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Access® 2010 Bible by Michael R. Groh

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Chapter 1. An Introduction to Database Development

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Examining the differences between databases, tables, records, fields, and values

  • Discovering why multiple tables are used in a database

  • Creating Access database objects

  • Designing a database system

In this chapter, you learn the concepts and terminology of databases and how to design the tables that your Access application's forms and reports will use.

Database development is quite unlike most other ways you work with computers. Unlike Microsoft Word or Excel, where the approach to working with the application is easy to understand, good database development requires prior knowledge. A beginning user opening Access for the first time likely has no idea where to start. Although the opening user interface helps you create your first database, from that point on, you're pretty much on your own. Unlike Word or Excel, you can't just start typing things in at the keyboard and see any results.

The fundamental concept underlying Access databases is that data is stored in tables. Tables are comprised of rows and columns of data, much like an Excel worksheet. In a properly designed database, each table represents a single entity, such as a person or product. Each row within a table describes a single instance of the entity, such as one person or an individual product. Each column in an Access table contains a single type of data, such as text or date/time.

As you work with Access, you'll spend considerable time designing and refining ...

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