Managing Your Data with Microsoft Access
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Managing Your Data with Microsoft Access

A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Database Application with Microsoft Access
4.8 (2 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5 students enrolled
Created by Andrew Comeau
Last updated 5/2020
English [Auto]
Price: $24.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Design of data entry applications with Microsoft Access including table design, entry forms and printed reports.
  • General database design principles including organization of data (normalization) and correct use of data types.
  • Design of user-friendly data entry forms for quick and accurate entry of data.
  • Access query and report design for presentation of collected data.
Course content
Expand all 24 lectures 04:42:25
+ Introduction
5 lectures 27:15

In the instruction, you can find out a little about my background with Microsoft Access and other database systems.  I'll also tell you what to expect in this course.  If you're still previewing the course, I hope you'll take the time to continue watching the other sample videos.

Also, keep checking back for additional content in the coming weeks. I will continue to add new videos and resources to help you get the most out of Microsoft Access!

Preview 05:42

The Job Search Plus database is a fully-featured demo application that stores information on a job search including job leads, company information, contacts and search activities.  I will be referring to this application throughout the course to show you features in their finished state before demonstrating how you can design them yourself.

You can download the application as a ZIP file from the resources section of this lesson.  Save the ZIP anywhere you like on your system and extract the files inside.

The application consists of two files - JobSearchPlus.accdb, the main program file, and JS2010-BE.accdb, the file that contains the action data tables.  Both of these files are required to use the application.

The Data sub-directory contains a backup of the data tables file in case the primary one is corrupted for any reason or you want to reset the program.  Simply delete the JS2010-BE.accdb in the main directory and the program will automatically copy a replacement from the Data sub-directory.

To start the application, simply double-click on the JobSearchPlus.accdb file and it will open in Access. You will probably get a security warning when you open the file for the first time.  Simply click on Enable Content to enable the application and proceed.

Preview 02:50
  • The Microsoft Access file format

  • What's Inside the File: Access Objects Overview

  • What Can Access Do?:  The Job Search Plus Demo application

Preview 06:59
What Should Access Be Used For?

Using the completed Job Search Plus demo application, we'll look at how the tables in a relational database serve to organize the data and link different subjects based on keys.

What is a Relational Database?: Examining the Tables in Depth
+ Creating The Collier Public Library Application
16 lectures 03:13:33

The Collier Public Library Database is an example database that we will be building throughout this section of the course. It's based on a fictional small lending library which loans books out to its members and needs to track its inventory and transactions.

By following along with these lessons and building the database on your own, you will gain hands-on experience with Microsoft Access. I encourage you to take the time to complete this exercise, even if you have your own application in mind.

Building Your Own App: The Collier Public Library Database

In this lesson, you'll see how to create a new database in Microsoft Access and some of the settings you can use to control your application.

Creating the Database File

An essential part of designing a robust Microsoft Access application is organizing your data into tables that focus on specific subjects and concepts.  These tables are sometimes called relations in database terminology, hence the term relational database. The tables can then be related to each other so that data can be stored once and referenced as needed instead of being repeated again and again.  This minimizes duplication and error and reduces the size of your data file.

In this lesson, we'll look at some of the basic concepts of data modeling with the Job Search Plus database as a guide. We'll also look at possible data requirements for the Collier Public Library Database.

Data Modeling in Microsoft Access

Selecting the appropriate data type is an important part of modeling your data in Microsoft Access or any other database software. Data types determine how a value will be stored in the database and what operations can be performed on it.  In this lesson, we'll look at the available types in Access and some examples of how they're used.

See the lesson resources for a downloadable summary of Microsoft Access data types with links to additional resources.

Microsoft Access Data Types

In this lesson, I demonstrate step-by-step how to create the central table in the library demo database - tblBooks. You'll see how to define fields and adjust their settings to store data accurately and efficiently.

Creating the First Table: Books

In this second lesson on table design, we look at the Customers table as an extra example and how they link back to the Books table from the previous lesson.

Creating the Customers Table

In this lesson, we're adding the Checkouts table which links the Books and Authors tables together.  You'll also see how to establish relationships between the tables in Access.

Linking the Tables

An important feature of Microsoft Access is the ability to draw data from many sources together in a single database file and build queries and reports on it.  This lesson shows how to import data from Excel into new and existing tables.

Importing Data Into Microsoft Access

In this lesson, you'll see how to compile the Author's table from existing data and replace the author names in the Books table with the appropriate record ID.

Creating the Author's Table

In this introduction to forms, you'll see how to create a quick form to enter author information into the new Authors table.

Introduction to Form Design in Access

This lesson shows in greater detail how you can use the available controls and properties on forms to add functionality and enhance the user experience on your forms.

Working with Form Controls

This lesson is an introduction to the report design environment using the Lead Detail Report from Job Search Plus as an example.

Introduction to Report Design

This lesson goes into more detail about how to create a report and customize it to provide just the right information. You'll see how to create a query to base an Overdue Items report on and how to work with the report controls to show the data clearly.

Creating the Overdue Items Report

In addition to reports, Microsoft Access enables you to generate labels from your data. These are handy for managing mailings, product labeling and other projects. This video will show you how to create a basic set of address labels from the Collier Library sample database.

Creating Labels in Microsoft Access

Printing to a label printer like the Dymo LabelWriter enables you to print a few labels at a time instead of an entire sheet. There are a few more steps need to set it up in Microsoft Access but it's really not difficult. This video will show you how to print custom labels with barcodes to the Dymo LabelWriter based on Access data. 

A free barcode font can be found at

Preview 18:24

Once you have a number of items in your database such as forms and reports, a menu can help you to organize your application and make it easier for users to navigate. The Switchboard Manager enables you to quickly create and maintain this type of application menu.  This lesson also shows you how to use Compact and Repair to maintain

Preview 13:03
+ Bonus Materials
3 lectures 01:01:36

A short example of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming in Microsoft Access.

Preview 29:45

A bonus video that offers clarification on the concept of Referential Integrity in Microsoft Access using a customer orders table as a guide.

Referential Integrity in Microsoft Access

When you're developing a new application, sometimes you need test data to ensure that everything is working right. is an online service that will generate random test data to your specifications. This video shows how to work with the site.

Generating Random Test Data with
  • Basic Microsoft Office Skills, especially Microsoft Excel.
  • Basic Windows skills, ability to save, find and copy files.

A common complaint about Microsoft Access is that it's simply too complicated for many people to work with on their own. The reason for this is that Access is designed for building database applications that can be used to automate and manage processes. Too few resources approach it from that perspective. This leaves users and students without the understanding they need to effectively use the software.

Managing Your Data with Microsoft Access demonstrates from start to finish how to organize your data and build an application that will enable you to manage it as needed.  This course will show you the clear and logical steps involved in modeling your data, designing tables around it and then creating forms and reports based on it.

During this course, you will be able to see and follow along with the design of the Collier Public Library Database, a database application used to manage a fictional lending library. This application will include multiple tables, forms and reports intended to manage the processes involved in a library including  checkouts and customer registration.  The Job Search Plus application also serves as an example of a finished, distribution-ready application and what can be accomplished with Access.

Managing Your Data with Microsoft Access also includes previously published bonus content demonstrating specific tasks and concepts related to working with Access. This content will help you gain an additional perspective on some of the things that are possible with Microsoft's premier database software.

Who this course is for:
  • Business users looking for ways to better manage data
  • Students trying to understand Microsoft Access