What is Microsoft Access?
Microsoft Access is a relational database program for Windows that provides information organization and reporting tools. Relational databases store records of information in separate tables and allow you to connect data by linking related fields, such as connecting an invoice to a customer table via a Customer ID. Microsoft Access provides a comprehensive set of tools that enable you to enter, update, display, search and report on stored information.
Building the Database in MS Access
Open MS Access. A box will pop up giving you options. Choose the radio button next to "Blank Access Database." Click "OK."
Save your database. A file box will pop up asking you for a file name. Make sure you are saving your database in the location you wish, such as "My Documents."
Type your file name, and click "Create." You will now see your database window open within the Access program.
Creating a Table Within Your Access Database
Create a table for your data. The easiest way is to choose "Create Table in Design View." You will see this within your database window. Double-click on this choice to open.
Define the fields you need for your data. Think of the information you need in your database. Are you creating a mailing list? Then the first field you need to define would be "Name." Type "Name" under the field name column.
Tab over to the Data Type column. Most data you will be entering will be text. That should be the default you are seeing. If so, and you do not want to change it, tab over to Description column. Type a description of the field, such as "Customer's name."
Choose a Primary Key for your table. This is for the search function of the program. This can be a customer number or the customer name. It's usually the first field in the table. Click on "Customer Name" in the Field Name column. You should see an arrow to the left of the row. Look at the toolbar at the top of the screen. Find an icon of a yellow key. Click that picture. You have just made "Customer Name" your primary key.
Save your table. Your table will automatically ask you to save when you close it. Click on the "X" on the top right of your table. When you are asked if you want to save the table, say "Yes". A box will come up asking you to name your table. Name your table, and click "OK."
Adding Data to Your Access Database