March 5, 2021
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Visual Basic Database Tutorial - Part 2

  • By Karl Moore
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My psychologist always tells me to imagine smooth relaxing sands and blue rippling seas, as I unveil the maniacal details of my crazed programming life. And that's just what we'll be doing in this section - except we don't have a couch. Erm, nor an official Institute of Psychology certificate.

But let's just imagine you wanted to talk to your database - perhaps you want to ask it the telephone number of one of the contacts in your table.

Top Tip: Just in case your memory is as useful as the Pope's wedding tackle, don't forget that a field is a 'box' inside a table - numerous fields make up one table. One or more tables make up a database.

In a perfect world, we'd be able to say "What's the telephone number for Johnny Briggs?" - and the computer would reply, "It's 517-000-238, Karl, you stunningly wonderful person".

Welcome to an imperfect world.

In the world of databases, we talk in a language called SQL, or Structured Query Language.

Top Tip: Never call SQL "Structured Query Language", unless you're writing a report - or are called Karl Moore. Phrases like "I'm just writing a lil' bit of SQL" sound much more impressive and are guaranteed to improve your social status.

To pick a random example, a sentence such as "Show me all the contact names" in English, translates into something like "select ContactName from Contacts" in SQL.

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This article was originally published on November 20, 2002

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