Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1: Introducing Access
Chapter 1: Introducing Access
In This Chapter
Understanding how databases work
Looking at tables, queries, forms, and other database objects
Creating a database
Opening and closing tables
Designing the tables, queries, forms, and the other parts of a database
The word database is prone to making most people feel kind of queasy.
Can you blame them? Database terminology — record, field, and filter
is the worst of the worst. It even puts other computer terminology to shame.
Databases intimidate most people. Even brave souls with a considerable
amount of experience in Word and Excel shy away from Access, the Office
2013 database program. However, Access can be invaluable for storing and
organizing customer lists, inventories, addresses, payment histories, donor
lists, and volunteer lists. What’s more, Access is easy to use, after you get
the hang of it. No kidding!
This chapter introduces databases and the concepts behind databases. It
shows you how to create a database and database tables for storing
information. The second half of this chapter explains how to design databases. Sorry,
but you have to know about database design before you can start fooling with
databases. You can’t jump right in as you can with the other Office programs.
Access offers a practice database called Northwind that you can experiment
with as you get to know your way around databases. To open this database,
click the File tab and choose New. Then, in the New window, enter Northwind
in the Search box and click the Start Searching button.
What Is a Database, Anyway?
Whether you know it, you’re no stranger to databases. The address book on
your computer is a database. The telephone directory in the desk drawer is,
too. A recipe book is also a database in that recipes are categorized under
different headings. If you ever arranged a CD collection in a certain way — in
alphabetical order or by musical genre, for example — you created a
database of CDs, one that makes finding a particular CD easier. Any place where
information is stored in a systematic way can be considered a database. The
only difference between a computerized database and a conventional
database, such as a telephone directory, is that storing, finding, and
manipulating data is much easier in a computerized database.
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