Database Development with Microsoft Access
So, you want to know how to use MS Access to create a powerful, flexible, business database. The first question is:
What is Microsoft Access?
MSAccess is a Database Management System. It handles data management tasks the same way as MS Word handles document management and MS Excel handles statistics ...
A database is a collection of objects that allow you to store data, organize it and retrieve it in any way you want.
What this means is that, with MSAccess you create structures called tables that allow you to organize the data so that it's easy to find later, you create forms that let you input the data into the tables and then you create reports that print selected information from the tables.
For example, if you run a store, you would create a Customers table, a Products table and an Invoices table. Then, when you open an account for a new customer you would have a Customer form to input a customer's data into the Customers table and an Order form to input the purchase information. Later, you could print any number of Sales reports, grouping and arranging the information from the Invoices, Customers and Products tables to analyze daily or weekly or monthly sales in all kinds of combinations.
To help you along, Access contains a whole series of Wizards to guide you through the process.
This MSAccess tutorial follows a step-by-step approach to the creation and development of a commercial database application.
We'll start with database modeling. That means that you have to design the database before you actually start to write it. There are several basic techniques that must be learned to ensure that the database structure will be solid. Design is an absolutely essential part of creating a database.
If you're already past the rookie stage and you want to delve deeper into the database modeling aspect, even before you start with Access, you might want to take a look at our Database design and SQL/MySQL language tutorial. In a normal sequence of courses, SQL would be the next database subject you would learn after Access. Whereas MS Access is meant for the smaller user, SQL with MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server, lets you into the domain of the power-user.
Once we're done with the design we'll develop the objects one by one and learn how to use them.
As we go along we'll use a simple application to illustrate the power of a Microsoft Access database in business. The application is a Video Rental Store and it's well suited to showing how a small businees could put into practice all these notions of management with databases.
After this Microsoft Access tutorial, you may want to go on to bigger and better databases such as Oracle, SQL Server or MySQL. The training you get from this tutorial will qualify you for the more advanced stuff.
You may also want to look at connecting your Microsoft Access database to a Visual Basic application.
By the end of this Microsoft Access database course, you will have made a good start towards becoming a full-fledged business applications programmer.
Welcome to the club!
Lesson 1 - Microsoft Access Introduction
Lesson 2 - Designing the application - tables, fields, data types, properties
Lesson 2b - Fixing the database - tool to repair damaged data tables
Lesson 3 - Creating the database - primary key, creating tables
Lesson 4 - Defining Table relationships - referential integrity, primary and foreign keys
Lesson 5 - Entering data into Tables - data view, sorting and ordering
Lesson 6 - Creating data-entry forms - data validation, default values
Lesson 7 - Building simple Queries - sorting, selection criteria, working with dates
Lesson 8 - More complex Queries - multiple tables, linking, functions
Lesson 9 - Creating a Master/Detail form
Lesson 10 - The Microsoft Access Application Menu - the Switchboard
Lesson 11 - Creating Macros - autoexec, conditions
Lesson 12 - Writing Reports
Lesson 13 - Sales Analysis Reports with Microsoft Access
Lesson 14 - Action Queries - Updating data
Download Area- sample Microsoft Access databases
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