Building Access  «Prev  Next»

Lesson 1

How to build an Access Database

This course is the first of a two-course series that introduces you to the basic features of Microsoft Access. The two courses together give a hands-on overview of Access, Microsoft's popular database program. This course is designed to provide an understanding of how to begin creating an Access database. You will learn about organizing data into tables and relating those tables so that the data in your database can be used for analysis. This course assumes no first-hand knowledge of Access, so if you are new to the Access application you will be able to tackle the modules without frustration. The next lesson covers the prerequisites for this course.

Course Objectives

After completing the course, you will be able to use Access to:
  1. View and use the database windows
  2. Organize related data into multiple tables
  3. Create a blank database
  4. Create a table
  5. Enter and modify data
  6. Import data from Microsoft Excel®
  7. Import an Access table from another database
  8. Edit field properties
  9. Open and close Access database objects
  10. Get online help in Access
  11. Define relationships between tables

What is Microsoft Access?

Microsoft Access is a unique platform that enables rapid development of database applications. It has been a long-time favorite of both developers and end users for creating single-user and small-scale office automation solutions. Recent improvements have made it a viable choice for enterprise-class applications as well. In this course, I will show you how to take advantage of all the great features that Access 2010 has to offer. I think you will find it surprisingly easy to build full-featured applications.

MS Access is Good Choice for designing Small Accounting System

With 5 or 10 concurrent users you can design an accounting information system. Keep in mind however that you have to implement your own multi-user conflict avoidance code. Insure that two users do not concurrently write an invoice in the same book or statement for the same bank account (because of invoice or statement number assignment). It is not challenging and pays in the long run to write your own high level locking mechanism.
For the multi user part you can place MS Office on a dedicated workstation PC running a remote desktop app where every user gets a user account on that PC and connects to it using their PC’s as terminals. This works from abroad and avoids that users alter your settings.
For an extended management and special purpose bookkeeping app for a non profit organization in MS Access 2007 with automatic interacting with Outlook for mail, Word for letters and group mailings, Adobe acrobat for pdfs, multi-user, multi currency, payroll, budgets, balance sheets, membership, project, and investment portfolio management with automatic online shares and currency updates, usage log-file and error logging.
Front end size 17 MB + 1 MB library around 60,000 lines of code, 113 forms, 61 reports, 29 classes/modules and numerous queries and it still works daily for two non profit and a few private sites (for Portfolio management). the biggest back end weights 40 MB of excluding the documents. The application stores the data in separate folders and keeps only a link to them in the database as the total size of the documentation files amounts to 1GB on one of them and would be too heavy to include into an Access database.
In the next lesson, we will examine the course prerequisites.

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