Getting Started with Access 2007

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1 Getting Started with Access 2007 Table of Contents Getting Started with Access Plan an Access 2007 Database... 2 Learning Objective Introduction to databases Planning a database... 5 Summary... 9 Get Started with Access Learning Objectives Access interface elements Getting Help in Access Create Databases in Access Learning Objectives Creating a database in Access Creating a blank database Creating a database from a template Access database properties Summary

2 Plan an Access 2007 Database Learning Objective plan a database After completing this topic, you should be able to 1. Introduction to databases A computer database is used to store and organize information in a manner that enables programs and users to easily access and update sections of the information. Databases act as a form of electronic filing system. This promotes improved work practices and more efficient information management processes. The database assigns a unique reference to each record within the database so that it can be stored, organized, and retrieved efficiently. Databases are an effective means of combining multiple data sources into one centralized location. Data in Access can be from non-access sources such as Excel spreadsheets and data from other database applications. For example, a large retail company could use a centralized database to store data such as its customers' personal details and information on what each customer has purchased. This data can be correlated to produce a profile of customers based on age, sex, location, and purchasing patterns. By analyzing customer information from multiple stores in a centralized database, the retailer can predict what products future customers will be interested in buying, based on their demographics and geographic location. There are a number of different approaches to databases. Depending on what the database is going to be used for and user requirements, the four commonly used database types are hierarchical The hierarchical database type uses an inverted tree structure where the roots are formed by the parent data and the branches are formed by the child data sets. This database type contains only one-to-many data relationships. Each child data set connects to only one 2

3 parent data set. A hierarchical database could be used by a company to organize data from all of its offices. The head office would form the parent data while the multiple suboffices would be the child data. network The network database type enables child data sets to have multiple relationships with parent data sets. The many-to-many relationships enable improved flexibility within the organization and retrieval of data. For example, in a retail database, a record of a sales transaction can be a child of the customer data set as well as the sales person's data set. object The object database stores objects based on the object model of the application. Objects include the data and their operations or method. The objects are created using programming languages such as Java and C++. Object databases are used for inter-program database applications where multiple applications will frequently be accessing the database. relational The relational database model uses a system of tables to organize data elements. Similar content is grouped by table. Data elements within different tables can be linked together to form relationships between records. The linking of relevant records allows for easy and effective analysis of data within a relational database. Microsoft Access uses a relational database model. Tables are the cornerstone of relational databases and consist of two main elements: rows Each row of a table is referred to as a record. A new row is inserted whenever a new record is added to a table. The new row will appear at the bottom of the table. In the Office Details table, for example, the record is made up of information about a particular office. The first record in the table begins with the values 1, Head Office NY, 64 Klondike Ave, and New York. columns 3

4 Columns are referred to as fields. Data within each row is separated into fields. Each field has a heading, which ideally should summarize the data being grouped. Microsoft Access is a relational database manager. Relational databases are extremely useful, as you are able to quickly find and bring together information stored in multiple tables. Microsoft Access uses the relational database structure to store, manipulate, and analyze data tables in many ways. The use of tables is pivotal for the success of the relational database model. Tables remove the need for duplication of data and enable links to relevant data in different tables to be created. For example, a list of supplier codes can be linked to a table containing supplier details, to avoid having the supplier details in both tables. Tables form a key part of the relational database model. They allow the data to be organized, analyzed, and accessed quickly and efficiently. Each table should include a field that uniquely identifies each record. The column that contains the unique identifier for individual records is called the primary key of the table. Every table in Access should contain a primary key field. Access can automatically add a primary key as you add tables to a database or you can specify your own primary key for each table. Referential integrity in a relational database involves maintaining consistency between related tables. Referential integrity is achieved using a primary key. For example, if you have two Access tables, one that contains the names of travel agents and another that contains the location of offices, you could link each travel agent to an office. If however, one of the offices was deleted, the travel agents assigned to that office would no longer link to an office. This would be an example of poor referential integrity. Access ensures referential integrity is maintained by presenting you with warning messages if an action you are taking is going to jeopardize referential integrity. Access will also block certain actions and automatically make changes to records in tables to ensure that referential integrity is maintained. Question What are the key features of a relational database? 4

