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  1. #1
    Redletter is offline Novice
    Windows 10 Access 2013 64bit
    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Flight Scheduling Database Possible?

    A little history to begin... I am the "scheduler" for an flying organization that has multiple shifts a day (with changing start times), covers a full 24 hour period (requiring folks to work in "blocks" to cover multiple time schedules), and that has up to 40 shifts a day and up to 6 shifts per block of time. Right now I use Excel to manually input names into a schedule following simple patters to distribute employees over various shifts in their blocks of shifts, then QC my work with scrutiny and conditional formatting for duplicates. I would say that I'm a skilled noob when it comes to making Excel/Access databases, but have worked with them enough that I can get by. My question is, does it seem feasible to create a database that does the following:
    Follow a set of rules to automatically place people into fields on a given day, based on variables such as: Work # on 1 off, work no more than 40hrs in a week, etc... all the while monitoring and providing reports on these stats. The big issues I'm having on my own are making patterns, and if/then's to make the # days on # of days off thing work.


    Any help or suggestions that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Ajax is offline VIP
    Windows 10 Access 2010 32bit
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    My question is, does it seem feasible to create a database that does the following:
    providing you structure the tables and relationships correctly then yes. databases are not a big excel - excel stores data and presentation in the same view, databases store data in tables and use queries, forms and reports for presentation. Your data is an excel structure, in a database you would have as a minimum a table to store the data along the following lines

    ShiftPK autonumber
    DayofWeek text
    ShiftStart datetime
    Employee text

    which can then be presented as you have presented the data using a crosstab query

    You may well have more tables - e.g. for employees

    before trying to get to the end first, learn about normalisation, then list everything you need to know and where you get it from and sketch it all out on a piece of paper.

    Also look to the bottom of this thread where people have asked similar questions

  3. #3
    Micron is online now Virtually Inert Person
    Windows 7 32bit Access 2007
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    Based on the brief synopsis, I'd think twice about Access for a few reasons.
    1) you seem to have a working tool and haven't complained about its reliability or ease of use
    2) Excel is best for 'manipulating' data wherein built in formulas can do all sorts of cross checking and calculations. It is also far superior (IMHO) for charting, although you haven't expressed a need for that.
    3) Excel has more functions that might be more suited to what you're doing (e.g. WorkDay, WeekDay, WeekNum, NetWorkDays)
    4) A good database demands more planning with the end result already in mind. The design for Excel data is far less stringent, and frankly, many people already have the Excel mindset but less so the Access one.
    5) Access is great for data storage and presentation, allowing you to mix and match information within the limits of how it all has been related. However, it is less powerful than Excel for calculation because there are fewer calculation functions. In fact, while one would normally display a calculated result in Excel as though it were data, this is frowned upon in Access.

    If you want to expand your knowledge on relational databases, that is a great thing. I just wouldn't can the Excel tool until you were completely satisfied with what you get out of a db version. You might find that as great as db's are, they have the opposite limitations that Excel has. Why not Google something like 'Access vs Excel'? I'm sure you'll get more information than you'll ever need for making a decision. What you'll get are mostly opinions, like this one!
    - "doesn't work" doesn't help. Implement changes in copies of your database.
    "Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film." Steven Wright

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Steamboat Springs
    Per Micron's suggestion, here is one I refer people to regularly

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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