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General: Generic Name Structures in Access

Thomas M. Brittell

  Download Nomen_97.Zip (Access 97 Version)

The Nomen demo provides a demonstration of several concepts for new users. They are:

  1. Nomen demonstrates a generic structure to store names of individuals,employees, companies, organizations etc. Without knowing the maximum numberof components or segments in each. For example the number of middle, first or last names an individual may have. When dealing with multiple nationalities this can be a major problem. I have had students that had as many as 3 middle names. Some have multiple last names or tribal names.
  2. Nomen demonstrates that a function can be used to process data in a query prior to a form. Query 'gryAgentNameFromSegments' show one such example. It combining several rows of data from one table, segments of a name, into a single data item used as the composite name, for each row of the query. Although this allows for a clean data structure processing 10,000 names on a report this way could be very slow. For this reason demonstrating the implementation through a composite name where the segments are maintained independently was provided. The segments allow searches and access to first, last, middle, and other Nomen components based on type yet performance is retained through the composite. (see Relationships)
  3. Nomen demonstrates the use of a system assigned Identifier (Said), a counter in Access, which eliminates the need for a unique customer number, name or other such identification. 
    Many first time users depend on last name or some badge number for the Primary Key of there table and this causes considerable problems later. Just as the 'Said' is used as a technical key for the 'Name Segment' table it would also be used for leave records, purchase orders etc. For those that have not dealt with counters this is another example of its use. This generic 'AgentSaid' becomes the keystone for many generic systems that deal with agent processes and data. The term Agent was used because of its definition:

Agent - A person or thing that performs an action or brings about a certain result, or that is able to do so. An active force or substance producing an effect. A person, firm, etc. empowered to act for another. Representative of a government agency.

Synonym. An agent is, generally, a person or thing that acts or is capable of acting, or, in this comparison, one who or that which acts, or is empowered to act, for another.

broker, promoter, operator, representative, salesman, assistant, emissary, appointee, servant, regent, intermediary, abettor, executor, attorney, lawyer, go-between, surrogate, labor leader, procurator, mediary, deputy,principal, factor, minister, envoy, canvasser, middleman, commissioner, syndic, proxy, substitute, factotum, steward, functionary, solicitor,negociant, ambassador, comprador, proctor, negotiator, advocate, coagent,press agent, claim agent, employment agent, actor’s agent, employee.

All of the above can be entered into the provide generic structure. Yes the reference table might require data for a new type code. But no coding or form change. The maintenance form for Nomen even demonstrates how to change a title when the type code changes for the data being displayed. The 2 buttons on the opening form appears to select different data but both use the same tables, code, and forms. They are Generic.

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