Sams_Teach_Yourself_Microsoft_Access_2000_in_24_Hours

Sams_Teach_Yourself_Microsoft_Access_2000_in_24_Hours
Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Introduction
About the Authors
Title
Part I—Introduction to Access 2000
-----------
Hour 1—Introduction to Relational Databases
Access 2000: Not Just a Desktop Database Anymore
What Is a Relational Database, Anyway?
The How and Why of Indexes
Components of an Access Database
Tables
Queries and Views
Forms
Reports
Data Access Pages
Macros and Modules
The Limitations of Access 2000’s Data Store
What’s New in Access 2000
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 2—A Quick Tour of Access 2000
Before You Install Access 2000
Software and Hardware Requirements
Upgrading to Access 2000 from Access 2.0 or Access 95
Installing Access 2000
Choosing Your Database Platform
Factors Affecting Your Platform Decision
Installing the MSDE Platform
Starting Access 2000 and Opening a Database
Start Menu
Windows Explorer
Microsoft Office Toolbar
Opening a Database from Within Access
Opening a Sample Database
The Access Window
The Access 2000 Title Bar
The System Menu Button
The Minimize and Maximize Buttons
The Close Button
Menu Bar
Toolbar
The Database Window
Status Line
The Seven Main Access Database Objects
Tables
Queries
Forms
Reports
Pages
Macros
Modules
Relationships
Saving, Backing Up Databases, and Exiting Access
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 3—Getting Help with Help Systems
Examining Ways to Get Help
Using the Office Assistant
Using the Help Topics Dialog Box
The Contents Tab
The Index Tab
ToolTips
Screen Tips
The Microsoft Office on the Web Option
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part II—Editing Data in an Existing Database
Hour 4—Understanding Someone Else’s Database
Viewing the Splash Screen
Opening a Microsoft SQL Server Database
Looking at the Types of Security
Working with Encrypted Databases
Examining Relationships
Using the Database Documenter
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 5—Using the Datasheet View
An Overview of the Datasheet Windows
Toolbars Used
Sorting the Datasheet
Finding and Filtering Records
Finding Records
Filtering by Selection
Using Filter by Form
Working with Records in the Datasheet
Adding, Editing, and Deleting Records
Copying, Cutting, and Moving Records
Data Entry Shortcuts
Working with Subdatasheets
Formatting the Datasheet
Changing Datasheet Formatting
Changing Datasheet Font
Changing Column Width and Row Height
Printing the Datasheet
Closing the Datasheet
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 6—Using an Existing Table
Opening Tables
Using the Design and Datasheet Views
Design View
Datasheet View
Examining the Basic Structure of Tables
Field Names
Data Types
Description
Properties
Examining Table Properties
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 7—Using Existing Queries
Opening Queries
Using Queries in Datasheet View
Using Queries in Design View
The Design Grid and Field List
SQL View
Looking at the Basic Structure of Queries
Fields
Sorting
Criteria
Query Properties
Field Properties
Using Toolbars
The Design View Toolbar
The Datasheet View Toolbar
Closing Queries
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 8—Editing Data in Forms
Understanding Forms
Opening a Form
Looking at the Types of Forms
Using Forms Versus Using Datasheets
Viewing Forms
Working with Data in Forms
Navigating in a Form
Adding and Editing Records in a Form
Deleting Records and Data in a Form
Copying Records
Finding Records Using Forms
Printing Data from Forms
Closing and Saving Forms
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 9—Displaying Data in Reports
Examining Report Fundamentals
Using Reports
Opening and Viewing Reports
Looking at the Types of Reports
Looking at Forms Versus Reports
More Ways to Open and View Reports
Printing Reports
Closing and Saving Reports
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part III—Modifying an Existing Database
Hour 10—Modifying an Existing Table
Changing the Table Design
Looking at Table Properties
Modifying, Adding, and Deleting Fields
Using the Field Builder
Field Descriptions
Field Properties
Testing Validation Rules
Understanding Primary Keys and Indexes
The Primary Key
Indexes
Saving the Table Design
Editing Table Relationships
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 11—Modifying and Using Existing Queries
Using the Field List
Using the Design View’s Grid
Specifying the Sort Order and Showing Fields
Specifying Criteria
Querying Multiple Tables
Setting Join Properties
Working with Properties
Query Properties
Field Properties
Table Properties
Saving Queries
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 12—Modifying an Existing Form Design
Using Form Controls
Control Types
Label Controls
Text Box Controls
Using Advanced Control Types
Buttons and Boxes
Option Groups
List Boxes
Using Control Properties
Customizing Forms
Creating New Controls
Working with Controls
Aligning and Sizing Controls
Using Subforms
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 13—Modifying an Existing Report
The Report Window
Design View
Print Preview and Layout Preview
The Report Components
Report Properties
Common Report Properties
Using Expressions in Reports
Date Expressions
Page Numbers
Using Graphics in Reports
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part IV—Creating a Database Using Wizards
Hour 14—Creating a Database Using Wizards
Planning a Simple Database
Using the Database Wizard
Using the Table Wizard
The Table Analyzer Wizard
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 15—Adding Additional Components to a Database Using
Wizards
Using the Table Wizard
Using the Form Wizard
Using AutoForm to Create a Form
Using Query Wizards
The Simple Query Wizard
The Crosstab Query Wizard
The Find Duplicates Query Wizard
The Find Unmatched Query Wizard
Using Report Wizards
Using AutoReport to Create a Report
Using Database Wizards
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part V—Creating a Database from Scratch
Hour 16—Planning and Designing Your Database
Relational Databases
Review of Relational Database Terms
Relationships and Joins
The Three Types of Keys
Primary Keys
Composite Keys
Foreign Keys
Referential Integrity
The Three Types of Relationships
One-to-One
One-to-Many
Many-to-Many
Steps to Creating a Relational Database
Identifying Required Data
Collecting the Identified Fields into Tables
Identifying Primary Key Fields
Drawing a Simple Data Diagram
Normalizing the Data
Identifying Field-Specific Information
Creating the Physical Tables
Choosing a Back-End Database: The Integrated Store or SQL Server
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 17—Creating Tables
Many Means to the Same End
Creating a New Table
Creating a Table in Datasheet View
Creating a Table in Design View
Data Types
Field Properties
Field Size
Format
Input Masks
Default Value
Lookup Fields
SQL Server Field Properties
Creating Table Indexes
Setting and Changing Indexes
Which Fields to Index
Setting Relationships Between Tables
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 18—Creating Queries
Ways to Create Queries
The Query Design View
Steps in Creating a Query
Creating a Basic Query
Specifying a Sort Order
Specifying Criteria
Showing and Excluding Fields
Using Advanced Selection Options in Queries
Wildcards
Comparison Operators
Creating Queries that Accept Parameters
Adding Calculated Fields
Additional Query Features
Grouping the Query’s Results
Queries that Display Totals
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 19—Creating Forms
Types of Forms
Types of Controls
Adding Controls
Designing a Form
Creating a New Form
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 20—Creating Reports
Designing Reports
Design the Appearance, Function, and Data Sources of Your Report
Determining What Data Is Needed and Creating a Query
Creating a New Report and Adding Controls
Sorting and Grouping
Adding Special Effects
Designing and Creating a New Report
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 21—Creating Macros
What Is a Macro?
The Uses of Macros
The Macro Window
Creating and Editing Macros
Adding Actions
Editing Actions
Saving Macros
Running Macros
Conditional Macros
Debugging Macros
Single Step
Action Failed Dialog Box
Events
Self-Executing Macros
Integrating Macros and Forms
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part VI—Additional Topics
Hour 22—Exchanging Data with Word 2000, Excel 2000, and Other
Applications
Using Access Data for Microsoft Word Mail Merges
Publishing Access Components Using Microsoft Word
Analyzing Access Data Using Microsoft Excel
Using the Label Wizard to Produce Labels
Exporting Data to Other Sources
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Hour 23—Database Administration
Compacting a Database
Problems When Compacting a Database
Repairing a Database
Backing Up a Database
Restoring a Backed Up Database
Encrypting and Decrypting a Database
Converting a Database
Securing a Database
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part VII—Advanced Topics
Hour 24—Access 2000 and the Web
Setting Up a Web Server on Your Computer
Introducing Web Folders
Exporting Data to an HTML File
Creating an HTML Template File
Performing the Export
Creating Dynamic Web Pages
Creating an ODBC Data Source
Creating ASP Pages
Data Access Pages
Creating a Data Access Page with the Wizard
Modifying a Data Access Page in Design View
Summary
Workshop
Q&A
Quiz
Part VIII—Appendix
Appendix A—Quiz Answers
Hour 1
Hour 2
Hour 3
Hour 4
Hour 5
Hour 6
Hour 7
Hour 8
Hour 9
Hour 10
Hour 11
Hour 12
Hour 13
Hour 14
Hour 15
Hour 16
Hour 17
Hour 18
Hour 19
Hour 20
Hour 21
Hour 22
Hour 23
Hour 24
Index
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
Introduction
by Craig Eddy
-----------
Welcome to Sams Teach Yourself Access 2000 in 24 Hours, a teach-yourself guide to one of the most
widely-used desktop database management systems. In this book, you’ll learn the basics of working with
Access 2000 in 24 chapters that should take about one hour each to complete.
I first began working with Access back in the dark ages of Access 2.0. At the time, I was working as a
hardware design engineer who had drifted into programming Windows-based tools to aid our engineering
efforts. Most of what I did as an engineer involved databases of one kind or another: tracking parts available
from manufacturers, parts we had in our inventory system, parts we had in stock, parts used on my projects,
and so on. Because I was programming in Visual Basic, which contains all the tools necessary to
manipulate Access databases, Access was the natural choice as a database.
Access has come a long way since version 2.0. The latest version, Access 2000, has Internet capabilities,
the ability to work with a SQL Server back-end database, and a greatly improved built-in database engine.
The book you hold in your hands covers everything you need to know about Access 2000 up to a
moderately advanced level. If you have no experience whatsoever with databases, have no fear. We cover
all the basics of working with existing databases, as well as designing your own original databases. If
you’re already familiar with other database platforms, you’ll still learn a lot from this book about working
with databases in Access 2000.
We start by explaining how to familiarize yourself with an existing database. After the basics of working
within the Access 2000 environment have been covered, we move on to modifying existing databases.
Finally, we cover how to create a new database. In the closing sections of the book, you’ll learn about some
more advanced topics, such as combining Access with other Office 2000 applications or creating Web
pages for your data.
The examples presented in this book are based on the Northwind Traders sample database that is included
with Access 2000. This means that an accompanying CD-ROM is not necessary. These examples are based
on the kinds of tables, queries, forms, and reports that will be familiar to most people who create databases
for common business applications.
We certainly hope that you enjoy working with and learning from this book as much as we’ve enjoyed
writing it. Your investment of time spent here will pay off greatly in the future. Good luck on your journey.
Conventions Used in This Book
This book uses different typefaces to differentiate between code and regular English, and also to help you
identify important concepts.
Text that you type and text that should appear on your screen is presented in monospace type.
It will look like this to mimic the way text looks on your screen.
Placeholders for variables and expressions appear in monospace italic font. You should replace the
placeholder with the specific value it represents.
This arrow (Ò) at the beginning of a line of code means that a single line of code is too long to fit on the
printed page. Continue typing all characters after the Ò as though they were part of the preceding line.
Note: A Note presents interesting pieces of information related to the surrounding discussion.
Tip: A Tip offers advice or teaches an easier way to do something.
Caution: A Caution advises you about potential problems and helps you steer clear of disaster.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
-----------
About the Authors
Craig Eddy works for Pipestream Technologies, Inc. where he is Program Manager for Pipestream’s
thin-client version of its popular customer information management software, Sales Continuum 98. Craig
resides in Richmond, VA, and can often be found surfing the Web or on the sands of the Outer Banks in
North Carolina. Craig can be reached via email at cra[email protected] or via his Web page at
http://www.mindspring.com/~craig.eddey (sic).
Timothy Buchanan is a Senior Technical Consultant for Ware Consulting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He
has been developing with Microsoft Access since version 1.0, as well as helping Microsoft beta-test each new
version of Access and Office. He has developed many large-scale Access database applications for large
global corporations. Timothy was the co-author of Sams Teach Yourself Access 97 in 24 Hours, and is also
writing an introductory Peoplesoft book for Sams Publishing. Feel free to contact Timothy at
[email protected]
Acknowledgments
Craig would like to thank, most of all, his wife and kids for all understanding why he was often stressed while
trying to juggle writing, working, and running a business. In addition, Craig acknowledges the tremendous
effort put forth by the team at Sams, especially Jonathan Gennick and Neil Rowe. Finally, many thanks to the
wonderful team at Pipestream Technologies, who often endured a moody, sleep-deprived lead developer!
Dedication
To everyone in my family, and especially to Stacy. Without their love, support, guidance, and strength, I
would not be the person I am today. Thanks to you all.
—Timm
Tell Us What You Think!
As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and
want to know what we’re doing right, what we could do better, what areas you’d like to see us publish in, and
any other words of wisdom you’re willing to pass our way.
As an Associate Publisher for Sams, I welcome your comments. You can fax, email, or write me directly to
let me know what you did or didn’t like about this book—as well as what we can do to make our books
stronger.
Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to
the high volume of mail I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message.
When you write, please be sure to include this book’s title and authors as well as your name and phone or fax
number. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the authors and editors who worked on
the book.
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Bradley L. Jones, Associate Publisher
Sams Publishing
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
-----------
Part I
Introduction to Access 2000
Hour
1 Introduction to Relational Databases
2 A Quick Tour of Access 2000
3 Getting Help with Help System
Hour 1
Introduction to Relational Databases
Craig Eddy
You are about to embark on a 24-hour journey through the heart of Microsoft Access 2000. When you have
completed this journey, you will have a firm handle on how to use Access 2000 to solve your database needs.
Whether you’re a business professional, an engineer, or a programmer developing database applications,
you’ll find Access 2000 is an easy-to-use but full-featured database development tool.
Access can be used for everything from maintaining a simple list to implementing a full-featured accounting
tool. Of course, what you can do with Access depends on what you put into the databases you develop. The
purpose of this book is to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively use Access to
meet your needs.
The highlights of this hour follow:
• An introduction to just what Access 2000 is and does
• The ins and outs of relational databases
• The components that make up an Access database
• A little about the capabilities and limitations of Access 2000
• What’s new and different in this version of Access
This journey is intended to give you a thorough introduction to building and using databases with Access
2000. After completing the first hour of the journey, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge necessary to
sail through the remainder of this book smoothly.
Access 2000: Not Just a Desktop Database Anymore
What is Access 2000? That question can be answered simply: Access 2000 is a relational database
development tool. This section describes just what makes this so. By the end of this short section, you’ll
understand why Access is a relational database development tool.
First, Access is a database development tool. Databases enable you to collect any type of information for
storage, searching, and retrieval. Access excels at being able to collect information through the use of either a
Datasheet view or a custom form. The datasheet view, which you’ll delve into in-depth in Hour 5, “Using the
Datasheet View,” provides a spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel. You can also create custom forms that
look like all other Windows applications and use these to gather and retrieve information. In addition, Access
allows you to create custom reports for printing or exporting the information stored in the database.
A relational database is a database that allows you to group its data into one or more distinct tables
that can be related to one another by using fields common to each related table.
Secondly, Access provides data storage. Access 2000 gives you a choice for your database’s physical storage
(that is, where the data is actually stored). You can use the default desktop database file or Microsoft SQL
Server to store your data.
Using the desktop database file, you can place the database file on a network file server and share the database
with other users on your network. This method is not, however, a true client/server database because the
Access database is a file stored on a hard drive, not a running application. This might seem like a
disadvantage, but it really isn’t. When Access is used in this environment, it has distinct advantages over
client/server databases. First and foremost, it is very easy to administer. There aren’t a lot of complicated
settings or network and security issues to muddy the waters. You also don’t need a Pentium 200 with 64MB
of RAM to run Access 2000. So if you’re a one-person shop, or you need a database which only a few people
must access at a time, using the default desktop database file is the perfect choice.
Client/server is a term that describes two applications, typically running on two different
computers, which communicate with one another. One computer, the server, provides data and other services
for multiple other computers, the clients.
Finally, Access is a relational database tool. Relational databases are one of the most versatile types of
databases ever developed.
As you can see, the fact that Access 2000 is a relational database development tool brings with it many
advantages. You have the ease of use of a desktop database and the power of a relational database all in one
package.
What Is a Relational Database, Anyway?
In a relational database, you can define relationships between the different data tables contained in the
database. These relationships can then be used to perform complex searches and produce detailed reports.
Another advantage to relational databases is that they eliminate the need to store redundant information. For
example, a mail-order business might use a relational database to track their customers and orders. The
Northwind sample database that ships with Access 2000 is just such a database. Because the customer data
already contains a customer’s address and phone number, the database does not need to repeat that
information with the order data. Instead, each order record is related to an existing customer record. The
Northwind database has a field named CustomerID that is found in both the Orders table and the Customers
table, as shown in Figure 1.1. This CustomerID field is used to define the relationship between the two
tables. Relationships are discussed in detail in Hour 16, “Planning and Designing Your Database.”
Figure 1.1 An illustration of related tables.
The remainder of this hour will provide an introduction to indexes, provide an overview of the many
components of an Access database, and discuss the capabilities and limitations of an Access database.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
-----------
The How and Why of Indexes
Another feature that gives Access 2000 some added horsepower is the use of a database concept known as
indexing. An index to a database is similar to the index at the back of this book. Just as you use the book’s
index to quickly find a topic of interest, Access uses an index to quickly locate the record for which it is
searching. A book’s index decreases the amount of time it takes a reader to find the necessary information. A
database’s indexes decrease the time it takes to perform its work.
An index is an ordered list of the data contained in a field or a group of fields within a table. The
list is designed to be quickly searched by the database engine, just as a book’s index is organized to be
quickly searched alphabetically. This ordered list is maintained internally by the database engine and cannot
be viewed or edited.
Access uses indexes to assist in performing its searches or lookups. When an index is provided and you
attempt to search on the field that defines the index, Access does not need to look at each record in a table.
Instead, it can use the index to quickly locate the value you are searching for and then identify the matching
records.
Let me give you an example. The Customers table is shown in Figure 1.2. The Customers table has an index
on the Company Name field. If you were searching for all the customers whose company name started with
the letter D, Access would not have to look at each customer in the table. Instead, Access would move directly
to the Ds in the Company Name index’s ordered list. It would then see that the customers with Customer ID
values DRACD and DUMON begin with D. These two records would then be returned as the results of your
search.
Figure 1.2 The Customers table in Datasheet view.
The data shown in Figure 1.2 is not very extensive. Even a mere human can quickly locate the customers
whose Company Name begins with D in this list. However, a database is quite capable of storing tens of
thousands of customer records. Without an index, even a computer could not examine each record quickly
enough to be useful as a search engine. Indexes are the key to searching vast amounts of data in a timely
manner.
Caution: Too much of a good thing can be dangerous as far as indexes are concerned. You should take care not
to create too many indexes on your tables because doing so can degrade performance. You should only have
indexes on fields that are most commonly queried upon. The index’s ordered list must be maintained as records
in the table are updated, inserted, or deleted.
Components of an Access Database
Because you already know that Access is a database tool, you know that it provides connectivity to a
repository into which the data you want to store is placed. Access is a full-featured application development
environment. This section discusses the objects that provide you with the capability of developing a complete
database application using Access.
Don’t let the number of different objects available in Access 2000 scare you off. Access provides wizards
which are very helpful when creating your database’s objects. You’ll see wizards covered extensively
throughout your journey. They’re a great way to get started using Access 2000. In Hour 14, “Creating a
Database Using Wizards,” you’ll learn about wizards in-depth.
Tables
The most obvious component of any database is the table object. This is where the actual data being stored is
kept. A table is a collection of records that can be divided into fields. Each field holds a single piece of
information about the record in which it resides.
Access tables can be viewed in either Datasheet view (see Figure 1.2) or Design view (see Figure 1.3). In
Datasheet view, you enter the data for each record in the table. In the Design view, you define how the table
operates.
Figure 1.3 The Customers table in Design View.
The Datasheet view, as you can see in Figure 1.2, is similar to a spreadsheet. The columns in the datasheet
represent the fields in the table. There is one row for each record stored in the database. You’ll learn more
about using the Datasheet view in Hour 5.
The Design view is used to set the properties for the entire table and for each individual field. These
properties include the field names, the data type used for each field, and the indexes defined for the table,
among other items. In Hour 10, “Modifying an Existing Table,” you’ll learn more about the Table Design
View window.
Queries and Views
In a database you use a query (or view, depending on the data storage platform) to search, view, and modify
the data that exists in the tables. You can also use queries to modify the structure of the tables or to access
data that is external to the Access database.
The term view is synonymous with query; they perform the same function. In SQL Server, the object is called
a view. When using the default Access 2000 data storage mechanism, the object is called a query.
The typical query is used to return data that meets specific criteria. These queries can be viewed in Datasheet
view or can be used as the source of data for forms and reports that are created in the database. In addition to
providing the capability to search on specific criteria, queries can also be used to summarize and analyze data.
The Northwind database has a query named Sales by Category. This query summarizes data from the
Products, Categories, Orders and Order Details tables to produce the datasheet view shown in Figure 1.4.
Figure 1.4 The Datasheet view for the Sales by Category query.
Like tables, queries also have a Design View window. Actually, queries have two different design views: the
Design Grid (see Figure 1.5) and the SQL View (see Figure 1.6). The Design Grid provides you with a
user-friendly means of creating and modifying queries. The SQL View allows you to modify the actual code
used to define the query using Structured Query Language. This is a computer language that is used when
(surprise!) you create database queries. You’ll learn more about these views in Hour 7, “Using Existing
Queries.”
Figure 1.5 A query’s Design Grid View.
Figure 1.6 A query’s SQL View.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
-----------
Forms
One of the most powerful features of Access 2000 is the capability to create forms that can be used to enter,
edit, and search your data. After a form is created, it looks and operates like a Windows application. The
Products form from the Northwind database is shown in Figure 1.7.
Figure 1.7 The Northwind database’s Products form.
As you can see in Figure 1.7, the form contains text boxes for data entry, labels to identify the various
elements on the form, and buttons to perform other actions.
The form also has a record selector. This is the series of buttons on the bottom edge of the form. The record
selector allows you to navigate among the records in the underlying data. The form in Figure 1.7 uses the
Products table as its data source. Using the record selector will move you from one product to another and
change the data on the form accordingly.
You’ll learn more about forms in Hour 8, “Editing Data in Forms,” and in Hour 12, “Modifying an Existing
Form Design.”
Reports
What good is all the data you enter into a database if you can’t share it with someone else? Reports enable
you to output data to any number of destinations (such as your printer or an email message) in an easy-to-read
format. You can send reports to a printer or you can export the report to any number of formats. You can even
publish your reports on the Internet or your company’s intranet.
Reports, like forms, use an underlying data source, either a table or a query, to provide the actual data. The
report’s design dictates how the data will be presented when the report is printed, previewed, or exported.
Figure 1.8 shows the Print Preview window for the Northwind database’s Products by Category report.
Figure 1.8 The Products by Category report in the Print Preview window.
You’ll learn more about reports in Hour 9, “Displaying Data in Reports,” and in Hour 13, “Modifying an
Existing Report.”
Data Access Pages
Data Access Pages are Web pages that you can create and link to an Access database. These pages can query
or update the data contained within the database and are very similar to Access forms. Data Access Pages
require Internet Explorer 5.0 to operate. Whereas Data Access Pages are stored within the file system as
opposed to within the Access database itself, Access provides all the tools required to create and edit them.
Figure 1.9 shows a data access page created for the Products table, viewed in Internet Explorer 5.0. This page
is saved as “View Products” in the Northwind database.
Figure 1.9 A data access page for the Products table.
Macros and Modules
Finally, Access provides the capability of creating and using macros and modules. These help produce the
action side of a database. They provide a means of acting upon and utilizing the tables, queries, forms, and
reports that exist within a database.
Macros are simply a set of actions that each performs a specific task within the Access 2000 project. You can
define a macro to open a specific report in the Print Preview window, for example. Macros are useful in
automating Access 2000. You’ll learn more about macros in Hour 21, “Creating Macros.”
Modules are collections of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) procedures. Access 2000 uses the same
built-in programming language as the other Microsoft Office applications. Developing in VBA is essentially
identical to Microsoft’s popular application development tool, Visual Basic. VBA as a language is a subset of
the standard Visual Basic language. VBA in Access 2000 allows you to create your own custom functions and
procedures. You can also programmatically control Access 2000’s underlying database engine. This allows
you to, for example, work with data one record at a time and perform some operation on each record.
Modules and VBA are beyond the scope of this particular book. However, if you would like more information
on them, Sams Teach Yourself Access 2000 in 21 Days or Access 2000 Unleashed, also published by Sams
Publishing, provide excellent coverage on these topics.
The Limitations of Access 2000’s Data Store
Hopefully, by the time you’ve gotten to this point in your first hour, you’ve come to realize that Access 2000
is a powerful database development tool. However, there are some definite limitations and drawbacks to keep
in mind when using Access 2000’s desktop database file. You should consider some of these points when
choosing how you will deploy your database.
For example, Access 2000 has no built-in backup process. Microsoft SQL Server has built-in backup
capabilities and does not require all users to exit the database before the backup can proceed. Access does
require the database file to be closed by all users before it can be manually backed up. If you’re using
mission-critical data, you might want to consider this point. Of course, there are automated backup procedures
that can back up the database file as long as all users have closed their connection to the database.
Second, the default Access data store has a limit of 1.2 gigabytes of data per database. For a desktop database,
that’s a lot of data. For an Order Entry and Inventory database for a large corporation, that’s probably not
going to be enough storage space.
Third, Access 2000 has a limit of 255 total users connected to the default store. Again, if you’re in a large
network environment with hundreds or even thousands of users who must have access to the data, you’ll
probably need to choose a different database storage mechanism such as SQL Server.
Fortunately, as you’ll see in the next section, Access 2000 can serve as a front-end tool working against a
SQL Server back-end database. This allows you to overcome these limitations while still working with a
user-friendly but powerful database development tool.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
What’s New in Access 2000
Although this book is intended for users who are new to Access 2000, chances are most people have heard
about some of the capabilities of previous versions of Microsoft Access. This section describes some the new
features brought to the table with Office 2000 in general and Access 2000 in particular.
Some of the new features include:
• Access Projects: Now you can use Microsoft Access as a front-end database development tool
without actually storing the data in the Access file. The Access Project file contains the forms, reports,
macros, modules and Data Access Pages. The file contains no tables, queries, or views. These are kept
in the back-end database.
