IT360 Lab1: The Squadron Flight Schedule using Access

DUE: Thursday January 17, 2013 before 2359



MS Access is frequently used by small companies and on the Navy ships to create simple database solutions. Using Access, you don’t have to know too much about databases and will still be able to easily construct simple, aesthetically pleasing database solutions.  This lab is designed for you to learn some of the basics of Access.  You will build a solution to a simple problem using just a single table, a single form, a report, and a switchboard.  There are ample online tutorials and the Access “Help” system is very detailed. Use any resources at your disposal to accomplish and understand the tasks required of this lab.  You may consult other students on using Access but all work should be your own (i.e. do not copy other students tables, forms, etc). 


Part 0: Create the database

Open Microsoft Access 2010 and create a new blank database called yourlastname_lab1.accdb, where yourlastname is your last name. Save it on your X drive, not the local machine, so you can access it from your room.


Part 1: Tables

The simple “flight schedule” database you will build for this lab requires only a single table.  A table should contain data for only a single “theme”, so the theme of this table is a flight event.  Table basics will be discussed in lab and there is a tutorial on the course webpage covering Access basics.  You are responsible to be able to do the following:


a)     Create a table called Flights with the following fields. Be sure data input by the user passes any validation requirements as specified in the following table:





Validation Rule/ Validation Text



Date/Time -Short date (mm/dd/yyyy)


Must be a date after 1/1/2013

Date of flight





Flight number within a given day





Last name of plane commander





First name of plane commander


Short time



Takeoff time


Short time



Landing time




The only valid inputs are:

§  “PT” for pilot training

§  “MI” for mission

§  “CT” for crew training

§  “MC” for maintenance checks

Type of event





Lists training or mission information


b)     Declare the combination of FlightDate and FlightSeqNumber columns as a primary key for the table. (In Design view, select both fields, right-click, and select “Primary Key” from the menu)



1.     If the user enters an invalid EventDate (before 1/1/2013), a message must be displayed explaining the reason for error.

2.     If the user enters an invalid EventType, a message must be displayed explaining the valid options.

3.     The key fields together must uniquely identify each row in the table. A possible key is FlightDate and FlightSeqNumber combined. Thus, the first two flights of 10 Jan 2013 are :

            01/10/2013 – 1

            01/10/2013 – 2

     If a user enters 01/10/2013 - 1 a second time, the database will issue an error message stating you are trying to enter a duplicate key.                                                     


c)     Once you create the table structure, switch to the Datasheet view and add several rows of data.  Try to duplicate the data in a key: if you use the date and event number as the key, and you enter 01/10/2013 - 1 twice you should get an error message.


Take a print screen of the error message you get when trying to add 2 rows to the table with the same value for the key. You need to turn that in.


d)     Likewise, you should get an error message for entering an improper EventType with an explanation of correct inputs.


Take a print screen of the error message you get when trying to add a row to the table with the incorrect value for EventType. You need to turn that in.


Part 2: Data-Entry Forms


Forms provide the most flexible way for viewing, adding, editing, and deleting your data.  The user of your database should not see the raw table data or understand how to enter date into a table.  The data-entry form should be easy and intuitive for the user.  The tutorial provides an overview of forms.  You can use the form design view or the wizard to create forms.


Part 2 requires you to build a simple data entry form called ViewEditFlights for flight events.  The easiest way to do this is to use the Create - Form options from the menu, then select View - Design View to have the "design menu" show up. Use the "button" option to add command and navigation buttons to your form. Be sure to add "go to previous", "go to next", "add new record", "save record", "delete record" buttons to your form. Add some data using the input form and test your command buttons.  Below is an example of a data entry form for a flight schedule program



Part 3: Queries

The primary purpose of any database is to store and extract information. Using database tools you can easily obtain information to meet virtually any criteria you specify. A query is a question you ask about the information stored in your tables.  There are six types of Access queries, but for this lab you will work with just one – the “select query”.


Create queries that ask the following.  If you do not have much data in your database go ahead and add some additional rows.  Save each of the queries for review by your instructor using the name given Query1, Query2, etc. After writing the query, execute it (! Run in the toolbar) to see the results of executing the query.


Note that on the flight schedule there could be a field for “total time” for the flight.  This information is not recorded in the table. In fact, computed data should never be stored in the database. (Why?)


Part 4. Report

Reports provide a flexible way for viewing and printing summarized information. They enable you to display information with the desired level of detail while letting you view or print your information in almost any format.  Reports can range from the very simple to build to fairly complex.  We will focus on the simple.  The Reports are similar to forms except they display results of a query or the entire data from a table.


Create a “flight schedule” report named PersonalizedFlightReport similar with the one shown below, using the “Query2” in Part 3 as the basis of the report (it will show in a nice format the results of executing that query).  You do not have to follow the same format as below. A simple listing of all the results of the query is enough. You can use either the design view or the wizard view to create the report.



Part 5: SwitchBoard

A form that is used to navigate to other forms and reports in the database is referred to as a switchboard. In most cases, you design a switchboard to open instead of the Database window (similar with the main page of a web site).  On the switchboard you place controls for only those objects to which you want the user to have access.  The screenshot below is a simple switchboard. 


Add a simple switchboard called SwitchboardFlighs to your database that will allow the user access to the ViewEditFlights form you created in Part 2 and the PersonalizedFlightReport you created in part 4. Create the switchboard as a simple form (start with a blank form and add command buttons). Then set the switchboard to open automatically when the user selects the database. You accomplish this selecting from the main menu File->Options->Current Database and setting Display Form field to SwitchboardFlights.


Part 6 (Extra Credit) Create Table with SQL


In Access, click on Create – Design Query, switch to “SQL View” and write the SQL statement to create the following table named Courses:

Courses(Cid, Cname, Cdept, CreditHours). Choose the appropriate data type for each column (integer or varchar(100) should be enough for this table) and declare Cid as the primary key for the table. Save the query as CreateCourses. Run the query. Was the table created in Access?



Turn in:

Electronic (due BEFORE 2359 on January 17, 2013):

  1. Upload the database you created, named yourlastname_lab1.accdb to Lab 1 assignment on Blackboard.

Hard-copies (due BEFORE start of lab on January 18 , 2013):

  1. The completed assignment coversheet. Your comments will help us improve the course.
  2. A print screen of the table created in Part 1, design view (not the Datasheet view).
  3. A print screen of the error message you get when trying to add a row to the table with a duplicate key value (same FlightDate and FlightSeqNumber as an existing row)
  4. A print screen of the error message you get when trying to add a row to the table with the incorrect value for EventType
  5. A print screen of the form created in Part 2.
  6. A print screen for each query created in Part 3, design view (so I can see the query, not the results of executing the query)
  7. A print screen of the report created in Part 4.
  8. A print screen of the switchboard created in Part 5.
  9. For extra credit part 6, a print screen of the CreateCourses query, SQL view (so I can see the code)