Is it necessary to create a database with as few tables as possible
I've recently started to develop a database for a ~10 person office (it's an internship for me), and I've come up with a conceptual design I am quite happy with. My employers though, wish for me to simplify my design (less tables) because they wish to extend onto the database when I leave them and go back to school.
Two of them have some MSAccess experience, and they seem to know the term "database normalization", but none of them have a CS background. To accommodate this, I'm already going to build in MSAccess, which I do not have fond feelings for. I've explained that the conceptual ER diagram is not a table schema, and still needs to be translated into one and some of the relationships in the ERD might be one table with an entity, and simplifying the schema will lead to a "less normalized" database. The feeling I'm getting is that what they would like is for the database to just barely make it as 2NF, and would love it if it were 1NF.
Should I explain that views can be defined on the schema to make querying simpler? But I do not know how I can explain to them how to extend onto the design once I am gone without trying to teach them database theory, which they don't have time for. Or I could just make it less normalized - they're the ones paying for it and using it? I don't know.