Chapter 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 that—a 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 is 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 is particularly great for people who aren’t familiar with Access’s kinks and quirks. If the navigation system is built right, these people don’t need to know a lick about Access—they 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 databases—namely, 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 show related information in separate forms, make a form appear when you first start the database, and create navigation forms (that is, forms that direct people to other forms). But first, you’ll start by taking a closer look at the navigation pane to learn how you can ...

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