• Choice of back-end database: With Access 2000, Microsoft has finally taken Access beyond the
realm of being simply a desktop database. As you’ll learn throughout this book, you can now use
Access to develop databases in a client/server environment such as Microsoft’s SQL Server. This opens
the Access developer to a whole new world of opportunities and capabilities. No longer is Access
relegated to the world of data suitable only for a stand-alone computer. You can now use Access as a
full-featured development tool for high-powered database platforms.
• Data Access pages: Data Access Pages are Web pages that you can create and link to an Access
database. These were described in an earlier section in this hour.
• Friendlier user interface in the Database window: The main window used in Access has been
made more user-friendly. For example, menus have been segregated into sets of commonly used and
less-used items. Also, you can have Access automatically move menu items you use most often to the
top of the menu.
• Subdatasheets: Using subdatasheets allows you to view data in a hierarchical mode. You can drill
down to related data. For example, when viewing orders in a datasheet, you can drill down to the line
items on the order within the same datasheet.
• Web Folders: This is a new feature of Office 2000 that allows you to link your Windows Explorer
file system to Web servers. If the Web server supports the FrontPage extensions, you can open and save
Access databases (and any other file) on a Web server easily using Web Folders.
• Office Clipboard: Using the new Office Clipboard, you can copy multiple items, at different times
and from different applications, and paste them all at one time.
Summary
This hour has provided an introduction to Access 2000 and its components. By now you should be in a
position to move on to the next hour, “Installing Access 2000 and Choosing a Data Store,” where you’ll learn
about installing and choosing a back-end data storage mechanism.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A, “Quiz
Answers.”
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
How did you create the Order Entry database?
Run Access 2000. In the initial dialog box, select the Access database wizards, pages, and projects
option button in the Create A New Database Using option group. Select the Order Entry icon in the
New Database dialog that appears next and follow the steps the Database Wizard provides. If you do
not see the Access database wizards, pages, and projects choice, you did not install that wizard when
you installed Access 2000. Refer to Hour 2 for details on doing so.
Do all the tables in my database need to be related in some way?
No. You can have tables that are not related to any other table. However, you’ll find that this will be a
rare case because your data will almost always be interrelated in some way.
Does creating an index for a field require that the field contain unique values throughout all the
data stored in the table?
No. You can create indexes on fields regardless of the data that will be contained in the field. However,
you can create a unique index that requires such uniqueness. This is a property of the index. A special
index known as a primary key is a unique index that can be used to identify each record in a table.
I have a form which I would like to use to print the data for more than one record. Can this be
done?
The best way to do this is to create a report based on this form. You can do this easily by selecting the
form in the database window, right-clicking the mouse, and selecting Save As Report from the shortcut
menu. The form will be converted to a report that can be used like any other report.
Quiz
1.
2.
3.
4.
What, exactly, is Access 2000?
What is the primary purpose for using an index?
What is the primary purpose of a query or view?
What is the maximum size of the default data store for an Access 2000 database?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 2
A Quick Tour of Access 2000
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour gives you a quick tour of the various windows and dialog boxes that Access 2000 uses. Even if you
already are familiar with previous versions of Access, it is a good idea to take a look at the changes that
Access 2000 brings.
The highlights of this hour include
• How to install Access
• Different ways to start Access
• Opening databases
• Looking around the database window
• Main database objects and their relationships
• Closing, saving, and backing up a database
• Exiting Access
Before You Install Access 2000
Access 2000 will need to be installed on your computer before you can use it. The whole process is simple,
and you should be using Access 2000 within 30 minutes of starting the installation process. If you choose to
install Access 2000 along with the other applications in Office 2000, allow 45 minutes or more for a full
installation. The Access 2000 installation process is similar to other Windows 98 products.
Note: Although installation is a relatively easy thing to do, if you are installing it on your company’s computer,
there might be some considerations you need to know about before you install Access. It is a good idea to check
with the department that handles your computer systems to see whether any special circumstances exist.
Software and Hardware Requirements
To run Access 2000 comfortably and successfully, you need an IBM or compatible computer with a Pentium
or higher processor and 16 megabytes (MB) of RAM over and above any RAM required by your operating
system. I recommend a Pentium 90 or better with at least 32MB of RAM. The more RAM you have, the more
applications can be run simultaneously and the better your overall performance will be. You also need
between 25 and 75MB of hard drive space, depending on what you choose to install with Access 2000. If you
install all the applications in Office 2000, you will need a minimum of 250MB of free hard drive space. You
will also need room for all the databases you will be creating. Access 2000 also requires at least a VGA
monitor, although an SVGA monitor would be much better. A fast video card is also recommended. A mouse
or other pointing device is required to do any work with Access 2000, and if you want to print anything from
Access, a printer or access to a printer across your network is required.
Note: Access 2000 requires that Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT be installed on your computer.
Windows does not come with Access 2000; it must be purchased and installed separately. The rest of this chapter
assumes you are using Windows 98 as your operating system. All Office 2000 products also require that Internet
Explorer 5.0 be installed on your PC. You can install it at the same time as you install Office or Access 2000, or
install it at a different time.
Upgrading to Access 2000 from Access 2.0 or Access 95
If you already own a copy of Microsoft Access 95 or Access 97, you can purchase and install an upgrade
version of Access 2000. If you do not own any of the previous versions of Access, you need to purchase a
regular copy of Access 2000. Before you decide to upgrade any databases that were created in previous
versions of Access, you should consider a few things. First, although you can still open a database that was
created in a previous version of Access, you cannot make any design changes to that database until it has been
converted to Access 2000. You can change data contained within the database, though. If you will be working
with other people who will still be using a previous version of Access, and you need to make design changes
to the databases you share with them, you might want to install the older version in a separate place on your
computer. That way, you can work with both versions of your database.
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-----------
Installing Access 2000
1. Now select Run from the Windows 98 Start menu.
2. Either type in the default setup path to run the Access 2000 setup program, which is usually
D:\setup, (D being the letter of your CD-ROM or floppy disk drive), or run Windows Explorer and
select the proper drive there and run the Setup program.
3. The setup program first collects information about your PC and how it is set up. The first screen,
seen in Figure 2.1, asks for user information, including User Name, Initials, Organization, and CD Key.
The CD Key is found on the back of the CD case. You will not be able to install any programs without
this security CD Key entered properly. This is your proof of ownership, and you will be asked for it if
you call for support, so keep the CD-ROM in a safe place, or at least write down the CD KEY. Select
Next to continue.
Figure 2.1 Access Setup information screen.
4. The next screen that Setup displays is your End-User license agreement. This is shown in Figure 2.2.
Read the agreement carefully, select the button stating that you accept the License Agreement terms,
and hit Next to continue.
Figure 2.2 Access end-user agreement.
5. The next screen, shown in Figure 2.3, has two options, Install Now, and Customize. For a normal
installation, click the Install Now button, and Access (or Office) will be installed with the most
frequently used options. If you click the Customize button, you can select other features be installed at
this time. For now, go ahead and click the Install Now button. If you try to use an option later that has
not been installed, Access will ask you if you want to install it. If you say yes, Access will install it for
you. Click the Next button to continue.
Figure 2.3 Access Setup program.
6. Setup will check to see whether any existing copies of Access or other Office components are on
your system. You can keep these earlier versions on your PC, or you can remove them after you install
the newer version. The Windows Control Panel has an Add/Remove Applications Utility you can use
for this purpose. In Figure 2.4, you can see that the install program checks to see whether any other
applications are running. You will need to shut any other applications down before continuing with the
install process.
Figure 2.4 Access setup program.
7. After the install program finishes copying files, it will need to restart your computer. This is shown
in Figure 2.5. Select Yes to continue.
Figure 2.5 The Access Setup program must restaart your computer
Depending on what options you have selected, the installation could take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
While the installation is taking place, a series of pictures and notes appears on your screen giving information
about different features of Access 2000, and how you can use them. When the installation is complete, the
install program must restart your computer. This is shown in Figure 2.5. After you select Yes to continue,
Windows is restarted, and you are returned to the Windows 98 desktop. After rebooting, Setup will finish
updating your registry and start menu. This could take up to 15 minutes depending on your PC. Now you are
ready to try out your new applications. A new program in your Start menu is named Microsoft Access.
Choosing Your Database Platform
With the introduction of Access 2000, users of Access can now develop and manipulate SQL
Server-compatible databases in addition to the standard Access database files. The choice of which engine to
use depends on the intent and size of the database, as well as the technical resources you have at your
disposal. This section briefly discusses the reasons you might choose one or the other platform.
Access 2000 has two native database platforms from which to choose: JET and the Microsoft Data Engine
(MSDE). The JET platform has been the standard platform for Access databases since Access was first
introduced. The version included with Access 2000 (JET 4.0) is much improved over previous versions. The
MSDE is a database engine for Windows 95/98 that’s compatible with the SQL Server 7.0 code base. This
means that all of the features found in SQL Server 7.0 are included in the MSDE, but the MSDE can be run
on Windows 95/98 machines (SQL Server 7.0 requires Windows NT).
When deciding which platform to use, there are a number of factors to consider. First and foremost is your
experience and your environment. If you’re developing databases for single or a few concurrent users, or if
you’re completely new to databases in general or Access 2000 in particular, you should stick with the
standard JET engine. If scalability of data and number of users is now or might be in the future an issue, you
should start with the MSDE.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Factors Affecting Your Platform Decision
There are four factors which you should consider if the decision is still up in the air: simplicity, data integrity,
number of simultaneous users, and the amount of data.
-----------
On the simplicity issue, the hands-down winner is the JET platform (which is why I recommend it for those
new to database development or Access 2000). The requirements for system resources, disk space, and
administration are very low compared with the MSDE.
If data integrity is a major concern, then the MSDE should be chosen. The MSDE, because it’s built on the
SQL Server 7.0 code base, is a client/server data engine. JET, on the other hand, is a file-server data engine.
This means that with the MSDE there is an application running behind the scenes to handle the transfer of
data from Access 2000 to the physical data storage. This engine performs such tasks as logging database
transactions and ensuring transaction integrity. There is also some built-in fault tolerance with the MSDE. In
general, the more important it is that your database be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the more
likely you are to choose the MSDE.
The third concern, number of simultaneous users, is often difficult to address at the start of a new project.
What starts out as a database intended for a few users can quickly blossom to one being used by hundreds. If
this is a possibility, your best bet is to start with the MSDE. Likewise, if you wish to use the Windows NT
security model with your database, the MSDE provides this integration. JET does not. If you get beyond the
hundreds of users mark, your best bet is a dedicated SQL Server machine (remember, MSDE databases are
fully compatible with SQL Server, so upsizing them is not an issue).
Finally, there are definite differences in the amount of data accessible by each platform. The JET platform has
a maximum databases size of 2 GB (gigabytes) while the MSDE platform can go into the terabyte range (a
terabyte is 1000 gigabytes). If your database will grow beyond 2 GB, choose the MSDE platform.
Even if you decide, as I recommend, to stick with the JET engine for now, Microsoft provides the Access
Upsizing Wizard with the Office Professional Edition. This wizard will recreate your JET database on a SQL
Server.
Installing the MSDE Platform
While I recommend that you stick with the JET platform for now, and indeed the bulk of this book in general
covers the JET platform only, you may have a need to install the MSDE platform on your machine. Microsoft
will probably make the steps required to do so a little more streamlined in the future, but as of this writing
these are the steps to follow.
First off, the MSDE platform is not available in the normal Office 2000 installation program. To install the
MSDE platform, locate the CD containing the Office Server Edition (OSE) and Resource Kit. Under the OSE
directory on CD 1 is a directory named SQL. This directory contains an x86 directory, which in turn contains
a Setup directory. Browse to this directory with Windows Explorer and execute setupsql.exe.
The first two dialogs are standard setup application dialogs. On the third dialog you specify where you wish
the program files and data files to be installed. Usually the defaults are fine. On the fourth dialog, there are a
slew of settings that control how data is stored in the database, how it’s sorted and searched, and how data is
handled in Unicode environments (Unicode is a character set that has enough characters for most of the
languages in use today). To make the database work like a JET database, leave the default choices.
Caution: If you make the incorrect choices on this dialog, and later need to correct them, you’ll have to rebuild
all of your databases and reload the data into them. Not a pretty task, so if you’re unsure about any of these
choices, refer to the Help file (there’s a Help button on the dialog) or a SQL Server administration text.
In the next dialog you specify which network protocols the MSDE will use to handle network traffic. Because
the MSDE is not a file-server database, but a client/server database, it cannot use the network file system to
communicate with other machines. Instead, it has its own data transport mechanism. The MSDE can
communicate using multiple protocols, but only choose those protocols in use on your network. If you have
any concerns, consult the Help file (there’s a Help button on the dialog) or your network administrator.
The last dialog simply informs you that the setup application is ready to begin copying the necessary files to
your machine. Click Next and it will do so. After the files are copied, the setup application will start and stop
the database engine a few times and finally display a dialog informing you that the installation was a success.
The MSDE does not ship with any SQL Server management tools other than the SQL Server Service
Manager. This application runs either in a window or as a system tray application (the area where you see the
clock and other small icons). The Service Manager allows you to stop and start the MSDE. A shortcut to it is
placed in your Startup folder so it will run each time you restart your computer.
In Hour 4, “Understanding Someone Else’s Database,” you’ll learn how to open or create a database on your
new MSDE server. You must make sure that the server is running before you attempt to open or create a
database there (the Service Manager makes this simple).
Note: The server is installed with a single user, sa, having a blank password.
Starting Access 2000 and Opening a Database
There are several ways to start Access 2000. The easiest way is with the Windows Start button. If you have
Microsoft Office, you can also start an Access database from the Office toolbar.
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Start Menu
When you install Access 2000, a shortcut to Access 2000 is added to the Start button’s Programs menu. The
easiest way to start Access is to click the Start button, select Programs, and then select Microsoft Access. This
starts Access 2000 and displays the Access startup screen.
Windows Explorer
You also can select the database you want to load using Windows Explorer. Simply select the database you
want to load, double-click the filename, and Windows will start Access 2000 with the database you selected
open. Access 2000 databases usually have the .MDB file extension. If you already have Access running when
you double-click a database file in Windows Explorer, Windows will start another copy of Access 2000, and
open the database you selected. You are allowed to open multiple databases at the same time, using
concurrent instances of Access 2000. However, it will not let you open the same database more than once.
Microsoft Office Toolbar
When you install Microsoft Office and do not customize your installation, an Office shortcut toolbar will
automatically load whenever you start Windows. There are two ways to start Access 2000 from this toolbar.
You can either select Start a New Document, and choose Blank Access Database, or you can select Open a
Document, and select a database you have already created.
Opening a Database from Within Access
When you load Access, the first screen you see asks you whether you would like to open a database, or create
a new database, as shown in Figure 2.6. From this menu, you can select the radio button next to Blank
Database to create a new database. If you select Access Database Wizards, Pages, and Projects, a wizard that
asks you different questions about the database you want to create, and helps you to create the basic elements
will run. If you select Open an Existing File, Access asks you which database you want to open. If the
database you want is not shown in the list, select More Files. Access will enable you to choose which
database you want to open.
Figure 2.6 Opening an Access database.
Note: Don’t worry about that strange-looking paper clip character on the bottom of your screen. That is the new
version of the Office Assistant, and you will learn about it in Hour 3, “Getting Help with Help Systems.” You can
click Cancel at this screen, and still open a database later.
Opening a Sample Database
The sample database used in this book is included with Access 2000, and is called Northwind. To open this
database, select the Open an Existing File option and click the Northwind Sample database option.
Tip: Even if you did not select to install the Northwind database, you can still try to open it under the Open an
Existing File option. Access will ask you if you would like to install it now. Make sure your Access or Office CD
is in your CD-ROM drive and click Yes.
Clicking the Northwind database file and selecting the Open button, or just double-clicking Northwind, opens
the Northwind database. The Northwind Traders opening screen loads as shown in Figure 2.7.
Figure 2.7 Northwind Traders database splash screen.
This splash screen lets you know you have opened the Northwind database and explains a little about the
database. You can either click OK to continue, or if you don’t want to see this screen the next time you open
the Northwind database, select the check box titled Don’t Show This Screen Again, and click OK.
The Access Window
The screen you see in Figure 2.8 is an example of the Access window. This is the Northwind database with
the database window maximized. The Access window is the center of all activity regarding your database, and
consists of several elements.
Figure 2.8 The Access window.
The Access 2000 Title Bar
The database window always displays the name of the currently open database in the title bar.
The System Menu Button
The System Menu button is located in the upper-left corner of the application window, and has the new
Microsoft Access 2000 icon, which is a picture of a key on it. When you click this button once, a menu
appears that allows you to perform certain tasks, such as restore, move, size, minimize, maximize, and close
Access. When you double-click the System Menu button, Access closes automatically.
The Minimize and Maximize Buttons
The Minimize button is located in the upper-right corner of the screen, and has a picture of a line on it. When
you click this button, your application is still running, but it is minimized. You can restore the screen by
selecting it from the taskbar. The Restore/Maximize button can be used to maximize your application if it is
only taking up part of the screen, or it will restore the screen to its previous size if it is already maximized.
The Close Button
The button in the upper-right with the X on it is the close button. This will close Access when clicked, just as
if you used the File, Exit menu option.
Menu Bar
The menu bar contains all the various menu choices. When you click one choice, a menu drops down with
more choices. The choices will depend on what you are doing in Access at that time.
Toolbar
The toolbar is located directly below the menu bar, and is a group of picture buttons that provide shortcuts to
many of the menu bar commands. Depending on where you are in Access, and what you are doing, the
pictures will vary. The toolbar can be resized and moved to different places on the screen. To move a toolbar,
click and hold the cursor on the vertical bar on the far left of the toolbar you want to move. Position it where
you would like it to be. Release the mouse button to drop it into place. By selecting View, Toolbars, you can
show, hide, select new, or customize other toolbars, and pick between large and small icons.
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The Database Window
The database window has two main parts. A list of the types of objects are displayed on the left side of the
Database window, whereas the right side of the window displays a list of the objects of the type selected on
the left. The list on the left side of the window is called by some the “Folder Bar,” similar to the folder bar in
Outlook 2000. This list contains two sections. The top selection, labeled Objects, contains Tables, Queries,
Forms, Reports, Pages, Macros, and Modules. The lower section, labeled Groups, contains a group named
Favorites. Groups are containers where you can place often-used database objects. To add a new group,
simply right click over the Folder Bar and select New Group from the shortcut menu. A New Group dialog
box appears, requesting a name for the new group. Enter a name and click the OK button. Now you can drag
and drop objects from other lists in the Database window (such as Reports or Queries) onto the new group. To
see the contents of a group, simply click its entry in the Folder Bar.
The Tables item is the default selection, and you see the different tables that the Northwind database uses. The
command buttons are used to place the database object in a different view. You can open, design, or create a
new object with these buttons. The list of objects displays a list of all the existing objects of that type in the
current database. To display or design an object, you select the name of the object from that list.
Note: You also can change the way you view the objects in the list by selecting View from the database window
menu bar. The four choices are Large Icons, Small Icons, List, and Details.
Status Line
The status line is located at the bottom left of the screen. The left side is reserved for displaying information
helpful to whatever you are doing at the time. The right side displays the status of various keyboard settings,
such as Caps Lock and Num Lock.
The Seven Main Access Database Objects
To understand how to use Access, you must first understand a few basic database concepts. A database is a
collection of information regarding a certain topic. A database will help you organize this information in a
logical manner for easy understanding. The database in Access is a term for the container that holds all the
data and its associated objects. The seven main objects in Access include tables, queries, forms, reports,
pages, macros, and modules. Although some other computer database programs might call the object that
actually holds the data a database, Access calls this object a table.
Access can only work with one database at a time, but in that database can be hundreds of objects, such as
tables, queries, and forms. They all are stored in one Access file. The heart of the Access database is the table.
Tables
A table is used to hold the raw data of the database. You enter your data into tables. Next the table organizes
this data into rows and columns. The table list is the default view when you open a database in Access.
Queries
A query is used to extract only certain information from a database. A query can select groups of records that
fulfill certain conditions. Forms can use queries so only certain information will appear on the screen. Reports
can use queries to print only certain records. Queries can be based on tables or on other queries. Queries can
be used to select, change, add, or delete records in your database. An example of a query in the Northwind
database is shown in Figure 2.9.
Figure 2.9 A query from the Northwind database.
Forms
Forms can be used in a variety of ways, but the most common ways are as data entry and for display. Data
entry forms are used to help users enter data into tables quickly, accurately, and easily. Forms display data in
a more structured way than a normal table does. You can change, add, delete, or view records from a table
using a form. Display forms are used for the selective display of certain information from a given table. An
example of a typical form in the Northwind database (the Sales Analysis form, to be exact) is shown in Figure
2.10.
Figure 2.10 The Sales Analysis form from the Northwind database.
Reports
Reports present the data you select in a printed format. Reports can be based on tables to show all the data
from the given table, or they can be based on queries to show only information that meets certain criteria. The
reports can also be based on multiple tables and queries to show complex relationships that exist in your data.
Access has many default reports that you can easily create to display your data in any way you might require.
An example of a report in the Northwind database is shown in Figure 2.11.
Figure 2.11 Example report from Northwind database.
Pages
Pages are new to Access 2000, and are more formally called Data Access Pages. Pages are HTML documents
that can be bound directly to data in a database. These documents are very similar to Access forms, but they
are designed to be viewed with Internet Explorer. One big difference between Data Access Pages and forms is
that the Pages are saved to a different file than the Access database, whereas forms are stored within your
database file. This is because the Pages are designed to be used with an Internet browser (specifically for
Internet Explorer 5.0) and they make use of dynamic HTML. An example of a Page is shown in Figure 2.12.
Figure 2.12 An example of a Data Access Page, a feature new to Access 2000.
Note: To use and design Data Access Pages, you must have Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 installed on your
PC. Earlier versions of Internet Explorer will not work with these pages. For more information on how to link
your Access database to the Web using Data Access Pages, see Hour 24, “Access 2000 and the Web.”
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Macros
Macros help automate repetitive tasks without having to write complex code or learn a programming
language. You will be introduced to macros in Hour 21, “Creating Macros.”
-----------
Modules
Modules are user-written functions using Visual Basic for Applications. This book does not cover modules. A
good source on modules is Access 2000 Unleashed by Sams Publishing.
Relationships
There are a few things to think about before you design your first database. One very important tool is
relationships. Figure 2.13 shows the relationship diagram for the Northwind database. This can be a tricky
topic, but it is important to the overall design and function of your database. I will go into more detail later,
but for now here are a few items to think about. Tables should be related to each other so information in one
table can be accessed by other tables. Most of the time, several tables will be related to one another. These
tables are related by having certain fields in each table that share common values. The field names do not
have to be the same, but the values have to match. Using good table and relationship design helps prevent you
from storing the same data in two different places. Eliminating duplicate date not only saves time, but helps
keep your data accurate as well. This might seem complicated right now, but keep it in mind as you continue
throughout the book.
Figure 2.13 The Northwind database Relationship diagram.
Saving, Backing Up Databases, and Exiting Access
When you are done working on your database, there are several ways to quit Access. You can choose Exit
from the File menu, click the Close button at the top right of the title bar, or double-click the command
button. Just make sure you never simply turn off your computer without closing Access first. You will corrupt
your database, and you might lose data. If you want to turn off your computer when you are done with
Access, you must first exit Access, go to the Start menu, and then shut down to avoid a loss of data. It is
always a good idea to back up your database often. If you keep a copy of important databases in two different
locations, the chance of a complete loss of information is greatly reduced. You will also want to back up the
Northwind database before you begin to work with it. To back up this database, you need to use Windows
Explorer as your Web browser. In Explorer, select the Northwind files, as shown in Figure 2.14. Click on the
database file you want to back up and drag it to the directory in which you want to save the database files. It is
also a good idea to back up very important databases on a floppy disk, or onto your network hard drive if you
have access to one. Keep a copy on floppy disk at a different location than your PC in case of fire or other
damage.
Figure 2.14 The Northwind database Access files in the Windows Explorer.
Caution: Remember to always exit Access properly, or you run the risk of losing data!
Summary
This hour provides a quick tour of what Access 2000 has to offer. This chapter samples the various windows
and dialog boxes that Access 2000 uses, as well as a few topics you should think about before designing your
first database. You should now know how to install Access, open and close a database, and exit Access. Keep
in mind that Access 2000 has many more things to offer.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
Why are tables so important to Access?
They not only hold the raw data that all objects use, they also use relationships to maintain data
integrity and accuracy.
Why do I need to exit Access before I shut off my computer?
Access has many different internal files open when it is running, and if you shut off the computer
before saving and exiting Access properly, these files are left open, and database corruption and data
loss can result.
Can I run Access 97 and Access 2000 at the same time?
You can have both versions on your computer at one time, but databases created in Access 2000 cannot
be used in versions of Access prior to Access 97. Also, any databases created in earlier versions of
Access can only have their data modified (but not their database design) in Access 2000 until you
convert them.
Quiz
1. Why are relationships between objects important to the design of your database?
2. What are the seven main database objects used in Access 2000?
3. How do you save your database in Access 2000?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 3
Getting Help with Help Systems
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
In this hour, I explain how to find topic information using the online Help systems. After you complete this
hour, you will be able to find help and more information on any Access 2000 topic. Topics for this hour
include the following:
• Using the Office Assistant
• Getting help using the standard Help menus
• Browsing Help using Contents and Index
Examining Ways to Get Help
Now that you know the basics of starting Access, you probably need some help learning more about the
program. Online Help systems provide a reference tool and information about various Access tasks. The
questions you might have can be answered in many ways, and several online functions are available to help
you:
• Office Assistant
• Standard Windows Help menus
• Screen tips
Many of the examples in this chapter make use of the Northwind sample database that ships with Access
2000. If you haven’t already done so, you might want to open it so that you can follow along.
Note: Hour 2, “A Quick Tour of Access 2000,” explained how to start Access and open the Northwind sample
database. To open the Northwind database, start Access, select the Open an Existing Database option, and
double-click the More Files option. The Northwind database default location when Access 2000 is installed with
Office 2000 is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Samples. It might be in a different location on your PC.
Using the Office Assistant
One of the first things you notice when starting Access 2000 is a new, curious-looking creature in a box at the
bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This is the Office Assistant—a feature in all the applications in the
Office 2000 suite. His main function is to help you with any questions or problems you might have with any
Office 2000 product. To activate the Office Assistant, click on him with your mouse. After you click the
Office Assistant, press F1, or select Help, Microsoft Access, a menu is displayed by the Office Assistant
listing several options, as shown in Figure 3.1. Your list might look slightly different, depending on your
setup. You can also press F1 to open the Office Assistant.
