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Access Database Idea

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by Zaney1, Jan 29, 2008.

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  1. Zaney1

    Zaney1 Thread Starter

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    A Grocery Database that allows you to compare prices for various grocers in youe area including the impact of 1. Coupons and 2 coupon doubling and tripling. Last would be historical data of pricing. From this you couls create a shopping listfor each store each week and predict when prices will be at their lowest and coupons have the reatest impact.
    I'm a newbie to Access and had a VB class over 16 yrs ago. I've done a lot of input to the main table just trying to get an idea of how to manage it with queries & reports. Any ideas? I know it's a lot so i'll understand if it's 2 much.
     
  2. cristobal03

    cristobal03

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    I think it's an interesting application. It's a bit much for a beginner, but since there are no time constraints, I say go for it. After all, the best way to learn is to keep plugging at a design that interests you.

    If you're just starting out, I recommend learning some good database design principles. Start with database normalization and normal forms (Google those to learn more). You might also look into identifying and defining business rules prior to creating your tables.

    I'd say jump in, and post back if you have specific questions about your design or how to use Access.

    Good luck,

    chris.
     
  3. Zaney1

    Zaney1 Thread Starter

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    Thanks Cris! I know I'm in way over my head but my advantage is luxury of time. I want to share the end result with as many cheapskates as possible so we can beat the grocers.
    Ok, here is my 1st specific question: Once I have all my items listed as a record in a table as well as in a separate table for varieties of.. apples, for example. Can I somehow Generate a list of the things I wish to purchase for the week, apply coupon rules to say if less than or equal 2 39 cents double and f between 40 and 50 cents double otherwise straight discount. I see no if/then capability. Thanks for looking at my thread.
     
  4. slurpee55

    slurpee55

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    I would want to see all the variables - too late at night for me to think this through. But to generally answer your question, yes, you could have price fields tied to a maximum amount, and a yes/no field for if there were coupons and a lot of other things - after you built it, you could just enter your data and then it would generate a reports telling you what to buy and at what price, with coupon, etc.
    But, as Cris said, this is NOT an easy plan. My advice is to start messing with it and come back here for advice (regularly) on it.
     
  5. OBP

    OBP Trusted Advisor

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    I do not think that it is too large a project for a beginner as long as you take it in very small bites.
    It will be the fact that it "interests" you that will keep you going when the going gets tough, plus you can get plenty of help from these guys for the "tricky" bits.
     
  6. Zaney1

    Zaney1 Thread Starter

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    Thanks everyone. I was knee deep b4 I thought to bother u guys. I'm using several sources for my meager edumacation. I'll consult back when I hit the next sticking point that I can't even fathom. Thanks!
     
  7. jimr381

    jimr381

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    I like the idea, but how will you grab information from weekly fliers? Also do take into consideration the coupon expiration date as well when setting up the database.
     
  8. cristobal03

    cristobal03

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    Not that this part would be a project for a beginner, but I especially like the idea of a distributed system. If you had a Web server you could create online forms so many different (anonymous or otherwise) users could generate data; statistically, the wider distribution will allow you to evaluate more useful information. Access isn't really the right environment for that, but if it's a small distribution (50-100 users, say) there shouldn't be too many problems.

    But that's down the line, down the line.

    The extensibility of the application is extreme. Not only expiration dates, but price matching, quality comparison, relative proximity, divergent industries--this could be a really substantial project.

    What a great idea though.

    chris.
     
  9. slurpee55

    slurpee55

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    I get lost clipping coupons....
    But, Zaney, you have some of the best here involved in this - OBP, jimr and cristobal all have good ideas and are fun to work with.
     
  10. Zaney1

    Zaney1 Thread Starter

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    Thanks again everyone. In my area coupons are in the Sunday paper (or Saturday's "Early Sunday" edition) Store promotions are out Wed. and good to the following Tues.
    We mainly shop on saturday. My current idea is to look at this on a weekly basis initially. I'll archive each week's report and use it later to predict when prices on items i will need will be at their lowest.
    Coupon expiration is critical because I learned from a book titled "America's Cheapest family" that coupons come out for items when the price is high in it's cycle. If you hold on to the coupon for a few weeks it can be matched with the lowest price for maximum savings.
    Web sites like http://www.mygrocerydeals.com and http://www.couponmom.com do some of this for you up front. What none of them do is tell you the best deal across major grocers in your area. You have to scan their site and evaluate the situation. Also they do not look at coupon doubling/tripling.
    Yes I'm aware of how monstrous this can become. Just creating tables for items that have several varieties is becoming a headache. But the possibilities are too tempting to pass up. Wish me luck and stand by for questions. :D
     
  11. Zaney1

    Zaney1 Thread Starter

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    Ok back to my original question. Is ther an IF/THEN function in access? 3 of the 4 major grocers will tripple a coupon =< 39 cents and double a coupon of 41 to 50 cents This is a key component of comparison to a) Wal Marts prices with coupon at face value, 2) determining lowest price.
    My thinking is to Query straight price comparison then run a query assesing th impact of coupon doubling/tripling. Am I getting into depths that require SQL function?
     
  12. OBP

    OBP Trusted Advisor

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    There are basically 4 ways to a achieve If/Then type decisions.
    1. Just manipulate 2 or more values (subtract one from the other) in a Query (SQL) and use that to "Order" the data thus putting the best deals first.
    2. Use the Query's or Reports IIF function which works the same way as the Excel IF/Then Function.
    3. Use a Query that calls a VBA Module that uses actual If/Then functions.
    4. Do it all in VBA using If/Then Functions
     
  13. Zaney1

    Zaney1 Thread Starter

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    OK, thanks OBP! I had a feeling I would have to dive into VBA and am awaiting a few books from the library to learn it. I'm biding my time by input to the many tables. Do you think this is something you would use acros the pond?
     
  14. jimr381

    jimr381

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    What about nested if functions as well? It would be setup something like this.

    =if(test 1 to pass,if(test 2 to pass,what happens when you pass,what happens when you fail), test 1 failure item)

    If then Elses are much more easier to manage, but if you are looking for immediate gratification until you get the book you could use that. ;)
     
  15. OBP

    OBP Trusted Advisor

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    Unfortunately we do not get many "Discount vouchers" in the UK so that part of it would not make much sense, what we do have is "Discounted prices", "Buy one get One Free", "Buy 2 get 1 free" type offers etc.
    Whether anyone would use it I am not sure.
    Jim, nested ifs or iifs of course, I just didn't take it that far I just wanted to make it clear that Access has plenty of Decision capability.;)
     
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