MaxData 2007 Database Concepts







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MaxData 2007

Database Concepts



Introduction ... 1

What Is MaxData 2007? ... 1

System Requirements ... 1

Checking your version of Office ... 1

Database Concepts ... 2

What Is a Database? ... 2

The Conceptual Structure of a Database ... 2

Handling Data with MaxData 2007 ... 2

Handling Data with MaxData 2007 ... 3

Database Design ... 3

Database Terms ... 3

Types of Databases ... 4

What Are the Parts of a Database Program? ... 7

Fields ... 10

Technical Support ... 12

Copyright and Trademark Notice

© 2008 Scholastic, Inc. All rights reserved. SCHOLASTIC, SCHOLASTIC KEYS, and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc. Other company names, brand names, and product names are the property and/or trademarks of their respective owners.


MaxData 2007

Introduction 1


What Is MaxData 2007?

MaxData 2007 is a data handling tool for use across the curriculum.

MaxData 2007 provides elementary students with an intuitive interface for handling and interpreting data. The easy-to-use interface allows students to concentrate on the ideas, relationships, and information being explored.

With MaxData 2007, students can collect data, easily design a database, and enter and interrogate data.

Students can also use their creativity to create their own customized reports, adding their own notes about what they discovered.

MaxData 2007 provides a platform for data handling from the first steps of simple representation of data to learning database concepts such as fields, field types, records, tables, filters, and designing reports.

System Requirements

The following system requirements are mandatory for MaxData 2007:

Microsoft® Windows® XP SP 2 with 512Mb RAM or Microsoft® Windows® Vista with 1Gb RAM Microsoft® Office 2007

The following system requirements are the recommended minimum for MaxData 2007:

Intel Pentium III 500Mhz or higher for Windows XP SP 2

Intel Pentium III 800Mhz or higher for Windows Vista

Minimum 1024 x 768 resolution and 24 bit color CD-Rom Drive

380Mb Available Hard Disk Space for Complete Installation.

Checking your version of Office

If you are not sure what version of Office you have, follow the steps below.

1. Launch Microsoft® Word.

2. From the Help menu, choose About Microsoft®

Office Word.

Note: If you’re using Office 2007, click the Office Button. Then, click the Word Options button. In the Resources section, click the About button.

3. Look for the version number at the top of the About Microsoft Office Word dialog box.

In the example below, the user has Office 2007 SP1.

Scholastic Keys Compatibility

MaxData 2007 is compatible with Scholastic Keys 2007. If you have a previous version of Scholastic Keys installed, you will need to upgrade prior to installing MaxData 2007. To obtain an upgrade, please contact Customer Service at 800-342-0236.

Note: If you have Scholastic Keys 1.4 installed and have made any changes to the default

configuration (e.g., Users & Groups, Saving Location, Feature Settings), these settings will carry over into MaxData 2007. Any future configuration changes will be shared by both programs.


Database Concepts

What Is a Database?

A database is an organized collection of information. Information is divided into individual elements called fields.

Each record in a database is made up of a set of fields, which contain the individual elements of information for a particular topic.

The Conceptual Structure of a Database

The diagram below illustrates the structure of a database.

Figure 1. Structure of a Database


Friend’s Name Julie Field: Friend’s DOB 4/6/2000 Field: Friend’s Pet Dog


Friend’s Name James


Friend’s DOB 8/4/2000


Friend’s Pet Cat



My Friends (Database File)

Table Database Table (a collection of records) Fields (individual elements of information) Records (a collection of fields)


MaxData 2007

Database Concepts


Handling Data with MaxData 2007

MaxData 2007 can be used for communicating and handling information. MaxData 2007 is a tool that assists students when considering:

What data will be collected when they make particular observations How they will record their observations

How they will present the data

How to draw conclusions from the data that has been recorded How they will communicate and present their conclusions MaxData 2007 provides simple ways to:

Collect information for a particular purpose and sort and classify it Organize, refine, and present information

Communicate by combining text and graphics Analyze, interpret, and select the elements required

Database Design

A database is an organized collection of data. The primary function of a database is to enable the user to collect information and arrange the information in specific order, such as alphabetical, numerical, and/or chronological. When designing and constructing a database you need to ask:

1. What information do you want to collect?

2. In what order do you want this information organized?

The answers to these questions will determine how you design your database.

Database Terms

Database Program: A database program is a software program such as Microsoft® Access that allows a user to

create a database. MaxData 2007 is a database program that allows young children to easily create a database.

Database File: A database file is created within a database program and refers to a specific collection of data with a single focus or topic.

