Are you overwhelmed by the big quantities of data that should be tracked inside your organization? Perhaps you’re currently utilizing a paper filing system, text documents or a spreadsheet to keep tabs on your information. If you’re searching for a more flexible data management system, a database might be just the salvation you are looking for and Microsoft Access 2013 offers an excellent option.
What Is a Database?
At most elementary, a database is simply an organized assortment of data. A database management system (DBMS) such as Microsoft Access, Oracle or SQL Server gives you the software tools you have to organize that data inside a flexible manner. It includes facilities to add, modify or delete data from the database, ask questions (or queries) concerning the data kept in the database and convey reports summarizing selected contents.
Microsoft Access 2013
Microsoft Access 2013 provides users with one of the simplest and many flexible DBMS solutions currently available. Regular users of Microsoft products will love the familiar Windows look and feel as well as the tight integration along with other Microsoft Office family products. For additional around the Access 2013 interface, read our Access 2013 User Interface Tour.
Let’s first examine three of the major components of Access that most database users will encounter: tables, queries, and forms. If you don’t already have an Access database, you may want to read about Creating an Access 2013 Database from a Template.
Microsoft Access Tables
Tables comprise the fundamental building blocks associated with a database. If you are acquainted with spreadsheets, you will find database tables extremely similar.
A common database table might contain employee information, including characteristics like name, date of birth and title. It might be structured as follows:
Examine the construction of the table and you’ll find that every column on the table corresponds to a specific employee characteristic (or attribute in database terms). Each row matches one particular employee and contains his or her information. That’s all there’s into it. Whether it helps, think of every one of these tables as a spreadsheet-style listing of information. To learn more, read Adding Tables to an Access 2013 Database
Retrieving Information From an Access Database
Obviously, a database that just stores information could be useless — we want techniques to retrieve information as well. Should you only desire to recall the information stored in a table, Microsoft Access allows you to open the table and scroll with the records contained there. However, the actual power of a database lies in its capabilities to answer more complicated requests or queries. Access queries supply the capability to combine data from multiple tables and place specific conditions on the data retrieved.
Suppose your business needs a simple method to create a list of these items that are currently selling above their average price. Should you simply retrieved the product information table, fulfilling this task would require a great deal of sorting through data and performing calculations manually. However, the power of a question enables you to simply ask that Access only return those records that meet the above average pricing condition. Additionally, you can instruct the database to only list the name and unit price of the product.
For more information on the power of database queries in Access, read Developing a Simple Query in Microsoft Access 2013.
Inserting Information Into an Access Database
So far, you’ve learned the concepts behind organizing the information inside a database and retrieving information from the database. We still need mechanisms to put information in to the tables in the first place. Microsoft Access provides two primary mechanisms to do this goal. The first technique is to simply mention the table inside a window by double-clicking onto it and adding information towards the bottom from it, as an would add information to a spreadsheet.
Access offers a user-friendly forms interface that allows users to go in information inside a graphical form and also have that information transparently passed to the database. This process is less intimidating for the data entry operator but requires a little more focus on the part of the database administrator. To learn more, read Creating Forms in Access 2013.
Microsoft Access Reports
Reports provide the capability to quickly produce attractively formatted summaries from the data found in a number of tables and/or queries. By using shortcut tricks and templates, database users can create reports in literally a few minutes.
Guess that you need to create a catalog to share product information with current and prospective clients. In previous sections, we learned that this sort of information could be retrieved from your database with the judicious utilization of queries. However, recall that this information was presented in a tabular form – not exactly the most attractive marketing material. Reports permit the inclusion of graphics, attractive formatting, and pagination. For more information, see Creating Reports in Access 2013.