The key components of MS Access are tables, forms, reports and queries. These are the main features you would be getting involved with, when using a database, and you don’t have to use more complicated objects like modules and macros. It all depends on the level of your skills.
The most important database object is a table. You wouldn’t be able to store data if it is not for a table. Table holds any information entered into the database. You can type in the information directly into a table or use a form and create a better looking screen. Table also contains columns that have different names according to the kind of information you are storing there.
But building a table is only the beginning. You also have to know how to relate the tables. So, it is good to have some knowledge about relational table design. Of course, you can get by not creating relationships between tables, but it is still more effective to do so, because you would probably like to have everything organized and, say, have a customer related to a certain order. You would also want an employee to be linked to a department and so on. Creating relations is very important part of using Microsoft Access database. Besides, it is easy to learn and it will also give you the important basics for future database development.
After you know how to work with tables and relate them, you can start building input screens or MS Access forms. MS Access has a conveniently built in wizard that will guide you through this process as well as many others. You can use forms in two ways, to either display or enter the information into the table. You can customize the forms as you want and add controls as well as colors. Controls are linked to the table columns. When you type in the data into the form, it will be automatically displayed and saved to the table, which is the form’s record source.
Now that you know how to build and use tables and forms, it is time to find out how to extract the information from the database. This can be done with the MS Access queries. The query will give you the answers to the needed questions you ask the database. You will be able to type in the criteria and add the source tables in the query designer. It is also possible to link the query to a form.
Using reports, you will be able to present information in the printable version. There is also a wizard to help you create a report and a report design view for customizing purposes.
These main objects are enough to use the database on the basic level and store the necessary information. But if you want to have more control over your database, you can become familiar with macros and modules.
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