists and Titles and the user has to decide whether to add or edit an Artist or a Title. For the DVD and VHS sections, the user simply chooses between adding and editing a Title. When the user has chosen between Add or Edit functions, the specific Data Entry Form for that activity is presented.

For example, if a new CD is to be added to the CD Library, using the Add CD Artist function opens the Data Entry Form form in Add mode (fields blank) while the Edit CD Artist function opens the form in Edit mode (fields populated).

The design and operation of this form are now described.

Add_Artist_sm (13K)

On this view of the form, all fields are blank expecting new data. A parent and a subform are displayed. The record source for the parent is tblArtists. Each new record is automatically numbered using the ArtistID field and there is a text field for the artist's name or the composer. As each artist name is entered, the value in the ArtistID field is copied to the junction table (tblArtists_Titles).

The record source for the subform is a select query selContempCDs and the design grid for this query is shown below.

All fields from the junction table and tbl_Audios are included, and neither filter criteria nor sort parameters are defined. Of the available fields, six are used in the subform, and all except the TitleID field are shown greyed out to indicate that they are there for information purposes rather than for data entry.

selContempCDs_sm (14K)

The value in the TitleID field is selected from a combo box consisting of all the CD titles entered so far, and the purpose of this is to populate the junction table with titles associated with the selected artist. The combo box displays TitleID and Title fields. When the user selects an entry from the list, the value in the TitleID is copied to the junction table where it is mapped to the ArtistID value. A new record is added to the junction table each time new data is entered into the subform.

The navigation buttons at the bottom of the Artists form allow easy navigation through the existing artists. The information in the subform is synchronised so that the titles associated with each artist may be checked. The number to the right of the navigation buttons indicates the number of artists entered, and the button marked with an asterisk opens a blank record in the parent form for new data.

The above images and description are included to show the design considerations and level of complexity achieved with this database application. The material is extracted from the author's CIT-103 database assignment report. A PDF-version of this report is available (with the exception of Appendix A Printout of all data). To open this link, you may need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please note that this document contains a large number of screenshot images and is approximately 3.4M in size.