Data Types Not Included In This Course – Overview
I did not include every possible data type in this course. The reason is that I wanted to keep you focused on what is really important: getting up and running with your first Access database.
I made a decision to not include four data types in the guts of this course but I do want to touch on them briefly and say why I didn’t include them.
The four data types are:
- Replication ID
- OLE Object
Access Data Type: Replication ID
A Replication ID is used for syncing multiple copies of databases. Database replication is where you have two or more copies of a database and you want to synchronize changes.
For example, you might create a database that has one copy of your database in New York and one in copy Hong Kong. Teams in the two locations would make changes as orders were made in their countries. Then each day you synchronize the changes in both databases. The New York database copy would have all the changes made in Hong Kong and vice versa.
Synchronizing databases is a black belt technique that I don’t think is appropriate for a basic Access course.
Access Data Type: Hyperlink
After running a few web businesses, I’m actually in love with the Hyperlink data type. The reason is that web addresses can get crazy long – well over 255 characters – and won’t fit into a text field. A hyperlink data type stores much longer text fields to accommodate longer web addresses.
The reason it didn’t make it into this course was just space and focus: I wanted to maintain focus on the basics and get you grounded in the basics of database design. Using a hyperlink is not that different from using a regular text field so if you understand the basics of using a text field then you will likely be able to pick up a Hyperlink data type.
Access Data Type: – OLE Object & Attachment
The next two data types are “OLE Objects” and “Attachments” which allow you to store files such as a Word document, Excel spreadsheet or pictures inside your database.
I didn’t include these data types in this course because if you start importing large files into your Access database you are heading for trouble.
An Access database has a 2 GB limit and this can be quickly exceeded with attached or embedded files. Storing large files in an Access database with a 2 GB limit most likely is not going to end well.
I recommend storing large files on a secure network drive and then store the path to those files in a text field in your Access database.