If you have had little or no Microsoft Access training you can still create good working Access database systems. The first thing to do is to establish the user or your own system requirements. Once you have done this you can move forward to system design. The design process will involve establishing the facts about your system and creating a storage area for each fact. This storage area is known as a table. For example an invoicing system would want to store contact information. This would be stored as a single fact in a contact table. In a similar way you would also want to store the invoice data somewhere. Invoice data is another fact and as such would be stored in an invoice table. Microsoft Access training courses should cover the concept of keeping data relating to a single fact in a separate table. You would not want to add customer and invoice information in the one table. There are good reasons for not doing so.
Most Microsoft Access training courses would show you how to link the tables together. These are known as table relationships. For example a customer could have many invoices. This would be known as a one to many relationship. It is modelled by the use of what are known as primary and foreign keys. Essentially, these are common fields to both tables. A customer would be identified by a customer id field and that same field would appear in the invoice table thus providing a link or relationship between the two tables. Creation of the table involves adding fields, otherwise known as columns. Each column would take the form of an identifying attribute. Examples for a contact table would be First Name, Surname, Date of birth, address, email etc.
Once the tables have been established it is then time to create a user interface in order to enter data. In order to do this we create what is known as an MS Access form. It is possible to enter data directly into a table, but an MS Access form offers a more user friendly interface. The form will contain the fields you specified in the table. Microsoft Access has a variety of forms to choose from. Out of all the versions, MS Access 2007 offers the widest range of forms. It is possible to create a main form and a sub form. This situation is ideal for modelling a one to many relationship. An example would be to have a customer in the main form and a list of related invoices in the sub form.
Once data is in the system we can then ask questions of the system. For example, I may want to know how many widgets were sold in September in Australia. In order to get this information we create an MS Access query. Queries are used to ask questions of the data and get answers. MS Access has a good range of queries to choose from. MS Access queries are quite simple when starting out, but can get quite complex when grouping and summing of data is involved. However, MS Access queries are incredibly powerful tools to master. Most Microsoft Access training courses will cover queries in some detail.
Reporting is also a fundamental part of an MS Access database system. MS Access reports allow us to output our data in a printable format. MS Access offers a variety of report styles to choose from. Just like forms, a report can contain a main and a sub report.
Microsoft Access is the most popular desktop database in the world. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Microsoft Access 2007 saw the most radical change to the system in terms of the interface. It offers great functionality and is certainly worth switching to.