MS Access - a relational database management system tool

Creating a New Database

Start Access

[MSAccess 2013 start screen]

When Access is first opened, a dialog box will appear. To create a new database, select New Blank Database. You have several choices. But when you try to create one, Access first prompts you for a name, and for a place to save your file.

Name your databases something useful. Don't use Database1.accdb because they will be difficult to find if someone else has used the same default names. Press Create and the Database Window appears.

Microsoft Office Access 2007 creates files in a new file format that cannot be opened with earlier versions of Access.


Objects in the Access Database Window

Continuing with our color schema in which we use
terms relevant to entity relationship models and their correlates in Access and, when appropriate, their correlates in Excel

[MSAccess 2013 database objects]

an Access Table (an entity set or a worksheet) is a collection of data about a specific topic

Tables organize and store data into ...

entities with attributes in Entity Relationship Models
records with fields in Access
rows with column cells in Excel.

all databases contain one or more tables

type ⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒ ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓
ERModel entity set composed of entities which have attributes
Access tables composed of records which have fields
Excel worksheets composed of rows which have column cells



An entity set is the list of given entities/records within a given entity class that are currently in the database/table.

In Access, an entity set is a table.

Design View and Datasheet View

[MSAccess 2013 table design view]

Primary and Foreign Keys

a Primary Key is a set of
attributes/fields that uniquely identifies an entity/a record.

A Foreign Key is a copy of the Primary Key of one entity/record that appears as
an attribute/a field in another entity class/table
and helps define the relationship between
entities/records in the two classes/tables

these keys link together the related entity classes/tables in a relational database


a Query is generated to view, change, and analyze data from one or more tables

  • Queries retrieve and process your data
  • Queries can combine data from different tables, update your data, and perform calculations on your data

Datasheet View, SQL (Structured Query Language) View, and Design View

[MSAccess 2013 query SQL view]


A Form is an object designed primarily for data input and display

  • Forms control data entry and data views
  • Forms provide visual cues that make data easier to work with

Form View, Layout View, and Design View

[MSAccess 2013 forms view]


A Report is an object designed for formatting, calculating, printing and summarizing selected data

  • Reports turn the data in your tables and queries into documents for communicating ideas

Report View, Layout View, Design View and Print Preview

[MSAccess 2013 reports view]


Plan the Database First

  1. Determine the need or purpose of the database
  2. Decide which kinds of things (the tables) the database should include
  3. Specify the fields that comprise the tables and determine which fields in each table contain unique values
  4. Decide how the tables are related to each other, then review and finalize the design
  5. Construct and relate the tables and populate the database with sample data
  6. Create forms, queries, and reports to use with the data

Access Database Design Help