Figure 3.1 Using the Office Assistant menu.
Note: The screen shots in this book might look different from the screen on your PC. Different resolution
settings, colors, and choice of Office Assistant can make the screen shots different from what you are viewing on
your own PC. Don’t worry about the differences; just concentrate on the information I discuss.
Under the heading “What would you like to do?,” a few context-sensitive Help topics are listed that are
relevant to what you currently are doing in Access. You can view even more topics by clicking the See More
topic at the bottom of the list. Below this option is a text box with room for you to type a request or Help
question. If you need help but are not exactly sure which Help topic you should select, this is a good place to
start. You can type a question using plain English, without relying on technical language. Or, you can just
type one or two words related to the Help topic for which you are searching, as shown in Figure 3.2. After you
finish typing, click the Search button. You then see Help topics that are related to the question you typed.
Figure 3.2 Searching for a Help topic.
You can click the Options button to change the capabilities and functions of the Office Assistant. If the Office
Assistant is not set up to open when you hit F1, you can select Help, Show the Office Assistant from the
menu.
Note: The default Office Assistant is Rocky the Dog, but you can change your Office Assistant by right-clicking
him and clicking Options or Choose Assistant. You can choose from a number of different Assistants, including
an Albert Einstein assistant, a bouncing rubber ball, Mother Nature, or F1 the robot. They all work the same way,
but are a rather amusing distraction, so have some fun, play around with them, and see the different animations
they each provide.
Using the Help Topics Dialog Box
If you get a little annoyed with the Office Assistant, the standard Windows 98 Help systems are also
available. You can turn the Office Assistant off using the Options button. With the Office Assistant turned
off, you can choose Help, Microsoft Access Help; or hit F1 to display Access’s Help Topics dialog box, as
shown in Figure 3.3.
Figure 3.3 The Microsoft Access Help dialog box with the Contents tab selected.
The Help Topics dialog box shows you a few ways to get started with Access 2000. This dialog box offers
three options:
• Contents: Displays the default view in the table of contents, as shown in Figure 3.3. After you click
a topic, a menu of subtopics appears.
• Answer Wizard: Enables you to type in a question in plain English, and displays topics that should
help you with your question.
• Index: Displays an alphabetical listing of the Help topics available to you. You can scroll through the
list or type the first few letters of the topic on which you want to get help.
Tip: If you have used a previous version of Access, you might want to use the default Help menu, which
provides information on the new features of Access 2000. This information is listed under the What’s New topic.
The Contents Tab
The list of Help topics under the Contents tab is very general. Book icons designate general topics.
Double-click a book icon to display more specific topics. You can double-click an open topic to close it.
Double-clicking the general topics leads you to specific Help topics, which are indicated by open-book icons
and page icons, as shown in Figure 3.4.
Figure 3.4 Viewing specific topics indicated by the book and page icons.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
The Index Tab
You can click the Index tab to search for help alphabetically. Type the first few letters of the help topic for
which you are searching, and the menu jumps to the topics that start with those letters, as shown in Figure 3.5.
Double-click a topic, or select the topic and click the Display button, to view the help topic.
Figure 3.5 Using a shortcut to search for help
When a Help topic is displayed, some words appear underlined, as shown in Figure 3.5. If you click these
words, which are called hyperlinks, you are taken to a new area with more information on that specific word
or topic. When viewing these Help topics, you can click the Back button to return to the previous Help topic.
You can click Help Topics to return to the main Help menu.
Tip: One good shortcut involves the right mouse button. Access 2000 uses the right mouse button for many
different options. Right-clicking different parts of the database gives you several shortcut options for that part of
the database. Experiment with the parts of the database to see what shortcuts you can use.
ToolTips
You can get help on using the toolbar tools by viewing ToolTips. When you move the mouse pointer to one of
the toolbar tools and leave the mouse pointer on the tool for a moment, Access displays the name of the
selected tool in a small box next to the pointer. This is a ToolTip, as shown in Figure 3.6.
Figure 3.6 Placing your cursor over a toolbar button to preview the action that the icon performs.
Screen Tips
Screen tips are similar to ToolTips but usually provide more information. Screen tips give you a short
explanation about the various parts of Access. They consist of text only, displayed in a rectangle. Screen tips
provide a paragraph about the topic, whereas ToolTips consist only of a word or two. You use screen tips by
clicking the Help icon on the toolbar or choosing Help, What’s This? You then click the area of the screen
that you want information on, and Access displays a screen tip consisting of a paragraph of text about the item
you selected, as shown in Figure 3.7.
Figure 3.7 Using screen tips to learn about the Tables tab.
Tip: You also can press Shift+F1 to access screen tips related to the part of the screen where your cursor is
located.
The Microsoft Office on the Web Option
You might have noticed an option on your Help menu called Office on the Web (see Figure 3.8). Clicking this
menu item causes Access to log onto the Internet (if necessary) and take you to the Web page with Help
related to the topic you selected.
Figure 3.8 Using the Help menu to access the Internet and view Help related to a specific topic.
Summary
In this hour, I explained how to find topic information using the online Help systems. There are many
different ways to get help using Access 2000. The most popular and easiest ways to get help are covered in
this hour.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
What other Office Assistants are available for use?
Access 2000 gives you six different Office Assistants: The Dot, F1 the Robot, The Genius, Office
Logo, Mother Nature, and Rocky the Dog. They all perform exactly the same, but each provides a way
to make your desktop unique. Microsoft will probably add more assistants. Check its Web site at
http://www.microsoft.com/office.
What kind of help is available on the Microsoft Web pages?
All kinds of help and news on Microsoft products are available on the Microsoft Web pages
(http://www.microsoft.com/office). Tips, free software downloads, and more information is available.
Quiz
1. Where can you get help on the Internet?
2. How do you access Help?
3. Can you browse for Help?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Part II
Editing Data in an Existing Database
Hour
4 Understanding Someone Else’s Database
5 Using the Datasheet View
6 Using an Existing Table
7 Using Existing Queries
8 Editing Data in Forms
9 Displaying Data in Reports
Hour 4
Understanding Someone Else’s Database
Timothy Buchanan
This hour helps you quickly understand the basic design of a database that someone else has developed and to
make changes to that database as necessary. You learn about the following topics in this hour:
• Examining startup options
• Reviewing security levels
• Understanding existing relationships
• Establishing referential integrity
• Using encryption
• Using the Database Documenter
Note: Several concepts covered in this hour are too complicated to be discussed completely within the scope of
this book. I will cover the basic topics related to understanding an existing database.
Viewing the Splash Screen
You might have noticed when loading the Northwind database that a splash screen appears first. This screen
simply tells you a little about the database, but this feature also can be used as a security measure. Some
databases use the AutoExec option or the Startup macro to display the splash screen to prevent you from
accessing other parts of the database. This way you can show the user just the main menu and hide the other
elements of the database. Using this method the user can still access the rest of the database, but they first
have to exit the menu. You can skip this opening screen by pressing Shift while the database is loading. This
prevents the AutoExec macro from executing.
Note: A macro is an Access database object that enables several menu item actions to take place at once. The
Startup macro is a macro that executes automatically when the database is opened, usually running a “splash
screen” and opening forms. You’ll learn about these and other types of macros in Hour 21, “Creating Macros.”
Opening a Microsoft SQL Server Database
Access 2000 is a very versatile database development application. Not only can it work with native Access
database files, but it can also be used to create and modify the design of Microsoft SQL Server databases.
While SQL Server database administration is beyond the scope of this book, it’s important that you at least
know how to use Access 2000 to open a SQL Server database.
Access 2000 works with SQL Server databases through the use of Access Project (ADP) files. These files
contain the information necessary for Access to connect to the SQL Server database they represent. Access
2000 provides two ways to create new ADP files: one for a new SQL Server database and one for an existing
SQL Server database. Both of these options are found on the General tab of the New Database window (see
Figure 4.1).
Figure 4.1 The New Database dialog box, showing the Project (Existing Database) and Project (New
Database) icons.
To work with SQL Server databases, you must have the SQL Server client access modules installed on your
system. Additionally, you must have the client configuration set properly for your network protocols and the
particular SQL Server machine to which you’ll connect. All of this is beyond the scope of this book and
should be set up by a system administrator, particularly if you’re using an enterprise-based machine. Once
you have these items in place, you can proceed to create your Access Project file.
If the database already exists on the SQL Server, double-click the Project (Existing Database) entry in the
New Database dialog box. If you’re creating a new database on the SQL Server machine, use the Project
(New Database) entry. In either case, the File New Database dialog box appears. This is a standard File
Open/New dialog box. Enter a name for your project files (which have an extension of ADP) and pick an
appropriate folder. Then click the Create button.
If you choose the Project (Existing Database) entry, the Data Link Properties dialog box, shown in Figure 4.2,
appears.
Figure 4.2 The Data Link Properties dialog box, where you enter the information necessary to connect to an
existing SQL Server database.
This dialog box has three steps. You enter the name of the SQL Server machine (in step 1 of the dialog box),
your login information required to gain access to the SQL Server (in step 2), and the name of the database
which you’re opening (in step 3). If SQL Server is version 7.0, and you’ve entered proper login information,
you will be able to drop down the list box in step 3 and see a list of the databases to which you have access.
After the dialog box is completed, you can click the Test Connection button to validate everything. If all is
well, you’ll get a success message. Otherwise you’ll get a message box informing you of the errant entry or
possible communication problem with the SQL Server. Click the OK button to connect to the database.
Access will populate the various sections of the Database window, as shown in Figure 4.3.
Figure 4.3 The Database window connected to a SQL Server.
If instead of an existing database, you choose the Project (New Database) entry on the New Database dialog
box, Access will launch the Microsoft SQL Server Database Wizard instead of the Data Link Properties
dialog box. This wizard is shown in Figure 4.4.
Figure 4.4 The Microsoft SQL Server Database Wizard, for creating a new SQL Server database.
Note: This wizard is not installed under the typical installation. However, Access will prompt you to install it
thanks to the “Install on First Use” feature of Office 2000 Setup. You’ll obviously need to install it if you wish to
create SQL Server databases in this manner.
Here you enter a server name, the login information (you must have CREATE DATABASE permission on
the SQL Server you specified in order to create a new database there), and a name for the new database. The
wizard provides a default name that’s based upon the Access Project filename you specified on the File New
Database dialog box.
After the information is entered, click the Next button. Since the wizard only has two dialog boxes, this is its
final dialog box. Click Finish to create the new database. After it’s created, you’ll find yourself at the
Database window ready to add the objects (such as tables, views, and stored procedures) needed in your
database.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Looking at the Types of Security
Two general types of database security are available in Access 2000. The first and simplest is password
security. Databases that have this type of security display a Password Required screen when you try to load
the database, as shown in Figure 4.5.
Figure 4.5 Entering your password so you can load the database.
If you do not enter the correct password, you cannot open the database. If you type the correct password, you
are allowed to open the database, and you also are granted rights to view and edit all objects in the database.
Tip: If the database you tried to load displays a Password Required screen when you open it and you do not have
the password, you must get the correct password from the database designer before you can log on. You will not
be able to open the database until you get the password.
The second type of security is user-level security, and it is more flexible and extensive than simply setting a
password. This form of security is similar to a network system’s security. Users have to enter a user ID and
password when they open databases that have security passwords enabled. These users are defined as
members of a group in the workgroup information file. Each group is given permissions that regulate what
they are allowed to do with each object in the database. See Hour 23, “Database Administration,” for more on
permissions.
Note: If you cannot access the whole database, or if it is difficult to access all parts of a database, the database
you are trying to change is probably using user-level security. The easiest thing to do is to contact the original
database designer and have him remove the security. If you cannot do that, you can remove user-level security,
but it is beyond the scope of this book to explain how. You can find more information about this by searching for
the Help topic “Removing User-Level Security.”
Working with Encrypted Databases
Encrypted databases are another potential problem when working with someone else’s database. Encrypted
databases are databases that have been compacted and made indecipherable to a word processor or utility
program. Access can still open encrypted databases. To decrypt a database, choose Tools, Security,
Encrypt/Decrypt Database. Next specify the database you want to decrypt and click OK. Now specify the
name, drive, and folder you want for the decrypted database, and then click OK. This process creates a new,
decrypted copy of your original database. The old, encrypted, database still exists on your computer.
Note: You must have enough disk space for both the original database and the decrypted database. For example,
if the database is 5MB, you need at least 10MB of hard drive space or you get an error.
Caution: Encrypting a database does not restrict access to any of the database objects. You must implement
user-level security in order to restrict access.
Examining Relationships
After you can open and change the objects of the database, the next topic you need to consider is the
relationships between the objects in the database. As you might remember from Hour 2, “A Quick Tour of
Access 2000,” relationships are the way objects are linked together to ensure data integrity. To view the
relationships of objects, you can open the Relationships window. Make sure that the database is loaded and
that the Database window is active. Press F11 if you do not know whether the Database window is active.
Click the Relationships button on the toolbar or choose Tools, Relationships from the menu. If any
relationships exist in this database, the Relationships window is displayed. If no relationships are defined, the
Add Table/Queries dialog box appears. Figure 4.6 shows the Relationships window for the Northwind
database.
Figure 4.6 Viewing the Northwind database Relationships window.
You can use the Relationships window to see which tables and fields are related to one another. You can use
this information to build a blueprint of how the database is designed. The different symbols represent the
types of relationships that exist between the database objects. The 1 symbols represent the “one sides” in
one-to-one or one-to-many relationships, and the infinity symbols represent the “infinity sides” in
one-to-many relationships.
Relationships are important to the overall design of a database for many reasons. Relationships between
objects are used to maintain referential integrity. Referential integrity refers to a system of rules that Access
2000 uses to ensure that relationships between records in related objects remain valid and that related data is
not accidentally changed or deleted. A well-designed database uses referential integrity to ensure data
validity.
Using the Database Documenter
The Database Documenter is a tool that first was included with Access 95. You can use it to easily explore the
database design and objects. You can view the table design for a table in your database by choosing Tools,
Analyze, Documenter, as shown in Figure 4.7. You can also print the table design after viewing it. This
feature is not installed automatically when you install Access 2000. If you did not choose to install it, Access
2000 will ask you if you want to install it now.
Figure 4.7 Viewing Northwind’s table design in the Database Documenter.
After you open the Database Documenter, a form appears in which you can choose which database objects
you want to analyze. You can select the All Object Types tab to display a list of all the object types in the
database, as well as different options for printing. You can also click the Options button to access additional
options that enable you to select the information to print about your database. You can even print all the field
names, their properties, and their indexes. After you select the information you want to display, Access
displays this information in a report. You can then simply view this information or print it.
Note: You can use the Database Documenter Report to document all the tables, queries, forms, and other objects
to tell you more about the database with which you are working. Print out a copy of this report for future
reference. Figure 4.8 shows the Database Documenter report for the Northwind database.
Figure 4.8 The Database Documenter Report for the Northwind database.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
-----------
Summary
This hour discussed ways to quickly learn and understand the basic design of a database that someone else has
developed and to make changes to that database as necessary. Security and encryption of databases were also
covered.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
What can you do with a Startup macro?
You can use the Startup macro to open any database object such as forms, reports, queries, or tables.
Any action performed by the menu can be performed in a macro.
Why should you use relationships?
Relationships are a very important feature of any database program. Relationships ensure that your data
is valid and that there is no unnecessary duplication of data.
Quiz
1. How do you skip the startup screen when a database loads?
2. How can you look at the relationships in a database?
3. Can you save the results of a database documentation?
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Title
Hour 5
Using the Datasheet View
-----------
Craig Eddy
Access 2000 provides a variety of ways to view and work with data, whether that data resides in tables or is
returned by queries. There are forms, Datasheet views, Data Access Pages, Print Preview windows, and
printed reports. This hour provides an introduction to the Datasheet views, which, except for forms, you’ll
probably use more often than any other window in Access. This chapter covers the fundamentals of working
with the Datasheet view. In future hours, you’ll build on this knowledge while delving into the specifics of the
hour’s topic.
The highlights of this hour follow:
• An Overview of the Datasheet Windows
• Toolbars Used
• Sorting the Datasheet
• Finding and Filtering Records
• Working with Records in the Datasheet
• Data Entry Shortcuts
• Working with Subdatasheets
An Overview of the Datasheet Windows
Datasheet views are very similar to Excel spreadsheets. An example is shown in Figure 5.1. As you can see,
data is displayed in a row and column format. Each row represents a single record in the table or query results.
Each column represents a field in the table or returned by the query. Tables, queries, and forms all have
Datasheet views available.
Figure 5.1 A typical Datasheet window.
Note: Not all forms have a Datasheet view. For example, the Main Switchboard form does not display any data,
thus rendering a Datasheet view useless.
You can use the row and column headings for various editing functions or to sort and filter the information.
Using the + sign in the first column, you can expand the subdatasheet to show records related to the selected
record. Subdatasheets are described later in this chapter. You can also format the way the data is displayed
within the datasheet, as well as print or export that data.
The remainder of this hour will cover the basics of working with the Datasheet views. If you want to work
along with the text, open the Northwind sample database that you installed with Access 2000.
Toolbars Used
In Access 2000, as well as most other Office 2000 products, you’ll make heavy use of the toolbars to perform
common functions. These are the rows of buttons just below the application’s main menu. They provide a
way to use common features with a single click of the mouse. This section provides you with an introduction
to the Datasheet toolbar, which is a collection of the more useful toolbar buttons present while a Datasheet
view is active.
The Datasheet toolbar is shown in Figure 5.2. Table 5.1 follows with a brief explanation of each button. This
hour I’ll only be concerned with the buttons specific to datasheets, so my discussion will start with the Sort
Ascending button.
Figure 5.2 The Datasheet view toolbar.
Table 5.1 The Toolbar Buttons of the Datasheet Views
Icon
Name
Description
Sort Ascending
Sort the datasheet’s records from last to first using the selected
or current column to sort on.
Sort the datasheet’s records from first to last using the selected
or current column to sort on.
Filter the datasheet so that only records having the same value in
the selected field will remain in the datasheet. If only a portion
of the field’s value is selected, any records that have the same
matching portion will remain.
Filters the datasheet based on data you enter into a form which is
opened when you click this button. This allows you to filter on
more than one field at a time.
If a filter is not active, applies the last defined filter. If a filter is
active, removes the filter and returns the datasheet to its original
contents.
Searches the currently selected column for a value which you
specify. The matching records are found one at a time.
If the datasheet is updatable, allows you to enter a new record
into the database.
If the datasheet is updatable, allows you to delete the currently
selected record or records.
Sort Descending
Filter by Selection
Filter by Form
Apply/Remove Filter
Find
New Record
Delete Record
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
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Sorting the Datasheet
One of the most useful features of a database application is its capability to sort data. Access 2000, likewise,
has a powerful sorting tool you can use with the click of a button.
-----------
The records displayed in the datasheet window can be sorted on a single column by simply highlighting the
column and then clicking the appropriate toolbar button. You can sort the data in either ascending (first to
last) or descending (last to first) order. To sort on more than one column, the columns must be adjacent to one
another in the datasheet window. You must highlight each column on which you want to sort. Access will
then sort the records starting with the leftmost of the selected columns.
You can sort any type of data except fields that have data types of Memo, Hyperlink, and OLE Object. The
Memo and OLE Object data types do not lend themselves to efficient sorting and the Hyperlink data is really
not in a format that can be sorted. Hyperlink fields contain addresses of objects which are in a variety of
formats (such as http://www.mcp.com or ftp://ftp.mcp.com).
There are two toolbar buttons that are used in sorting: the Sort Ascending button and the Sort Descending
button. If the column on which you want to search has the focus (that is, has the cursor in it), you can click
these buttons to sort the data. You can also use the Records, Sort flyout menu and select either Sort Ascending
or Sort Descending.
If you want to sort on multiple adjacent columns, simply select the columns by Shift-clicking in the column
header for each column and then clicking the appropriate sort toolbar button or using the appropriate menu
item.
To return the datasheet’s data back to its original sort order, use the Records, Remove Filter/Sort menu item.
To try out some sorting, open the Northwind sample database that you should have installed when you
installed Access 2000. Open the Customers table in Datasheet view by clicking on the Tables section in the
Objects group of the Database window, selecting the Customers table, and clicking the Open button. Let’s
first sort on the Contact Name field. Select the column by clicking on the words Contact Name in the
column header. Now click either the Sort Ascending toolbar button, or click the right mouse button and select
Sort Ascending in the shortcut menu. The data is now sorted by the Contact Name field. Return the
datasheet to its default sort order by using the Records, Remove Filter/Sort menu item. The data is now back
the way it was before you sorted it.
Finding and Filtering Records
Another feature that makes databases useful is their capability to find and to filter data. Being able to find and
to filter means that you can locate and work with the specific information that you’re interested in at a
particular time. The difference between finding and filtering in a Datasheet view is that when you perform a
find, you’ll locate a single record at a time. Enacting a filter, however, will find multiple records by narrowing
down the data displayed in the datasheet to the records that match your filter specifications.
Finding Records
First let’s look at how the find feature works. Open the Northwind database’s Customers table again. Click in
the Contact Title field’s column. Click the Find button on the toolbar. The Find and Replace dialog
appears, with the Contact Title field already selected in the Look In drop-down list (see Figure 5.3).
Figure 5.3 The Find and Replace dialog box.
Enter Owner in the Find What text box and click the Find Next button. The first record with Owner in the
Contact Title field is selected. Click Find Next to locate the next record with Owner in the Contact
Title field. Access indicates the found record by highlighting the Find What text and making the record in
which it was found the current record (the leftmost column has a right-facing triangle in it). Keep going,
clicking on the Find Next button until you’ve located all of them (not really, but I’m trying to make a point
here, as you’ll see in the next section).
Filtering by Selection
Finding records in this manner is a bit tedious. And you really can’t do a whole lot with the records you do
find because they’re being located one at a time and as soon as you move to the next record, you’ve lost touch
with the previous record you found. Here’s where filters come to the rescue: Filters will weed out any records
that do not match your criteria. The datasheet will be populated with only the records matching the filter.
Let’s try it.
If the Find and Replace dialog is still open, close it by clicking the Cancel button. Click in the Contact
Title column for one of the records which has Owner in this column. Click the Filter by Selection toolbar
button. Now the datasheet should appear as in Figure 5.4. Only the records whose Contact Title equals
Owner are left in the datasheet. You can now print this datasheet or export the data to some other file. A little
more useful than Find, don’t you think?
Figure 5.4 The Customers table filtered by Contact Title equals Owner.
Click the Remove Filter button to return the datasheet to its original contents. Now, click it again to see that
the previous filter’s criteria are still active.
Using Filter by Form
Now let’s look at the Filter by Form feature. This allows you to filter across multiple fields at once. Click the
Filter by Form button. The window changes to a single row grid with Customers: Filter by Form in the title
bar (see Figure 5.5). Notice that in the Contact Title field the Owner criteria is already present. Scroll
over to the Country field using the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of this window. The drop-down list
boxes are populated with the current data from all customers in the database. So, if you open the drop-down
list box in the Country field, you’ll see that it’s filled with all the different countries represented by the
customers in the database. Select USA in the drop-down list for Country (see Figure 5.6). Click the Apply
Filter toolbar button (it’s the same button as on the normal datasheet toolbar, just in a different location). Now
the datasheet contains only two records, both of which have Owner in the Contact Title and USA in the
Country.
Figure 5.5 The Customers table’s Filter by Form window.
Figure 5.6 The Customers table’s Filter by Form window showing the Country selection.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Working with Records in the Datasheet
Now that you have the data in which you are interested displayed in the datasheet, it’s time to do some work
with that data. This section discusses how you edit the data in a datasheet.
-----------
Most of the editing discussed in this section requires that the datasheet in question be updatable; that is, that
you are allowed to update the records. Some queries that you can execute in Access 2000 produce a resulting
set of data which cannot be updated. Unfortunately, Access does not always provide a visual cue that a
datasheet is not updatable. If you try to type in one of the fields of a datasheet that cannot be updated, you’ll
hear a beep and the status bar at the bottom of the Access window will display the following message: This
Recordset is not updatable.
Adding, Editing, and Deleting Records
To add records to an updatable datasheet, click the New Record toolbar button. The cursor is moved to a
blank row at the bottom of the datasheet. You should now enter the data for this record. Moving to a different
row or closing the datasheet window will cause Access to save your new row. You can also use the Records,
Save Record menu item.
To edit data in a datasheet, simply select the record and field you want to edit by clicking in its row and
column. Make your desired changes and either move to a different row or use the Records, Save Record menu
item to save the changes. If you have violated a rule imposed by the database’s design, Access will display a
message informing you of the problem. You must either correct the data problem or cancel the edits you’ve
made by pressing the Esc key.
To delete a record from the datasheet, click in the row for that record and click the Delete Record toolbar
button. You can also use the Edit, Delete Record menu item or select the row (by clicking in its row header in
the far left column), right-clicking the mouse and selecting Delete Record from the shortcut menu. Again, if
there is a database rule that requires this record to be in the database, you will receive a message from Access
informing you of this fact.
Copying, Cutting, and Moving Records
In some instances you might want to copy an entire record and modify only a few of the fields. First, select
the record to be copied by either clicking in the record’s row header or by using the Edit, Select Record menu
item. Next use either the Edit, Copy menu item or right-click the mouse and select Copy from the shortcut
menu. The record has now been copied to the Windows Clipboard. To add the new copy to the current
datasheet, use the Edit, Paste Append menu item. To add the copy to a different datasheet (but with the same
fields as the current datasheet), open that datasheet and use the Edit, Paste Append menu item.
Caution: WARNING! If you don’t change any of the data in the pasted record before you move to another row
in the datasheet, you’ll more than likely cause Access to display an error message. Most tables in an Access
database require that at least one field contain a value that’s unique from all the other fields in the table.
In the case where you simply paste a copy of another record, you’ll have no data unique from the record which
you copied.
To copy a record to the Clipboard and delete it from the current datasheet, use the Edit, Cut menu item or
right-click the mouse and select Cut from the shortcut menu. The record has now been deleted and copied to
the Windows Clipboard. You can now use the Edit, Paste Append menu item in another datasheet to move
that record to the other datasheet. Again, the fields must be identical between the two datasheets.
Data Entry Shortcuts
Table 5.2 shows a few of the available shortcut keys you can use when editing data in the datasheet.
