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I am not the smartest person at all when it comes to databases. It took me and Google a lot of time to create what I have created, and here's what I need.

I built a database for a local charity motorcycle club for their big yearly anniversary party last year. Mostly went well, a lot of user error that I hope to correct before the next one is August 2012.

Anyways, I had it set up on seven different laptops for the seven different stops. The representative at each stop was supposed to enter a raffle ticket number (which is the primary key) and select the card that they chose out of the deck, save, and next.

Once the run was closed, we called up those who thought they had a winning hand, verified their ticket numbers, then went through each database looking for the cards they had and was then able to verify who had the top 3 hands. What we want to do this upcoming year though is to be able to merge those databases into one master database that'll give us the ticket number of those are the winners and show us their hands in a high hand to lowest hand order. That query is already written into what I have done but I can't figure out how to merge them all to make that happen.

I'd be willing to send a copy of what I've done for anyone who wants to take a look at it. I don't want to post a link for anybody to just download.

Sorry if I'm not fluent enough and I hope you understand what I'm trying to get across and thank you in advance for any help.

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migrated from Dec 21 '11 at 17:13

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can you post a picture of the table structures? – paabobo Dec 21 '11 at 15:31
Which table? I have a few. One for the hands, one for the cards, one for scoring the hands, one for the value of the cards, and one is a detailed poker hand table. You can get a copy of the database from the link below. I'll keep it up until about 1pm Eastern time. – Grimey Dec 21 '11 at 16:09

Your best option would be to centrally store the database and have your remote laptops connect to the centralised database and input that way, if you used SQL Express you could achieve this quite easily. A basic MySQL website with a simple PHP interface could achieve this too.

Assuming you can't get connectivity in the remote places there's not going to be an easy way for you to take the data from each individual laptop and merge it due to the manual nature of having various instances of your .accdb files. You could certainly merge the data via queries and putting them into excel spreadsheets, at a really complex level you could setup SSIS (which would be a really round-about and probably counter-productive way of working).

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The basic website is what I had wanted to do but only a couple of the places have WiFi and nobody wants to keep their phone tethered for a couple hours while this is being done. I tried to do the Excel thing but it wasn't coming out right and I still had to manually go through and locate and verify high hands. I want to get this done easily and it looks like connecting to the remote connection to the database or a simple website is my answer. Any pointers on how to get that done? – Grimey Dec 21 '11 at 17:28
Connecting to a remote database probably isn't your answer if people won't use their phones to do that, or if there are places that have no connectivity. – Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 21 '11 at 19:49
Well, they still have 8 months before it happens again and the stops haven't been set up yet. The first two always have stayed the same, and I think the clubhouse where the party is being hosted will be the last stop this year. Those three do have WiFi and I'll mention that the other four stops for the Poker Run will need to have WiFi or someone will have to tether a phone. It took me 6 months to get done what I had last year, this is something that I just cannot grasp. It's fun learning but I just cannot retain what I've learned. – Grimey Dec 21 '11 at 20:48

Since you can't use a single, centralized database, I think you're looking at two options.

  • Rewrite your app to use GUIDs as primary keys.
  • Use composite keys, consisting of a) your integer and b) something unique to each laptop.

"Something unique to each laptop" could be a manually entered integer or string. It could also be the computer name, for example, extracted automatically through an API.

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How would creating a GUID help? Also, how would I add the integer? I'm telling you, I'm pretty clueless but I want to learn. – Grimey Dec 21 '11 at 18:02
A GUID is a globally unique identifier. The odds of randomly generating two identical GUIDs is negligible. They make a fine key, but a terrible clustered index. (So don't use them as a clustered index, just as a primary key.) Add "something unique to each laptop" with an ALTER TABLE statement. – Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 21 '11 at 19:47
I know what a GUID is, I guess I need to know what an ALTER TABLE does and how to do it to what I've already done. – Grimey Dec 21 '11 at 20:49
If you're using PostgreSQL, for example, and you want to know about "ALTER TABLE", you can Google "postgresql alter table", and it will eventually lead you to the current documentation. – Mike Sherrill 'Cat Recall' Dec 21 '11 at 21:01

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