Table: Information stored within a database file is stored in one or more tables.

Record: Each table is made up of records that are identical in structure. A record contains information about a single item in your database.


Figure 2. A database file contains one or more tables

Name Hair Color Eye Color

Susan Brown Brown Tom Black Blue Tom Black Blue Mark Black Green Sally Blonde Blue

Types of Databases

There are two main types of databases: flat-file and relational.

Flat-File Database

A flat-file database consists of a single table which contains all of the information that you want to store about your topic. This type of database is ideal for a simple database that does not contain a lot of repeated information.

Figure 3. A Flat-File Database

Name Hair Color Eye Color

Susan Brown Brown Tom Black Blue Mark Black Green Sally Blonde Blue

A Table

A Flat-File Database — has 1 table which contains all


A Field


MaxData 2007

Database Concepts


A Relational Database

A relational database consists of multiple tables linked together by at least one common field. For instance, a friend might have more than one pet. A relational database eliminates the repetition of information that occurs in a flat-file database if a friend has more than one pet.

An example of a flat-file database where each friend’s pets are recorded: Figure 4. A Flat-File Database Containing Pet Information

Name Hair Color Eye Color Pets

Susan Brown Brown Dog Susan Brown Brown Cat Tom Black Blue Fish Mark Black Green Fish Mark Black Green Turtle Sally Blonde Blue Dog Sally Blonde Blue Turtle Sally Blonde Blue Bird

This example shows that if a friend has more than one pet, it is necessary to repeat the friend’s information for each pet they have.

An example of a relational database where each friend’s pets are recorded: Figure 5. A Relational Database Containing Pet Information

Table with friend’s information Table with

friend’s pets

Name Hair Color Eye Color Name Pets

Susan Brown Brown Susan Dog

Tom Black Blue Susan Cat

Mark Black Green Tom Fish

Sally Blonde Blue Mark Fish

Mark Turtle Sally Dog Sally Turtle Sally Bird

This example has two tables, one where the friend’s information is recorded and one where the friend’s pets are recorded. The two tables are linked by the name of the friend.

Note: Relational databases are very useful when there is more than one instance of a piece of information. Susan has two pets

Mark has two pets

Sally has three pets Tom has one pet


Another example would be a recipes database. If you used a flat-file database, the table would look like either of these two examples:

Figure 6. Example A Flat-File Database Format

Recipe Name Cook By Temp. Ingredient Amount

Pancake Pan 180 Flour 1 Cup Pancake Pan 180 Sugar ½ Cup Pancake Pan 180 Milk ½ Cup Banana Cake Oven 200 Bananas 3 Banana Cake Oven 200 Flour 1 Cup Banana Cake Oven 200 Sugar ½ Cup

This style of flat-file database format provides the flexibility of entering any number of ingredients; however, for each additional ingredient, you need to repeat record information.

Figure 7. Example B Flat-File Database Format Recipe Name Cook By Temp. Ingredient No. 1 Amount No. 1 Ingredient No. 2 Amount No. 2 Ingredient No. 3 Amount No. 3

Pancake Pan 180 Flour 1 Cup Sugar ½ Cup Milk ½ Cup Banana


Oven 200 Bananas 3 Flour 1 Cup Sugar ½ Cup

This type of flat-file database format eliminates the repetition of record information, but limits the number of ingredients. The problem with a flat-file database in this instance is that you need to determine how many ingredients you are going to allow for when you design the database.

A relational database allows you to store recipes which have any number of ingredients. If you used a relational database for your recipe database, it would look similar to the figure below.

Figure 8. When to use a relational database

Table with Recipe Information Table with Ingredient Information

Recipe Name Cook By Temp. Name Ingredient Amount

Pancake Pan 180 Pancake Flour 1 Cup Banana Cake Oven 200 Pancake Sugar ½ Cup

Pancake Milk ½ Cup Pancake Butter 1 tablespoon Banana Cake Bananas 3

Banana Cake Flour 1 Cup Banana Cake Sugar ½ Cup Banana Cake Milk 1 Cup Banana Cake Butter 2 tablespoons


MaxData 2007

Database Concepts


What Are the Parts of a Database Program?

Database programs have different types of objects that perform specific tasks.

Most database programs contain four main object types: tables, filters (queries), forms, and reports.

What is a Table?

Data is always stored in tables. Tables are made up of records, which contain all of the information about a single topic. Each record is then subdivided into fields, which are the smallest increments of useful data in your

database. Relational databases use multiple tables that each store different information about a related subject.

