A Look at Microsoft Access

Topics: Microsoft, Relational model, Microsoft Access Pages: 9 (3444 words) Published: March 1, 2006
A Look at Microsoft Access

Team A of DBM/405 has chosen to look at Microsoft Access. This paper will examine Microsoft Access and its capabilities and benefits. It should show that Microsoft Access is one of the easiest user friendly database and cost effective database applications today. This paper will also examine the use of Access for a business called Parrothead Productions. It is a small one-man operation, which is a remote disc jockey business.

The Capabilities of Microsoft Access
Microsoft Access database gives you true command of your data, enabling you to retrieve it, sort it, analyze it, summarize it, and report results in moments. It can combine data from various files, so that you never have to enter information twice. It can even make data entry more efficient and accurate. Microsoft Access creates relational databases, which mean that data is stored in various separate tables by subject or task, but the data is related and can be brought together in ways that you specify. Microsoft Access creates relational databases, which means that data is stored in various separate tables by subject or task, but the data is related and can be brought together in ways that you specify. Relationships link data between two or more tables to increase its usefulness. Access consists of objects such as, Tables, Queries, Forms and Reports. Tables; store your data in rows and columns, Queries; retrieve and process your data. They can combine data from different tables, update your data, and perform calculations on your data. Forms; control data entry and data views. They provide visual cues that make data easier to work with. Reports; summarize and print your data. They turn the data in your tables and queries into documents for communicating ideas. Tables store data, so they're essential building blocks of any database. Each table contains rows called records and columns are called fields. A record is a collection of facts about a particular person, event, or other item of interest. A field is a single kind of fact that may apply to each person, event, or other record. The fields in our database have settings that determine the type of data they can store, how the data is displayed and what we can do with the data. An important setting for fields is the data type, including number, text, currency, date and time. The data type limits and describes the kind of information in the field. The data type also determines the actions we can perform on a field and how much memory data uses. Fields also have properties that control the details of information inside them, including a character length, a default value, and a validation rule that makes sure the data meets certain criteria. The properties make it easier to enter and manage data. You may have heard no two people are the same; this characteristic also applies to records in a well-structured database. Each record in each table should be unique, should distinguish one record from another, tables can contain a primary key field. The primary key field is an identifier and should be a piece of information that won't change frequently. If you like, Access can assign a numeric primary key that increases by one each time you add a record to a table. The number continues to be associated with this record, even if you add and delete other records entered before this record in your database. The database can associate each primary key with a friendly name so you can work with familiar information, even though the underlying table is storing a number. A primary key separates similar information and makes each record unique. It also brings information together. You relate one table to another using a primary key. This is how tables share data, and how you can avoid repeating information in both the tables. When tables relate, the primary key of one table becomes a foreign key of the other table. Queries can answer those questions by...
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