Table 5.2 Data Entry Shortcut Keys
Action
Keystroke
Insert the current date
Insert the current time
Insert the default value
Insert the value from the same field in the previous record
Add a new record
Delete the current record
Save changes
Toggle between values in a check box or option button
Insert a new record
Ctrl+semicolon (;)
Ctrl+colon (:)
Ctrl+Alt+spacebar
Ctrl+apostrophe (‘)
Ctrl+plus sign (+)
Ctrl+minus sign (-)
Shift+Enter
spacebar
Ctrl+Enter
Working with Subdatasheets
There’s a really cool feature hidden within most datasheets you’ll encounter. Recall Figure 5.1 having the
subdatasheet expander column with the plus signs? You can click on those plus to expose the subdatasheet. A
subdatasheet shows records from another table or query which are related to the row whose expander you
clicked. Figure 5.7 shows the Customers table and the records from the Orders table related to a certain
customer.
Figure 5.7 The Customers table with an expanded subdatasheet.
You can continue this “drilldown” process with the subdatasheet’s records, if a subdatasheet is available. For
example, Figure 5.8 shows the Customers table with a subdatasheet within a subdatasheet. The first
subdatasheet shows all the orders related to the selected customer. The inner subdatasheet displays all the line
items for the selected order.
Figure 5.8 The Customers table with two levels of subdatasheets expanded.
Subdatasheets don’t appear by magic. You have to define the relationships between the tables and inform
Access that you want to use the subdatasheet features. This is all explained in Hour 17, “Creating Tables.”
When a subdatasheet has the focus, you can perform all the same functions available in the standard datasheet
window. This includes formatting and filtering.
Note: When you format a subdatasheet, the formatting information will apply to all subdatasheets at the same
level as the one with focus. For example, when you expand another order record after you’ve set formatting
information for an order details subdatasheet, the newly opened order details subdatasheet will have the same
formatting.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
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-----------
Formatting the Datasheet
Not only is the datasheet a handy way to view your data, it can also be a well-formatted way to do so. Access
2000 has many features that enable you to adjust the look and feel of the datasheet window. This section will
touch upon a few of these features.
Changing Datasheet Formatting
By changing the datasheet formatting you can change elements such as the background color and how the
cells are displayed graphically. To access these elements, use the Format, Datasheet menu item. The
Datasheet Formatting dialog shown in Figure 5.9 appears.
Figure 5.9 The Datasheet Formatting dialog.
On this dialog you can choose whether or not to display the horizontal and vertical gridlines, what color and
line style to use for the gridlines and the cell background, and whether to make the cells appear flat, raised, or
sunken. To change the line style for a specific type of line (such as the datasheet border, horizontal grid lines,
or vertical gridlines), select the appropriate entry in the left-hand drop-down list box of the Border and Line
Styles frame. The Sample frame of this dialog shows how the datasheet will look if you click the OK button.
Changing Datasheet Font
You can also change the font used for all text displayed in the datasheet. Use the Format, Font menu item to
access the Font dialog shown in Figure 5.10.
Figure 5.10 The Font dialog.
Here again there is a Sample frame that displays the results of your font changes.
Changing Column Width and Row Height
You can also change the width of individual columns and the height of all rows in the datasheet. To resize a
column or row, move the cursor to the line in the column or row header that separates the columns and rows.
When it’s in the proper position, the cursor will change from a pointer to a sizing cursor. For the column
header, this cursor is a vertical line with arrows pointing left and right (see Figure 5.11). For the row header,
this cursor is a horizontal line with arrows pointing up and down. You can drag this cursor in the desired
direction to either expand or contract the row or column sizing.
Figure 5.11 Column resizing in action.
In addition to this method, you can also double-click the mouse when the sizing cursor is active. This will
cause the row or column to be sized to fit the data currently displayed in the datasheet. Also, you can use the
Format, Column Width and Format, Row Height menu items to display dialog boxes.
Note: Access will print the datasheet using the column widths and row heights the same size as they are on the
datasheet window.
To move a column to a different place in the datasheet, simply click the column header, hold the mouse
button down, and drag the column to its new location.
Printing the Datasheet
Now that you’ve seen a basic introduction to using the Datasheet views, it’s time to learn how to print the
data. Printing in Access 2000 is about the easiest operation you’ll perform (next to closing a window, which
I’ll touch on in the next section), so this won’t take long.
After you have your datasheet loaded with the data you’d like to print, use the File, Page Setup menu item to
set the output page’s margins, paper orientation, and paper size.
Next, use the File, Print Preview menu item to display the output in the print preview window. This gives you
a chance to see just how the printout will look and to make any adjustments if necessary. If everything is in
order, click the toolbar’s Print button and the datasheet will be output to your default printer.
To print using a dialog to choose the printer, select the print range, or set the number of copies to be printed,
use the File, Print menu item. The Print dialog box appears where you can set these properties to meet your
current needs.
Closing the Datasheet
When you’ve finished working with the datasheet, you need to close the window. Click the close button in the
upper-right corner of the window. You can also use the File, Close menu item.
If you have modified any of the formatting for the datasheet, such as the column widths, font, and so on,
Access will prompt you asking whether you want to save these format changes. If you select Yes, then the
next time you open that datasheet it will look just like it does now. If you don’t care to save the formatting
changes you’ve made, select No.
Summary
This hour has introduced you to the basics of working with the Datasheet views. It’s a pretty important topic
because throughout the rest of this venture in learning Access 2000 you’ll be using datasheets quite a few
times.
The next hour teaches you how to work with existing tables in a database. Here you’ll rely heavily on
datasheets to get through the hour. If you need to, review the material in this hour and perhaps work through
the examples with a different datasheet than the one I used.
Workshop
This section contains a questions and answers section as well as a Quiz to test your knowledge of queries. The
Quiz answers are contained in Appendix A, “Quiz Answers.”
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Q&A
Q
-----------
A
Q
A
What causes Access to display a message box about not being able to delete a record when I
attempt to do so?
Because Access is a relational database, it is possible to relate rows in one table to rows in another
table. This relationship is usually based on a key field in common between the tables. In order to
maintain your data’s integrity, it is necessary to maintain this related data throughout the database.
Otherwise, you will produce orphan records which are records in one table that point to a record in
another table that no longer exists. For example, if you were to delete a customer’s record, but there
were still order records which “pointed” to that customer, those order records would be orphans: their
corresponding customer record would no longer exist, and you wouldn’t know anything about who had
placed that order!
If you’re working in a workgroup environment, there’s another possibility: You do not have sufficient
permission on the table you’re attempting to delete from. Every user of an Access database has a
particular set of security permissions on every object in the database. If your database has not been
secured in any way, the default permissions apply and you should be able to delete records. If the
database has been secured, it might be that you do not have permission to perform deletions. If this is
the case, see your system administrator about changing your permissions. In Hour 23, “Database
Administration,” you’ll find more information about database security.
Can I change the font of an individual cell in the datasheet?
No. Font changes apply to the entire datasheet.
Quiz
1. Which is more useful when you want to print a specific set of records in a datasheet: Find or Filter?
2. Can you sort the datasheet based on more than one column?
3. What differences are there between subdatasheets and standard datasheets?
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Hour 6
Using an Existing Table
-----------
Craig Eddy
Tables are the basic building blocks of any database. Tables serve as the repository where information such as
names, addresses, product cost, and so on, is actually stored. A true database without some sort of table does
not really serve much of a purpose (recall that creating an Access Project file does not really constitute
creating a database, so the fact that the project file contains no tables doesn’t violate this rule).
I’ve found that the best way to learn how to design and implement databases is to examine existing databases,
particularly the table design. This is even more helpful when the database being examined performs a function
similar to your current needs.
As you saw in the last hour, you can use the Datasheet view to view and edit the data held in a table. In this
hour, you’ll learn the basics of working with tables that already exist in a database, and you’ll learn the basics
of a table’s structure. The highlights of this hour include the following:
• Opening tables
• Using the Design and Datasheet views
• Looking at the basic structure of tables
Opening Tables
When working with an existing database, the place to start is usually with the tables in the database. Tables
contain the data being stored in the database. Access’s integrated store and SQL Server databases use a
relational database model—the database can contain more than one table, and the tables in the database can
be related to one another.
To open an existing table, activate the Access 2000 Database window. Make sure the Objects group is
exposed. Next click the Tables section. The List view for the Tables section lists the three available table
wizards and then displays the names of all the existing tables in the open database. Figure 6.1 shows the
Tables section for the Northwind sample database that ships with Access 2000.
Figure 6.1 The Tables section for the Northwind sample database.
Click the name of the table you want to work with. After you select a table, you can perform many different
actions on it. You can use the buttons at the top of the Database window to open the table in Datasheet view
or Design view. To open the table in Datasheet view, click the Open button. For Design view, click the
Design button.
You can right-click a table name to see a larger list of available activities useful for existing tables.
Right-clicking causes a pop-up menu to appear. In addition to Open and Design, which perform the same
functions as the buttons on the Tables tab, this menu contains items such as:
• Print and Print Preview: Enable you to print the data in the table. The printout will have the same
look as if you had printed the table with the Datasheet View window.
• Cut and Copy: Enable you to use the Windows clipboard to cut and paste or copy and paste an
entire table—data and all. You can paste a copied or cut table into the currently open database, or into a
completely different database.
• Save As: Allows you to save the table’s data and the definition to a new table, or to a form, report, or
data access page.
• Export: Allows you to export the table’s definition and data to an external Access file. You can also
export to a different type of file, such as an HTML file or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file.
• Send To: A flyout menu which provides a mechanism for emailing the table to someone else.
• Add to Group: A flyout menu which enables you to organize the objects in the database into groups,
providing a more logical way to locate the objects. For example, you might have a group labeled
System Tables and one labeled User Tables. The former would contains tables describing the database,
the later containing user-entered data.
• Create Shortcut: Enables you to create a Windows shortcut to the selected table. You can place the
shortcut on your desktop or in any location you specify.
• Delete: Enables you to, surprisingly, delete the table as well as any data it contains. Access warns
you if the table is involved in any relationships with other tables. You then can instruct Access to
remove these relationships and delete the table.
• Rename: Enables you to rename the table. You also can rename a table by clicking its name after
selecting it.
• Properties: Displays the properties of the current table. You also can view the table properties by
clicking the Details button on the Database window or choosing View, Details from the main menu.
Figure 6.2 shows the Details view for the Tables tab.
Figure 6.2 Using the Tables tab in Details view.
You also can perform all these functions by using Access 2000’s main menu. You can create a Windows
shortcut by choosing Edit, Create Shortcut, for example.
Using the Design and Datasheet Views
In this section, you’ll see how easy it is to view the design and data of existing tables. Make sure that you
have the Northwind database open so that you can follow along with the text. Also, activate the Database
window by clicking its title bar (if visible), clicking the Microsoft Access button on the Windows Task Bar,
or choosing Window, 1 Northwind: Database from the main menu.
In this section, you’ll examine the Employees table, so click Employees in the Table list.
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Design View
After you select the Employees table, right-click and choose Design or simply click the Design button. This
opens the Design view for the Employees table, as shown in Figure 6.3.
-----------
Figure 6.3 Looking at the Employees table in Design view.
You can use Design view to examine the structure of the table—the fields contained in the table, as well as
the data types and properties of those fields. This topic is examined further in “Examining the Basic Structure
of Tables,” later in this hour.
Design view is set up in a form/subform arrangement. The grid at the top of the Design View window lists all
the fields in the table, their data types, and an optional description for the field. The tabs at the bottom of the
form display other properties for the field that is selected in the grid.
To view the details of another field, simply click anywhere in the grid row on which it appears. The
information displayed in the tabs changes to match the properties for the newly selected field. The leftmost
column of the grid at the top of the Design View window displays an arrow on the row of the currently
selected field.
If the leftmost column of the grid displays a key icon, that field is being used in the primary key for the table.
The relational database model requires that every table have a field or fields that can be used to uniquely
identify each record stored in the table. This field, or set of fields, is known as the primary key for the table.
The tabs at the bottom are divided into General and Lookup. The General tab contains miscellaneous
properties for a field. The Lookup tab is used to determine whether the field is related to another table in the
database. If it is, the information on the Lookup tab describes how the field’s data is entered whenever the
field is displayed on a form or in Datasheet view. Select the TitleOfCourtesy column and click the Lookup tab
to see how this process works. Notice the contents of the Row Source property. Now click on the Datasheet
View toolbar button and click in the Title of Courtesy column. A drop-down arrow appears in the cell. Click
the drop-down arrow and the list of combo box elements that you saw in the Row Source property of the
Design view (see Figure 6.4).
Figure 6.4 Looking at the effect of the Row Source property in in Datasheet view.
When you click anywhere in the Design View window, the text at the bottom right of the window changes to
describe the currently selected item. Click in the Description column, for example, and the text changes to
describe how the Description column is used. For additional information about any item, you can press F1 for
context-sensitive help.
You’ll visit the table Design View window in more depth in Hour 10, “Modifying an Existing Table.”
Datasheet View
Next, you’ll look at the Datasheet view. Datasheet views were covered in depth in Hour 5, but I’ll review the
specifics of the table Datasheet view here.
If you’ve been following along through this hour and still are looking at the Employees table in Design view,
simply choose View, Datasheet View to open the Datasheet view. Otherwise, activate the Database window,
select the Objects group, click the Tables section, and then click Employees in the list view. Next click the
Open button. You also can double-click the table name and open the table in Datasheet view. Figure 6.5
shows the Datasheet view for the Employees table.
Figure 6.5 Looking at the Employees table in Datasheet view.
Datasheet view displays the data using a grid or spreadsheet format. The columns represent the fields in the
table. The rows are the data records stored in the table. In the Employees table, each row represents an
employee.
To move around the datasheet, you can use the mouse or the keyboard. Using the mouse, you can click in any
cell in the datasheet. Using the keyboard, you can press Tab and Shift+Tab to move from field to field. When
you reach the last field in the current row and press Tab again, you are taken to the first field of the next
record. The same applies to the first field; if you press Shift+Tab when the cursor is in the first field, you
move to the last field of the preceding record. You also can use the arrow keys to move up and down in a
column; this moves you from record to record within the same field.
To add text to a highlighted field, press F2. Alternatively, you can click on the field you want to edit. To
highlight the entire contents of the field, press F2 again. Pressing F2 toggles between Edit and Highlight
mode.
Caution: If you do not press F2 or you don’t click in the field before typing, you will replace the previous data
in the field. To undo this, press the Esc key.
To select an entire record, click the leftmost column of that record’s row (the column with the arrow that
signifies the current row). You then can cut, copy, or delete an entire record of data.
To add a new employee to the table, click in the last row of the datasheet and enter the appropriate data. You
also can append a new row by copying a row and choosing Edit, Paste Append.
You should look at a few special fields in the Employees table. First, click in the Title Of Courtesy column.
Notice that the edit box changes to a drop-down list box. Click the button with the down arrow to display the
available titles in the drop-down list. Click one of the titles, and the field’s value changes to the value you
selected. Likewise, the Reports To column displays a drop-down list. The names in this list are actually the
names contained in the Employees table. You can see how this is set up by returning to Design view (choose
View, Design View), selecting the ReportsTo field, and clicking on the Lookup tab at the bottom of the
Design View window.
Another special field is the Photo field. Notice that for every record in the table, the value is Bitmap
Image. This signifies that an image object is being stored in the field. Access 2000 can store binary data and
OLE objects in fields in the database. To view the image while in Datasheet view, double-click the cell for the
employee whose photo you want to view. Microsoft Paint (or possibly another application that has been
installed to handle bitmap files) opens, and the photo is displayed.
Click the plus sign in the first column. This will display the subdatasheet for the Employees table. By default,
the Employees table’s subdatasheet shows related records from the Orders table. Which related table is shown
is controlled by the Subdatasheet Name table property (you can modify this by returning to Design
View an clicking the Properties toolbar button). You work in the subdatasheet just like you work in the main
datasheet.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Examining the Basic Structure of Tables
In this section, you’ll learn all about how a table is constructed. As I said earlier, the best way to learn about
database design is by studying existing databases. Here, you’ll examine the design of the Employees table in
more detail.
If you’ve been following along with the text, you’ll be looking at the Employees table in Datasheet view. If
so, choose View, Design View to return to Design view. If you haven’t been following along, open the
Employees table in Design view by activating the Database window, selecting the Objects group, clicking the
Tables section, selecting the Employees table, and clicking the Design button.
Field Names
The Field Name column specifies a name for the field (surprised?). The name can be practically anything you
want it to be, but you can’t use the same name twice in the same table. The field name is set in the leftmost
column of text in the grid at the top of the Design View window. In the Employees table, some of the field
names are EmployeeID, LastName, FirstName, HireDate, and ReportsTo.
Field names must follow certain rules. They can contain up to 64 characters and can include any combination
of letters, numbers, spaces, and special characters except periods, exclamation marks, accent graves, or square
brackets. Field names cannot start with spaces or control characters (ASCII values 0 to 31).
Note: Although spaces can appear in a field’s name, it’s not advisable to use them. Doing so necessitates the use
of square brackets ([]) around the field’s name whenever the field is referred to in a query or another expression.
Instead of spaces, most database designers use mixed case, as in the LastName and HireDate fields in the
Employees table.
Data Types
The Data Type column, which is next to the Field Name column, specifies the type of information stored in
the field. The edit box for this column is a drop-down list box. The list contains all the available data types, as
well as a Lookup Wizard entry. The available data types include the following:
• Text: A string of characters used to store alphanumeric data. The maximum number of characters
you can store in a single Text field is 255.
• Memo: Stores long text fields. No maximum is specified by the user, but Access imposes a limit of
64,000 characters. The Notes field is a Memo field.
• Number: Stores numeric data.
• Date/Time: Stores dates and times. HireDate and BirthDate are Date/Time fields.
• Currency: A special numeric data type used for monetary values because it prevents round-off
errors during calculations.
• AutoNumber: A special numeric data type that can be used for primary key fields. Fields of this
data type always are read-only, because Access automatically inserts the next number in the sequence
or a random number when a data record is created. The EmployeeID field is an AutoNumber field.
• Yes/No: Stores Boolean data, which can contain only one of two values, such as On/Off,
Yes/No, or True/False.
• OLE Object: A special type of object or component provided by a Windows OLE server. The
Photo field is an OLE Object type.
• Hyperlink: Stores the text for a hyperlink address. Access enables you to store addresses to Web
documents, network files, and local files. The hyperlink also can contain more detailed information,
such as a bookmark in a Word document, an object in an Access database, or a range of cells in an
Excel spreadsheet. After a Hyperlink field is clicked, Access attempts to load the referenced file or
document using the appropriate viewer.
As you can see, there’s a data type for just about every occasion. By examining the Employees table, you can
get a good feel for which data types are appropriate for your needs.
The Lookup Wizard is a wizard that guides you through the steps necessary to populate the Lookup tab.
You’ll find Lookup Wizard as the last entry in the Data Type drop-down list. To invoke the Lookup Wizard
for a field, select it in the Data Type drop-down list. You will never see a field with the data type set to
Lookup Wizard, even if the wizard was used to help populate a field’s Lookup tab properties.
Description
A short description about the field can be entered in the Description column. The description should provide
future viewers of a table’s design (such as yourself) with a complete explanation of the purpose the field
serves.
Note: If the field is added to an Access form, Access uses the text in the Description column as the default text
displayed in the form’s status bar area when the user is editing that field (unless you change the Status Bar
Text property of the form control).
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Properties
-----------
Each field in a table has its own set of properties that further define the field and how it’s used in the database.
Although an exhaustive look at the different properties is not necessary at this time (field properties are
covered in more detail in Hours 10, “Modifying an Existing Table,” and 17, “Creating Tables”), a brief look
at a few important properties is in order.
The available properties change, depending on which data type is chosen for a field. To verify this, make sure
that the General tab at the bottom of the Design View window is active and select fields with different data
types in the grid at the top of the Design View window. You’ll see the Properties list at the bottom of the
window change.
Now take a look at some of the more useful properties.
Field Size
The Field Size property is available for the Text and Number data types. For Text fields, the property
specifies the maximum number of characters that can be stored in the field for a single record. Access only
uses enough disk space to store the data actually entered in the field—not the amount of space required to
hold the number of characters specified by the Field Size property. For Number fields, Field Size
specifies the type of number that will be stored in the field. The available choices are
• Byte: a number from 0 to 255, whole numbers only
• Integer: –32,768 to 32,767, whole numbers only
• Long Integer: –2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647, whole numbers only
• Single: can store a very large number and fractional numbers
• Double: stores numbers larger than Single
• Replication ID
• Decimal
The choice made in this case does impact the amount of disk space Access uses to store the field, so Field
Size should be appropriate to the data being stored. The most common choices you’ll see are Integer,
Long Integer, and Double. Long Integer fields can store numbers larger than Integer. Double
fields can store data with numbers to the right of the decimal point.
Caption
The Caption property specifies a string to be displayed as the column heading whenever the field is
displayed in Datasheet view. Also, if the field is added to a form, this value is used as the caption for the label
that is added along with the field. In the Employees table, the Caption property is used to put spaces into
the Datasheet view column headers for field names that use mixed case, such as LastName and
FirstName. You can use the Caption property to enter any text that appropriately labels the field.
Default Value
The Default Value property specifies a value that will be inserted into the field if one is not specified
when a record is added to the table. None of the fields in the Employees table specifies a value for the
Default property.
Validation Rule and Validation Text
The Validation Rule property specifies a test to be performed on any data entered into the field. If the
data does not pass the rule, a message box that displays the text specified in the Validation Text
property appears.
In the Employees table, the BirthDate field specifies a Validation Rule property of <Date(). This
forces any dates entered into this field to be less than the current date.
Required
The Required property specifies whether the field is required to have a value entered in it. If this property
is set to Yes and you attempt to change the field to be empty, Access displays a message informing you that a
value is required in the field. The LastName and FirstName fields are both required in the Employees
table.
Examining Table Properties
Tables have properties in and of themselves. A table’s properties can be examined by right-clicking the
table’s name in the Database window and selecting the Properties item from the shortcut menu. Figure 6.6
shows the properties for the Employees table.
Figure 6.6 Looking at the properties of the Employees table.
This dialog shows the table’s description, the dates that the table was created and last modified, and who the
owner of the table is. There are also several attributes for the table. The Hidden attribute specifies that the
table should not be generally visible in the Database window. (To view tables that are marked as hidden,
check the Hidden objects option on the View tab of the Options dialog.) The Replicable option specifies that
the table should be included in the replication process. And finally, the Row Level Tracking option specifies
how replication conflicts are triggered for this table (for more information on database replication, see
Microsoft Access 2000 Unleashed also published by Sams Publishing).
Summary
In this hour, you took a somewhat detailed look at the Employees table. You saw how to view and modify
data in the table, as well as how to determine the structure of the table. Some of the concepts learned here will
be greatly expanded on in upcoming hours. For now, make sure that you understand how to work with the
table Design view to access the properties of the fields. Also, make sure that you know how to add and edit
data in the Datasheet view. You will use both these skills heavily during the remainder of this book.
In the next hour, you’ll learn how to work with existing database query definitions. They’re essentially
dynamically created tables and, like tables, they have both a Design view and a Datasheet view.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
-----------
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
Why is the column heading in Datasheet view different from the field name shown in the Design
view for a table?
Every field, regardless of data type, has a Label property. You use this property to specify the default
caption for the field. This caption is used in the Datasheet view. It also is the default caption for the
label that is placed on a form when the field is added to the form.
When I add a new employee, I get a message informing me that the FirstName field cannot
contain a Null value. Why is this happening?
Most fields have a property called Required. If this property is set to Yes, you must enter a value for
every record stored in the database. If the data is really not required, you can set this property to No.
When I attempt to delete an employee, I get a message informing me that the record cannot be
deleted. Why is this happening?
Remember that the back-end databases you can use with Access use a relational database model. This
means that you can relate a record in one table to a record or records in another table. After you create
such a relationship, the information pertaining to the relationship must be kept intact. In the Northwind
database, for example, you can create an Orders record that has an employee related to it—the
employee who took the order, perhaps. If you then deleted that Employee record, you’d leave some
incomplete data in the Orders table (you’d have orders with data pointing to invalid employees).
Access 97 enforces this data integrity by disallowing deletions in this instance. As you’ll see in Hour
10, however, Access 97 can instead be instructed to delete any records related to the record you’re
attempting to delete.
Quiz
1. How can you determine which fields make up the primary key for a table?
2. Which field property enables you to control what data can be entered into a field?
3. Can a field name contain spaces?
4. Are you stuck with the subdatasheet that Access uses as a default for a table?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Hour 7
Using Existing Queries
-----------
Craig Eddy
In the last hour, you learned how to work with existing tables in a database. In this hour, you’ll learn how to
use existing queries. A query in Access 2000 produces results similar to a table, in that you can view data that
has been stored in the database to which Access is connected. Unlike a table, however, queries can display
data that is stored in multiple places in the current database or even outside the current database. With a
query, you can specify which fields from different tables are displayed. More important, you can control what
data is displayed by specifying the criteria that individual data records must match in order to be included in
the query’s result set.
A query is an object in an Access database that returns records from or performs actions on one or
more tables in the database.
The highlights of this hour follow:
• Opening queries
• Using Datasheet view
• Using Design view
• Looking at the basic structure of queries
• Using toolbars
Note: If you’re connected to a SQL Server database you won’t be working with queries. You’ll be working with
views. Queries and views are, for all intents and purposes, identical. Wherever you see the term query in this
hour, you can replace it with view.
Opening Queries
Opening an existing query is similar to opening an existing table. The first step is to open the database in
question and move to the Database window’s Queries section (or Views section if you’re working against a
SQL Server database). Figure 7.1 shows the Queries section for the Northwind sample database.
Figure 7.1 The Queries section for the Northwind database.
In Figure 7.1, you see several types of queries that are in the database. The types are denoted by different
icons next to the query name in the list. To help decipher which icon goes with which query, you can switch
the Queries list view to Details view by clicking the Details button on the Database window or by choosing
View, Details from the main menu. The Queries list now appears as shown in Figure 7.2. The Details view
works like the files pane in Windows Explorer. You can size the columns by moving the pointer between the
column headers and, when the pointer changes to the sizing cursor, clicking and dragging the pointer to size
the column. You can also sort the list using a column by simply clicking the column heading.
Figure 7.2 The Queries list in Details view.
The Type column is the last column that appears in Details view, as you can see in Figure 7.2. During this
hour, you will learn about the following common types of queries:
• Select queries: These are the most common queries. By using a simple select query, you can retrieve
data from many tables based on criteria specified in the query’s definition. The Category Sales for 1997
query is an example of a simple select query.
