Learn Microsoft Access 2016 & 2013 with this comprehensive course from TeachUcomp, Inc. Mastering Access Made Easy features 105 video lessons with over 6 hours of introductory through advanced instruction. Watch, listen and learn as your expert instructor guides you through each lesson step-by-step. During this media-rich learning experience, you will see each function performed just as if your instructor were there with you. Reinforce your learning with the text of our three printable classroom instruction manuals (Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced), additional images and practice exercises. You will learn all about relational databases, advanced queries, creating forms, reporting, macros and much more.
Whether you are completely new to Access or upgrading from an older version, this course will empower you with the knowledge and skills necessary to be a proficient user. We have incorporated years of classroom training experience and teaching techniques to develop an easy-to-use course that you can customize to meet your personal learning needs. Simply launch the easy-to-use interface, click to start a video lesson or open one of the manuals and you are on your way to mastering Access.
When Access opens, it displays a window which allows you to create a new database file that will contain either a desktop database or web app. A new Access database file is a container that will hold all of the tables, view definitions, forms, reports, queries, macros, and modules required by the desktop database or web app. Within Access, a desktop database is simply a database file that is intended to be used on a single computer or within a local network. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
In Access, you are manipulating a contained collection of smaller objects within the database file. Although the terms “database” and “table” are often used interchangeably, you should refer to the entire collection of tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules as the “database” and only refer to tables as “tables” for clarity’s sake. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Unlike many other Microsoft applications, you have three different areas in which you will perform tasks within the Access interface: the “Application Window,” which is the outer frame of the program that contains the Ribbon; the “Navigation Pane,” which displays all of the various objects in the database; and the “Tabbed Documents” area where you create, display, and edit database objects in their own separate, tabbed windows. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Access uses “Touch Mode” to allow for easier access to the buttons and other commands within the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar. When you enter touch mode within Access, the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar are enlarged and extra space is added around the buttons and commands within them, so that you can more easily access the buttons and commands on your touch-based tablet. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
As mentioned earlier, a database is really the entire collection of tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules. In Access, you can only work with one database file at a time. Every time you open a database file in Access, its contents will appear in its own Navigation Pane. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
To re-open a database you have already created and saved, first launch Access. In the listing at the side of the initial window you can simply click on the name of the recently opened database that you wish to reopen shown under the “Recent” section. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Access is a relational database application. So what does the term relational mean, and how is this important? The term relational describes the method used for storing data within the database tables. However, it may be easier to understand the relational model of data storage by contrasting it with another method of storage that you may be more familiar with: the ‘flat-file’ method. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
The relational model of data storage allows you to more easily and effectively model a complex entity or subject, like sales. The relational model of data storage eliminates redundant data entry and also creates less data to store, making the relational database model smaller and faster than the ‘flat-file.’ Learn about this and more during this lecture.
While there are no “hard and fast” rules about creating relational database tables, there are a few tips that you should try to follow when beginning database design. First, examine all current documentation used to collect and store the information that you now want to store in the new database. This step ensures that when you are creating your data tables and performing your data modeling, you won’t leave out a critical part of your database. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Tables are so commonly thought of when one speaks of a database that the terms are practically interchangeable. A table is an organized structure that holds information. It consists of “fields” of information into which you enter your “records.” A field is a single column within a table, consisting of one category of information. A record is a collection of related data fields that describe a single item contained in a row within a table. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
In Access, you should assign a primary key to each table that you create. A primary key is simply a field or group of fields that acts as a unique identifier for each record in the table. So you should use a field or group of fields that will always contain a unique value as your primary key. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
While you can create a table in “datasheet view,” it is not recommended. It is a poor place to design tables due to its lack of control over the data types assigned to the fields, and its complete inability to change the properties of fields. If you do decide to create a table in datasheet view, you should certainly view the table in “design view” at some point to ensure that it is correctly constructed. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
When you are in datasheet view, you can move from left to right through the rows by pressing either the “Tab” or “Enter” keys on your keyboard. You can move from right to left by pressing “Shift”+“Tab” on your keyboard. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to traverse the records, if you like. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
In datasheet view, you will see a blank row that shows an asterisk (ã) in the row selector box at its left end. That is the “New Record” row. When you enter a new record into the table, it is added to the bottom of the table in the “New Record” row. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
