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Logan Clark // Microsoft Access // Microsoft Office // setup

In this article we discuss about "What is Microsoft Access" in a very simple language.

Microsoft access is available with the office package from the long time but still most of the peoples are not aware of its presence in the Microsoft Office and they still want to know what is Microsoft Access and what it do and what are its features. Microsoft Access is a part of the Microsoft Office suite and does not come with all the versions of the Microsoft it basically come with the complete Microsoft Office Suite Package.

Microsoft Access is available with its various version and has the look and feel of other Microsoft Office products, including its layout and its working styles. That is why it always have the different versions available and where its similarity ends. Microsoft® Access is a database management system and, more specifically, a relational database management system. In detail Microsoft Access has an .mdb extension by default, whereas Microsoft Word has the .doc extension. This has changed in Access 2007 where the extension is now an .accdb extension. Before 2007 Microsoft Access cannot read .accdb extensions but Microsoft Access 2007 can read and change earlier versions of Access. The above is a briefed overview of what is Microsoft Access. 

What is microsoft access and for what it is made up of ?

Microsoft Access is made up of 7 major components.

1.  Tables.

2. Queries.

3. Forms.

4. Report.

5. Macros.

6. Modules.

7. Relationship


1. Tables : The tables are the most important component and it is used for storing the data in the form of rows and columns. If the tables are not set up correctly, then the other component things will not work correctly, it may make database to work slow, give you the wrong results or not react the way you expect. So, take a bit of time when setting up your tables. As an example: 

2. Queries: Are used for manipulating the data to display in a form or a report. Queries can do sorting, calculate, group, filter, join tables, update data, delete data, etc. Their power is immense. The Microsoft Access database query language is SQL (Structured Query Language).

3. Forms : Forms are the Graphical representation of the data fetching from tables and queries. The person who enters the data will interact with forms regularly. The programmer can set the forms to show only the data required. Developer can also delete, add, edit or save the data in the table with the help of the Form Graphical format which itself is connected with the Queries. 


4. Reports : Reports are the results of the data in the Printable format of the data you have entered into the database. Unlike forms, they cannot be edited. Reports are intended to be used to output data to another device or application, i.e. printer, fax, monitor etc .
5. Macros : Macros can open forms; run queries, change values of a field, run other Macros, etc. the list is almost endless.Macros are an automatic way for Access to carry out a series of actions for the database. Access gives you a selection of actions that are carried out in the order you enter.
 6. Modules : Modules are the basis of the programming language which allow to get connected with the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Advanced users of Microsoft® Access tend to use VBA instead of Macros.

All of the above components are interconnected, this means that changes are saved when you move from one component to another.

I hope the now you have a bit of an idea for what Microsoft Access and its components are. It do have some limitations.

The total size of a database file (.MDB) is limited only by the storage capacity of your PC maximum database size of 2 Gigabyte. These figures are for pre 2007 versions of Microsoft Access.

 Here are some limitation parameters: 


Maximum table size1 Gb
No. if fields in a record or table255
No. of indexes in a table or a record32
Ni. of fields in an index10
No. of tables in a query32
Maximum size of a form or report22″
Characters in a memo field64,000
MDB size2 Gb
Max Integer2,147,483,648
Concurrent Users255
No. of characters in object names64



What is Microsoft Access as compared to a Relational Database

Now you understand a bit of what is Microsoft Access. it is time to explain what a relational database management is all about. The relational database was invented by IBM in 1970.The power of a relational database is the ability to bring a lot of information together quickly it do allow with the facility like Primary key and foreign key. I am not going into too much technical detail of what a relational database management system is all about but hope to explain it in simple terms, Rules of a relational database:

  • No duplicate data (except linked fields – explained shortly)
  • Information is broken into categories
  • Data is broken down to the smallest usable bit. For example a persons name would be broken down into 4 seperate sections title, first name, middle name and last name.
  • Each record has a unique identifier, this distinguishes a particular record from any other record

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