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Windows provides many ways to complete a task

Windows nearly always provides more than one way to complete a task. For instance, you can open a program
  1. by using the Programs option on the Start menu,
  2. by using the Documents option on the Start menu,
  3. by opening a file in My Computer or Windows Explorer, or
  4. by opening the application exe file.
In addition, you may open an application by clicking a hyperlink in your web browser or in an e-mail message. And it is not only in opening programs that Windows gives you choices – you have choices about how to give menu commands, change dialog box options, and change the way individual windows appear on your screen. In this course I will cover the method I like best, and I will often throw in another method for good measure. But do not be surprised if your favorite is not the one I coverand do not worry as long as you get the job done, it does not matter how you do it.

Common Transformation Tasks

Besides duplicate records, you will fi nd that many of the unpolished datasets that come to you will require other types of transformation actions. This section covers some of the more common transformation tasks you will have to perform.

Filling in blank f elds

Often, you will have fi elds that contain empty values. These values are considered null, a value of nothing. Nulls are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if used properly, they can be an important part of a well-designed relational database. That said, you may find that you need to fill in blank fields with some logical code that indicates a missing value. Filling in the null fields in your dataset is as simple as running an update query.