Figure 9. A table includes records which are subdivided into fields

Name Hair Color Eye Color

Susan Brown Brown Tom Black Blue Tom Black Blue Mark Black Green Sally Blonde Blue

Tables in MaxData 2007

When you create a database in MaxData 2007, a table will be automatically created. You will be prompted to add fields that are relevant to the topic of your database.

Figure 10. Creating Fields in MaxData 2007



The table will display the fields that were added during the creation of your database.

Figure 11. A MaxData 2007 Table

What Are Forms?

Like a paper form, a database form collects and organizes information. In forms, you can enter data into your database and display this data for review. Forms are designed to make on-screen data entry and retrieval easier. Another advantage of using forms to enter and edit data is that you look at only one record at a time.

Forms in MaxData 2007

MaxData 2007 automatically creates a database entry form once you have added the fields to your database. This data entry form will automatically be updated when you add, delete, or edit the fields in your database.

The data entry form includes fields that have been added to your database.


MaxData 2007

Database Concepts


What Are Filters (Queries)?

A filter is a way of asking questions about data stored in your tables. With filters, you can look at selected data without viewing all of the records. Filters are useful because they let you organize your data without tampering with the actual records themselves.

Filters in MaxData 2007

MaxData 2007 has a simple filter form which allows users to filter by a single criteria and an advanced filter form which allows users to filter by up to three criteria.

Figure 13. MaxData 2007 Simple Filter Form

What Are Reports?

Reports give users a method for presenting selected data in a meaningful way. Reports are designed to be printed out rather than viewed on a computer screen. You can combine text, data, pictures, lines, boxes, graphs, and drawings to produce a report that visually communicates your findings.

Reports in MaxData 2007

MaxData 2007 has a range of reporting options including Table, Column, Tally, Chart, and Custom reports.



Defining the Fields of a Sample Database

When creating a database, first look at the information you want to collect and then decide what separate pieces of information you need for analyzing your data.

For example, let’s say that you wanted to create a database of your friends. You will need at least two pieces of information for each friend: Name and Address. To make this database more usable, you may need to further subdivide this information.

The first thing you should look at is the name. When presenting data, you may want records to be listed alphabetically. Often, entries are ordered by last name, then by first name. Each name, therefore, actually consists of two fields: Last Name and First Name.

The next thing you should look at is the address. Usually an address consists of a street number and name (Street), a city name (City), a state abbreviation (State), and a zip code (Zip code): four separate pieces of information.

Figure 15. Breaking up information into fields

Information Fields required

Name 1. First name

2. Last name Address 3. Street

4. City 5. State 6. Zip code

In addition, you may want to collect additional information for each friend, such as their birthday, the color of their eyes and hair, and what pets they have. This would give you additional fields for each record, such as:

Information Fields required

Birthday 7. Date of Birth Eye Color 8. Eye Color Hair Color 9. Hair Color


MaxData 2007

Database Concepts


Field Types

The structure of a database specifies information about the fields maintained in the records of that database, including: the name of each field and the type of data maintained in each field.

Field Names

The field name should be as concise and descriptive as possible. Names should be one or two words long, and should be some sort of key phrase indicating the type of information to be maintained in the field.

Field Types

Generally speaking, database software programs distinguish between different types of information, handling numbers and dates differently than textual information.

Field Types in MaxData 2007

MaxData 2007 has the following field types:

Figure 16. MaxData 2007 Field Types

Field Type Valid Entries

String (Text) Any combination of alphabetic or alphanumeric characters. Examples: Name (alphabetic), Height (numeric); Address (alphanumeric)

Picture A drawing or a picture.

Number Numeric information that is likely to be used in a calculation. Examples: Pocket Money, Rainfall.

Non-examples: Zip Code, Phone Number Date/Time A calendar date or time of the day.

Figure 17. Determining Field Type for Your Sample Database

Now, let’s determine the field type for each field in our sample database:

Information Field Names Field Type

Name First name Last name String (Text) Address Street City State Zip code String (Text)

Birthday Date of Birth Date/Time Eye Color Eye Color Picture Hair Color Hair Color Picture Pets Pets String (Text)


Technical Support

If you experience problems with MaxData 2007, you have several resources including the Installation Guide on the CD-ROM, our Customer Service Team, and our Web site. You can visit our Web site’s technical support area to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Contacting us:


Toll-free: 800-342-0236 (U.S. & Canada only)

Monday through Thursday, 8 A.M. to 6 P.M. (EST); Friday, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. (EST)



When you call, please have the following information available:

Name of the software and version number Your computer’s operating system Your computer’s memory (RAM)

Your computer’s speed and processor type



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