Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting Started with
Your First Database
The name of
A field named
In a table, each record
occupies a separate
row. Each field is
represented by a separate
column. In this table,
you can see entries
for six bobblehead
dolls. You’re storing
information for each
doll in five fields (ID,
• Each record is subdivided into fields Each field stores a distinct piece of .
formation. For example, in the Dolls table, one field stores the person on whom
the doll is based, another field stores the price, another field stores the date you
bought it, and so on.
• Tables have a rigid structure. In other words, you can’t bend the rules. If you
create four fields, every record must have four fields (although it’s acceptable to
leave some fields blank if they don’t apply).
• Newly created tables get an ID field for free The ID field stores a unique .
ber for each record. (Think of it as a reference number that will let you find a
specific record later on.) The best part about the ID field is that you can ignore
it when you’re entering a new record. Access chooses a new ID number for you
and inserts it in the record automatically.
Up to speed
Database Planning for Beginners
Many database gurus suggest that before you fire up
Access, you should decide exactly what information you want
to store by brainstorming. Here’s how it works. First,
determine the type of list you want by finishing this sentence
“I need a list of….” (One example: “I need a list of all the
bobblehead dolls in my basement.”)
it. Other details, like the year it was produced, the company
that created it, and a short description of its appearance or
condition may require more thought.
Once you’ve completed this process and identified all the
important bits of data you need, you’re ready to create
the corresponding table in Access. The bobblehead doll
example demonstrates an important theme of database
design: First you plan the database, and then you create
it using Access.
Next, jot down all your must-have pieces of information on
a piece of paper. Some details are obvious. For example,
for the bobblehead doll collection, you’ll probably want to
keep track of the doll’s name, price, and date you bought