5 Options: 1. Primary key 2. Tables 3. Referential integrity 4. Analysis methods 5. C++ objects Answer Option 1: Correct. A primary key ensures that a relational database has a method of uniquely identifying each record within its tables. Primary keys also enable Access to create links between records in different tables. Option 2: Correct. Tables enable relational databases to efficiently organize the various data records. Tables also assist by creating logical groups of relevant data. Option 3: Correct. Each record within a table must contain a primary key and links with records from different tables must be consistent. Option 4: Incorrect. The key features of a relational database involve the storage and organization of data. How the data is analyzed is not a key feature of the relational database. Option 5: Incorrect. Objects developed in programming languages such as Java and C++ are not key features of the relational database model. Correct answer(s): 1. Primary key 2. Tables 3. Referential integrity 2. Planning a database Access 2007 provides a dynamic environment for planning and designing databases. While Access enables you to change a number of elements of your database once created, it is still important to plan your database effectively to ensure that no time or money is wasted later on. Planning a database is a three-step process: 5

6 interview end users The first step while planning a database is to interview the target end users to establish the information that they require. For example, a travel agency needs the database to contain data such as customer and vacation details. Different people within the same company may also want different information. For example, a manager may want the database to contain sales performance data for each travel agent or company office. identify main tables Once you have identified and interviewed the target users of the database, you can formulate a list of the tables that will be required in the database. Once you have created a list of the required tables, you can begin to plan the details that you wish to include in each table. For example, if you are creating a database for a travel agency; you require a table that contains customer names, addresses, and other customer details. identify the relationship between the tables After establishing what tables will be required and their details, you need to determine the level of interactivity required among the tables. Based on the users' needs, you can plan to create relationships between the tables to link relevant data. For example, if you have a table containing employee records and a table containing office details, you can establish a relationship between the two tables so that each employee is linked to an office. Suppose you have been asked to create a database for your organization, Easy Nomad Travel. You begin the planning process by interviewing the end users of the database to establish their requirements. The travel agents will be the primary end users of the database and will be using it to book and query vacation reservations. Functionality that they require includes adding and editing customer details entering customer payments making vacation bookings 6

7 Managers would like to use the database to resolve a wide range of queries including travel agent sales performance and sales performance by regional office. Based on the input from the users, you decide to create the following tables: a Customer table to store customer details a Payments table to store payment details a Vacations table to store vacation package and destination information a Carriers table to store the airlines that will be used for each package a Bookings table to store customer reservation details To fulfill the needs of Easy Nomad Travel management, you decide to create two further tables. You decide to add an Employees table that stores data regarding each employee. You also decide to add a table for Office Details, containing information relating to each office. The planned Easy Nomad Travel database now contains all the tables it needs to function efficiently. For the database to function correctly, relationships in the form of links between tables need to be planned. Examples of relationships that can be planned include linking a travel agent to the sales they make or linking particular airlines to the holiday packages they are used in. The types of relationships available in Access are one-to-one One-to-one relationships exist where a record in one table has only one matching record in another table. Each record in the second table also only has one matching record in the first table. This type of relationship is not very common as data that shares commonality on a one-on-one basis would usually be contained within the same table. An example of a one-to-one relationship could be a link between a booking in the Bookings table and a payment in the Payments table. one-to-many 7

8 One-to-many relationships exist where a single record in one table matches multiple records in another table. Each record in the second table matches only a single record in the first table. For example, each customer record from the Customer table can match multiple vacations in the Vacations table but each vacation record in the Vacations table will match only one customer record in the Customers table. many-to-many Many-to-many relationships exist where multiple records in one table match multiple records in another table and vice versa. Due to the nature and complexity of this type of relationship, a junction table is used to organize the interconnectivity between the tables. For example, a record in the Bookings table can link to numerous records in the Carriers table. A record in the Carriers table will also link to numerous records in the Bookings table. At the end of the planning process for the Easy Nomad Travel database, you should have a good idea of the details the tables need to store the kinds of queries that the tables need to resolve the type of relationships that need to be formed between tables Question Suppose you have been asked to plan a database for storing and retrieving customer information. What steps do you take during the planning process? Options: 1. Create a detailed report on the proposed tables 2. Identify the links needed between the tables 3. Hold a meeting with the customer service representatives to establish their daily tasks 4. Create the tables and links to be used in the database 5. Create the analysis formulas that will be used to analyze the customer data Answer 8

