Storing Data on a Computer
Some lists can serve a much more useful purpose when stored on a computer. For example, the names , addresses, and phone numbers you jot down on cards or in a paper address book are only be used when you have the paper list in your hand. Suppose you currently store names and addresses on cards. All the information about a particular person is stored in one place.
If you store that list on a computer, however, you can do much more with it than just refer to it. For example, you can generate lists of your most important phone numbers to put next to every phone in the house, you can print mailing labels for greeting cards, you can create lists of this month's birthdays, and so on.
There are a number of ways to store lists on a computer. For example, you can store a list in a Microsoft Word table or on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
If you place this information in a Word table or on an Excel spreadsheet, you are faced with a problem: you end up repeating some of the information. Consider what happens if a family moves or a last name is changed. You have to ensure that information is updated everywhere it's stored. For a small list that might not matter, but for a large list with information that requires constant updating (such as an address list), it is a huge task to keep data up-to-date in this way.
Storing Data in a Database
If, on the other hand, you save address information in an Access database, you can ensure that each piece of information is entered only once.
An Access database consists of objects, such as tables, forms, queries, reports , pages, macros, and modules.
A table is a collection of related information about a topic, such as names and addresses. A table consists of fields and records. A field stores each piece of information in a table, such as first name, last name, or address. A record is a collection of all the fields for one person.
A form provides an easy way to view and enter information into a database. Typically, forms display one record at a time.
A query is a method to find information in a database. The information you find with a query is based on conditions you specify.
Reports are documents that summarize information from the database.
Pages enable you to access a database on the Internet using a Web browser.
A macro saves you time by automating a series of actions into one action.
Modules are programs you create in a programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which extend the functionality of a database.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Microsoft Access Project?
A Microsoft Office Access project is an Access data file that provides access to a Microsoft SQL Server database through the OLE DB component architecture, which provides network and Internet access to many types of data sources. An Access project is called a project because it contains only code-based or HTML-based database objects: forms, reports, the name and location of data access pages, macros, and modules. Unlike an Access database, an Access project doesn't contain any data or data objects, such as tables, views, database diagrams, stored procedures, or user -defined functions. Working with an Access project is virtually the same as working with an Access database, except you need to connect to an SQL Server database, which stores the data.