Microsoft Access

What is Microsoft Access?

Microsoft Access is an information management tool that helps you store information for reference, reporting, and analysis. Microsoft Access helps you analyze large amounts of data, and manage related data more efficiently than Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet applications. This text shows you when to use Access, and the way it can help cause you to simpler.

How does a Microsoft Access database work?

Microsoft Access works within the same manner any database does, by storing related information together and letting you create connections (commonly called relationships) between various things. The relationships between two various things in MSAccess are often very simple (such as a contact at a customer and therefore the customer itself) or complex.

Within the example below, the blue boxes represent the main things we’re tracking in our MS Access database tables, and therefore the reports at right show how you’ll join the related information for analysis and reporting.

Data is stored in Microsoft Access tables (think of them as mini-spreadsheets that store just one sort of thing). A table can have many fields (think of them as columns in your spreadsheet).

Each field during a table is often found out to permit or prevent users from entering certain information (for example, you’ll say one field only accepts dates, another can only allow a user to enter a numeric value, while another lets them enter anything they want).

Once you’ve got your MS Access tables, fields and relationships found out, you’ll create data entry forms that use those tables to store your information and later create reports with the info. Microsoft Access forms are incredibly easy (and fun) to style with a WYSIWYG form design tool.

And you’ll use MS Access forms to simplify data entry for users by grouping related fields together, and hiding fields they do not get to enter. The Microsoft Access Command Button Wizard even helps you to make simple buttons for your forms without understanding the way to create macros and Visual Basic.

How do I access Microsoft Access?

To find out if you have MSAccess installed on your machine, select Start>>Programs>>Microsoft Office.  In the MS Office start menu folder, you will see Microsoft Access listed if it is installed.  MS Office Access comes with the Professional Edition of Office or can be purchased separately.  Many companies purchase and install Access by default.

Click here to download MS Access!

How do I get started with MS Access?

With millions of users, there is a vast wealth of resources to help you. From message boards, Access books, tutorials, blogs, and MS Access add-ins, you will have many resources to help you succeed.  OpenGate Software has an entire MSAccess Resource Center dedicated to MS Access as well.

What if I don’t have time to learn about Access Database design?

Que the shameless product plug!  Our Designer for Microsoft Access product is meant to save you hours (literally, hours) of time reading about Access, trial and error creating your database, not to mention the frustration.  The designer walks you through a Q&A wizard in plain language.  You tell the Designer what you want to track in your database, and how you want it to look.  The designer does all the heavy lifting like creating relationships, fields, data types, indexes, and data entry forms.