9 Option 1: Correct. The second step in the database planning process is to identify what tables the database should include and the details of those tables. Option 2: Correct. The third step in the database planning process is to identify the relationships that need to be created to link data in different tables. Option 3: Correct. The first step of the database planning process is to interview the potential users of the database to establish their needs and what they require of a database. Option 4: Incorrect. During the database planning stage, the tables and relationships are proposed and formulated but not implemented. Option 5: Incorrect. During the database planning stage, the potential analysis methods are not investigated or implemented. Correct answer(s): 1. Create a detailed report on the proposed tables 2. Identify the links needed between the tables 3. Hold a meeting with the customer service representatives to establish their daily tasks Summary A database is a tool used to store and organize information in a manner that can be easily accessed and updated. Databases are commonly structured using a hierarchical model, network model, object model, or relational model. Microsoft Access is a relational database management program. A relational database is based on tables, which consist of rows and columns. Table columns are used to form fields and each table row forms a record. Relationships can be created between different tables to form links between related data. To avoid wasting time and money, it is important to carefully plan a database. The three steps to take during the database planning stage are interviewing the end users, identifying the main tables, and identifying the necessary relationships between the tables. 9

10 Get Started with Access 2007 Learning Objectives After completing this topic, you should be able to match the main elements of the Access 2007 screen with their functions use Access Help 1. Access interface elements Microsoft Access enables you to create a new database or open an existing database. The commonly used method to launch Access is to click the application icon on the Window's Start menu. You can also launch Access by clicking an Access shortcut placed in a convenient location, such as your Window's desktop. Alternatively, if you have an existing database, you can double-click the database icon to open the database in Access. Try It Suppose you would like to open a database that you have worked on recently. First you need to launch Access using the Start menu. To complete the task 1. Click the Start button 2. Click All Programs 3. Click Microsoft Office 4. Click Microsoft Office Access 2007 The Access application opens. When you launch Access, it opens the Getting Started with Microsoft Office Access page. This page centralizes all the options for opening an existing database or creating a new one. Template Categories - Local Templates 10

11 The Template Categories - Local Templates section enables you to create a new database using a template that is already on your computer. A template is a predefined database that contains ready-made tables, forms, queries and reports. These templates are designed to save you time when setting up commonly used databases. This section provides several database templates, some of which can be used to organize things like contacts, assets, and students. From Microsoft Office Online The From Microsoft Office Online section enables you to create a new database using a template downloaded from the Internet. This section can help you to save time and money while creating advanced databases to organize things like events, projects, and marketing projects. Blank Database The Blank Database section enables you to create a new, empty database. The database you create will contain no data or formatting of any kind, just a blank table to start designing your database. Featured Online Templates The Featured Online Templates section enables you to see what is new and happening in Access. The section provides hyperlinks that are automatically updated by Microsoft and contain the latest updates, downloads, help files, and tips. This section also includes featured online templates. Open Recent Database The Open Recent Database section enables you to open a database that you have worked on in the past. You use the More hyperlink to browse to and open existing databases other than the ones listed. You decide to open a database that you have worked on recently, the Easy Nomad Travel database. You open the database by clicking the link in the Open Recent Database section. The Access interface contains several tools and controls that enable you to view, format, and organize the contents of your database. Microsoft Office button The Microsoft Office button opens a menu of options that enable you to open, save, and print databases. You are also able to access the advanced Access options and exit Access from this menu. 11

