Hands-On Microsoft AccessA Practical Guide to Improving Your Access Skills
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Access is one of the most widely used pieces of software. Perhaps more so
than any other common program, such as Word or Excel, though, many of its
users find it more vexing to really understand and use well. This is because you
can't use Access successfully without a framework in your head of how a
relational database management system works, and almost none of us have that
training. While there are many books on Access, most of them are either
introductory tutorials on how to use Access's features, or big comprehensive
references. None of them give a good solid grounding in basic database design
principles. This book fills that need; there really is no other book on Access like
it on the market. The author has written for on Access for more than seven
years, and knows how to present complicated principles clearly and in an easyto-
Praise for Hands-On Microsoft Access
“Bob has distilled the essence of database design and Access development into a highly valuable and easily understandable resource that I wish was available when I first started out.”—Graham R. Seach, Microsoft Access MVP
“If you’ve been using Access with that typical uncertainty, asking yourself 'Just how could I do that?' or 'Why isn’t this working?', if you’d like to know what you’re doing before you hit the wall, this book is probably perfect for you.”—Olaf Rabbachin, CEO, IntuiDev IT-solutions
“Life at the cutting edge of Access development is exciting and very challenging. The knowledge and experience gained over many years of research and trial-and-error has been hard won. But Bob's new book encapsulates the knowledge we now take for granted, and for the first time the beginner is afforded the opportunity to bypass all that hard work. In this his latest work, Bob has distilled the essence of database design and Access development into a highly valuable and easily understandable resource that I wish was available when I first started out.”—Graham R Seach, MCP, MCAD, MCSD, Microsoft Access MVP, author
“This is an excellent book for beginners, with an easy reading style. It is now on my recommended list of books that I hand out in every Access class that I teach.”—M.L. “Sco” Scofield, Microsoft Access MVP, MCSD, Senior Instructor, Scofield Business Services
“If you've been using Access with that typical uncertainty, asking yourself 'Just how could I do that?' or 'Why isn't this working?', or if you'd like to know what you're doing before you hit the wall, this book is perfect for you. Access is a tremendous product and a database is created using a few clicks; but without at least some theoretical background you're bound to encounter problems soon. I wish a book like this one would've been available when I started getting deeper into working with Access some ten years ago.”—Olaf Rabbachin, CEO, IntuiDev IT-solutions
“This book is for any level DB developer/user. It is packed full of real-world examples and solutions that are not the normal Northwind database that most Access books use. The examples and the technical content surrounding them are the real strength of the book. Schneider uses real-world scenarios that make for excellent reading. It made me want to go and redo a lot of my older Access DBs that were not written as well as they could have been. This book taught me different approaches to doing some routine tasks.”—Ron Crumbaker, Microsoft MVP – SMS
“While a very powerful application (or perhaps because of its power), Microsoft Access does have a steep learning curve and can be intimidating to new users. Bob Schneider has managed to write a book that's both understandable and enjoyable to read. His examples should be understandable to all readers, and he extends them in a logical manner. This book should leave the reader well equipped to make use of what many consider to be the best desktop database product available.”—Doug Steele, Microsoft Access MVP
“The author takes what is potentially a very dry subject and adds fantastic color through entertaining analogies and metaphors. For instance, his examples using the NBA, the Beatles, and Donald Rumsfeld help us 'get it' without realizing we have just traversed what could be very stale database theory. Brilliant!”—Kel Good, MCT, MCSD for Microsoft.NET, Custom Software Development Inc. (www.customsoftware.ca)Go from Access “beginner” to Access “master”!
Millions of people use Microsoft Access, but only a small fraction of them are really comfortable with it. If you're ready to go “beyond the wizards”—and become a confident, highly effective Access user—Hands-On Microsoft Access was written for you.
In plain English, Bob Schneider helps you master crucial principles for building flexible, powerful databases. Discover how to enter data more easily, retrieve it more freely, manipulate it more successfully, analyze it with greater sophistication, and share it more effectively. Schneider's dozens of hands-on examples thoroughly demystify Access, and his friendly, conversational style makes it more approachable than ever before.
Hands-On Microsoft Access presents solutions for the challenges you're most likely to encounter, including
Written for Access 2003, this book also contains special instructions for Access 2002 users and extensive coverage of issues relevant to Access 95, 97, and 2000.
About the Author.
1. Getting Started.
It's About Nothing: Null Values and Zero-Length Strings
2. Database Design.
Learning About Database Design
Relational Database Principles
Organizing Fields into Tables
Refine the Fields
3. Understanding Relationships.
The Primacy of Primary Keys
Final List of Fields and Relationships
Refining Field Names
What Is Normalization?
4. Establishing Relationships.
Viewing and Creating Relationships
Overriding Referential Integrity
The Mechanics of the Relationship Window
Test Data and Conclusion
5. Building Tables.
Understanding Lookup Fields
Creating Access Tables
Assigning Field Properties
Making Changes to Tables and Fields
6. Entering, Editing, and Displaying Data.
Tables Are the Center of the Access Universe
Data Entry in Table, Form, and Query Datasheets
How Form Controls Inherit Field Characteristics
Data Entry Methods
Data Entry: Form Versus Substance
7. Find and Filter.
Find and Replace
Filters in Reports
The Nature of Queries
Adding Calculated Fields
Top Values Property
Relationships Versus Joins
Inner Versus Outer Joins
Updating Records in a Query
Find Duplicates Query Wizard
9. Queries, Part II.
Learning How to Create Reports
The Asia Database
Begin the Report by Creating a Query
Beginning a Report in Design View
Page Header and Footer
Report Header and Footer
Creating a Report Using the Report Wizard
Comparing the From-Scratch and From-Wizard Reports
Exploring Form Tools
Using the Form Wizard
Refining Your Form
12. Form/Report Design Elements.
Adding Pictures and Other Objects
Visual Elements and Tools
Other Report Types
13. Importing and Exporting.
Move Access Data to a Word Processor or Text Editor
Move Access Data to Excel
E-mail an Access Object
Import Access Data into Outlook
Importing Data into Access
Importing Access Data
Linking Versus Importing
14. Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts.
Getting Started with Pivot Tables
Pivot Tables Using Queries
Pivot Table Properties
Creating Pivot Charts
The perfect book for the many Access users who feel that they still don't "get" how the program works.
° Helps readers build better Access databases by teaching just enough database design principles
° Explains commonly used Access features that can be difficult to grasp
° Fills a missing niche in the Access book market, between introductions and soup to nuts references
° Written in relaxed, conversational style with lots of hands-on examples and just enough humor
Bob Schneider has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. Since 2001, he has been writing about Access for Smart Computing, one of the nations leading computer magazines. For three years he served as editor-in-chief of Working Smarter with Microsoft Access, a biweekly newsletter that helps office staff use Access more productively. Prior to that, he was development editor for Access 95, 97, and 2000 textbooks published by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. He is based in San Francisco, CA.