Lesson72003 - ESSENTIAL MICROSOFT OFFICE 2003 Tutorial for...

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ESSENTIAL MICROSOFT OFFICE 2003 : Tutorial for Teachers Copyright © Bernard Poole, Lorrie Jackson, Rebecca Randall, 2004. All rights reserved 7 INTRODUCTION TO THE ACCESS DATABASE Keeping student records LEARNING OUTCOMES In this tutorial you will learn about databases in general and about the Access database in particular. The concept of a database is not quite as easy to grasp as that of a word processor or a spreadsheet. So if this is the first time you are learning about databases you might like to read over the lesson first, away from the computer, and perhaps highlight the text to ease understanding. Specifically this tutorial will introduce you to the following: • the general idea behind a database • planning a new database • creating a database template • adding records to a new or existing database • viewing the data in a database • clearing entries and records from a database • making a backup copy of a database A caveat before you begin: You'll find it easiest to use the tutorial if you follow the directions carefully. On computers there are always other ways of doing things, but if you wander off on your own be sure you know your way back! 7.1 AN OVERVIEW OF THE DATABASE CONCEPT The database component of Microsoft Office 2003 is designed to act as an "intelligent" 1 electronic filing cabinet. Like a manual filing cabinet, it enables you to: • collect together sets of related data and, if you are careful and conscientious, keep the data organized; • update the data once you've collected them, adding or deleting records, or changing the contents of existing records; 1 The word "intelligent" is enclosed in quotes so as not to create a false impression. With regard to computers, the word is overused, and strictly speaking inappropriate. It also can be misleading. The only "intelligence" exhibited by these otherwise "dumb" machines has been programmed into them by intelligent human beings. 200
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Lesson 7: Introduction to the Access Database A database, however, is an electronic filing cabinet which makes it easy for you to quickly work with the data—sort them, create reports, merge the data with other documents, and so forth. How is a database organized? Access is an object-oriented relational database management system. The database objects that you can create using Access are illustrated in Fig. 7.1. Fig. 7.1 The Access database objects A Table uses rows and columns to present the data in the database—rather like a spreadsheet. For this reason, when you view a table in an Access database, you are in what Access calls a Datasheet View . You will learn about Tables and Datasheets in this lesson. A Query makes a request to the database, asking it to find for you some data that are stored in the database. You will learn about queries in Lesson 8. A
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Lesson72003 - ESSENTIAL MICROSOFT OFFICE 2003 Tutorial for...

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