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13.1 What Is a Database?

  • Databases are storage areas for data, small bits of information that are collected all around us. Organizations typically have production systems, which run and store the transactions necessary for the organization itself, and analytical systems, which store historical data that can be analyzed and used for business intelligence.
  • Databases consist of objects, including tables, queries, forms, and reports. These objects can be used for data manipulation and for applications within a business.

13.2 Microsoft Access: Main Features and Navigation

  • Access is a relational database management system that can work with other systems.
  • Access contains typical database objects such as tables, queries, forms, and reports.
  • Closing and saving your work in Access is an important process, as only one database can be open at a time.

13.3 Querying a Database

  • Queries can return data from one or more tables and can sort, limit, or calculate values from tables. SQL is a universal language used for queries; however, it is not necessary in Access.
  • Access queries can be set up using either the Query Wizard or the QBE grid.
  • Joins, representing relationships between fields across tables, can be created, changed, or removed.

13.4 Maintaining Records in a Database

  • Microsoft Access can be used to locate and review records.
  • You will likely add records to a database by importing from other data sources.
  • It is possible to edit or delete records in a database, but these functions are less common.

13.5 Creating Reports in Microsoft Access

  • Reports compile and summarize data in actionable, useful formats that can be used for business decision-making. Reports update with current information each time we open them and can be modified to show only the information most useful to a reader.
  • We can use the Report Wizard to create new reports that we can later customize.
  • Reports can be customized to include images and custom text, like logos.

13.6 Creating Forms in Microsoft Access

  • Forms provide an easy-to-use interface with a database. Most websites use forms for inputting, requesting, and accessing information.
  • Forms can be created and edited using the Form Wizard.
  • Forms can be customized in either Layout View or Design View.

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