So far, you’ve learned how to create tables that house your data, queries that search it, and reports that prepare it for printing. You’ve also learned about action queries that automate big updates. But your actual database users (whether that’s you or someone else) will spend most of their time on an entirely different job: daily database upkeep.
Database upkeep includes reviewing, editing, and inserting information. Real databases go through this process continuously. In a typical day, the staff at Cacophoné Studios adds new students, the customer service department at Boutique Fudge places new orders, and the Gothic Wedding planners tweak the seating arrangements. Bobbleheads are bought, addresses are changed, purchases are logged, test scores are recorded, and your data grows and evolves.
You can perform your daily upkeep using the datasheet (Chapter 28), but that isn’t the easiest approach. Although the datasheet packs a lot of information into a small space, it’s often awkward to use, and it’s intimidating to Access newcomers. The solution is forms: specialized database objects that make it easier for anyone to review and edit the information in a table.
Remember, if you’re using Access in a business environment, different people probably use your database. You may create it, but others need to be able to use it to perform a variety of tasks—usually data entry and searches. These other folks may not be as Access-savvy as you are.