12 Navigation Pane The Navigation Pane enables you to view and open all the database objects that are present within your database. Database objects include tables, queries, forms, reports, modules, and macros. Access 2007 enables you to customize the groups within the Navigation Pane so that objects can be organized into groups based on properties such as object type, creation date, and even custom groupings can be created. Title bar The Access title bar contains the Quick Access Toolbar, which includes Undo, Redo, and Save options. The center of the Title bar displays the name of the database that is open. The Title bar also contain any further information, such as the database being open in read-only mode. Access work area The Access work area is a new element in Access 2007 that provides an innovative approach to working with tables, forms, reports, and other database objects. All objects that are opened are placed in the work area. Along the top of the work area is a row of tabs representing all of the objects that are currently open. Clicking a tab will activate that particular object in the work area. Access enables you to customize the work area you can turn the page tabs on and off, for example. Ribbon The Ribbon centralizes all commands that are relevant to the active object in one location. The Ribbon is highly dynamic and will change as new objects are selected and new actions are taken. The Ribbon is subdivided into a number of tabs that contain groups of related commands. The standard Access tabs are Home, Create, External Data, and Database Tools. The Status bar is an interface feature that displays status messages, property hints, and progress indicators. The Access 2007 Status bar contains two standard functions the view-switching function and the zoom function. The view-switching function enables you to switch between the available views. The zoom function enables you to enlarge or reduce your view of objects while previewing a print job. Browsing a record within a table or form is one of the most important tasks that can be performed in Access. Records can be browsed via the Ribbon using the Find group of tools. These are the commands: Replace to replace a particular search term with a supplied alternative Go to to navigate through your records, jump to the beginning or end of your records and create a new record 12

13 Select to select a record or all records within an object Similar to the Find group of tools, a number of commands on the Ribbon open further dialog boxes and submenus. You click Find to open the Find and Replace dialog box. The Find and Replace dialog box enables you to enter your search criteria and search options. Find will search the active object for the search term. The Access interface is dynamic and customizable. You can adjust the contents of certain toolbars based on your preferences. One of the most commonly customized toolbars in Access is the Quick Access toolbar. You can easily add and remove commands from the Quick Access Toolbar by clicking the Customize Quick Access Toolbar drop-down arrow and then selecting the commands you want to add and deselecting the commands you want to remove. 2. Getting Help in Access Access provides a comprehensive help facility that assists you with finding your way around the interface and its functionality. Access provides assistance in two ways. You can access context-sensitive and searchable help information by clicking the Help button on the Ribbon. Keyboard Sequence The keyboard alternative is F1. Alternatively, if you require assistance with a particular menu or button, you can mouse over the menu or button and a ScreenTip appears, informing you of the item's function. Try It You are working on a database and want to insert a logo into a form but do not know how. Open the Help window in Access to find a solution. To complete the task 1. Click the Microsoft Office Access Help icon 13

14 The Access Help feature displays. The Help window contains a number of features that will assist you with resolving queries. Toolbar The toolbar contains controls that enable you to navigate, print, and manipulate the Help content. Text box The "Type words to search for" text box enables you to enter search terms, such as an operation or a function, that you would like to find help on. Table of Contents The Table of Contents enables you to browse the Access help information according to topic. Content pane The Content pane displays content that has been opened from either the Table of Contents or a search. When you perform a search, the search results will appear in the Content pane. Clicking the Search Button opens the Search drop-down menu. The Search drop-down menu enables you to specify what content you would like to search when you specify a search term in the "Type words to search for" text box. You can specify an online source such as All Access or Access Training or an offline source such as Access Help or Developer Reference. If you have a specific issue or query, it is best to use the Search function to look for specific help topics within Access. If you are interested in learning more about a general aspect or function within Access, it is best to use the context-sensitive help files. Alternatively, if you have difficulty completing a task in a particular dialog box, you can click the Help icon in the title bar of the dialog box. If there is a help file available for the dialog box, it will be displayed. When you launch Microsoft Access 2007, you are greeted with the Getting Started Page. This page contains links that enable you to open an existing database, create a blank database, and create a database using a template. Once your database is open, you can view and manipulate your database using the Title bar (which includes the Quick Access Toolbar), the Ribbon, the Microsoft Office button, the Navigation Pane, the Status bar, and the Access work area. 14

15 Access provides you with an extensive Help feature that enables you to search for particular queries. You can browse the context-sensitive Help topics that are organized by command and product feature, as well as find information on a particular dialog box. 15

