The Benefits A database is much more than just a list or table. It 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. Access unlocks the full value of your data.
Not just a Normal List Let's say that you're the secretary of a large hiking club. You have a list of recycling volunteers, a list of holiday party volunteers, addresses for newsletter labels, a membership list, and so on. Suppose that a club member, who appears on a number of lists, changes her e-mail for the second time this year. With only a set of lists, you'd have the tiresome job of changing that information everywhere it occurs. With a well-structured database, you'd have to change it only once. The database takes care of everything else. A key benefit of Access is avoiding the complications of multiple lists.
Not just a Normal List If you're just working with 10 or so items, then you'll probably want to create a simple list, perhaps as a worksheet in Microsoft Excel or a bulleted list or table in Microsoft Word. If your data is more complex, or changes frequently, then an Access database gives you an advantage.
Making Friends So, you could quickly print a list of who's volunteered to recycle newspapers this Saturday, along with their up-to-date addresses and phone numbers. 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. Even though a club's database might store member contact information separately from its lists of recycling volunteers or holiday planning data, the database can pull all this information together whenever you want.
Making Friends The two sets of data are relational, so that information in one set of data (such as Nancy Davolio's name on the recycling list) is associated with, or "knows about," the applicable information in the other set of data (Nancy Davolio's contact information). To make the most of your database, you'll want to set up the tables of data to reflect the subjects and tasks associated with your data. While planning your database, consider the scenarios in which people will be entering data, looking up data, or reporting data. A little forethought can go a long way. upper-left corner of the worksheet.
How is it Structured??? Access databases consist of objects. Later in this course, we'll describe the following four important objects in more detail: Tables store your data in rows and columns. All databases contain one or more tables. Queries retrieve and process your data. They can combine data from different tables, update your data, and perform calculations on your data. Objects are the most important parts of a database.
How is it Structured??? 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.
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