Access 2010: The Missing Manual

Access 2010: The Missing Manual Author Matthew MacDonald
ISBN-10 1449382371
ISBN-13 9781449382377
Year 2010-07-02
Pages 834
Language English
Publisher O’Reilly Media
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Go from Access novice to true master with the professional database design tips and crystal clear explanations in this book You ll learn all the secrets of this powerful database program so you can use your data in creative ways from creating product catalogs and publishing information online to producing invoices and reports Build a database with ease Store information to track numbers products documents and more Customize the interface Build your own forms to make data entry a snap Find what you need fast Search sort and summarize huge amounts of information Put your data to use Turn raw info into printed reports with attractive formatting Share your data Collaborate online with SharePoint and the brand new Access web database Dive into Access programming Get tricks and techniques to automate common tasks Create rich data connections Build dynamic links with SQL Server SharePoint and other systems Five Touchstones to Understanding Access Lets face it learning the tricks and techniques of database design can be a bit of a slog But if youre just starting out with Access here are five key insights that can help you understand how the database world works Keep these points in mind and youll be on the inside track to mastering Access 1 Databases hold database objects Most people are familiar with tables the grid like grouping of data that stores your information for example lists of items you own friends you have or products you sell through your small business But tables are just one type of object that an Access database can hold The other key ingredients are queries customized search routines that pull out the information you need at the drop of a hat reports similar to queries but nicely formatted and ready for printing forms windows that make it easy to review and edit the data in your tables and macros and modules miniature programs that can do just about anythingfrom updating 10 000 records at once to firing off an email 2 Relationships hold it all together Access newbies sometimes start out thinking a database is just a glorified spreadsheet After all cant Excel hold long lists with hundreds of thousands of rows And yes it can However Access has a feature Excel cant duplicate relationships A typical Access database holds several tables and relationships link these tables together For example a table of customers might link to a table of orders which would link to a table of products allowing you to answer questions like What customers spent the most money and What is the most popular product for customers living in New York Relationships also safeguard your data for example they make it impossible for someone to accidentally place an order for a product or a customer that doesnt exist 3 There are two ways to work with a database as a designer and as a user The database designer is the person who sets up the database The database designer has the responsibility of laying out the tables building the queries and knocking together some nice reports and forms assuming you want all those features By comparison the database user is the person who uses the tables queries reports and forms in day to day life The user reviews records makes changes and fills the tables up with data Depending on what type of database youre creating and what you want to accomplish you may be both the database designer and the database user But its important to realize that these are distinct tasks In fact when using a properly designed database database users dont need to be particularly skilled with Access They can just work with the forms and reports that the database designer created 4 Sooner or later youll need macros To become an Access expert you must first learn to design a logical consistent set of tables and add the relationships that link them together Next you must learn to build the other types of objects queries forms and reports that make it easier to perform common tasks At some point while tackling this second stage youll run into a challenge that forces you to step up to the third level of Access mastery macros Macros are miniature programs that perform custom tasks The good news is that in Access 2010 you can design your own macros without becoming a programmer You just need to drag drop and arrange a sequence of ready made macro commands into the Access macro designer For example you can use macros to build buttons that send emails start printouts make updates or just take you around your database 5 Expert user meet Visual Basic Some people stop their Access journey at this point content to use tables forms reports and macros to do all their work But if you want to see everything Access has to offer you need to take a look at its high powered Visual Basic engine Using VB code you can do almost anything from validating a credit card to leading a customer through an order process two examples that are discussed in Access 2010 The Missing Manual And if youre willing to pick up some basic programming concepts you can use code to transform a simple database into a cohesive database applicationfor example something that looks more like the traditional desktop programs you run on your computer

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