• Crosstab queries: These queries are a special type of select query and are similar to the pivot tables
used in Microsoft Excel. You can view data summarized over different categories. For example, the
Quarterly Orders by Product query in the Northwind database provides a quarterly summary of product
sales for each product in the database. This query provides the sales in each quarter for each product.
A crosstab query has row headings as well as column headings. Crosstab queries typically
summarize data that is grouped by a specific category or date range.
• Top n queries: These are another type of special select query. Top n queries are designed to return
only a certain number of the top records. The Ten Most Expensive Products query returns the names
and unit prices of the 10 most expensive products in the database, for example. By reversing the sort
order of the query, you also can view the 10 least expensive products. You’ll learn more about Top n
queries in Hour 11, “Modifying and Using Existing Queries.”
• Union queries: These queries combine corresponding fields from multiple tables into a single field
returned by the query. The same number of fields must be returned from each table involved in the
union. You might create a union query to return the CompanyName fields from both the Customers
and Suppliers table in the Northwind database, for example.
Note: Notice in Figure 7.2 that the Description column for some of the queries in the Northwind database starts
with a short description of the type of query in parentheses. This is not a requirement, and it is not automatically
placed there by Access. The designer of these queries thought it would be a good idea to help better explain each
query’s purpose. This is a practice I highly recommend.
Like the Tables section discussed in Hour 6, the Queries list offers an Open button and a Design button.
Clicking Open opens the selected query in Datasheet view. Clicking Design opens the query in Design view.
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Title
A shortcut menu appears after you select a query and right-click. This menu contains the options Open and
Design, which perform the same functions as the buttons; it also contains the other options listed in Table 7.1.
Table 7.1 Options on the Query Shortcut Menu
-----------
Option
Function
Open
Design
Print
Print Preview
Opens the selected query in Datasheet view.
Opens the query in Design view.
Prints the data returned by the query.
Displays the query results in the Print Preview window. The contents of this
Preview window are identical to what will appear in an actual printout.
Cuts the query’s definition and pastes it to the Windows Clipboard. You can then
paste the query into the currently open database or into a completely different
database.
Copies the query’s definition and pastes it to the Windows Clipboard. You can
then paste the query into the currently open database or into a completely
different database.
Allows you to save the query’s data and the definition to a new query, or to a
form, report, or data access page.
Allows you to export the query’s results to an external file. You can save the
query results in any number of formats. Not all formats are installed by default,
so be sure to select the ones that interest you when you install Access. The more
popular formats are text files or Excel files.
Flyout menu allowing you to email the selected query’s results using one of
several available formats (such as HTML or text).
Flyout menu which you can use to organize the objects in the database into
logical groups.
Creates a Windows shortcut to the selected query. You can place the shortcut on
your desktop or in any location you specify when you create the shortcut.
Deletes the query.
Cut
Copy
Save As…
Export…
Send To
Add To Group
Create Shortcut
Delete
Rename
Properties
Renames the query. You also can rename a query by clicking its name once after
you select it.
Displays the properties of the current query. You also can view some of the query
properties by choosing View, Details.
You also can perform all these functions by using Access 2000’s main menu. You can delete a query by
selecting a query on the Queries tab and then choosing Edit, Delete, for example.
The following two sections discuss how to use a query after you open it—whether in Datasheet view or
Design view.
Using Queries in Datasheet View
Opening a query in Datasheet view produces a display very similar to that produced when you open a table in
Datasheet view. To open a query in Datasheet view, select the query on the Queries list and then click Open.
Figure 7.3 shows the datasheet for the Category Sales for 1997 query.
Figure 7.3 The Datasheet view of the Category Sales for 1997 query.
As you can see, the datasheet has columns representing the fields in the query and rows representing the
records returned by the query. The unique aspect of this query is that the Category Sales column is not a field
in the database. Instead, the query has created a sum of all the sales for each product category. This sum is
displayed in the Category Sales column. That’s the power of queries: You can select specific records and
perform summations (totals, averages, minimums, maximums, and so on) on the data in those records.
Because of the nature of the data returned in this query, you cannot perform any updates, inserts, or deletions
on the rows in the datasheet. This data is merely a summary of a lot of underlying data from other tables in the
database. If you modify the Category Sales column, what underlying data should be modified—the product
sale on January 12 or the one on March 7? Because Access can’t determine the answer to that question, it
doesn’t enable you to update the data in this type of query.
Note: Crosstab queries and queries with certain types of joins will not be updatable either. Be on the alert for
these. Basically, any time Access cannot determine exactly which field from which specific records will be
updated, the query will not be updatable.
If you open the Products Above Average Price query shown in Figure 7.4, however, you can modify the data
in either column. That’s because this is a simple select query with no summations in the returned data
columns. It doesn’t show all the products—only the ones that have an above-average price. You then can
modify the data of some of the products to bring them in line with the average-priced products.
Figure 7.4 The Datasheet view of the Products Above Average Price query.
You can use the Records, Sort fly-out menu to sort the records in the datasheet. To see the lowest priced
products first, for example, choose Records, Sort, Sort Ascending.
You also can create a filter to apply to the query’s data. Choose Records, Filter to create a filter. The current
query doesn’t have much to filter on, however.
Using Queries in Design View
Queries, like tables, also have a Design View window. This is where you can view how the query is defined,
as well as the properties of the columns returned by the query. Queries actually have two design views: the
Design Grid (labeled as Design View on the menus and toolbar), which allows you to use Query by Example
(QBE), and the SQL View. In this section, you’ll learn how to open a query in Design View and how to work
with queries in the Design Grid and in SQL View.
SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language, which is used to define a query with words.
Like other computer languages, SQL has a specific format and keywords. SQL is a common query language
used by nearly all relational database platforms. The QBE Design view is actually just a graphical way to
represent the SQL code that underlies all Access queries.
Whether both design views are available for a query depends on what the query does and how it is defined. A
union query, for example, only has an SQL view because it is actually a combination of two or more SQL
Select statements.
To open the Design view of a query, go to the Database window and click on the Queries button at the left.
Select the query you want to open in Design view and click the Design button at the top of the database
window.
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The Design Grid and Field List
The Design Grid is the Design view you see when you open most queries in Design view. Figure 7.5 shows
the Design Grid for the Current Product List query.
-----------
Figure 7.5 The Design Grid for the Current Product List query.
The top of the Design Grid window is referred to as the table pane because it displays the Field List for each
of the tables or other queries involved in the current query. For the Current Product List query, only the
Product List table is shown.
The Field List is a listbox containing the names of all the fields contained in a table or returned by a
query.
The grid at the bottom of the window is the actual QBE Design Grid. This is where you select the fields to be
returned by the query, set the sort order, and specify any criteria which will be used to determine which
records are returned.
SQL View
Using the SQL view is an advanced way of examining the query. This view provides you with the actual SQL
code that will be executed when the query runs. To open the SQL view, either click the View dropdown
button on the toolbar (it’s the one to the far left) and select SQL View, or click the View menu and select SQL
View. Figure 7.6 shows the SQL view for the Current Product List query. The information provided by this
view says exactly what is represented in the QBE Grid Design view, but in the language that Access 2000
uses to execute the query.
Figure 7.6 The SQL Design view for the Current Product List query.
Looking at the Basic Structure of Queries
The previous section showed you how to use the two different query design view windows. In this section,
you’ll learn how a query is constructed. This section concentrates on the QBE Design Grid View window.
You’ll learn all about fields, how the sorting is specified, how the record criteria is determined, and how to
view the properties for the query and its fields. You’ll be using the Current Product List query shown in
Figure 7.5 as the sample query demonstrating these features.
Fields
Every select query returns at least one field. The fields that appear in the grid at the bottom of the Design Grid
window are the fields that will be displayed when the query is executed or that will be used in the sorting or
criteria settings for the query. (Refer to Figure 7.5.)
Action queries do not return fields, but their fields are shown in the Design Grid. The fields that appear in an
action query’s Design Grid are the fields that are being acted upon by the query or that are used in the sorting
or criteria settings for the query.
An action query modifies many records in a single execution. Action queries are used to update,
insert, and delete records, or to populate a new table from data in existing tables.
In the Design Grid, the Show check box determines whether the field is displayed in the query’s datasheet. In
the Current Product List query, the Discontinued field is not shown in the Datasheet view; only the
ProductID and ProductName fields appear.
Sorting
Let’s say you wanted to present the results of a query in a specific order. The Current Product List query, for
example, is sorted by the ProductName field. Access 2000 provides a Sort row in the Design Grid view that
you use to specify the sorting for a query. The information in the Sort row determines the order in which
records appear in the datasheet or in any reports or forms that use the query as their source of data.
You can set the sort order to Ascending (from A to Z, for example), Descending (from Z to A), or Not Sorted.
You also can use the sort order on numeric data returned by the query. If a Numeric field is sorted in
ascending order, the smallest values appear first. In descending order, the largest numbers appear first.
Criteria
Each field that appears in the Design Grid can be used to determine which records are returned by the query.
Only records with data matching the specified criteria are returned by the query when it’s executed or used in
a form or report.
For the Current Product List query, the third column specifies that the query should return only rows from the
Product List table that have their Discontinued field set to No.
For each field, you can specify criteria by using the rows below the first criteria row. These extra criteria
values are used in an OR fashion with the other criteria specified for this field. This means that records are
returned when the values in the field match any of the rows in the Criteria area.
If the Criteria rows are used for multiple fields, the criteria information is combined in an AND fashion. This
means that the data must meet all the criteria entries in order to be included in the resulting set of data. For
example, you might want to view the Current Product List but only see the products which are in stock. In this
case, you’d add the UnitsInStock field to the query and enter >0 in the Criteria row (see Figure 7.7).
Figure 7.7 The Current Product List query with additional criteria.
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Query Properties
Like every other object in an Access database, queries have properties. To view the properties specific to the
query as a whole, click in the blank area of the Design View’s table pane. Then choose View, Properties or
right-click and choose Properties from the shortcut menu that appears. Figure 7.8 shows the Query Properties
window. In this hour, you’ll review some of the properties. You’ll get a more in-depth analysis in Hour 11
and in Hour 18, “Creating Queries.”
Figure 7.8 The Query Properties window for the Current Product List query.
The Query Properties window can be resized, so if some of the property settings are cut off (such as the
Description property), you can resize the window and see more of the information.
The Description property is a string that describes the query. This is the same description you see on the
Database window’s Queries list when in Details view or after you choose Properties from the shortcut menu.
The Output All Fields property specifies whether all fields in the grid are shown in the query’s
datasheet. Setting this property to Yes is identical to enabling the Show check box for each field in the grid.
The Unique Values and Unique Records properties are used to remove duplicate field values or
duplicate records from the query’s resulting data.
The Filter property shows any filter that was created when the query was being viewed in Datasheet view.
The Order By property is similar; it shows any sorting information used when the query was viewed in
Datasheet view.
Field Properties
Just like tables, fields shown in queries also have individual properties. Properties affect how the field appears
in the datasheet view. Fields that are used in the query but are not shown in the result set (that is, they don’t
have the Show box checked) do not have properties that can be set.
Fields inherit their properties from the table in which they reside. This means that after a property is set in the
table’s design, the value of the property is used whenever the field appears in a query. The ProductName
field in the Current Product List field inherits the Caption property value Product Name, for
example.
To view the properties for a field, select the field in the grid at the bottom of the Grid Design view and choose
View, Properties. Table 7.2 lists the available properties, Figure 7.9 shows the Properties Window.
Table 7.2 Query output field properties
Property
Function
Description
Format
Input Mask
Specifies a description of the field in the query.
Specifies the formatting string used to display the data in the field.
Specifies the mask used when editing data in the field. This property is available
only for fields containing data that you can edit.
Specifies the label caption (for forms and reports) or column heading (for
Datasheet views) that will be displayed for the field.
Specifies the number of digits to display to the right of the decimal point (for
numeric fields that aren’t integers).
Caption
Decimal Places
Figure 7.9 The query Field Properties window.
You’ll notice that all the properties for the fields in the Current Product List query are empty. That’s because
the values set in the Product List table design are sufficient for this query. You can override the table’s
property settings by specifying values for the query fields’ properties. You would want to do this, for
example, if you wanted a date to appear in a specific format in the query’s datasheet view. You would enter a
format expression in the field’s Format property.
The Lookup tab also is available on the Query Properties window. This is useful for fields that can look up
values in other tables. See Hour 17, “Creating Tables,” for more information on creating lookup fields.
Using Toolbars
Queries have two standard toolbars: one for the two design views and one for the Datasheet view. The Design
View toolbar has the same buttons for both Design Grid and SQL view, but some are disabled in SQL view.
This section will cover only the buttons specific to query design. Common functions such as Save, Cut, and
Paste will not be covered here.
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The Design View Toolbar
Figure 7.10 shows the Design View toolbar. In the upcoming hours, when you modify and create queries, this
toolbar will become very familiar to you. Several buttons are not available on the toolbar and are grayed out.
These won’t be covered in this section.
Figure 7.10 The Design View toolbar.
Table 7.3 describes each of the buttons on the Design View toolbar.
Table 7.3 Design View Toolbar Buttons
Icon
Button Name
Description
Query Type
Displays a drop-down list that enables you to change the query
type among the select, crosstab, or various action queries.
Executes the query. If the query is a select or crosstab query,
Datasheet view displays the resulting records. If the query is an
action query, you receive a message box informing you of the
results.
Displays the Show Table dialog box, which enables you to add
tables to the QBE Grid’s table pane. This button is disabled in
SQL view.
Displays the Totals row in the QBE Grid’s field grid. Used for
creating summations such as Sum, Min, and Max.
Run
Show Table
Totals
Top Values
Provides an edit box that enables you to limit the query’s results
to only the top (or bottom) portion of a certain number of records.
You can set this to an integer number of records (display the five
most expensive products, for example) or to a percentage of the
total number of records (display the top 10 percent of the orders
for a year, for example). You can click the down arrow button to
display a drop-down list of common choices for the Top Values.
Displays the Properties dialog box for the currently selected
object. You can use this dialog box to edit the properties for the
selected object.
When an appropriate item or property is selected, displays the
builder for that object. If the cursor is in the Criteria row of the
QBE Grid, for example, clicking Build displays the Expression
Builder. Hour 10, “Modifying an Existing Table,” discusses the
Expression Builder in more detail.
Causes the Database window to become the active window.
Provides a quick way to return to the Database window.
Displays a drop-down menu that provides a quick way to create
an AutoForm or AutoReport based on the current query or to
create a new object in the database. AutoForms and AutoReports
are wizards provided by Access to quickly create forms and
reports having a predefined format.
If you installed the Office Assistants, displays the current
assistant.
Properties
Build
Database Window
New Object
Office Assistant
The Datasheet View Toolbar
Figure 7.11 shows the Datasheet View toolbar.
Figure 7.11 The Datasheet View toolbar.
Table 7.4 describes the buttons on the Datasheet View toolbar that are specific to the query datasheet.
Table 7.4 Datasheet View Toolbar Buttons
Icon
Button Name
Description
Insert Hyperlink
If the current column is a hyperlink column, displays the Insert
Hyperlink dialog box.
Using the current column or the selected columns, sorts the data in the
datasheet in ascending order.
Using the current column or the selected columns, sorts the data in the
datasheet in descending order.
Uses the data in the current cell to create a filter. Only data that is the
same as the currently selected cell or currently selected text in a cell is
displayed in the datasheet. In the Current Product List query’s
Datasheet view, for example, highlight the letter C in the Product
Name column for the Camembert Pierrot product. Then click Filter
By Selection. Only those products beginning with the letter C are
displayed.
Displays a form with all the fields in the query and enables you to
create a filter by using a filter-by-example methodology. You enter
data into the form that defines the records that will appear in the
resulting datasheet.
If a filter is not active, applies the last used filter. If a filter is active,
removes the filter criteria to display all the data returned by the query.
Sort Ascending
Sort Descending
Filter by Selection
Filter by Form
Apply/Remove Filter
Find
New Record
Delete Record
Database Window
New Object
Office Assistant
Displays the Find in Field dialog box, which searches the current
column for text you enter into the dialog box. This is useful for
locating specific records in a query’s returned data.
Inserts a new record into the underlying table (if the query can be
updated). This button is not as useful in a query datasheet as it is in a
table datasheet, but it is available.
Deletes the current record from the underlying table (if a query can be
updated).
Causes the Database window to become the active window. Provides
a quick way to return to the Database window.
Displays a drop-down list, which provides a quick way to create an
AutoForm or AutoReport based on the current query or to create a
new object in the database.
If you installed the Office Assistants, displays the current assistant.
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Closing Queries
When you finish working with a query, click the box with the X in the top-right corner. If you made any
changes to the query’s fields or properties, you are prompted to save those changes. Because, for now, you’re
only looking at queries and how they are defined, click No to avoid changing the Northwind database. You
also can close a query window by pressing Ctrl+F4.
Summary
This hour showed you how an existing query is structured and how to view, sort, and filter the data returned
by the query. In the next hour, you’ll learn all about finding and editing data by using Access 2000 forms.
You’ll learn more about queries in Hours 11 and 18.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Quiz
When I open the Customers and Suppliers By City query in Datasheet View, I cannot type in any
of the cells. Why is this?
This query is a union query. Union queries are not updatable. You should update the tables that make
up the query instead. Also, union queries cannot be opened in Grid Design View.
When I attempt to open the Employee Sales By Country query, I am prompted to enter a
Beginning Date and an Ending Date. What causes this to happen?
This query uses two parameters in its query definition: [Beginning Date] and [Ending
Date]. Access requires values for these parameters before the query’s datasheet can be constructed.
See Hour 18, “Creating Queries,” for more information on parameters in queries.
1. Which field property can be used to specify how data is entered into a field in an updatable query?
2. How can you, in one step, cause all fields involved in a query to be shown in the query’s datasheet?
3. While in Datasheet view, when is the Insert Hyperlink toolbar button active?
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Hour 8
Editing Data in Forms
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour gives you an introduction to forms. Forms are the most flexible way to view, edit, and delete your
raw data. Some topics covered in this hour include the following:
• Looking at the basics of forms
• Working with forms versus datasheets
• Using different views of a form
• Entering data in a form
• Printing data from forms
• Using Form toolbars
Understanding Forms
All the raw data you will use in your database is stored in tables. Although you can view and edit your data in
a table, forms provide a much easier and flexible interface to view and edit data. Forms display data from an
underlying table or query. Forms enable you to view all or just a few records at once while also viewing all
the fields. Table datasheets enable you to view several records at once, but the number of fields you can view
is limited. Forms also provide an easy way to enter, change, and delete records.
All the information a form displays is contained in controls. Controls are the objects that display data,
perform certain actions, and create special effects on the form. You’ll learn more about controls in Hour 12,
“Modifying an Existing Form Design.”
Opening a Form
Now take a look at forms by opening a form in the Northwind database. Make sure that you have the
Northwind database open. If you forget how to open a database or do not know how, refer to Hour 2, “A
Quick Tour of Access 2000.” When you have the Northwind database open, select the Forms tab. Figure 8.1
shows what your screen should look like at this point.
Figure 8.1 The database window with the Forms tab selected, showing all the forms in the Northwind
database.
Start with a simple, basic form. Double-click the form name Customers to display the Customers form. This
form should be similar to Figure 8.2; it displays the contents of the Customers table. Close the Customers
form and double-click on the Customers table. You can see that this is the same information you just viewed
in the Customers form but, although you can see many records onscreen at once, you can see only a few
fields. Now close the table and open the Customers form again. The globe picture behind the form is a graphic
that is displayed only in this form. Graphics and other special effect tools help you design good-looking,
easy-to-use forms. Adding special effects to your forms will be discussed in Hour 12, “Modifying an Existing
Form Design.”
Figure 8.2 The Customers form in the Northwind database.
Note: Microsoft made the forms in the Northwind database very fancy to show off all the power and possibilities
of Access 2000. You do not have to create forms that display pictures behind your data or that use special text or
formatting. When you are ready to use special effects such as shadows, three-dimensional effects, and graphics,
Access 2000 makes it easy to create these forms. For now, just concentrate on learning the basics.
Looking at the Types of Forms
Six basic types of forms are available:
• Single-column
• Datasheets
• Tabular
• Subforms
• Pivot table
• Graphs
In this hour, you’ll look at single-column and tabular forms.
Single-Column Forms
The Customers form has a single-column or columnar format (refer to Figure 8.2). Single-column forms show
the fields from the table on which they are based in columns. Forms can be more or less than one full screen,
depending on your screen resolution. The Customers form should fit on one screen. Single-column forms are
a good example of a data-entry screen. Although you can enter all your raw data into tables from the table’s
Datasheet view, entering data in a form can be easier, much more reliable, and more productive. This is
because forms can help prevent redundant data-entry, and provide a simpler interface for adding new data to
your tables.
Tabular Forms
The Product List form in the Northwind database is an example of a tabular form. To open this form, click the
Forms tab and double-click the Product List form. The form appears, as shown in Figure 8.3. Notice that a
tabular form allows you to view several records at one time. Any part of a tabular form can be formatted,
allowing for more flexibility in how you display and enter information. Special effects can be added, and you
can have multiple lines per record.
Figure 8.3 Looking at the Product List tabular form in the Northwind database.
You can use the tabular form to see several records at one time, along with all the fields for those records.
This type of form is useful for viewing or printing all the records and fields in a table.
Note: Most information on a form comes from an underlying table or query, but information completely
independent of a table or query also can be on your form. You can display data such as a company name or logo
on the form. More about forms will be discussed in Hours 12, “Modifying an Existing Form Design,” and 19,
“Creating Forms.”
Using Forms Versus Using Datasheets
Datasheets enable you to view only limited information about your data. You have little control over the
appearance of your information. With forms, however, you can place information on your screen exactly
where you want it to be displayed. You also can format each field differently and use several types of special
effects. Forms also give you much greater flexibility. Forms provide data validation and the capability to add
calculated fields. In addition, you can add pictures such as the globe picture in the Product List form. These
graphics or pictures are called OLE objects.
Note: OLE stands for object linking and embedding. OLE is a Windows method for inserting and embedding
objects in Windows applications.
Now you’ll take a look at the different ways to view a form.
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Viewing Forms
When you open the Product List form in the Northwind database, you are using Form view. This is the view
you use to enter or change data. To switch to Datasheet view, right-click anywhere on the form and choose
Datasheet view. This is the same view as the table Datasheet view; the form displays raw data. The next view
of a form is Print Preview, as you can see in Figure 8.5. This view shows how a form looks when printed.
Note you cannot right-click to Print Preview; you must use the toolbar button or the File menu. Now
right-click anywhere on the form and choose Form Design. Now you are in Design view, as shown in Figure
8.6. Here, you can design the different fields and controls to tell Access how you want to view your data.
Figure 8.4 Using the Datasheet view of the Product List form.
Figure 8.5 Using the Print Preview view of the Product List form.
Figure 8.6 Using the Design view of the Product List form.
Note: You can print or preview a form from any of the other three views, as well as from the main Database
window.
The Design view is where all the work is done to tell Access what data you want to display and in what
format. You can open a form in Design view by clicking it in the main Database window and clicking the
Design button on the right-hand side of the screen. The form Design view consists of three sections:
• Detail section—Contains the form’s main body. All controls are displayed in this section. You cannot
delete or remove the Detail section.
• Form Header/Footer sections—Contain information such as title, date, or other information you want
to display only at the top or bottom of a form. You can add or remove these sections by choosing View,
Form Header/Footer. The data is displayed when you print the form as well as when you view it
onscreen.
• Page Header/Footer sections—Contain information such as date, form name, page number, or other
information you want to display at the top or bottom of each page, but only in the printed form. These
sections do not appear onscreen. You can add or remove these sections by choosing View, Page
Header/Footer.
Working with Data in Forms
As mentioned earlier in this hour, the easiest, most flexible, and most reliable way to enter data is using a
form. Now you’ll see how to enter or change data using a form. I will take a look at how to navigate in a
form, as well as data manipulation in a form.
Navigating in a Form
Open the Customers form from the Northwind database in Form view. The form in Figure 8.2 appears. Except
for the actual information and graphics on the screen, the rest of the screen should look familiar. The top of
the screen has a title bar, menu bar, and toolbar, just like the datasheet. The line at the bottom of the screen is
the status bar. The status bar displays the information you entered in the table design for each field. If no
information is stored in the description field in the table design for that field, Access displays FORM VIEW in
the status bar. Directly above the status bar are the form-navigation buttons. You use these buttons to navigate
quickly between records. Figure 8.7 shows these various screen elements.
Figure 8.7 Identifying the various elements in Form view.
You also can move around the fields on a form. This is very similar to using a datasheet. You can click any
field to make changes or additions, or you can press Tab to move around the fields.
To move from record to record, you use the form navigation buttons found at the bottom of the screen. You
can move one record at a time, either forward or backward through the sort order active for the form, using
the Next Record and Previous Record buttons. You can also use the Page Up and Page Down keys to move
forward and backward, respectively. To move to the first or last record, use the First Record and Last Record
buttons. To move to a specific record by number, enter the number in the text box and press the Enter key.
Adding and Editing Records in a Form
Adding and editing records in a form is similar to adding and editing records in a datasheet. If you want to
add a new record, click the New Record button at the bottom of the screen. Your cursor moves to the end of
the records in the datasheet and displays an empty record on your form. To edit any of the fields, you can
click a field with your mouse pointer and type the new information. As you press Tab to move around the
form, you can edit the information simply by typing. To select the entire field, press F2 or double-click the
field.
Note: Some fields might not be editable because they are locked. You can lock fields in Design view to ensure
that no one changes the information stored there. This is a good idea for important information (such as salary
information) that rarely changes or should be changed only by certain individuals.
Deleting Records and Data in a Form
Deleting records is very easy. Some forms automatically display a button to add or delete records. If your
form doesn’t display these buttons, simply select a field in the record you want to delete and press Ctrl+[ms]
(hold down Ctrl while pressing the minus sign key). Depending on the table’s relationships to other tables, it
may not be possible to delete certain records if doing so would create orphaned records in related tables.
Caution: Make sure that you really want to delete a record before you do so. It is not always possible to undo
deletions.
To delete information in a field, first select it by tabbing to that field or clicking it with your mouse pointer.
Now press Delete or choose Del from the main menu.
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Copying Records
-----------
Sometimes you will enter repetitive data or change several records to a new value. To copy information from
the same field in the preceding record, select the field and press Ctrl+’ (hold down Ctrl and press the
apostrophe key). This copies the information stored in the preceding record into the current field. If the field
has a default value, you can replace the current value with the default by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar. You
also can insert common information, such as the current date or time, into fields. To insert the current date,
press Ctrl+; (hold down Ctrl and press the semicolon key). To insert the current time, press Ctrl+: (hold down
Ctrl and press the colon key).
