Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Understanding Access Databases
Understanding
Access Databases
FreqUently Asked qUestion
Using Someone Else’s Database
Can I use an Access database I didn’t design?
orders (task #2), while other employees look up orders
and fill them (also task #2). Warehouse staff can make sure
stock levels are OK (again, task #2), and the resident
accountant can keep an eye on total sales (task #2).
Sure. Although every database follows the same two-step
process (first somebody creates it, and then people fill it
with information), the same person doesn’t need to
perform both jobs. In fact, in the business world, different
people often work separately on these two tasks.
If task #1 (creating the database) is done well, task #2
(using the database) can be extremely easy. In fact, if the
database is well designed, people who have little
understanding of Access can still use it to enter, update, and look
up information. Amazingly, they don’t even need to know
they’re running Access at all!
For example, a summer student whiz-kid at a beer store
may build a database for tracking orders (task #1). The
sales department can then use the database to enter new
Understanding Access Databases
As you already know, a database is a collection of information. In Access, every
database is stored in a single file. That file contains database objects, which are simply
the components of a database. Database objects are the main players in an Access
database. Altogether, you have six different types of database objects:
Tables store information. Tables are the heart of any database, and you can
create as many tables as you need to store different types of information. A fitness
database could track your daily running log, your inventory of exercise
equipment, and the number of high-protein whey milkshakes you down each day, as
three separate tables.
Queries let you quickly perform an action on a table. Usually, this action
involves retrieving a choice bit of information (like the 10 top-selling food items
at Ed’s Roadside Diner or all the purchases you made in a single day). But you
can also use queries to apply changes.
Forms are attractive windows that you create, arrange, and colorize. Forms
provide an easy way to view or change the information in a table.
Reports help you print some or all of the information in a table. You can choose
where the information appears on the printed page, how it’s grouped and sorted,
and how it’s formatted.
Macros are mini-programs that automate custom tasks. Macros are a simple
way to get custom results without becoming a programmer.
Access gurus refer to all these database ingredients as objects because you manage
them all in essentially the same way. If you want to use a particular object, then you
add it to your database, give it a name, and then fine-tune it. Later on, you can view
your objects, rename them, or delete ones you don’t want anymore.
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