In this chapter you will learn to:
Create a database structure the simple way.
Check the work of a wizard.
Create tables the simple way.
Refine how data is displayed.
Manipulate table columns and rows.
Creating the structure for a database is easy. But an empty database is no more useful than an empty Microsoft Office Word document or an empty Microsoft Office Excel worksheet. It is only when you fill, or populate , a database with data in tables that it starts to serve a purpose. As you add queries, forms, and reports , it becomes easier to use. If you customize it with a switchboard and your tools, it moves into the realm of being a database application .
Not every database has to be refined to the point that it can be classified as an application. Databases that only you or a few experienced database users will work with can remain fairly rough-hewn. But if you expect an administrative assistant to enter data or your company s executives to generate their own reports, spending a little extra time in the beginning to create a solid database application will save a lot of work later. Otherwise, you ll find yourself continually repairing damaged files or walking people through seemingly easy tasks .
As a member of The Microsoft Office System 2003, Access 2003 takes a lot of the difficult and mundane work out of creating and customizing a database by providing wizards that you can use to create entire databases or individual tables, forms, queries, and other objects. It is generally easier to use a wizard to create something that is similar to what you need and then modify it than it is to create the same thing by hand.
In this chapter, you ll create a couple of databases from scratch, first by using a wizard to rapidly create the structure for a sophisticated contact management database, complete with tables, queries, forms, and reports. After exploring this database and entering a few records to get an idea of what a wizard can provide in the way of a starting point, you will discard this database and start working on a simpler contacts database for The Garden Company. By the end of this chapter, you will have a GardenCo database containing three tables that will serve as the foundation for many of the exercises in this book.
|See Also|| |
Do you need only a quick refresher on the topics in this chapter? See the Quick Reference entries on page xxxiii.
On the CD Before you can use the practice files in this chapter, you need to install them from the book s companion CD to their default location. See Using the Book sCD-ROM on page xxi for more information.