Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1: Introducing Access
Access database terminology
Stumbling over database terminology is easy.
To keep yourself from stumbling, fold back the
corner of this page and return here if one of
these database terms puzzles you:
✓ Cell: In a database table, a place for
entering one piece of data. Cells appear in a
database table where a field and record
✓ Database: A systematic way of organizing
information so that it can be retrieved and
✓ Database table: A collection of data
records arranged into well-defined
categories, or fields. Most relational databases
have more than one table.
✓ Dynaset: The results of a search for data in
a database. (This term is short for dynamic
set.) A dynaset is not to be confused with a
✓ Field: One category of information in a
database table. Fields are the equivalent
of columns in a conventional table.
✓ Filtering: Finding the records in a database
table that have the same or nearly the
same field value. Filtering is a more
convenient but not as sophisticated means of
querying a database.
✓ Foreign field: In a relationship between
two database tables, the field that is on the
“many” side of a one-to-many relationship.
The primary key field is on the “one” side.
✓ Form: Similar to a dialog box, a place with
text boxes and drop-down lists for entering
records in a database table.
✓ Module: A Visual Basic procedure whose
job is to perform a certain task in Access.
✓ Object: The catch-all term for the tables,
queries, forms, and reports that you create
and open starting in the Navigation pane.
✓ Primary key field: The field in a database
table where unique, one-of-a-kind data is
stored. To query more than one database
table at a time, the tables must have
primary key fields.
✓ Query: A question asked of a database that
yields information. Queries can be made of
a single database table, several tables, or
even other queries.
✓ Record: In a database table, all the data
that has been recorded about one person
or thing. A record is the equivalent of a row
in a conventional table.
✓ Relational database: A database program
in which data is kept in more than one
database table, relationships are
established between tables, and queries can be
conducted and reports made by
assembling data from different tables. Access is
a relational database. A database that
permits only one table is a flat-file database.
✓ Report: Information gathered from a
database and laid out in such a way that it’s
easy to read and understand. Reports are
meant to be printed and distributed.
✓ Sort: To rearrange records in a database
table so that the records appear in
alphabetical, numerical, or date order in one
Imagine how long it would take to find all the New York addresses in an address
list with 10,000 entries. In Access, you can query a 10,000-entry database and
find all New York addresses in a matter of seconds. For that matter, you can
query to find all the addresses in a certain ZIP code. You can put the list in