To edit a record in datasheet view, simply click into the desired field of the record that you want to edit to place the insertion point into the field. Once the insertion point is within the field, you can edit the field information just as you would in a text document. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Once you have created your tables, you may need to modify their structures at a later point in time. You should make the changes in the table’s design view. Another way to open a table in design view is to simply select the name of the table into which you want to insert a new field within the Navigation Pane. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
With Access, you do have the flexibility to rename fields that you have already created. You should be extremely careful when you do this, as any changes that you make to field names are not necessarily updated in all of the related reports, forms, or queries that were previously created and therefore referred to the “old” field names. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can also delete table fields you do not use. Once again, just as when changing a field name, make sure that there aren’t any queries, forms, reports or macros that make reference to the field or use data contained within the field before you delete it. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can set the properties of the table fields that you create in the design view of the table. When you open tables in design view, you name the fields and assign them a data type using the top half of the screen which is called the table design grid. Below that, in the “Field Properties” section, you set the properties of the field that is currently selected in the table design grid on the two tabs labeled “General” and “Lookup.” Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can use the “Field Size” property of a text field to set the number that you type as the maximum allowable number of characters in the selected field. This can be useful in restricting the amount of data that can be entered into the field. Access allows up to 255 characters in a text field, and also assigns that as the default field size. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can set the “Format” property for date/time fields to change the way that they will display dates and times in the table in datasheet view. The following settings are available for the “Format” property when you have a date/time field selected in Access. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can set the “Format” property for logical fields to change the way that they will display in forms and reports. The following formats are available for logical fields in Access. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can set the “Default Value” property to specify a value that the field should contain when it is created with new records. For example, you may have a “Yes/No” field for which you want to set a default value of “No.” The value that you set can be a number, a text value, a date, or even some sort of calculated expression. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can set up input masks to dictate a pattern used for data entry in selected fields. Access provides an easy step-by-step routine called the “Input Mask Wizard” that helps you to apply input masks to selected “text” and “date/time” fields. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You use the “Validation Rule” and “Validation Text” properties in tandem. Setting the “Validation Rule” property allows to use the “Expression Builder” dialog box to create a specific condition that will only allow data entry that meets the specified condition into the field. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can also set the “Required” property for a selected field to either “Yes” or “No” to either require entry into the field, or not. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can set the “Allow Zero Length” property for a selected field to either “Yes” or “No” to either require the data entry in the field to be of a length greater than zero (basically, no “Spacebar” values), or not. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
As you create tables in Access, you will want to be able to relate the tables so that you will be able to access information from them through their “shared” or “common” fields by which they are joined. In Access, you create relationships between tables in the “Relationships” window. You can access this window by clicking the “Relationships” button in the “Relationships” group on the “Database Tools” tab in the Ribbon. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
As you create the appropriate relationships between the tables in your database, you will need to set the properties of the table joins to ensure that they are set up as you would like. The main join property that you will need to set is the “Referential Integrity” of the join. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Access can also create “lookup” fields within a table that can lookup the values in another table, query, or hand-typed list from which it will draw its values. If the field is looking up data from another table (versus a query or list), it will automatically create an additional join between the two tables which you will see in the Relationships window. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
When you create an index for a table, you define a way that the data in the table may be sorted, using the fields that are available. Indexing a table is simply a way of organizing the data in the table to allow Access to complete query searches and sorting more rapidly. Indexing can help speed up the time that it takes to complete queries in Access, given a few criteria are met first. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
When you are creating indexes, you want to try and use field values that will identify each record in your table as uniquely as possible. If you are a good database designer, there will already be a single field in your table that already does this: your primary key field. However, you can create additional indexes on other fields to use in queries for faster query processing. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
If you have indexes in a table that you wish to delete, you can easily do so. Open up the table that contains the indexes that you would like to delete in table design view. Next, click the “Indexes” button in the “Show/Hide” group on the “Design” tab of the “Table Tools” contextual tab to view the “Indexes” dialog box. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You use a query to answer a question that you have about the information stored in the database tables. You can then further analyze the results that the queries pull to produce even more information than the query itself displays. Reports are often based on query results, upon which they then can perform additional mathematical and statistical calculations. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
