A fancy dress hire shop

Persona, a fancy dress hire shop, has recently received a lot more business. Consequently, Jane Peters, the owner has asked me to help her improve the way in which she runs the shop. Presently Mrs Peters uses a book which people sign out different costumes. The book request that the person tell them the first name, the costume they’re hiring out, the date it is being hired out and the date that the costume is to be returned. All the background information (i. e.

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the customer’s address, phone number etc. ) is kept in a filing cabinet which has recently become very full. So, in order to manage all this data and the rentals I will have to be able to design a database that will be able to fulfil everything that she does now in addition to other advantages that a database will bring. Jane Peters has also told me that there is a strict budget of  1800 and that she would like an attractive interface for her employees to use i. e.

Colours, logo and simple layout. I could design bespoke system tailored to Mrs Peters’ needs. This option would provide Mrs Peters with all the functions she wanted because she would be choosing what she wants, there would however be some drawbacks: The bespoke system would probably cost in excess of  1800 and also adjusting the system would require specialist work in the future. Another option would be to use a database package bought from a shop i. e. Microsoft Access.

If Jane chose to use a generic database system as opposed to a bespoke she could be confident that any further upgrades would be compatible and also that there would be ample support available from experts. She would also be confident that the product is reliable because lots of people use it. The downside to this option would be that Jane and other staff would have to give the time to both learning the skills to do this and to keep it going. The third option would be to use a generic database but customise it for Jane’s needs.

To do this I would produce tables, reports and forms etc. but customise them to Jane’s specification. This is the option that I have decided to go through with because it combines the benefits of using a well proven generic package with Jane still being able to use the system without much difficulty. This system would also be easily within the i?? 1800 budget. In order to decide which is the most suitable for Mrs Peters I must first analyse her situation. To analyse Persona I will survey the employees and the customers of Persona.

I will also observe the employees to find out what they find particularly difficult in the shop. In order for my database system to be successful there are a number of things that I must do. Firstly, on analysis, the employees said that what they really wanted was something that would make the process of hiring out costumes much quicker and also reduce the chance of human error, something that they usually endure on a day to day basis. More specifically they ideally said that they wanted to be able to fill out a rental form in less than 30 seconds, I think that this will be easily achieved.

To reduce human error as much as possible I must introduce some kind of validation so that the data that they enter will stop not be wrong. For this database to be successful I must also ensure that the interface is user-friendly and must include a logo and good use of colour. The most common type of query is a select query. It retrieves data from one or more tables and displays the results in a datasheet where you can update the records (with some restrictions).

You can also use a select query to group records and calculate sums, counts, averages, and other types of totals. Firstly for the benefit of the employees of Persona I have designed a query that groups all the necessary data that would be involved in a rental and made a field called “Date Due Back”. The date due back is automatically calculated by adding two days to the “Date Hired Out” field. This is the screen print of the query in design view. Below is a screen print of the query when it has been run.

It brings various fields from the different tables together to make it less time consuming for employees of Persona entering the data over and over again. The ‘Date Return Due’ field has a date in, automatically calculated from the date hired out. This makes sure the correct date is entered. To input the data for this query I produced a form, this form request that the employees must submit the reference of the customer renting out the product, the reference of the costume being hired out and the date that the costume is being hired out. The screen print shows what the employee must submit.

As can be seen the due return date is automatically calculated and also select customer information is displayed, I only chose to display four fields of member information but Jane could choose to display more. The point of showing the member information is so that the employee can verify with the customer that they have got the right person. If the person hiring the costume can’t remember their ID then I have enable a drop down box which has the list of the members next to their ID so the employee can just choose the name from the lift and the query will automatically display the ID on the form.

On the form of this query I have also added a button at the top which links this form to the form to add new members. This is there so that in reality the employee in the shop could just have this form up and if someone tried to hire something and they were not a member then the employee could easily go to add a member. On the “add new member” form I have also included a command button, this returns the employee to the Rentals Query Form.