Finding Records Using Forms
You can search for certain records by using forms. To understand how Access finds records, search for
information using the Customers form in the Northwind database. Open the Customers form in Form view,
click the Contact Name field, and choose Edit, Find from the main menu. A dialog box appears, as shown in
Figure 8.8.
Figure 8.8 Using the Find dialog box.
In this example, we will search for any customers named Simpson. Type the name you are searching for in the
Find What text box. Several options are available to you in the Find dialog box. Because you know that the
information you are searching for is located in the Name field, enable the Search Only Current Field check
box. If you were looking for customers from a certain state, you would select the State field before running
Find and then select the Search Only Current Field check box. Because you only know the last name of the
customer for whom you are searching, select Any Part of Field in the Where section of the Find dialog box.
This returns all records that contain the word “Simpson” in any part of the field name. If you knew the
customer’s first and last name, you would type both and select Whole Field from the Match drop-down list.
Now click the Find First button. Access takes you to the first record that contains “Simpson” in the name
field, as shown in Figure 8.9. Each time you click the Find Next button, you will be brought to the next record
that matches your Find criteria. Ctrl+F is another way to bring up the Find dialog box.
Figure 8.9 Using the Find function with the Northwind database Customers form.
Tip: You can use the Find function with the Replace function to replace numerous instances of the same data. If
you need to change all the customers named Smith to Smythe, for example, you can use Find and Replace
together to accomplish that feat easily.
Printing Data from Forms
It is easy to print one or more records contained on your form. The printed version looks almost exactly as it
does onscreen. The easiest way to print a form is to click Print on the toolbar. This will immediately output
the form to the Windows default printer.
You can also choose File, Print from the menu. This will cause the Print dialog box shown in Figure 8.10 to
appear. If the dialog box shows the correct printer, click OK, and the form is printed using the font you
selected for the form. The printed form displays any formatting or special effects you designed in the form. To
change the settings for the printer itself, click the Properties button. To change the page setup (margins and
the like), click the Setup button. To specify a range of pages to print, or to print only the selected record (or
records), use the Print Range radio buttons. To print multiple copies, modify the entry in the Number of
Copies text box.
Figure 8.10 The Print dialog when printing a form.
To display what the printed version of the form will look like, choose File, Print Preview or click Print
Preview on the toolbar. You can print the form from the Print Preview screen by clicking the Print button on
the toolbar, or you can click the Close button to return to Form view.
Closing and Saving Forms
Access automatically saves each record as you move off the record. You can force Access to save the record
before you move off it by pressing Shift+Enter (hold down the Shift key while pressing the Enter key). To
close and save the form and return to the Database window, choose File, Close or click the close box in the
upper-right corner of your screen. If you have not saved your design changes, Access asks whether you want
to save the changes.
Summary
This hour provides a quick tour of the basics of forms and how they work in Access 2000. You learned how to
open a form, as well as to identify the basic parts of a form. This chapters covers the different views for a
form, as well as how to enter, add, delete, find, filter, and sort records. You now should know how to print
information from your form, as well as how to save your changes and close your form.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Q&A
Q
A
-----------
Q
A
Q
A
What are some uses of forms other than data entry?
Forms can be used to display pictures (in the background of the form, for example) or for graphs or
other graphical information.
How can you print the underlying data in a form?
When you use the Print function from the Form view, you print the form as you see it. To print the data
only, either select the Datasheet view and then print, or print the data from the table or query that the
form is based on.
What happens if I shut down my PC without saving the changes on a form? Does Access save it
automatically?
No, Access automatically saves data that has been entered into a form or table if you have moved to the
next record, but does not save any design changes automatically.
Quiz
1. What are the six types of forms in Access?
2. Why should you use forms instead of tables for data-entry use?
3. Where is the underlying data in forms stored?
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Hour 9
Displaying Data in Reports
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
In this hour, you’ll learn how to preview and print reports. Opening reports, printing reports, understanding
the basics of reports, and saving reports will be covered. Reports have many uses, and this hour will introduce
their basic functions and capabilities.
Topics that will be covered this hour include
• Understanding the fundamentals of reports
• Looking at the types of reports
• Looking at the differences between forms and reports
• Opening and previewing reports
• Printing reports
• Saving reports
• Closing reports
Examining Report Fundamentals
Reports are the most powerful and flexible way to view and print the information in your database. You can
print only the information that is important to any specific request or task, and you can view or print this
information in any format or style. You can add other information, such as totals, comparisons, graphics, and
pictures. You will begin your understanding of reports by taking a look at how to open them and view them.
Note: Reports present a customized view of the information in the underlying table or query. Although reports
can be viewed onscreen, it usually is better to print them. If you can imagine a way that you want to view your
data, Access probably will be able to generate a report to match.
Using Reports
Reports provide the best way to print information to be distributed, and they provide greater control and
flexibility in the overall design. Some major advantages of using reports to print data follow:
• You can easily control font styles and sizes.
• You can easily perform calculations on the underlying data.
• You can format data to fit forms already designed and printed, such as purchase orders, invoices, and
mailing labels.
• You can add graphics, such as pictures, graphs, and other elements.
• You can group and organize data to make a report easier to read.
Opening and Viewing Reports
You open a report much like you open a form or table. Select the Report tab in the Database window and then
select the report you want to open. You can double-click the report to open it, or you can click on the report
and then click Open. Figure 9.1 shows the Products by Category report from the Northwind database. This
view is called the Print Preview view of the report. The default Preview view of your report shows it at 100
percent. This setting only enables a small percentage of the actual report to fit onscreen. Later this hour I will
discuss more ways to open and view reports.
Figure 9.1 The Products by Category report is a tabular report.
Looking at the Types of Reports
Access offers four basic types of reports:
• Tabular reports—Print data in rows and columns
• Single-column reports—Print data as a form
• Mail-merge reports—Print form letters
• Mailing-label reports—Print multicolumn labels
Tabular reports display data in rows and columns, similar to a table. Tabular reports are different from tables,
though, because they group their data by one or more field values. Tabular reports also can have other
elements, such as page totals, dates, and subtotals. They are usually used to calculate and display subtotals for
the numeric fields for groups in the report. Figure 9.1 shows the Print Preview screen of the Products by
Category tabular report from the Northwind database.
Single-column reports display data vertically, with one or more records per page. These reports display data
much like data-entry forms, but they are for viewing and printing only—not for entering data. The Northwind
database uses a single-column report to print invoices. Figure 9.2 shows the Print Preview screen of the
Invoice report.
Figure 9.2 The Invoice report is a single-column report.
Note: The Invoice report has many examples of report capabilities. The report uses graphics, grouping, and
totals to create a good-looking, multifunctional report.
You use mail-merge reports to print form letters using data from your database. These reports are linked to
Microsoft Word to sort and print the mail-merge documents. You can find more details about these kinds of
forms in Access’s Help feature. Look in Help under Mail Merge for a complete walk-through of the
procedures.
You can use the Mailing Label Report to create labels from several different sizes of Avery brand labels. You
generate this report by using the Mailing Label Report Wizard. Figure 9.3 shows the Print Preview screen of
the Customer Labels report, which is a mailing-label report from the Northwind database. The quality and
ease of printing mailing labels will depend on your printer. A good laser or ink-jet printer is recommended for
best results.
Figure 9.3 The Customer Labels report is a mailing-label report.
Looking at Forms Versus Reports
Forms and reports are similar in many ways, but they serve two very different purposes. The main difference
is the reason for the output. Forms generally are used for data entry, whereas reports are used to view data
onscreen or on paper. You can display anything onscreen with a report that you can display with a form. Both
forms and reports are based on the data from underlying tables or queries, but only forms can add or change
the original data.
Note: Access enables you to save a form as a report. This capability is helpful when you want to base a new
report on a form that you already have created. After you save the form as a report, you can customize the report.
To save a form as a report, select File Save As from the main menu, and select Report from the Save As dialog
box.
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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More Ways to Open and View Reports
Now that you know how to open and view a report, what a report is, and what its function is, here are some
additional ways to open and view reports. Again, the Print Preview option only shows a small percentage of
the report. To see more of the report, move your mouse over the report. The mouse pointer changes to a
magnifying glass with a minus sign inside it. After you click the report with this icon displayed, the report
zooms out so that the whole report is displayed onscreen. This is called the Page Preview view. (See Figure
9.4.) You also can select the Zoom drop-down list from the toolbar. This list gives you several percentage
options to view the report. When you move the mouse over the report now, the magnifying glass icon has a
plus sign inside it. Clicking the report returns the view to the original 100-percent view. You can view the
entire report by dragging the elevator boxes in the vertical and horizontal scrollbars. Also, you can use the
page controls at the bottom left corner of the screen to move around between pages.
Figure 9.4 Using Page Preview to show the entire Products by Category report onscreen.
The Preview screen offers several options. The first button on the toolbar (on the far left) is the View button.
You click this button to toggle between the Design and Preview views of the form. You can use other buttons
on the toolbar to print, close, and export the form to other Office products. You will learn how to export
reports in Hour 20, “Creating Reports.”
You also can open a report in Design view by selecting the report from the Report tab in the main database
window and clicking Design. Figure 9.5 shows the Products by Category report in Design view.
Figure 9.5 Viewing the Products by Category report in Design view.
Note: Notice how the report Design view looks very similar to the form Design view. Many of the functions of a
form are the same as a report. The only difference is the actual output. The main difference in the Design view is
the different sections that make up the report. Forms and reports both contain a Detail section, but reports also
provide several different headers and footers that you can use to better display data.
Printing Reports
You can print your reports in several ways:
• Click the Print button in the Print Preview screen.
• Highlight the report from the Report tab in the main database window and then choose File, Print
from the Database window.
• Highlight the report from the Report tab in the main database window and then click the Print button
in the Database window.
When you use any of the File, Print methods, the standard Windows 98 Print dialog box appears, as shown in
Figure 9.6. You use the Print dialog box to choose the printer that will print the report, what pages to print,
what range of pages to print, how many copies, and other printer properties.
Figure 9.6 The Windows 98 standard Print dialog box gives you several options to choose from when
printing a report.
Note: After you click the Print icon, the report prints from the default Windows 98 printer; a dialog box is not
displayed.
You use the Page Orientation option in the Print dialog box to print your report in portrait or landscape
orientation. Click the Setup button in the Print dialog box to change this option. This is saved with the report,
so you only need to set it once.
You use the Print Range option to choose which pages of the report to print. You select All to print the entire
report. You choose Selection to specify what range of pages to print, and you select Pages to print only the
pages you specify in the From and To boxes.
Tip: Sometimes, extra blank pages are printed when you print your report. This usually happens because the
dimensions of the report are larger than the size of the paper. Make sure that the width of the report plus the
width of the margins does not exceed the width of the paper.
Tip: Another common problem is too many blank areas surrounding sections of data on the report. You might
get an error when printing a report that tells you that some sections might be too wide to fit on the page, or you
might have simply placed the objects on your report too far apart. To remove this blank area, resize the sections
to better fit the information being displayed. You can resize any controls on the report by moving the mouse over
the lines of the box in Design view, and clicking and dragging the lines to resize them to fit the data being
displayed.
Closing and Saving Reports
You can save reports at any time by choosing File, Save. Or you can choose File, Save As/Export if you want
to change the name of the report. When you save a report for the first time, or exit a report the first time
without saving it, a dialog box appears and asks you to name the report. In this dialog, Access will provide a
default name, Report1 for example, which you should change to something more descriptive.
Summary
This hour was devoted to studying reports and how they display data. You learned what kinds of reports
Access offers, and you learned about the differences between forms and reports. You also looked at the many
ways to print and preview reports. You will take another look at reports and learn how to create and modify
them in Hours 13, “Modifying an Existing Report,” and 20, “Creating Reports.”
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
-----------
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
What other elements can be added to reports?
Graphics, images, graphs, different fonts, colors, and lines. Just about anything you want to make your
report look better can be added.
Can reports be saved in other formats? My boss wants to see my report onscreen, but he does not
have Access.
Yes, you can save reports in Word or Excel format. The Save As function has this feature.
Quiz
1.
2.
3.
4.
What are reports?
Why should I use reports?
What are the four basic types of reports?
What is the difference between forms and reports?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Part III
Modifying an Existing Database
Hour
10 Modifying an Existing Table
11 Modifying and Using Existing Queries
12 Modifying an Existing Form Design
13 Modifying an Existing Report
Hour 10
Modifying an Existing Table
Craig Eddy
In the first section of this book, you learned all about viewing and using existing database objects. With that
knowledge safely in hand, this section of the book will help you learn all about modifying tables, queries,
forms, and reports that already exist in a database.
In this hour, you’ll learn how to modify existing tables. You’ll learn how to modify table properties, modify
fields, and add and delete fields from the table. Also, you’ll learn more about primary keys, indexes, and table
relationships.
The highlights of this hour follow:
• Changing the table design
• Modifying, adding, and deleting fields
• Understanding primary keys and indexes
• Editing table relationships
• Using the Field Builder
• Using the Expression Builder
Changing the Table Design
The bulk of this hour will be spent discussing how to modify an existing table’s structure. You’ll learn how to
modify a table’s properties, change the fields available in a table, and modify the properties of the fields in a
table.
Figure 10.1 shows the Tables section of the Database window for the Northwind database. The list is shown
in Details view, which you get to by clicking the Details button on the Database window. This list is where
you’ll start all the design changes in this hour.
Figure 10.1 The Tables tab of the Northwind Database window.
Looking at Table Properties
Like all objects in Access databases, tables have properties as well. To modify the properties for a given table,
select the table by clicking its name in the Database window’s Tables list. Then right-click and choose
Properties from the shortcut menu. Alternatively, you can select the table and choose View, Properties. The
Table Properties dialog box then appears, as shown in Figure 10.2. The title bar of the dialog box changes to
show the name of the table whose properties you’re editing.
Figure 10.2 The Customers Properties dialog box for the Northwind database.
In the Table Properties dialog box, you can change the description of the table, hide the table, and—if the
database is the design master of a replicated database—specify whether the table is replicated to other
databases and whether the table utilizes row-level or column-level conflict detection.
A replicated database is a database that has been specially set up to be copied to one or more other
databases. The copies can than be synchronized, copying data changes to all copies of the replicated database.
The Table Properties dialog box also shows the dates and times the table was created and last modified. The
Owner field specifies the user who created the table and is useful only if you’re using Access 2000’s security
features. The security features are discussed in Hour 23, “Database Administration.”
If you change the table’s description, the change is reflected when you return to the Database window. If you
check the Hidden box, the table disappears from the Database window. You might want to hide a table, for
instance, if it contains data that other users should not have direct access to. Hiding the table does not
necessarily prevent such access, but it does make it more difficult to get to the table.
Note: Access provides you with an option to view tables which are marked as hidden. To turn on this option,
invoke the Options dialog (use the Tools menu and click Options). On the Options dialog’s View tab, check the
box labeled Hidden objects. When you return to the Database window, the hidden tables will now be visible.
Tables also have record-level validation rules and can be provided with a default filter and sort order that are
applied when the table is opened in a data view (Datasheet, Form, or Report). To set these properties, make
sure that the table Design View window is active. Then choose View, Properties, click the Properties toolbar
button, or press Alt+Enter. For more information on sorting and filtering data, see Hour 5, “Using the
Datasheet View.”
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Modifying, Adding, and Deleting Fields
-----------
Just because you have a database design that works for today’s needs doesn’t mean that you won’t need to
make modifications to the database’s table structure in the future. It often becomes necessary to add and
modify fields to one or more tables as new needs are discovered. It also might be necessary to delete fields
from a table, but this should be done only with careful consideration. Chances are that if a field already
contains data, you won’t want to delete the field altogether; instead, you simply might want to move the field
to another table.
All these changes are performed in the table Design View. Open the Northwind database and select the Tables
section on the Database window. Select the Customers table and click Design. The Design View window for
the Customers table appears, as shown in Figure 10.3.
Figure 10.3 The Customers table in Design view.
Modifying Fields
When modifying an existing field, you can change several attributes. These attributes include the field’s
name, data type, description, and properties. In most cases you’ll be modifying the field’s properties, which
you’ll learn more about a little later in this hour.
You modify the field’s name, data type, and description using the top portion of the Design View window. To
change the field’s name, for example, click in the Field Name column for the field you want to change. The
cell containing the field’s name works like a standard Windows edit box: You can highlight text; cut, copy,
and paste (including using the Office Clipboard toolbar); and use the arrow keys to move back and forth in the
text that makes up the field’s name. You can modify the field’s description in a similar manner.
To modify the field’s data type, click in the Data Type column and then click the down arrow on the button
that appears at the right side of the cell. Select the new data type to be used.
Note: If you change a field’s data type and the field already contains data, Access attempts to convert that
existing data to the new data type. If you have a field that contains text data and you attempt to change the field
to the Number data type, Access attempts to convert the text data to numeric form. This works just fine, as long
as the field contains nothing but numerals. If records with any nonnumeric data exist in the field, Access displays
a warning message. If you allow Access to continue, the contents of the field are cleared for these records.
Suppose that you want to select the PostalCode field and change its data type to Number. Choose File,
Save to save the table. A message box appears when Access attempts to update the data type. If you choose
Yes, the contents of those fields are cleared. If you choose No, the table design is not saved and you are
returned to the table Design view. You then should change the field’s data type back to Text, or simply close
the Design View window and choose No when Access prompts you to save the table’s design.
Adding Fields
When modifying a table’s design, you are usually adding fields to the table. Fortunately, Access 2000 makes
adding fields a simple process.
You add fields to a table by using the table’s Design View window. You can add a field to the bottom of the
Field list by clicking in the row below the last field. In Figure 10.4, I have clicked in the row below the Fax
field. Access is now ready to accept the new field’s name, data type, and other properties. Simply type the
name for the field. Next press Tab or click in the Data Type column to set the new field’s data type. You then
can press Tab or click in the Description column to enter the description.
Figure 10.4 Adding a field to the Customers table.
You must click in the Field Properties section at the bottom of the Design View window if you want to
change the new field’s properties from their default values. If you just press Tab while the cursor is in the
Description column, you wind up in the Field Name column of the next row.
If you want to insert a field between existing fields in the table, select the field you want to appear after the
new field. Choose Insert, Rows to insert a blank row into the grid. Add the field by following the steps
outlined earlier in this section.
Deleting Fields
Access 2000 enables you to delete fields as well. You should be careful when deleting fields that have data in
them, however. Make sure you really want to delete the fields before proceeding.
To delete a field, simply select it in the top of the table Design View window and choose Edit, Delete Rows.
You can delete multiple fields at once by pressing Ctrl while clicking in the row-selector column (the leftmost
column of the grid) for each field you want to delete. Then choose Edit, Delete Rows. If you have saved the
table’s design since the fields to be deleted were added (which is the case most of the time), Access will
confirm that you really want to delete the fields. Choosing Yes causes Access to delete the fields and any data
they contain.
If a field to be deleted has one or more relationships with other tables, you will be unable to delete the field
until all these relationships are dissolved. You will learn more about this subject in the section titled “Editing
Table Relationships,” later in this hour.
Using the Field Builder
You can add a field manually, but Access 2000 also provides a Field Builder feature. You can use the Field
Builder to choose from a wide range of predefined fields that can be added instantly to your table. This is by
far the easiest way to add fields to a table because the Field Builder also sets properties such as the Caption,
Input Mask, and Format properties.
To use the Field Builder, click in the grid at the top of the table Design View window. Right-click and choose
Build from the shortcut menu, or click the Build toolbar button. The Field Builder then appears, as shown in
Figure 10.5.
Figure 10.5 Using the Field Builder to add a field.
You can select from business or personal tables by selecting the radio buttons at the bottom left of the Field
Builder dialog box. Select a table and field combination in the Sample Tables and Sample Fields list boxes.
Next click OK to add the new field—properties and all—to the table.
Because you’re working with the Customers table, select Customers in the Sample Tables list box. The
Sample Fields list box changes to show fields related to customer data. Select EmailAddress in the
Sample Fields list box and click OK. The new field is added to the Customers table and even has a caption
specified.
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Field Descriptions
To edit the description of a field, simply press Tab or click to place your cursor in the Description column.
The text in the Description column is used as default status bar text whenever the field has focus (whenever
the edit cursor is in the field) when the field is displayed in a Datasheet view or a form.
Field Properties
To change any of a field’s properties, you first select the field in the top of the Design View window. Then
click in the Field Properties section at the bottom of the window. Select the property you want to modify.
Table 10.1 lists the various field properties and their purpose.
Table 10.1 Field Properties
Property
Usage
Field Size
Format
Decimal Places
Defines the amount of data a field can hold.
Defines the way that the data contained in the field is displayed.
Only available on Numeric data type fields, this property specifies the
number of digits that will appear to the right of the decimal point.
Provides a mask which dictates how users enter data into the field.
Used as the datasheet column header or as the default caption for the field’s
label when the field is used on a form or report.
The initial value for the field when a new record is created.
Defines what constitutes valid data for a field.
The message that will be displayed should a user enter data that violates the
Validation Rule property.
Indicates whether or not data is required in the field in order to save the
record.
This property determines whether or not zero-length strings are valid within
a Text field.
Input Mask
Caption
Default Value
Validation Rule
Validation Text
Required
Allow Zero Length
Indexed
Specifies whether or not the field should be indexed, and if so whether or
not the same value should be allowed on multiple records.
The edit box for any property comes in one of three control types. There’s a standard edit box, a drop-down
list box, and an edit box that sports a button with an ellipsis. The first two boxes are standard Windows 95
edit controls. The third control is used to invoke the Expression Builder shown in Figure 10.6 or, in the case
of the Input Mask property, an Access wizard. The valid property values determine which control type is
used for the edit box.
Figure 10.6 The Expression Builder.
Note: The Input Mask Wizard is an advanced wizard that is available only if you installed the advanced wizards
when you installed Access 2000. If you did not install the advanced wizards, you can use the Control Panel
Add/Remove Program applet to add the advanced wizards to your Access 2000 setup. See Hour 2, “A Quick
Tour of Access 2000,” for information on installing Access 2000.
To change a property that has the standard edit box, simply click in the box and make your changes. To
change the field size of the Customers table’s City field to 30, for example, select the City field,
double-click in the Field Size property text box and type 30.
To change a property that has the drop-down list box control, select the field and then click the down-arrow
button. Select an item in the list to change the property’s value. There are several properties that have Yes/No
values. These also use the drop-down list box.
To change a property using an Expression Builder, select a property such as Validation Rule. Click the
ellipsis button that is at the right-hand side of the property’s edit box to invoke the Expression Builder. The
Expression Builder makes it easy to create complex expressions by using a point-and-click method. Select
one of the items in the leftmost list box, and the other two list boxes display items you can use in your
expression. With the Functions folder in the leftmost list, you must double-click to expose subfolders that
contain expression items. You also can type directly into the text box at the top of the dialog box, as well as
use the many buttons located between the Expression text box and the list boxes. These buttons enable you to
insert common operators (such as add, subtract, multiply, and divide) and expressions by pointing and
clicking.
Testing Validation Rules
Let’s say you did change the value of the Validation Rule property for several fields. Access 2000 has a
new feature which will enable you to test validation rules (as well as several other properties) on demand.
You’ll have to save your table’s design before proceeding, but, if the table has a good bit of existing data,
using this feature after each change to a Validation Rule will save you time. Any existing data which
violates the Validation Rule will be left as-is in the table, but you’ll know that your Validation
Rule already has data which doesn’t fit its constraints.
While on the table’s Design View window, you can test the validation rules, the Required property, and the
Allow Zero Length property using a simple menu command. To test these rules and properties, choose
Edit, Test Validation Rules. Access will display a dialog box explaining what’s about to happen and warning
you that the test could take some time. Click Yes to continue. Access will check all the rules and properties
and inform you if any records violate them.
Understanding Primary Keys and Indexes
In the relational database model on which Access 2000 is built, primary keys uniquely identify records.
Indexes help the performance of the database engine when it’s called upon to search and sort records in your
tables, be they stored within an Access file or on a SQL Server. Both primary keys and indexes are very
important to any good database design. In this section, you’ll learn how to view and modify the primary keys
and indexes for a table.
A relational database model is a database model that groups the underlying data into one or more
discrete tables that can be related to one another by using fields common to each table.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
The Primary Key
A primary key is a field or a set of fields that uniquely identifies each record stored in a table. Although
primary keys are not required, they are necessary if you want to relate the table to any other table in the
database.
Refer to Figure 10.3, which shows the Customers table in Design view. The primary key for the Employees
table is the CustomerID field. This is represented in the Design View window by a Key icon in the
row-selector column (the leftmost column) of any fields that make up the primary key. To change the primary
key fields, simply select the fields that should make up the primary key by pressing Ctrl while clicking the
row-selector column of each field. Then choose Edit, Primary Key or click the Primary Key button on the
toolbar. (Its picture is identical to the Key icon that appears in the Design View window.)
Note: If the table has relationships with other tables and its primary key is involved in those relationships, you
will not be able to modify the primary key. You first must dissolve any relationships involving the table’s
primary key before modifying the primary key’s fields.
Indexes
Indexes are used to optimize searching and sorting by the database engine. If certain fields will be used more
often than others for searching the table, they probably should be indexed. You can create an index on a single
field or on multiple fields. Use a multifield index in cases where the first field can have duplicate values in the
table. Indexes can cause some operations, especially updating and adding rows to the table, to take longer, so
you should be careful not to over-index your tables.
To view and modify the indexes for a table, choose View, Indexes or click the Indexes toolbar button while
the table’s Design View window is active. This opens the Indexes window for the current table. Figure 10.7
shows the Indexes window for the Customers table.
Figure 10.7 The Indexes window for the Customers table.
In the Indexes window, you specify the name for the index, the fields that make up the index, and the sort
order for each field in the index. To create an index made up of more than one field, enter the index name, a
field name, and a sort order on the first available row. In the next row, leave the index name empty, and
specify the next field name and sort order. Do this for each additional field in the index.
In Figure 10.7, you can see that the Customers table has five indexes: City, CompanyName,
PostalCode, PrimaryKey, and Region. As you can see, the table’s primary key also is used to create
an index on the table. You can give an index any valid object name, as long as you don’t use the same name
twice for a given table.
By using the row-selector column, you can insert and delete rows into the grid. To delete an index, select its
row by using the row selector and press Del. To insert rows, select the row that will appear below the new
row and press Ins.
Caution: If you attempt to use the Edit and Insert menus, your actions are applied to the Design View window
rather than the Indexes window.
Saving the Table Design
After you make all the necessary changes to the table’s design, you must save the design. Click the Save
button on the toolbar, choose File, Save, or press Ctrl+S. Access attempts to save the table design.
