Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 16: Database Basics
Understanding Database Basics
Access is a popular database program that you can use to catalog and manage large amounts of
data. You can use Access to manage anything from a simple table of data to large, multifaceted
lists of information. For example, you might use Access to maintain a list of your clients or a catalog
of products you sell.
If you are new to Access, you should take a moment and familiarize yourself with the basic terms
associated with the program, such as database table record field form report , and query . This ,
section contains definitions of all these key terms.
Simply defined, a database is a collection of related
information. You may not be aware, but you use databases
every day. Common databases include telephone
directories or television program schedules. Your own
database examples might include a list of contacts that
contains addresses and phone numbers. Other examples of
real-world databases include product inventories, client
invoices, and employee payroll lists.
The heart of any Access database is a table. A table is a list of
information organized into columns and rows. In the example of a
client contact database, the table might list the names, addresses,
phone numbers, company names, titles, and e-mail addresses of
your clients. You can have numerous tables in your Access
database. For example, you might have one table listing client
information and another table listing your company’s products.
Records and Fields
Every entry that you
make in an Access table
is called a record . Records
always appear as rows in
a database table. Every
record consists of fields , which are the separate pieces of information that make up each record. Each field
of a record appears in a separate column. For example, in a client contact list, each record (row) might
include fields (columns) for first name, last name, company name, title, address, city, ZIP code, phone
number, and e-mail address. Field names appear at the top of each column.
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