16 Create Databases in Access 2007 Learning Objectives After completing this topic, you should be able to create a database from scratch create a database from a template 1. Creating a database in Access 2007 Access 2007 enables you to create databases according to your specific requirements. With Access 2007, you can create small and simple databases, such as a home inventory, or very large and complex databases, such as a company database for managing customer orders, product lists, accounts, and employee information. To create a database in Access 2007, you can use a blank database A blank database does not contain any objects, such as tables and forms. When you create a blank database, you need to design your own database and build your own tables, queries, forms, and reports. database template A database template enables you to create a database based on a predefined structure. Since a predefined database template contains all the tables, queries, forms, and reports you might need, this is the easiest and fastest way to create a database. Access 2007 provides you with 11 local predefined database templates. You can also download other predefined database templates from the Microsoft Office web site. For example, you can download predefined database templates to create databases to manage your contact information, assets, or inventory. Whether you opt to create a blank database or a database based on a template, both these options are available on the Getting Started with Microsoft Office Access screen. 2. Creating a blank database To create a blank database, you click the Blank Database icon. 16

17 Access 2007 displays the Blank Database pane. The Blank Database pane enables you to create a database from the start, so it does not provide any objects, such as tables, forms, and queries. By default, Access 2007 suggests a file name for the database in the File Name text box. In this case, Access 2007 suggests the name Database1. Suppose you want to create a blank database to track Easy Nomad Travel's assets. To rename the database, you delete the default filename, Database1, in the File Name text box and type Assets instead. By default, Access 2007 also selects the location in which the database will be saved. If you do not want to save it in the default folder location, you can browse to another location. Graphic In this case, the default folder is C:\Users\Jennifer Westlein\Documents\. Try It Suppose you want to store the Assets database in the Databases subfolder of the Documents folder. To complete the task 1. Click the Browse for a location to put your database icon 2. Select the Databases subfolder and click Open 3. Click OK Access 2007 will now save the Assets database in C:\Users\Jennifer Westlein\Documents\Databases\ once it is created. Once you have chosen a location to store your database, Access 2007 returns to the Blank Database pane. The location is now C:\Users\Jennifer Westlein\Documents\Databases. To create the Assets database, you click Create. 17

18 Access 2007 creates a blank database titled "Assets." By default, the database displays in Datasheet view with an empty table named Table1. The first empty cell in the Add New Field column is selected. You can now enter information into the datasheet table. Access 2007 enables you to manually enter data or import data from another source, such as Excel, into an Access 2007 table. Manually entering information in Access 2007 is very similar to working in a Microsoft Office Excel 2007 worksheet. You begin by typing data into the selected cell. In this case, you type Printer in the selected cell. To move to the next cell, you press Enter on the keyboard. Access selects the adjacent cell. Try It You want to enter the printer's location in the selected cell. To complete the task 1. Type Room 201 and click the Enter key provided Access 2007 enters the text and selects the next adjacent cell. Access 2007 creates the table structure as you enter data. As you add a new column to the table, a new field is defined. By default, Access sets each field's data type based on the data you enter. For example, if you type text into one column, Access 2007 defines the data type as text. If you then type numbers into that column, the numbers will be interpreted as text and not as numbers. This means that you won't be able to perform mathematical functions on those numbers because Access interprets them as a text field. Next you type a dollar and cent amount, in this case $456.67, to indicate the cost of the printer in the next column and press Enter. Access 2007 automatically defines the data type as currency for the entire column. Before you close a database, you should save the database by clicking the Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar. 18

19 Access 2007 enables you to change the table name in the Save As dialog box. In this case, you accept the default table name and click OK. Graphic The default name is Table1. To close the database, you click the Close button. SkillCheck You want to create a database to manage Easy Nomad Travel vacation packages. You've decided to create the database from scratch. Create a blank database named "Vacations" and store it in the default folder location. The Getting Started with Microsoft Office Access screen displays. Task: 1. Access the Blank Database pane. 2. Name and create the database. Answer To complete the task Step 1: Click the Blank Database icon Step 2: Type Vacations and click Create The default database name is Database1 and the default file location in C:\Users\Jennifer Westlein\Documents\. 3. Creating a database from a template Access 2007 enables you to create a database using a predefined template. You can create a database using a local template template from Microsoft Office Online 19

