Microsoft Access : Features, Tips and How-To

Microsoft Office is the most popular office productivity suite and why shouldn’t it be? Microsoft has improved Office from time to time and now offers everything we would have wanted. Since the very first release, Microsoft Office has always impressed users. Now Microsoft Office runs on almost every Windows-based PC – and even on Macs too.

Microsoft Office is a collection of many applications in it – like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. These are the most widely used Office apps and among them all Microsoft Access is relatively less used. Many do not even bother to see what it is, assuming that it may be for professionals and not for them.

In fact this is not true. MS Access is another feature rich application like Word or Excel and it is simple to use as well. In this post I am going to tell you about Microsoft Access 2010, its features and using tips, so you could hopefully be able to use it quite easily.

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is basically a database management system and has the look and feel of other Microsoft Office products, including its layout and navigational aspects. Database Management System does not mean you have to know about SQL Server to use it. Everything on Access is GUI based and it can be easily used by clicking the appropriate buttons, to perform the desired actions.

Why use Microsoft Access

Consider yourself running a business, you sell things, buy things and manage employees. You need a management tool to manage things at our office and you don’t know about SQL or RDMS applications. MS Access fits here; it provides you with a desktop database system just like another RDBMS. MS Access requires no configuration and special setup procedures to get started.

How to use Microsoft Access

  1. Launch MS Access, and this is what you are about to see. A bunch of templates is available on the main screen, each template is perfectly designed for specific usage and with all requirements in mind.
  2. Select any template and click “download” to download the database schemas on your machine. In this case I am going to choose a “student” template which is for School purpose and manages all the student details quite easily.
  3. Now the screen is divided into three sections. The left part has all the Tables, reports and forms. The upper middle has the main controls and the center part in the output section.
  4. Click the “New Student” and a form pops up having all the common fields. A new student can be added by filling the form and saving the form by pressing CTL+S keys.
  5. All the reports such as the total students, students by section, attendance record and contact information can be seen from the report section on the left hand side.

Similarly there are templates for:

1)      Assets: which deals with products a company in trading with

2)      Contacts: Manages contact details of people or employees.

3)      Issues: Manages customer grievances and issues.

4)      Events: Organizes events and its details.

5)       Marketing projects: For marketing and sales purpose.

6)      Projects: Manages assignments and company projects.

7)      Faculty: Is an employee management template.

8)      Student: For school and college administration purpose.

Creating a Blank Database

Microsoft Access gives you options to build a database from scratch. It starts with defining tables, attributes and setting rules for these tables. You can create Macros or the programmable modules to be used. You can set any constraints on these tables, be it primary key, foreign key and Not NULL.

This was just an overview on Microsoft Access. There are bunch of features available that can help you create custom database, store data and manage data in simple possible way. By using Microsoft Access for Rapid Application Development you can keep your costs down, MS Access is a Multi-User database; in the sense that from the beginning, Access was designed to operate on a network. Microsoft says that the latest version will support 255 concurrent users. Advanced features on MS Access include sharing the Access database with multiple programs and exporting database into other file formats.

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Azharuddin Khan, being a technology enthusiastic, loves writing blogs and updating them. Currently pursuing his Bachelors in Information Technology, he also loves in extending support via providing hardware solutions.