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Learn Microsoft Access

Learn Microsoft Access

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Published by deepakmelwyn
This is a Detailed book on Learning Microsoft Access
This is a Detailed book on Learning Microsoft Access

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Published by: deepakmelwyn on Jul 21, 2011
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Chapter 1: Getting Started withAccess
Access provides a powerful yet comfortable environment in which you can manage yourinformation. Using Access, you can tame even the most difficult data-management tasks. Thischapter is the first step in your journey. Here you will learn basic terms, as well as how to startand exit Access. You will also learn how to get help and even catch a glimpse of what you cando with Access.By the time you finish this chapter, you will understand the following key concepts:
What a database is
How tables, forms, and queries relate to a database
What records and fields are
How to start Access
 The parts of the Access environment
How Wizards can help you
How to get help when using Access
Possible uses for both databases and Access
How to exit Access
Access Terminology
Before you dive into the Access environment, there are a few terms with which you should befamiliar. As such, we'll discuss these terms now and make sure you understand them.
Note:
As you work through this book, you will undoubtedly come across other newterms. The text defines many of these terms at their first use. You can also use the onlineHelp System to find the definitions of many different Access terms.
 The following sections discuss the major terms which you must understand before you workwith Access.
What is a Database?
A
database
is simply a collection of related information. For example, if you gathered togetherall your photographs, you would have a database of photographs. If you collected all yourphotographs that included your dog, you would have either a more targeted database or asubset of your larger database.If your database is small (for example, your home insurance policies), you can probablymanage the information manually. In such instances, you might use a traditional managementmethod such as a card file or a simple list on a piece of paper. However, as the databasebecomes larger, your management task becomes more difficult. For example, it would bevirtually impossible to manually manage the customer database of a large corporation. This iswhere your computer and a
 
(DBMS) come in handy. DBMS software (such as Access) lets you manage largeamounts of information quickly and easily.
In Access, a database consists not just of information, but also the tables into which theinformation is organized. Access databases also contain related queries, forms, reports, andprogramming instructions. Because these terms deserve further definition, they are covered inthe following sections.
What is a Table?
In Access,
tables
contain the actual information in your database. There can be more than onetable in a database. The information in each table can relate to information in other tables inyour database. For example, you might have one table that contains a record of all the doorlocks in your building. In the same database, another table might have a list of all the keys forthose locks. Still another table might contain the names of all the people who have the keys.All three tables contain related information, so they belong to the same database. Figure 1-1depicts the relationship between the tables and this database.
Figure 1-1
How Access relates tables and databases.
 Your first step in creating a database is to determine the information you need. Next, you willuse Access to design a table to hold the information. Figure 1-2 illustrates the Design view of Access. You use Design view to specify the framework used for each of your table entries.
 
Figure 1-2
Design view for a table in Access.
After you design your table or tables, you will use Datasheet view to enter and examine (view)your data. Figure 1-3 illustrates how your data may appear in Datasheet view mode.

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