14. Building a Navigation System
Throughout the last 13 chapters, you've assembled all the pieces for a first rate database. But without a good way to bring them all together, they're just thata pile of unorganized pieces.
The best Access databases include some way for people to jump from one part of the database to another. The goal's to make the database more convenient and easier to use. Rather than forcing you to hunt through the navigation pane for the right object, these databases start with some sort of menu form, and let you work your way from one task to another by clicking handy buttons . This sort of design's particularly great for people who aren't familiar with Access's kinks and quirks . If the navigation system's built right, these people don't need to know a lick about Accessthey can start entering data without learning anything new.
You already know most of what you need to create a first-rate navigation system. Now you need a new perspective on databasesnamely, that they can (and should) behave more like ordinary Windows programs, and less like intimidating forts of data. In this chapter, you'll learn different ways to add user -friendly navigation tools to a database. You'll learn how to create switchboards (forms that direct people to other forms), how to make a form appear when you first start the database, and how to show related information in separate forms. But first, you'll start by taking a closer look at the navigation pane to learn how you can control navigation without creating anything new.