To properly insert database information into a flowchart, you must first complete your database file. The file should include all necessary information and have each field properly named. Adding this necessary information to the flowchart is a matter of adding a parallelogram to the chart with instructions to obtain information from the database. Flowcharts use parallelograms, squares, rectangles, ovals and other shapes to illustrate process flows.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Word processing software (optional)
- Flowchart software (optional)
Title the new file of your word processing program or flowchart software: "Inserting Database Information."
Draw or insert an oval shape at the top-centre of your page. Inside the oval, write "Start." Create a downward directional arrow from the bottom of the oval.
Create a parallelogram at the bottom of the directional arrow. Write inside the parallelogram, "Add database as a new data source." Insert another downward arrow from the bottom of the parallelogram.
Insert a rectangle and write inside of it, "Open database files." Draw another downward arrow.
Draw a diamond shape so that it lays on its side. One long end should be pointing to the left, the other to the right. Write inside the diamond, "Choose field to search by."
Draw one line straight down approximately 1 inch. Draw a horizontal line across the bottom of the line you just inserted at the bottom of the diamond. Draw a 1-inch line straight down from each end of the horizontal line. Place one line straight down from the centre of it for a total of three downward lines.
Insert a rectangle at the bottom of each of the three downward lines. Inside the first rectangle, write "Name;" in the second, "Address;" and in the third, "Account number." Draw downward lines, about 1 inch in length from the bottom of each of the rectangles.
Connect the downward lines with one more horizontal line across the bottom of them. Draw another downward arrow that leads to one last rectangle. Inside the rectangle, write "Display information sorted by chosen category."
Draw another arrow from the bottom of the "display" rectangle that leads to a final oval shape. Inside the oval, write "End."
Tips and warnings
- To maintain consistency with the information found in the database and the process on the flowchart, use the actual names of the fields within the database when you're referencing it in the flowchart. For example, if the name of the "Account Number" field is "customer Account," then use "customerAccount" when you illustrate the command in the rectangular shape, "Sort by customer Account."
- Flowcharts that utilise database information can become long and involved with each looping and verification process that is needed to properly sort and display the information. In these cases, it's best to use several sheets of paper or more than one electronic file to keep the flowchart organised. Utilise the second pair of eyes of a knowledgeable colleague to help ensure your flowchart accuracy.
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