Microsoft Access Resources
Microsoft Access is one of the most powerful database management systems on the market today, and it can be used for anything from managing personal finances and home budgets to creating major applications for worldwide companies. One of the things that makes Access such an amazing application is that, despite its power, it is still quite user friendly. So, if you've been shying away from trying to learn how to use the program because of concerns about its complexity, you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Here, at Bright Hub, we have put together a number of Access guides and tutorials for users with all levels of knowledge, from the very beginning student who is still trying to figure out how to get started to the seasoned professional who is simply looking for references or tips on how to approach a problem from a different standpoint.
If you want to understand more about general database design theory, take a look at Microsoft Access: Designing a Relational Database. In this two-part series, Neil Henry gives an introduction to using Microsoft Access for designing databases, and he follows up with subsequent articles that take a look at such items as data types and lookup fields.
A form is one type of object used in Access that allows users to add and view table data. These objects can be easily created using the Form Wizard, or you can use a manual form creation process to develop more customized designs. It's even possible to create subforms in Access to make data collection and analysis even simpler.
While it's a good idea to try to plan out forms in advance so they'll contain all the information you need, if you find that you've left something out later on, you don't have to start from scratch. Instead, you can modify the current form to add new fields or even remove existing ones if it turns out they weren't needed after all.
Queries and Charts
When it comes time to analyze the information in your database, you'll need a better strategy than trying to sit and view the entire table. For this purpose you can create queries that will retrieve the exact information you need. Two types of queries that are often used are simple queries and crosstab queries.
If you prefer a more visual representation of your data, you can even create a chart right within Microsoft Access. You can also import Excel charts into Access if you'd prefer to do your design work in that environment.
Other Access Tips
If you have older Access databases, you may want to consider converting them to Access 2007 databases in order to take advantage of the new tools and features in the most recent version of the application. Also, as your database continues to grow, it may start to get slow and sluggish so you may want to check into optimization methods to improve the response time.
Additional Microsoft Access user guides are being added to Bright Hub's library on a regular basis, so make sure to check back often to see what's new.