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Lesson 1 - Application Development with Microsoft Access

This course is on Application Development with Microsoft Access. It's not just about writing code. It's about how to find the best solutions for data storage and retrieval requirements in organizations.

Basic concepts

Let's define what we will be doing:

  • Application: a series of programs or computer codes that execute tasks that a user wants done.

    Maintaining a list of your friends' addresses and phone numbers is a personal application.

    Producing the weekly payroll for 100 employees of a business is a commercial application.

    Running a computer model to forecast tomorrow's weather is a scientific application.

    We will look at commercial applications only. We'll leave the scientific stuff to the people at M.I.T.

  • Development: how to design, create, make, build all the parts of the application.

    Analyze: talk to the client (the user) to find-out what he wants. If you don't have a user handy, use your imagination and prior knowledge to guess what a user would want.

    Design: create a model of the system. A model is like a blueprint to a builder. It is a drawing or a description of some kind of what the system will look like when finished. When you determine how things will work and how to solve business problems. You do that before you start to write computer code.

    Create: write the application using the software - Access, in this case. And while you're creating you're also testing and debugging to make sure that what you create works the way it's supposed to work.

  • Microsoft Access: Access is part of Microsoft Office. However, it is not included in the basic suite with Word and Excel. You need to get Microsoft Office Professional Edition to have Access.

    Obviously, if you intend to do this tutorial we have to assume that you have access to Access. It really is impossible to do otherwise.

    We're using Access 2003. You could do just as well with Access 97 or Access 2000. Any application created in Access 2003 can be converted to the previous version of Access and any application created in a previous version can be used in Access 2003. The sample applications are all in Access 2003.

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