To make a query in design view, click the “Query Design” button in the “Queries” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon to create a new query in the query design view. The first thing you will see is the “Show Table” dialog box appear over the query design view. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
When you add multiple tables to a query in the query design view, the joins that you have established between tables within the “Relationships” window appear in the query, allowing you to access information from any related tables. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
In Access, when you want to display records from a table based on the values within a selected query field, you need to enter a “criteria” for record selection. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
When you are in query design view, you can run the query to view the result set by simply clicking the “Run” button in the “Results” group on the “Design” tab of the “Query Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
In Access, when you are visually creating the query in the query design view, what you are really doing is visually constructing SQL code. SQL stands for “Structured Query Language,” and it is a multi-platform language used to access and retrieve data within many different database programs. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can sort the results of a query by any field displayed within the QBE grid when the query is viewed in design view. To set the sorting in design view, just select the field in the QBE Grid by which you would like to sort the result set, and click into that field’s “Sort:” row. You can use the drop-down to select either “Ascending” or “Descending” order. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Sometimes when you are creating queries, you need to add a field to the QBE grid for criteria purposes only, and don’t particularly want the field itself to be displayed in the result set. Having additional fields to display in the result set can slow down query performance. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can use comparison criteria in the QBE section of the query design view in order to search for criteria values that are not necessarily “equal to” a value. By using comparison operators, Access can expand its repertoire of query criteria to pull records that are “greater than” or “less than” a specified criteria value, for example. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Next you will look at filtering the result set of a query by using multiple field criteria. Most often when you have multiple criteria in a query, you will either want the query to show records that match both “value X” AND “value Y” in different fields, or show records that contain “value X” OR “value Y” within the same or different fields. It’s unusual to use an AND condition within a single field, but it isn’t unheard of either. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can use the “BETWEEN…AND” condition to look for values within a field that are between and inclusive of “Value X” and “Value Y,” as specified. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can also use “wildcard characters” to add an additional level of flexibility to your queries. Wildcard characters represent unknown values. There are two main wildcard characters that you need to know: the asterisk “*” and the question mark “?.” Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can create calculated fields in queries. A calculated field is a field that is derived by performing some type of function upon values gathered from other table fields, or entered by hand. The data is displayed only for the duration of the query, and is not actually stored in the tables. They can perform almost any function and can use any available query field or data entered by hand as the basis for their calculations. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can also create “Top Value” queries that will return the top or bottom results of a query, instead of all results. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can create summary queries that perform a mathematical function on another grouped field in a query. These are usually shorter queries, often used for reporting. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can also create parameters in your query criteria that will prompt you to enter in the value which will then be used as the query criteria value for the query before returning the result set. This is tremendously helpful, as it prevents many hours of editing and changing query criteria. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
Have you ever run a query and wished that you could save the result set of the query as a permanent table? In Access, that is exactly what the “Make Table” queries do. A “Make Table” query creates a new table as the output of a query, instead of simply displaying a query result set. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
If you want to make large-scale updates to the data in your Access tables based on a specified criteria, you can create “Update” queries to update selected field values based on whether or not the record matches a specified criteria. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can use append queries as a way of “copying and pasting” records from one table to another table based on whether or not the records match a specified criteria. You can only append data from table fields to other table fields that share the same (or a compatible) “data type.” Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can use a delete query to delete records in a table based on specified criteria. Deleting unnecessary records will speed up the performance of queries, reduce redundancies, and make for more smoothly operating databases. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can create crosstab queries to answer questions about how field data within a single table relates to each other. Crosstab queries display one table field down the left side of the result table, and another table field across the top of the table. In the intersecting cells, you will see data about how the two fields are related via a third field. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
You can use the “Find Duplicates” query to find duplicate records within a table. To create a find duplicates query, click the “Query Wizard” button in the “Queries” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. In the “New Query” dialog box, select the “Find Duplicates Query Wizard” and then click “OK.” Learn about this and more during this lecture.
In a relational database, you aren’t supposed to have records in a “child,” or related, table which have no reference to a related record in a “parent” table. For example, in a “Sales” table that contains a “CustomerID” field, any reference placed into the “CustomerID” field should correspond to a valid “CustomerID” in the “Customers” table. Learn about this and more during this lecture.
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