If you made any changes that affect validation rules, Access asks whether you want to check any existing data
against these new validation rules. Figure 10.8 shows the message box that asks this question. If you have the
Office Assistant running at this time, the assistant will ask you the question in the form of a balloon-like
window.
Figure 10.8 A message informing you that the data integrity rules have changed and asking whether you
want to test the existing data with the new rules.
If you choose Yes, Access tests the existing data against the new rules. If any data fails to meet the validation
rules, Access displays the dialog box shown in Figure 10.9.
Figure 10.9 A message box telling you that the data integrity rules have been violated.
If you want to keep the new validation rule even though some data doesn’t meet the requirement (not a good
idea), choose Yes. The invalid data will remain in the table even though it violates the validation rule. If you
want to change the validation rule back to the old setting, choose No. To cancel the operation, choose Cancel.
You should (in most cases) choose No from this message box, save your table using the reverted-to validation
rule, adjust the data accordingly, and attempt to change the validation rule again (if you still want to use the
new rule).
If you have made changes to any field’s data type, Access attempts to convert any existing data in that field to
the new data type. If it cannot convert the data, the message box shown in Figure 10.10 appears.
Figure 10.10 A message box informing you that a data conversion error has occurred.
If you really do want to change the data type, regardless of whether all the data can be converted, choose Yes.
The conversion will continue, and any data that doesn’t fit into the new data type will be lost. If you do not
want to lose any data, click the No button, change the data type back to its old value, save the table, and adjust
the data accordingly.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Editing Table Relationships
As I’ve mentioned several times in this hour, it is possible for tables in a relational database to be related to
one another. That’s where the term relational comes from, after all. For example, in the Northwind database
are a Customers and an Orders tables. The two tables are related to each other by a common field:
CustomerID. In the Customers table, CustomerID is the primary key which uniquely identifies each
customer. In the Orders table, CustomerID specifies which customer placed the order. This relates an order
(which is represented by a record in the Orders table) to a specific customer (which is represented by a record
in the Customers table).
To edit relationships in an existing database, use the Relationships window shown in Figure 10.11. You open
the Relationships window by choosing Tools, Relationships.
Figure 10.11 The Relationships window for the Northwind database.
Note: You cannot edit a table’s relationships if that table is opened in Design view. Be sure to close any Design
View windows for tables whose relationships you want to modify.
To edit a relationship, double-click the thinner portion of the line joining the two tables that have the
relationship you’re modifying. The Edit Relationships dialog box shown in Figure 10.12 appears. From here,
you can modify the properties pertinent to a relationship in Access 2000. These properties are discussed in
greater detail in Hour 17, “Creating Tables.”
Figure 10.12 The Edit Relationships dialog box.
To dissolve a relationship, click the line joining the two tables and press Del. To create a new relationship,
select the field in the master table and drag it to the related field in the other table. To try these activities,
select the line that joins the Employees and Orders tables. Press Del. Access asks you to confirm that you
really want to remove the relationship; choose Yes.
The term join is used to denote a relationship between two tables. The tables are said to be joined if
there is a relationship between them.
The master table in a relationship is the table in which the field or fields used to join the tables is
the primary key.
Now it’s time to replace the relationship. Click and hold down the mouse button while the pointer is over the
EmployeeID field in the Employees table. While keeping the mouse button pressed, drag the field name
over the EmployeeID field in the Orders table. Release the mouse button to drop the field name onto the
Orders table’s EmployeeID field. The Relationships dialog box appears. Check the Enforce Referential
Integrity check box. This causes Access to ensure that any data entered in the EmployeeID field in the
Orders table has a corresponding EmployeeID value in the Employees table. It does not mean, however,
that every employee must have a corresponding order. Click Create to finish creating the new relationship.
Referential integrity consists of rules used to ensure that data contained in fields involved in a
relationship with another table is valid in that table. Referential integrity is checked when data in such fields is
updated, added, or deleted.
After you finish modifying the relationships, you must save the Relationships window’s layout before you can
close the window. You can choose File, Save; click the Save toolbar button; or press Ctrl+S.
Summary
In this hour, you learned about the process of editing an existing table’s definition. You will use most of what
you learned here again in Hour 17. By now, you should be able to view and modify all the pertinent pieces of
a table’s structure: field names, data types and properties, primary keys and indexes, and table relationships.
You also should be adept at adding and removing fields from an existing table.
The next hour delves into modifying existing queries. This is when you’ll learn how to really make Access
2000 give you the answers to your data-related questions.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Some of the tables have disappeared from the Tables list. What happened to them?
One of two things: You deleted the table or you changed the table properties and marked the table as
hidden. To view hidden tables, choose Tools, Options to display the Options dialog box. Select the
View tab and enable the Hidden Objects check box in the Show section. Click OK and return to the
Database window’s Tables tab. If the tables still do not appear, you probably have deleted them.
Otherwise, the hidden tables now should be listed, and you can modify their properties to make unhide
them (see “Looking At Table Properties,” earlier in this hour).
Whenever I attempt to edit or delete a relationship, I get a message box informing me that one of
the tables is in use by another person or process. How do I resolve this problem?
More than likely, the table specified in the message box is opened in Design view. Use the Window
menu to see if the table has an open window. If it does, click its entry in the Window menu and close
its window.
Quiz
1. What types of controls are available for editing field properties?
2. How can you view and modify the indexes defined for a table?
3. Can you change a field’s data type if it already contains data?
4. What tool can you use to verify validation rules on demand?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 11
Modifying and Using Existing Queries
-----------
Craig Eddy
In this hour, you’ll learn how to take an existing query and modify it to better suit your current needs. This is
probably the easiest way to learn about defining and using queries. You can take advantage of the work
someone else has done in setting up the query by building on that foundation.
You might want to modify a query to add additional fields to its output, or you might need to modify the
criteria that a query uses to determine which records to include in its output. For either of these needs and
many others, the material in this hour provides you with the information you need to make a query work your
way.
The topics covered in this hour follow:
• Using the Field list
• Using the Design Grid
• Specifying criteria
• Querying multiple tables
• Using properties
This hour uses queries from the Northwind sample database that ships with Access 2000. If you have not
installed the sample, return to Hour 2, “A Quick Tour of Access 2000,” for instructions on installing the
sample databases.
Using the Field List
As you saw in Hour 7, “Using Existing Queries,” queries have two design views. The SQL View enables you
to examine and edit the actual SQL coding that defines the query. The Design View provides you with a
visual tool for building your queries. You’ll learn about the Design View throughout most of this hour.
Figure 11.1 shows the Design View for the Current Product List query. To get to the Design View, activate
the Database window and display the Queries list by clicking on the Queries entry in the Outlook bar. Then
select the Current Product List query and click the Design button.
Figure 11.1 The Design View for the Current Product List query.
This section discusses the Field List pane, which is the top half of the Design View.
The Field List for the Current Product List query contains fields from the Products table. This table is
represented by the list box with the caption Product List (as you’ll see later in this hour, this caption is set by
the Alias query table property). This list box is the Field List for the Products table.
The Field List has an entry for each field in the table. It also has an entry containing only an asterisk (*). This
entry represents all the fields in the table; when used, it will cause all fields in the table to be included in the
query. An asterisk is also used in the SQL code to represent all the fields in the SQL statement (such as
SELECT * FROM Products).
Also, notice that the ProductID field is in bold type. This signifies that the field is part of the Products
table’s primary key. The primary key field is used to link this table to other related tables that can be added to
the query as needs dictate.
It’s a simple matter to add a field from the Field list to the query design grid at the bottom of the window.
You can use any of several methods. First, you can double-click the field’s name to place the field in the first
available column of the Design view’s grid. This means that this field appears as the last (right-most) column
in the Datasheet view when the query is executed.
Second, you can add a field to the grid by clicking the field name and dragging it onto the grid. You can
control which column the field is displayed in by using this method as well. The column onto which you drop
the field shifts to the right, and the new field is placed in front of the other fields. You also can select multiple
fields from the Field list (by holding down the Shift or Ctrl keys when you click a field’s name) and drag and
drop them to add them to the grid.
Caution: The drag-and-drop action cannot be undone and produces no confirmation message, so the only way to
revert to the old query is to close the query without saving. Use this with caution!
The Field List also has a shortcut menu, which you access by right-clicking while the pointer is over the Field
List. The shortcut menu contains two items. The first item is Remove Table, which removes the selected table
and all its fields from the query. The second item is Properties, which displays the Table Properties window
discussed in the section “Working with Properties,” later in this hour.
To add tables to the Field List pane, you first must display the Show Table dialog box. (See Figure 11.2.) Just
choose Query, Show Table.
Figure 11.2 The Show Table dialog box.
As you can see, the Show Table dialog box has three tabs: Tables, Queries, and Both. The Tables tab displays
a list of all the tables in the database. The Queries tab displays a list of all the queries saved in the database.
Queries don’t have to be based only on tables. They can also be built using other queries that have been
defined in the database. The Both tab displays a list of both the tables and the queries.
To add a table or query to the query’s Field List pane, you can double-click the item’s name or select the item
and click Add. You can select multiple items by holding down the Shift or Ctrl keys before clicking the item’s
name. Next click the add button to add all these items at once. When you add a table that is related to a table
already in the query, a line is drawn between these related tables to show the fields that join the two tables.
Suppose that you add the Categories table to the Current Product List query. A line is drawn between the
CategoryID field in the two tables, as shown in Figure 11.3.
Figure 11.3 The Current Product List query with the Categories table added.
A join describes the relationship between two tables in a relational database. The tables are joined
because a field or group of fields is common to both tables. This join forms the relationship between the two
tables.
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by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Using the Design View’s Grid
The area at the bottom of the Design view is the Query by Example (QBE) grid. This is where the various
field-specific attributes of the query are defined. Each field added to the query has its own column in the QBE
grid. The rows in the grid represent different attributes for the field. There are rows for field name, table
name, sort order, and visibility of the field in the result set; there also are rows for setting result set criteria
based on the field.
The Field Name and Table Name rows contain drop-down list boxes that enable you to change the field
represented by the column or to add new fields to the query. Simply select the desired table and field from the
drop-down lists. To add a field, select an empty column in the grid and choose the table name and field name.
If the required table does not appear in the list, you must add it to the Field List pane using the instructions in
the earlier section, “Using the Field List.”
To remove a field from the query, move the pointer over the top of the field’s column until the pointer
changes to a down arrow. Now click on the column header to select it. Press Delete to remove the field. You
also can remove a field by clicking in any row in the field’s column and choosing Edit, Delete Columns.
Caution: This field-removal action cannot be undone, so use it with caution.
To move a field to a different column position (and change the field’s display column in Datasheet view),
select the column. Next click the column’s header and drag-and-drop it at the desired location.
Specifying the Sort Order and Showing Fields
For each field in the query, you also can specify the sort order and whether the field is included in the query’s
result set. Each of these attributes has its own row in the QBE grid.
The sort order determines how records are ordered when the query executes. You specify the sort order by
using the Sort row’s edit box. Just open the drop-down list box and choose Ascending, Descending, or Not
Sorted, which is equivalent to having no entry in the Sort row.
Refer back to Figure 11.1, or if you’re following along in Access 2000, look at the QBE grid in the Design
View for the Current Product List query. The ProductName field is sorted in ascending order. This means
that the products are listed in alphabetical order (from A to Z). If you execute the query by choosing Query,
Run (or clicking the Run toolbar button), you’ll see that the products are indeed listed in alphabetical order.
Return to the QBE grid by choosing View, Design View and change the sort entry for the ProductName
field to Descending. Run the query again, and observe carefully that the products now are listed in reverse
alphabetical order. Amazing, isn’t it?
Note: To review some important considerations to keep in mind when setting the sort order, search the Access
2000 Help file for the phrase “sorting data, overview” and review the tips.
In Figure 11.1, the Show row contains a checkbox for each field in the query. If the box is checked, the field
appears in the query’s output. If the box is not checked, the field does not appear. This option is available
because you might want to use a field as part of the sort order or criteria but not display it to the user.
In the Current Product List query, the Discontinued field is not shown. It specifies the criterion for being
a current product: The Discontinued field must be set to No. Because all records returned have their
Discontinued field set to No, there’s really no need to display the field; its value is implied by the fact
that the product is included in the query’s output.
Just for fun, check the Show checkbox for the Discontinued field and execute the query. You see that
none of the products has its Discontinued field checked, as shown in Figure 11.4. This is because all the
records returned by the query have their Discontinued field set to No.
Figure 11.4 The Current Product List query with the Discontinued field visible.
Tip: Of course, if you want to provide a quick way for the user to mark current products as being discontinued,
displaying the Discontinued field in the query’s output is the perfect way to do so. Users can then simply
check the box in the Discontinued column for any products that have been discontinued. The user will have to
rerun the query to have the discontinued products removed from the datasheet, though.
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Specifying Criteria
Part of the reason why queries exist is to draw from the database records that match specific criteria. The list
of current products consists of all those products that are not discontinued, for example. The products that are
discontinued are not included in the current product list.
The rows that start with the Criteria row in the QBE grid are where you specify the data that must be present
in a field in order for that record to be included in the query’s result set. You can specify multiple criteria in
an OR fashion by entering the different values on separate rows in the field’s column. This means that if the
field’s value in a record matches a condition on any row, that record will be included in the query’s output.
The entries made in the Criteria rows must be valid Access expressions. The Criteria edit boxes have an
Expression Builder Wizard that can help you quickly build a valid expression. (Figure 11.5 shows the
Expression Builder.) You access the Expression Builder by clicking the Build button on the toolbar (the
Magic Wand icon) or by right-clicking the Criteria edit box and choosing Build from the shortcut menu. The
Expression Builder is covered in Hour 10, “Modifying an Existing Table,” and isn’t covered in detail here.
Figure 11.5 The Expression Builder dialog box.
Now you’ll look at a few common examples of using criteria to change a query’s output. These examples use
the Current Product List query, so open that query in Design view if you’re following along in Access 2000.
In the first example, you will modify the query so that only the current products on order are returned when
the query is executed. The Products table has a UnitsOnOrder field, which shows the number of units
ordered for a product. Add that field to the grid by double-clicking its name in the Field List.
Next, click in the Criteria row for the UnitsOnOrder field. To see which products are currently on order,
type >0 in the edit box. Your screen should now resemble Figure 11.6. Now execute the query by choosing
Query, Run or by clicking the Run toolbar button. Figure 11.7 shows the results. Instead of 69 records, as you
saw in earlier executions of this query, there now are only 17.
Figure 11.6 The QBE grid for the Current Product List query with the UnitsOnOrder field added.
Figure 11.7 Viewing the Current Product list with additional query criteria.
Now suppose that you want to return only the products that cost between $10 and $50. First, remove the
UnitsOnOrder field by clicking its column in the grid and choosing Edit, Delete Columns. Add the
UnitPrice field by double-clicking its name in the Field list. Click in the field’s Criteria edit box and type
>=10 and <=50. Now when the query is executed (assuming that you haven’t modified any of the
information in the Products table), you should see 54 rows—all with prices between $10 and $50.
Querying Multiple Tables
Because Access 2000 is built on the relational database model, you can create a query that combines
information from multiple, related tables. You’ll continue to use the Current Product List query in this
section, so if you’re following along, open the Design view for that query.
The first step in querying multiple tables is to add a reference to the necessary tables to the query’s Field List
pane. Choose Query, Show Table. The Show Table dialog box appears (see Figure 11.2). To add a reference
to a table or an existing query to the current query, simply double-click the item’s name in the list box.
For this example, double-click the Suppliers and Categories tables. As you add each table, a line appears
between the Product List Field list and the new table’s Field list. This line represents the join between the two
tables. The Product List and Suppliers lists are joined using the SupplierID field present in both tables.
For the Categories table, the CategoryID field is used. After both tables are added, click Close.
For the supplier information, you’re currently interested in the company’s name. Double-click the
CompanyName field in the Suppliers table Field list. The field is added to the QBE grid. For the category
information, you’re interested in the category name, so double-click CategoryName in the Categories table.
The Design View window now appears, as shown in Figure 11.8. When you execute this query, the results
appear as shown in Figure 11.9.
Figure 11.8 The Design View window for the modified Current Product List query.
Figure 11.9 The Datasheet View window for the modified Current Product List query.
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Setting Join Properties
As you learned earlier in the section “Using the Field List,” when two or more related tables are included in a
query, a line appears between the two tables. This line represents the join that exists between the tables.
-----------
There is a property you should adjust to match the way in which data is stored in the database. To access this
property, double-click the line that joins the two tables or click the line and choose View, Join Properties. The
Join Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11.10.
Figure 11.10 The Join Properties dialog box.
On this dialog, the join whose line you double-clicked will be the join whose properties are displayed when
the dialog is displayed. You can choose which join you’re setting the properties for by selecting the tables and
fields using the list boxes at the top of the dialog. As you can see in Figure 11.10, there are three settings for
each join. The default setting is 1: Only include rows where the joined fields from
both tables are equal. This means that the only records that are returned have matching values in
the field or fields used to join the two tables. In the modified Current Product List query you created earlier,
the only records from the Products table that appear are those in which CategoryID and SupplierID
match a CategoryID and SupplierID in the Categories and Suppliers table.
In the Products table, however, neither the SupplierID nor the CategoryID field is required to have
values. Leaving the join properties set to the default values causes any records that have no SupplierID or
CategoryID specified to be excluded from the query’s output. To always see all the products, regardless of
whether or not they have categories and suppliers assigned, set the join property for both joins to the setting
that starts with Include all records from Product List. This setting specifies that all records
from the Products table appear when the query is executed.
Changing the join property causes an arrowhead to be added to the join line, as shown in Figure 11.11. This
arrow indicates the direction of the join—from the Products table to the Categories table, for example.
Figure 11.11 The modified Current Product List query with its joins modified.
Working with Properties
Queries and the tables and fields that are used in defining a query, like most objects in Access 2000, have
properties that affect their behavior in the query. This section deals with how you can modify these properties.
Query Properties
The properties for the query itself are the most interesting. You can modify the query properties by clicking in
the blank area of the Field List pane at the top of the Design View and choosing View, Properties. You also
can right-click with the pointer over an empty area of the Field List pane and then choose Properties from the
shortcut menu. The Query Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11.12.
Figure 11.12 The Query Properties dialog box.
Some of the more common properties you can modify in the Query Properties dialog box are
• Description: Specifies a string to describe the query. Use this property to help you and others
remember the purpose of the query. This is the same description you’ll see on the Database window’s
Query tab when in Details view or after you choose Properties from the shortcut menu. If you change a
query, you should make sure that the description still matches the query’s function and results.
• Output All Fields: Specifies whether all fields in the grid are shown in the query’s datasheet.
Setting this property to Yes is identical to enabling the Show checkbox for each field in the grid. This
property is useful when you want a quick way to display every field in a query with many fields not
marked for display.
• Unique Values: Excludes records with duplicate values in the query’s resulting data. This means
that only one row with the same values in all the query’s fields is displayed in the output. Setting this
property to Yes enables you to see unique data in each row of the query’s result set.
• Unique Records: Similar to the Unique Values property, except that the uniqueness is
extended to all fields in the table on which the query is based—not just the fields included in the query.
In other words, a record is considered a duplicate (and therefore is excluded from the result set) if the
value of all fields in the record is a duplicate of another record in the query’s result set.
• Filter: Shows any filter that was created when the query was being viewed in Datasheet view.
You create such filters in Datasheet view by choosing Records, Filter. When a filter is applied in this
manner, the definition of the filter appears in the Filter property in the QBE Grid Design view.
• Order By: Similar to the Filter property because it shows any sorting information used when
the query is viewed in Datasheet view. Enter a field name here and the results will be sorted on this
field.
• Subdatasheet Properties: These properties are used to specify the table or query which should be
used for a subdatasheet, if any, that will appear in the Datasheet View. For more information on
subdatasheets, refer to Hour 5, “Using the Datasheet View.”
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Field Properties
Fields that are displayed in the query’s output (their Show checkbox is enabled) also have properties that
affect how the data is displayed and edited by the user who executes the query.
-----------
To view the properties for a field, select the field in the QBE grid and choose View, Properties. The Field
Properties dialog appears, as shown in Figure 11.13.
Figure 11.13 The Field Properties dialog box.
Note: Not all the following properties appear in Figure 11.13. The available properties change depending on the
data type of the field.
The properties you can modify in the Field Properties dialog box follow:
• Description: Provides a description of the field in the query. Again, this should describe the field’s
purpose in the query. If the query is used as the source for a table, or is displayed in datasheet view, this
description will be displayed in the Access status panel when the field has focus.
• Format: Specifies the formatting string used to display the data in the field. The edit box has a
drop-down list that offers predefined format strings for the data type of the field. If the field is a
Numeric field, for example, the Format list box offers numeric format strings; if the field is a
Date/Time field, the list box offers date/time-specific format strings.
• Input Mask: Specifies the mask used when editing data in the field. This is useful for entering
information such as phone numbers or Social Security numbers. The mask defines the format used for
these numbers, such as xxx-xx-xxxx. This property is available only for fields you can edit. The
ProductID field is an AutoNumber field that Access automatically fills with data. Therefore, you
cannot edit the data in that case, and it has no Input Mask property. The Input Mask property has
a builder that you can invoke by clicking the button that appears to the right of the edit box when it has
focus, or by clicking the Build button on the toolbar when the edit box has focus.
• Caption: Specifies the label caption (for forms and reports) or column heading (for Datasheet views)
displayed for the field.
• Decimal Places: Specifies the number of digits to display to the right of the decimal point (for
Numeric fields that aren’t integers).
You can use the Lookup tab in the Field Properties dialog box to create a lookup column for displaying and
editing the field’s data. See Hour 17, “Creating Tables,” for more information on creating lookup fields.
Table Properties
Each table represented in the Field List pane also has two properties. You access these properties by clicking
in the Field list and choosing View, Properties. The properties you can change in the Table Properties dialog
box follow:
• Alias: Specifies a user-friendly name for the table or provides a unique name in case the table is used
multiple times in the same query. You can set the Alias property to any name not currently used in the
database. The Current Product List query has an Alias property value of Product List for the Products
table. This causes the heading of the Field list box to read Product List instead of Products.
• Source: Used when the table is attached from an external data source, such as an ODBC database or
a legacy database system. It specifies the source database and connection string required to access the
external data.
Saving Queries
After you make any modifications you want to keep, you must save the query definition. Click the Save
button on the toolbar, choose File, Save, or press Ctrl+S.
If you attempt to close the query window without saving your changes, Access asks whether you want to save
the modified query. Choose Yes if you want to keep the changes, choose No if you want to discard the
changes, and choose Cancel if you want to return to the query window instead of closing it.
Summary
In this hour, you learned a great deal about working with existing queries. You saw how to use the Field List
and QBE grid, modify the sort order for the query, and change the criteria used to select the records returned
by the query. You also learned about querying multiple tables and setting various properties for the query and
its underlying objects.
In the next hour, you’ll learn about modifying an existing form.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
When I open the Customers and Suppliers By City using the Design button on the Database
window, I’m taken to the SQL View, and the (Grid) Design View toolbar button is unavailable.
Why?
This query is a union query. Union queries cannot be displayed in the Grid Design View.
Sometimes the Lookup tab on the Field Properties dialog box is empty. What causes this?
If you are viewing the field properties for a primary key field of a table used in the query, there will be
nothing on the lookup tab. This is due to the fact the primary key values cannot be the source of a
lookup column. Foreign key fields (which link to the primary keys of other tables) are the fields to use
in lookups.
Quiz
1. Which query field property specifies how data is input into the datasheet view for a specific field?
2. In the Grid Design view, what do the lines that sometimes appear between tables in the table pane
represent? Why are there sometimes arrows at the ends of the lines and sometimes not?
3. What are the two ways to limit the results returned when the query is executed?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 12
Modifying an Existing Form Design
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour goes into more detail on forms. Form controls, properties, text boxes, and labels are discussed in
this hour. Now that you have a better understanding of forms and their function, you’ll learn how to modify
forms that already have been designed. The topics covered in this hour include the following:
• Control types
• Text boxes
• Labels
• Advanced controls
• Properties
• The toolbox
• Customizing forms
• Subforms
Note: Controls and properties are the fundamental building blocks of forms and reports. You must understand
these concepts before you begin to design and develop forms and reports.
Using Form Controls
A control has several definitions in Access 2000. When I refer to a control in this hour, I mean any object on a
form; for example, text boxes and labels. Controls provide a way for you to enter values, and the controls
display the values. These types of controls are linked to an underlying table or query, but other objects, such
as lines or boxes, are also controls. You will learn about controls in Hour 13, “Modifying an Existing Report”;
for now, I’ll discuss form-specific controls.
Control Types
Many types of controls exist on a form. Some of the most common controls can easily be created with the
buttons on the form controls Toolbox. You can see the Toolbox in Figure 12.1.
Figure 12.1 Using the form controls Toolbox.
Note: The basic controls I discuss this hour are labels and text boxes. I briefly discuss a few more advanced
controls this hour, including option groups, toggle buttons, check boxes, combo boxes, list boxes, subforms, and
graphics controls. You will get into more detail on these advanced controls in Hour 19, “Creating Forms.”
Three basic types of controls exist:
• Bound controls—Controls for which the source of data is a field in a table or query. After you enter a
value into a bound control, the corresponding field is updated for the current record in the table or
query. Most controls that enable information to be input can be bound controls.
• Unbound controls—Controls that do not have a source of data. These controls retain any values you
enter, but do not update any field in the table. You can use these controls to display text, or you can use
them as graphics or special effects on the form itself.
• Calculated controls—Controls for which the source is an expression instead of a field in a table or
query. These controls are based on expressions or calculations. Calculated controls do not update any
table fields, so they are also types of unbound controls. A calculated control can take a purchase price
and multiply it by the local tax to get a final total, for example.
Open the Northwind database and double-click the Orders form. This form shows an example of all three
types of controls, as shown in Figure 12.2.
Figure 12.2 Looking at all three basic controls in the Orders form in the Northwind database.
Label Controls
Label controls display descriptive text, such as titles, on forms. Labels can be separate controls, such as when
they are used for titles, or they can be linked to the control they are describing. Labels do not accept any
input; they are unbound controls. They are like any text because you can format them with any font or point
size. You can display labels on single lines or across multiple lines.
Text Box Controls
Text box controls display data or enable the user to enter information. These controls enable you to accept the
current data or to edit or delete it. Text boxes accept many kinds of data and can be bound, unbound, or even
calculated controls. You will use text box controls more than any other type of control. They are the most
powerful and flexible control for forms. Figure 12.3 shows the Customers form from the Northwind database.