20 To create a database using a local template, you click Local Templates in the Template Categories section on the Getting Started with Microsoft Office Access screen. The Local Templates pane provides you with 11 predefined databases. Supplement Selecting the link title opens the resource in a new browser window. Launch window Click hereto learn more about the local templates available in Access If the local database templates do not suit your database requirements, you can connect to the Microsoft Office web site to download new or modified database templates. The options for online database templates are stored in the From Microsoft Office Online section on the Getting Started with Microsoft Office Access screen. The From Microsoft Office Online section categorizes the online templates. Business The Business category contains templates that you would normally use for business purposes. For example, you can download a database template to track calls, log customer service complaints, or keep track of your business accounts. Education The Education category contains templates that you would normally use in an educational institution. For example, you can download a database template to keep track of faculty members' or students' contact details. Personal You can select one of the templates in the Personal category to download a database template for personal use. For example, you can download a database template to manage your home inventory or personal contacts. Sample The sample category contains a sample database for a fictitious company. To view the templates available from Microsoft Office Online, you click on the categories listed in the From Microsoft Office Online pane. 20

21 For example, to view the business category, you click Business in the From Microsoft Office Online pane. Access 2007 displays the Business pane. Graphic The Business Pane includes the following templates: Assets, Business account ledger, Call tracker, Contacts, Customer service, Events, Inventory, Issues, Lending library, Marketing projects, Projects, Sales pipeline, tasks, Time and billing, and Time card. Try It Suppose you want to download a database template to manage your customers' contact information. You decide to download the Contacts template. To complete the task 1. Click the Contacts template in the Business pane Access 2007 opens the Contacts pane. Once Access 2007 opens the Contacts pane, you can view the description of the template, the file size, and the rating. Graphic The Contacts Template pane includes the following details: Contacts: Create a contacts database to manage information about people that your team works with, such as customers and partners. Size: 382KB (One minute at 56 kilobytes per second (Kbps)). Rating: Four out of five stars. Next you change the filename and select the file location. In this case, you change the filename to "Easy Nomad Travel - Contacts" and accept the default file location. Graphic The default file name is Contacts. You click Download to download the Contacts template. 21

22 Before you can download a template, Microsoft may need to check whether you are running genuine Microsoft Office software on your computer. To validate your version of Microsoft Office and download the template, you click Continue in the Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage dialog box. Access 2007 downloads the Contacts database template from the Microsoft Office web site. The database template "Easy Nomad Travel - Contacts" opens by default on the Home tab of the Ribbon. It contains an empty form named Contact List. You can now manually enter data, or paste data from another source. 4. Access database properties Like any other Microsoft Office file in the Microsoft Office suite, a database file has properties applied to it. Try It Suppose you have created the "Easy Nomad Travel - Contacts" database. You would like to view the file's properties using the Properties dialog box. To complete the task 1. Click the Microsoft Office button 2. Select Manage and click Database Properties Access 2007 opens the Properties dialog box. By default, the Properties dialog box is named according to the database. Databases created in Access 2007 have the file extension.accdb, whereas earlier Access versions save databases with the extension.mdb. Graphic In this case, the Properties dialog box is named "Easy Nomad Travel - Contacts.accdb Properties." The Properties dialog box has five tabbed pages. General 22

23 The General tabbed page provides you with key information about a database. This includes the database name, type, size, location, date of creation, and attributes. Summary The Summary tabbed page provides you with information such as the database title, the author's name, and keywords. Access 2007 opens this tab by default. Statistics The Statistics tabbed page details the dates the database was created, modified, and last accessed. Contents The Contents tabbed page lists the contents of the database. This includes the entire set of tables, queries, forms, and reports in the database. Custom You can use the Custom tabbed page to define your own properties or select one from a list. You can select a property name, select the type, enter a value, and add it to the list of properties. Once you have viewed the properties of the file, you close the dialog box by clicking OK. This returns you to the Easy Nomad Travel - Contacts database. You should keep the following restrictions in mind when building a database in Access 2007: the maximum size of a database file is approximately 2 gigabytes the maximum number of objects in a database is 32,768 the maximum number of characters in an object name is 64 the maximum number of concurrent users is 255 Summary Access 2007 enables you to create a database using a blank database or a database template. You can create a blank database from scratch. A blank database does not contain any objects. This is useful if you want to design your own database, and build your own tables, queries, forms, and reports. Once all the database objects you need are created, 23

24 you can enter data manually or import it from another source, such as Excel. You can also create a database from a predefined template. Predefined templates contain predefined tables, queries, forms, and reports. You can use a local template or you can download a template from the Microsoft Office web site. When you create a new database, it is represented by a database file with the extension.accdb. The Database Properties dialog box displays key information on the active database file. 24

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