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Monday, March 21, 2011

Designing and Creating a Microsoft Access Database


Microsoft Access is an application used to create computer databases. It is equipped with all the tools you will need to start a project, to end it, and to distribute it. That's the interface side. The creativity side will come from you. That is, you must define what type of product you want to create, how it will be used, who (what type of user) will use it, and where it will be used.

Designing a Database

Before creating a database, you should plan and design it. For example, you should define the type of database you want to create. You should create, in writing, a list of the objects it will contain: employees, customers, products, transactions, etc. For each object, you should create a list of the pieces of information the object will need for its functionality: name(s), contact information, profession, etc. You should also justify why the object needs that piece of information. You should also define how the value of that piece of information will be given to the object. As you will see in later lessons, some values are typed, some values must be selected from a preset list, and some values must come from another object. In later lessons, we will see how you can start creating the objects and their content.

Creating a Database

In our lessons, we will learn different techniques of creating databases. For now, a database is first of all a Windows file. It is mainly created from Microsoft Access. If you have just started Microsoft Access, to create a database, under File, click New. You can then use one of the links in the main (middle) section of the interface:

* To create a blank database, in the middle section, under Available Templates, click Blank Database
* To create a database using one of the samples, under Available Templates, click a category from one of the buttons, such as Sample Templates. Then click the desired buttons:

Microsoft Access always suggests a name for the database. You can accept or change it. Use the File Name text box for this purpose. By default, Microsoft Access suggests that the database be created in the Documents folder. If you want it located in another folder, you can click the Browse button Browse. This would open the File New Database dialog box where you can select an existing folder or create a new one using the New Folder button. Once you have specified the name of the database and its location, you can click Create.After specifying the name, click Create.
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