If you’re a serious user of a personal computer, you’ve probably been using word processing or spreadsheet applications to help you solve problems. You might have started a long time ago with character-based products running under MS-DOS but subsequently upgraded to software that runs under the Microsoft Windows operating system. You might also own some database software, either as part of an integrated package such as Microsoft Works or as a separate program.
Database programs have been available for personal computers for a long time. Unfortunately, many of these programs have been either simple data storage managers that aren’t suitable for building applications or complex application development systems that are difficult to learn and use. Even many computer-literate people have avoided the more complex database systems unless they have been handed a complete, custombuilt database application. The introduction of Microsoft Access more than a decade ago represented a significant turnaround in ease of use. Many people are drawn to it to create both simple databases and sophisticated database applications.
Now that Access is in its eighth release and has become an even more robust product in the sixth edition designed for 32-bit versions of Windows, perhaps it’s time to take another look at how you work with your personal computer to get the job done. If you’ve previously shied away from database software because you felt you needed programming skills or because it would take you too much time to become a proficient user, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to work with all the new features rolled into Microsoft Office Access 2007.
Office Access 2007 comes loaded with many existing database templates to solve business and personal needs. These templates are fully functioning applications that can be used as is without having to make any modifications. For users who do want to modify the templates or even start from scratch, this latest version of Access comes with new table templates, new form and report What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) authoring tools, including improved AutoFormats, Quick Create object operations, and a fully revamped user interface (UI) to visually assist the development process.
But how do you decide whether you’re ready to move up to a database system such as Access? To help you decide, let’s take a look at the advantages of using database application development software.