Not sure how the separate files solves any synchronization issues for you here.
It would seem that "I want to create a master database I can use to combine all data and run reports." means that you're going to have to figure out how to resolve those synchronization issues you indicate that you say you are avoiding by using separate files here.
Use a single file instead of three.
Manage Security can be used to control access to specific layouts so that one user can only access a layout where they have access to "First name, last name, and birthday" while another limits access to " last name and address".
Keep in mind that you've said very little about your database system and how you need to use it. My suggestions could easily change after you describe your system in greater detail.
Thank you so much for the response and I apologize for not responding sooner, but classes just started back up and I'm getting swamped. Anyway, I suppose I should create the scenerio so that you better understand what I'm looking for. I have three departments; physical fitness, administration, and training. Admin is going to be in charge of maintaining each members personal data (name, dob, address, etc), fitness is going to use just the name and dob and then input data for each member's physical fitness, and training will use member's names and addresses and then will input data on member training.
The sync issue is actually the opposit of most people.....We do not have a central network set up, so creating three independent databases seems to be the best option......Then, bring the three databases together and have the data sorted and reports created by a master database. Any thoughts?
Sounds really messy and seems like most synchronization challenges. Bringing back separate files and combining the data is exactly what synchronization schemes do.
If the different departments do not edit each other's data, this is simple. If physical fitness can change a person's given name and Admin can too, it gets difficult.
I see the logic to having three files, but still lean towards each department being handed copies of the same file, with a "merge routine" that combines the data into a new copy of the file for redistribution back to the separate departments. This can make managing the data much easier and data need not be duplicated into three different tables.
Whether or not you use a copies of the same file or separate files, I need to know whether or not any of your three departments might need to modify the same data in the same table. It sounds like this is not the case, but would like to be sure.
I'm not fully sure you are doing this, but "...fitness is going to use just the name and dob..." suggests that you might be linking records in your relationshiops by name. This is not a good idea. Think out what you'll have to do if Mary Smith gets married and asks to have her name changed to Mary Jones, or Jimmy Jones get's adopted by a step parent and changes his name to Jimmy Smith... Using a serial ID for each person avoids those issues.