Although data of a database is stored in tables, these
objects don't provide a friendly environment of data navigation for
casual users. While tables are perfectly normal and easier to use for you
as the database developer, most users find them boring and somewhat not
very rich in terms of Windows controls. For this reason, to deliver your
database, you will most likely create forms that present data to users.
Because Microsoft SQL Server is (only) a database
list-oriented environment, you would need an external application if you
want to provide Windows controls to your database. To do this, you would
need an environment that allows you to create graphical applications.
There are many of them on the market. Those we are familiar with, as shown
in functionx.com are Microsoft Visual Studio (Visual C++, Visual Basic,
Visual J#, Visual C#), Borland C++ Builder, Borland Delphi, Microsoft
Access, etc. As different as these applications are, the process of
creating a Windows or database application is different by their groups.
Therefore, if you plan to provide GUI support for your database, you will
need to be familiar with the way your chosen environment works.
Based on my limitations (I am sure you didn't expect
me to know everything or to own all possible programming environments), I
will cover only those I have.
Data navigation on a form has the advantage of using a
better graphical environment. While a table always displays all or most
its records on one screen, a form allows you to display only one record at
a time or all of them, depending on the objects you use when designing the
form. This means that you can use:
- A table-like grid to display all or most records. If you decide to
use a grid, its dimensions, your screen resolution and the number of
records would control the number of records you can display at a time.
- Alternatively, you can use text-based controls that would each hold
and display only one field of a particular record. In this case, you
may also need to provide a way for the user to navigate from one
record to another
As we will see, each environment has its advantage and