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Before using a database, you need to learn how a database management system organizes data. With Calc, you can create, organize, manage, and report from data stored in your Calc spreadsheet.
Before You Begin
39 Create a New Spreadsheet
A database typically contains related data. In other words, you might create a home-office database with your household budget but keep another database to record your rare-book collection titles and their worth. In your household budget, you might track expenses, income, bills paid, and so forth, but that information does not overlap the book-collection database. Of course, if you buy a book, both databases might show the transaction, but the two databases would not overlap.
75 Create a Calc Database
76 Import Data into a Calc Database
Technically, a database does not have to reside on a computer. Any place you store data in some organized format, such as a name and address directory, could be considered a database. In most cases, however, the term database is reserved for organized, computerized data.
When you design a database, consider its scope before you begin. Does your home business need an inventory system? Does your home business often need to locate a single sales contact from a large list of contacts? If so, a Calc database works well. Only you can decide whether the inventory and the sales contacts should be part of the same system or separate, unlinked systems. The database integration of inventory with the sales contacts requires much more work to design, but your business requirements might necessitate the integration. For example, you might need to track which customers bought certain products in the past.
To keep track of data, you can break down each database sheet into records and fields . A database's structure acts just like a Calc worksheet because the rows and columns in a worksheet match the records and fields in a database. This similarity between databases and spreadsheets is why Calc works well for simple database management.
In the following figure, the database's records are the sheet's rows, and the fields are the columns. This database is a simple checkbook-register database; you usually organize your checkbook register just as you would organize a computerized version of a checkbook , so you will have little problem mastering Calc's concepts of records and fields.
A database contains records and fields that associate to Calc's rows and columns.
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