Microsoft Access Overview

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access Splash Screen

MS Access part of Office Suite Setup is a Database Management System, It provides a Graphical User Interface and a Relational Database Engine known as Microsoft Jet Database Engine. It is included in Office Professional and higher versions or either sold separately.

The file extension for Access is .mdb but since the Access 2007 the file extension has changed to .accdb, the previous versions of access cannot read the .accdb files but the newer verisons can read or change previous versions files of Access.

The Components of Microsoft Access Database:

There are seven important components of Access Database:

  1. Tables: These are the most important part of a database as they are the storage container of entered data. If the tables are not configured or set properly with correct relationship then either you fill find that the database is not behaving the way you expected and will give you wrong results or may become slow. Usually all the queries, operations and forms are done on tables and the results are based on the information contained in the tables. The tables look similar to spreadsheet of excel or tables in word and have rows and columns, the columns have a field name at the top and rows represents the recorded information.


  1. Relationships: These are the link or connections we make between the tables. They connect the associated values of tables.


  1. Queries: These are the enquiries which are performed on a database to extract the information from a database on request. These are powerful enough to delete, sort, calculate, update, filter or group the data. The language used by Microsoft Access for query is SQL or Structured Query Language. Though you don’t need to know the SQL to work on access, the Access automatically takes care for this by writing the SQL for you when you tell it what to do in the design view window.


  1. Forms: These are the primary interface which allows users to enter, view or modify data in a database, the fields or spaces in the form have a field label so that users can have idea about the form contents. The restrictions can be set on user basis as which user will be able to see which part of database or be able to modify the fields of database.


  1. Macros: These are the pre-recorded set of actions to automate the process of applying them on a database. The list of tasks you can do with macros are endless as you can do almost everything from opening forms, running queries, changing values of fields to running other macros.


  1. Reports: These are the results of the queries or the manipulation of data in the database. These are not editable or just for showing the information or passing it to the application who has requested it.


  1. Modules: These are the collection of function, subroutines, procedure and statements defined by programmer or user & written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). VBA is an event driven programming language and an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) developed by Microsoft. It is discontinued by Microsoft (wikipedia).


Database Limitations

The limitations are defined as:

The General Limitations

Max number of objects in a database 32,768
Max number of modules 1,000
Number of characters in an object name 64
Number of characters in a password 20 (for MS Access 2007)
14 (for MS Access 2003)
Number of characters in a user name or group name 20
Number of concurrent users 255


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