Figure 12.3 Viewing label and text box controls in the Customers form of the Northwind database.
Here, you can see several examples of text boxes.
Each text box should have a label associated with it to describe its purpose. Like labels, text boxes can contain
many lines of data or just one line of data. Text boxes have an automatic word wrap feature. Any words that
are too long to fit in the box automatically wrap to the next line within the field if the text box is big enough
to handle extra lines of data. If not, the words scroll to the left as you enter or view them.
Using Advanced Control Types
You can use several other types of controls in forms. This hour briefly explains the advanced types of controls
and their basic functions. Hour 19, “Creating Forms,” will go into more detail on these controls.
Buttons and Boxes
Fields that have Yes/No data types can use different kinds of controls, known as toggle buttons, option
buttons (or radio buttons), and check boxes. Toggle buttons have a sunken or raised button to signify whether
a value is True or False. Selected option buttons have a circle with a dot inside, and enabled check boxes are
squares with an X in the middle. All three controls provide a way to select one of the Yes/No options, but are
visually very different. These controls return a -1 value to the bound field if the button value is Yes and
return a 0 value if the button value is No. When you design the button, you can select a default value. If no
value is entered, the button is displayed as a null value, which is the same visual appearance as a No.
Note: You can place Yes/No fields in a text box, but the actual contents of that field—a -1 or 0—are displayed.
It makes more sense and looks better to use a button control.
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by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Option Groups
-----------
Option groups contain several toggle buttons, option buttons, or check boxes. These controls work together
instead of separately when they are combined inside an option group. Instead of being used with Yes/No data
types only, they can be used to select one option from a selection. Only one option in the group can be
selected at one time. Try not to exceed more than four option buttons. If you need more options, it is best to
use a list box, which is covered later this hour. Option groups usually are bound to one field or expression.
Each button has a different value that it passes back to the bound field if it is selected.
Note: You also can have a group of controls contained in a box, but this box is not an option group. By listing
several check boxes—all of which are bound to Yes/No fields—and surrounding them with a box, you allow the
user to select more than one option from the list.
List Boxes
List box controls display a list of data similar to a pull-down menu, but the list box always stays open. You
can select any of the options by moving the cursor to the desired item and pressing Enter or clicking the item.
The value of the item selected is then passed back to the bound field. List boxes have no limit on how many
fields or records can be displayed. If more records are available than can be displayed, a vertical scrollbar
enables you to browse up and down the list. You usually will use list boxes when you have more than four
choices or want the user to be able to view all the choices available.
Note: Combo boxes are another control available to use in forms. Combo boxes initially display a single choice
with an arrow next to it that shows all the options available when selected. Combo boxes also enable users to
enter information that is not in the list.
Using Control Properties
You use properties to determine the characteristics of the controls or fields on a form or report. Some
common properties are Color, Font, Size, or Name. You also can use properties to modify certain
behaviors of controls, such as whether a control is visible or whether it has a default value. Each control on a
form has a list of properties. Even the form itself has its own properties. Figure 12.4 shows the property sheet
for the Products form in the Northwind database. To display this sheet, open the Products form. Select the
form and click the Properties button on the toolbar, or double-click the control.
Figure 12.4 The property sheet for the Products form in the Northwind database.
The first column of the property sheet displays the property names. The second column is used to enter the
actual properties. The property sheet has numerous properties listed on it. To see all the properties, you must
scroll up and down or resize the property sheet. Four tabs on the property sheet enable you to view only
certain sections of the property sheet. You can select the tab with the properties that are needed most often, or
you can leave the default tab All selected. More about form property sheets will be covered in Hour 19,
“Creating Forms.”
You can change any of the properties displayed in the property sheet in various ways. You can enter the
desired property directly into the property sheet. You can choose from a list of properties by clicking the
down arrow in the property field, if one is available. A button with three dots in it (called the Builder button)
might appear next to the property field. You can use the Builder button to build that property. Most properties
already have default properties entered.
Customizing Forms
Now that you understand what controls are and what they do in a form, you can learn how to add or change
these controls in the Form Design view. In Hour 19, “Creating Forms,” you will learn how to create forms
from scratch. For now, you will just concentrate on adding to or changing forms that already exist.
Creating New Controls
If the Products form is not already open in Design view, open the Northwind database and switch to the
Forms list. Click on the Products form and then click the Design button to open it in Design view.
You can create a control in one of two ways:
• Drag a field from the field List window to the Form Design window. This creates a bound control.
• Click the toolbox button for the control you want to create and click on the Form Design window.
This creates an unbound control.
Note: The toolbox is displayed by default when you are in the Design view of a form. Figure 12.5 shows a
toolbox. The toolbox is a quick and easy way to add controls to a form or report. To add a control, click the
toolbox icon to select the tool you would like to add. You can click on the form to add an unbound control, or
you can click and drag a field from the field list to create a bound control. You can also move the toolbox to a
different location and modify it to display different toolbar buttons.
Figure 12.5 The Access form toolbox, which contains all the tools you need to create and edit forms.
Figure 12.6 shows the Field List window. To view this window, click the Field List button on the toolbar or
choose View, Field List. The field list shows all the fields in the table or query to which the form is bound.
You can move or resize this window.
Figure 12.6 The Field List window, with the fields for the Products table displayed.
Note: If you drag fields from the field box windows, the control you create is placed where you click with the
mouse button. Make sure that you have room to the left of the control to display the labels.
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Working with Controls
After you have the control on the Form Design window, you can begin to manipulate it. After you click on the
Products text box, between four and eight handles appear around the control box, as shown in Figure 12.7.
Use the handle in the upper-left corner to move the control. The other handles size the control.
Figure 12.7 The handles for a control enable you to move and resize it.
You can select a single control by clicking anywhere on the control. You know that a control has been
selected when the handles appear on the control box. The label also is selected, if there is one. To select
multiple controls, hold down the Shift key while clicking all the controls you want to select. You also can
drag the mouse pointer around all the controls you want to select.
Aligning and Sizing Controls
If you have several controls on one form, you might want to move some of them to align them. After you
select the controls you want to align, choose Format, Align to see several options on how to align your
controls (see Figure 12.8).
Figure 12.8 Using the menu options to align controls.
Note: To help when you are adding and manually aligning controls, make sure that the Grid is displayed by
choosing View, Grid. You can choose Format, Snap to Grid to align all new controls to the grid when you create
them. After you turn on this function, you will be able to align controls only to a grid point.
After you choose one of the options in the menu, Access uses the control nearest the selection as the model
for the alignment change. You must perform each type of alignment separately.
You can size controls in several ways. Select the controls you want to size, and then choose Format, Size to
view the options available (see Figure 12.9).
Figure 12.9 The Format, Size menu gives you many options for sizing your controls.
The options you can choose include the following:
• To Fit—Adjusts the height and width of the control to fit the font you have selected for the text
• To Grid—Moves the control box sides to meet the nearest grid points
• To Tallest—Adjusts controls to the same height as the tallest control you have selected
• To Shortest—Adjusts controls to same height as the shortest control you have selected
• To Widest—Adjusts controls to the same width as the widest control you have selected
• To Narrowest—Adjusts controls to the same width as the narrowest control you have selected
Tip: If you no longer need a control on your form, you can delete it by selecting the control and pressing Delete.
You also can choose Edit, Delete.
Using Subforms
A subform is a form within another form. You can use a subform to display and enter data from multiple
tables. A regular form enables you to edit multiple tables, but you need to use a subform if you want to
display data from multiple queries or tables at once. Figure 12.10 shows the Orders form from the Northwind
database. Notice how the subform enables you to display data from different tables in various formats.
Figure 12.10 The Orders form in the Northwind database with a subform to enable data from the order
line-items table to be displayed along with data from the orders table.
The most important feature of subforms is the capability to display one-to-many relationships. The main form
displays data from the table on the one side of the relationship, and the subform displays data from the table
on the many side.
Note: Subforms are discussed later in the book. For now, take a look at the form in Figure 12.10. Notice that the
tables and relationships are linked in this form.
Summary
This hour, you learned more about forms and how to edit some of the controls on a form. The basic control
types were explained, and more advanced control types were covered as well. You also learned how to
understand properties and customize some aspects of forms. Subforms and their relationship to main forms is
an advanced topic, and Hour 19, “Creating Forms,” will explain more about them. You should now be able to
open any form you come across and change the appearance to your satisfaction.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
What other controls can be used in a form?
More advanced controls, such as command buttons, scrollbars, and spin buttons, among many others,
can be added to a form.
What other uses does a form have?
Forms make wonderful main menus. They also provide security by restricting users from your
underlying data.
Quiz
1. What is a control?
2. What do controls do?
3. What is an option group?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
Hour 13
Modifying an Existing Report
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour explains the properties and controls of a report and how to modify their design. After this hour, you
will know how to modify existing reports and design future reports.
Note: Many of the controls and properties of reports are similar to the controls and properties of a form. Make
sure you understand the basics of these elements before completing this hour. You can review the form controls
and properties in the previous hour.
The topics covered in this hour are the following:
• Report window
• Report components
• Report properties
• Report controls
• Using expressions in reports
• Special effects in reports
The Report Window
Hour 9, “Displaying Data in Reports,” discussed the basic fundamentals of reports. As you remember, there
are two main views of reports: Design view and Print Preview. In this hour, you will take a closer look at
these different views.
Design View
Click on the Products By Category report in the Northwind database and select the Design View button to
open it in Design view. The Design view has several areas. The two main components are the Field list and
the Property sheet. These two components work with the report exactly as the Field list and Property sheet
work with forms. The Field list contains the fields of the table or query on which the report is based. The
Property sheet is where the various report properties can be set and changed. The Toolbox is another
important component and is used as an easy way to add various controls and design elements to the report.
The report Toolbox has the same tools as the form Toolbox. Figure 13.1 shows the Design view of the
Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Field list box and Property sheet
displayed.
Figure 13.1 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, in Design view, with the Field
list box and Property sheet open.
Print Preview and Layout Preview
When you select the Print Preview view, the report’s query is executed (if one exists) and up-to-date
information is displayed. If the report is based on a table, the latest information from the table is used. The
report is displayed exactly as it will appear when it is printed. A third view, called the Layout Preview, can be
selected by clicking the View button on the Design toolbar and selecting Layout Preview. The Layout
Preview button can be used only from the Design view. It provides a fast view of the basic layout of the report
using sample data. It might not include all the data from the report. This view is useful when the underlying
query is complex and it would take a long time to preview the report in the normal way. The Layout Preview
of the Products by Category report is shown in Figure 13.2.
Figure 13.2 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database is shown in Layout Preview.
The Report Components
Reports consist of several different sections:
• The report header is the main header of the report. It is printed only once, at the beginning of the
report. It is normally used as the title of the report. The Products by Category report uses the report
header to show the title of the report and the current date.
• The page header contains information (such as page numbers or column titles) that is printed at the
top of every page. The Products by Category report does not use the page header. Other reports use the
page header for graphics such as lines or boxes to be printed at the top of every page.
• Group headers (not used by all reports) contain data that is printed at the beginning of each new
group of data on a report. This option can be set up by changing the Group Header property in the
Grouping dialog box to Yes. The Products by Category report is grouped by the CategoryName
field. Refer to Figure 13.1. The header “CategoryName Header” is a group header.
• The detail section is the main section of the report. The data contained in the detail section is printed
for each record in the underlying table. The Products by Category report lists the product name and the
number of units.
• Group footers (not used in every report) contain data that is printed at the end of each new group of
data on your report. Usually the information in this section will be summary information, such as
subtotals. This option can be set up by changing the Group Footer property in the Grouping dialog
box to Yes. On the design screen, this footer will be named after the Field name that is being grouped.
In the Products by Category report, the report is being grouped by the CategoryName field, and the
name of the Group footer is “CategoryName Footer.”
• The page footer contains information that is printed at the bottom of every page, usually page
numbers, page totals, or the current date. The Products by Category report uses the page footer to
display the page number.
• The report footer is the main footer of the report. It is printed only once, at the end of the report, and
is usually used for summary information. The Products by Category report does not use the report
footer.
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-----------
Report Properties
Reports, similar to forms, have certain properties that determine elements of the report. Each section of the
report has properties, as does the report as a whole. Figure 13.3 shows the property sheet enlarged and
displayed for the Products by Category report. To display the property sheet, either click the Properties button
on the toolbar, or right-click the mouse anywhere on the screen and select the Properties icon.
Figure 13.3 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Property Sheet
displayed.
To display the property sheet for a certain section, double-click the section itself and the property sheet for
that section automatically opens. If the property sheet is already open, it will display the properties for the
currently active section. To display the property sheet for the whole report, double-click the gray area outside
of any report section or the box where the rulers meet in the upper-left corner. The property sheet will be
displayed now.
Changing any of the properties is as easy as clicking the property you want to change and typing in a new
value. When you click the property you want to change, a down arrow sometimes appears. This indicates
there are more options for that property. Otherwise, you can type in any value. The properties are divided into
five categories and are listed under five tabs in the property sheet:
• Format properties determine the appearance characteristics of the report, such as width, palette source
(color), and whether any pictures or graphics are included (see Figure 13.4).
Figure 13.4 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Property Sheet
displayed and the Format properties tab selected.
• Data properties determine the characteristics of the data displayed in the report, such as the record
source, filter, and order of data. This is shown in Figure 13.5.
Figure 13.5 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Property Sheet
displayed and the Data properties tab selected.
• Event properties enable you to run macros when certain events occur, such as when particular keys
are pressed or when certain areas of the report are clicked. This is shown in Figure 13.6. Macros help
automate repetitive tasks without requiring you to write complex code or learn a programming
language. You will be introduced to macros in Hour 21, “Creating Macros.”
Figure 13.6 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Property Sheet
displayed and the Event properties tab selected.
• Other properties display characteristics of the report, such as record locks and date grouping. This is
shown in Figure 13.7.
Figure 13.7 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Property Sheet
displayed and the Other properties tab selected.
• All properties displays all the properties from all the previous tabs of the section or report (see Figure
13.8).
Figure 13.8 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database, with the Property Sheet
displayed and the All properties tab selected.
Common Report Properties
Many of the report properties are never changed. Many others can be changed easily and are important to use
to create interesting and useful reports. Some of the more important properties are as follows:
• The record source property specifies the default table or query on which the report is based.
This property is already set up for you when you use a wizard to create your report; you can set it
yourself when creating reports from scratch.
• The caption property is listed in the Report’s property sheet. It specifies the name that appears in
the title bar when you view the report in Print Preview.
• The picture property determines whether any picture or graphic is displayed in the report, or in
any of the sections.
• The format property, when used on controls involving numbers, determines in what format the
number is displayed. Some of the formats are currency, time, date, integer, standard, and percent.
Note: Changing a control’s format property does not change the data in the underlying table. For instance, if
the number in the table is 12,972.4556, it could be displayed as $12,972.46 if the format is set to currency. The
number is still 12,972.4556 in the table, but is displayed as $12,972 in the report.
Using Expressions in Reports
Expressions are used to calculate values for certain fields on a report and to calculate mathematical and
statistical values. Expressions can calculate numerical values as well as text values. Text values from multiple
text fields can be combined to form one text field on a report. Expressions in reports are used the same way as
in forms. Expressions in forms are covered in Hour 12, “Modifying an Existing Form Design.” Some
additional expression types are covered in this hour.
Date Expressions
Access provides an easy way to find out on what date a report was printed. Access has two ways to display
dates: the Now function and the Date function. Now displays the current time and date stored on your
computer. Date displays the current date. These values can be formatted to any of the time and date formats
available in the property sheet. The Products by Category report has the current date in the report header,
which is shown in Figure 13.9. To add the current date to a control on your report, add an unbound text box to
your report. In the Control source section of the report’s property sheet, or in the text box, type in the value
=date().
Figure 13.9 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database displays the current date in the
report header.
Note: The Products by Category report has a more complex version of the Date function. The date is displayed
with the Format function, which tells Access to display the current date as well as what format to use to display
the date. (See Figure 13.10.) You can add =date() to the control source and then change the Format property
to the desired date format. The Products by Category report uses the following code to display the date:
=Format(Date(),"dd-mm-yyyy")
Figure 13.10 The Products by Category report from the Northwind database uses the Format and Date
functions to display the current date in the Report Header.
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by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Page Numbers
Page numbers help organize printed reports. Usually you have the page number in the page header or page
footer of the report. Use the Page function to add the page numbers. The Page function automatically adds
the page numbers when you preview or print the report. The Products by Category report displays the page
number at the bottom of each page. (See Figure 13.11.) Add the Page function to an unbound text box the
same way you add a date. In an unbound text box, change the Control Source text property to =[Page]. This
will print only the actual page number. To add the word Page before the page number, use an expression like
=“Page ” &[Page]. This evaluates to the word Page, a space, and then the page number. This is the
format that the Products by Category report uses. Figure 13.12 shows the property sheet used to display the
page number.
Figure 13.11 The Products by Category form in the Northwind database displays the page number at the
bottom of each page.
Figure 13.12 The Products by Category form in the Northwind database uses the Page function in an
unbound text box to display the page number at the bottom of each page.
Using Graphics in Reports
You can add graphics to reports. Open the Catalog report in the Northwind database, in Preview. The first
screen you see has the Northwind logo displayed, as shown in Figure 13.13. If you take a look at the design
view of the Catalog report, you see that the logo is added to the report in the report header. Most image
formats are usable by Access.
Figure 13.13 The Catalog report from the Northwind database uses an image of a logo on the report.
Summary
This hour explains the properties and controls of a report and ways to modify their designs. It also discusses
the report window and report components, as well as the report properties, report controls, and their
similarities to form properties and controls. It also covers how to use expressions and some special effects.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
What other types of properties does a report have that can be changed to make the report work
better?
Some other important properties that you can use are the Views Allowed property (which lets you
choose what views the user will be able to use to view the report), Allow Edits (which lets you
choose if the user will be allowed to change the report), and Navigation Buttons (which lets you
choose to add the regular navigation buttons to the report—or leave them out). There are many more
properties that you can use to perfect your report.
What other types of expressions can I add to my reports?
There are dozens of different expressions and functions, but a couple that are helpful return the current
month, hour, minute, and even the current second or the current user. You can also use expressions to
display a message to the user.
Quiz
1. What are the two main views of reports?
2. What database objects do reports display information for?
3. What sections make up a report?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Part IV
Creating a Database Using Wizards
Hour
14 Creating a Database Using Wizards
15 Adding Additional Components to a Database Using Wizards
Hour 14
Creating a Database Using Wizards
Craig Eddy
In the previous section of this book you learned all about using the components of an existing Access
database. Now it’s time to create your own databases. The two hours you’ll spend in this section discuss using
Access 2000’s Wizards to build and extend a new database.
This hour covers creating a new database using the Database Wizard and the Table Wizard. The Database
Wizard creates an entire database for you. It can even populate the new database with sample data if you’d
like. The Table Wizard aids you in adding a new table to an existing database, including relating that new
table to existing tables. Before you create a new database, however, you should do some up-front planning,
which is the first topic discussed in this hour.
The topics covered in this hour include:
• Planning your database.
• Using the Database Wizard to create a new database.
• Using the Table Wizard to add tables to a database.
• Using the Table Analyzer Wizard to make your tables more efficient.
Planning a Simple Database
The first step in creating a database is to plan your work. This involves deciding which of the Access database
components will be included in your new database. That is, will it have tables, queries, forms, reports, or data
access pages? After you have decided which components you’ll use, you must then decide the specifics of
these components. How many tables will you require? What will the forms be used for? And so on.
The most important thing is deciding what the tables in your new database will look like. You should create a
simple database model to map out your tables before you begin to do any other work with your new database.
Even a very simple model will go a long way toward making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. It is
much harder to add components to your database at a later date and keep everything working properly than it
is to get your database’s structure right the first time around.
A database model is a design document that describes the tables in a database. The model specifies
which tables (also called entities) are included in the database, what the fields (sometimes referred to as
attributes) in those tables are, and what relationships exist between the tables.
For now, a simple database model done with pen and paper will suffice. More details about database design
are left for an hour by itself. You’ll find that in Hour 16, “Planning and Designing Your Database.”
First, decide what data you are going to store in the database. Break this data into an organized fashion by
grouping the different attributes of the data. For example, to create a home inventory database, you should
have a table that contains the rooms in the home. Each room stored in the table has specific attributes: Name,
Floor (first, second, basement, and so on), and so forth. You also would like a table to store the items found in
each room. The attributes for an item might include Description, Room, Cost, Replacement Value, Insurance
Coverage, Place of Purchase, and so on. Each of these attributes would become a field in one of the tables.
You would also define a primary key field for each table. This is simply an identifier field that enables Access
to uniquely identify an individual room or item, regardless of the other data stored about the room or item.
You would also note that there is a relationship between Rooms and Items: each item has a reference to a
specific room. This relationship should be noted on your database model by drawing a line between the
primary key of the Rooms table and the Room field in the Items table (see Figure 14.1).
Figure 14.1 A relationship between two tables is illustrated by drawing a line between the matching field or
fields from the tables.
After your simple model is completed, you can proceed to create your database. You can use the Database
Wizard described in the next section, or you might create a blank database and then use the Table Wizard
described later in this hour to add your tables to the empty database.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Using the Database Wizard
Now that you know the basics of planning your new database, it’s time to actually create one. The simplest
and quickest way to create a database in Access 2000 is to use the Database Wizard. This will create a new
database, complete with the tables, forms, queries, and reports for a database style that you choose. You can
then add to the database other elements that your data model included but the wizard did not create. Or, you
can remove those items the wizard created but that aren’t in your data model.
You can launch the Database Wizard in one of two ways. First, in the initial dialog box that appears when you
launch Access, you can select the Access Database Wizards, Pages, and Projects option button. Second, if
you’ve already opened an Access database, you can use the File, New menu item. On the New dialog box that
appears, select the Databases tab.
To use the Database Wizard, follow these steps:
1. Figure 14.2 shows the Databases tab of the New window. Here you choose the template for your
database. Using the data model you created in the previous section, choose the database template that
seems to most closely match your data model. After you’ve chosen the appropriate template, click the
OK button to move on.
Figure 14.2 The Database Wizard template selection dialog box.
2. The first of the Wizard’s dialog boxes, which is shown in Figure 14.3, is where you choose a
location and filename for the new database. Use the dialog box just like the typical Save As dialog box
you’ll find throughout the Office 2000 suite. Select the folder into which you would like the database to
be created and give it an appropriate name. Click the Create button to continue.
Figure 14.3 The File New Database dialog box.
3. The next dialog box provides you with some information about the purpose of the database being
created. Click the Next button to move on.
4. In the dialog box shown in Figure 14.4, you have the chance to add some suggested fields to the
database. These additional fields are not required, but the Database Wizard provides them so that you
can customize the new database to more closely match your data model. After you’ve customized the
fields, click Next to continue.
Figure 14.4 The Additional Fields/Sample Data dialog box.
5. The next dialog box, shown in Figure 14.5, enables you to pick a style for the display elements of
the new database. The style even includes such things as background graphics for forms. The picture
box on the left side of the dialog box shows a preview of the selected style. Select a style from the list
and click Next.
Figure 14.5 The Screen Displays Style dialog box.
6. You should now see the Report Displays dialog box. Similar to the Screen Displays Style dialog
box, this enables you to choose a style for the reports. Choose a style and click Next.
7. The next dialog box, shown in Figure 14.6, enables you to specify a title for the database. There is
also a check box for choosing whether to display a graphic on the printed reports. If you check this box,
the Picture button will be enabled. Clicking the Picture button opens a dialog box that enables you to
select the graphic file to be displayed on the reports.
Figure 14.6 The Database Title and Report Graphic dialog box.
8. Click Next to move to the final dialog box. Here you choose whether or not to start the new database
when you’re finished, as well as whether to display some extended help on using a database. If you
leave the Yes, Start the Database check box checked, the database’s Switchboard form (which is
created by the wizard and provides buttons to use in navigating the other forms in the database) will be
displayed when you click Finish. Otherwise, you’ll be taken straight to the Database window. Choose
accordingly and click Finish.
After you click Finish, the Database Wizard goes to work. As it creates your database, the wizard
displays a progress dialog box showing you what elements it’s currently creating. This dialog box
contains two progress bars, one for the entire database, and one for the current element being created.
This enables you to gauge the progress of the database creation. When the wizard finishes, you’ll have
a complete, working database.
Congratulations! You’ve just created an entire database!
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Using the Table Wizard
Access 2000 contains a wizard even more useful than the Database Wizard: the Table Wizard. This wizard
assists you in creating a new table for an existing Access database. You’ll pick and choose from a variety of
templates to create a table that can exactly model the data you add to the database. In my examples, I’m
adding a table to the database I created in the previous section.
To use the Table Wizard, follow these steps:
1. Either start a new blank database or open an existing database. Select the Tables section on the
Database window. Next, double-click the Create table by using wizard entry in the Tables list.
Alternatively, you can click the New button and, on the New Table dialog box that appears, select
Table Wizard and click OK.
2. The first screen of the Table Wizard appears, as shown in Figure 14.7. Here you select the type of
table to be created, either business or personal, by using the radio buttons at the top left of the dialog
box. Next choose a sample table in the list box at the far left. Choosing a different table will cause the
list of sample fields to change.
Figure 14.7 The Table Wizard’s initial dialog box.
3. From the list of sample fields, select the fields you’ll need in your new table and click the > button.
You can add fields from different sample tables by choosing the desired fields from one sample table
and then selecting a different table and choosing fields from that one. The fields displayed in the Fields
in My New Table list stay even if you change to a different sample table. To remove a field from this
list, select the field and click the < button. You can remove all fields by clicking the << button.
You can also rename a field if you want. To do so, select the field in the list box labeled Fields in my
new table and click the Rename Field button. An input box will appear where you can edit the field’s
name.
Figure 14.8 shows the wizard after I’ve chosen the fields I want to add to my new table. Note that I
used the Transactions sample table. I changed the AccountID field name to AssetID.
Figure 14.8 The Table Wizard’s initial dialog box for the Transactions table.
When you’ve chosen the necessary fields, click the Next button to move on.
4. The next dialog box is where you’ll specify the name for the new table as well as tell the wizard
whether to choose a primary key for the table. I’m naming the new table Transactions, so I’ll leave the
suggested name as-is. Also, it’s a good idea to let Access choose a primary key. Because I’ve included
the TransactionID field, Access will probably choose that one (you’ll see in a bit whether or not
this guess is correct). Click Next to move on after you’ve filled in this screen appropriately.
5. The next dialog box, shown in Figure 14.9, is where you define any relationships that exist between
the new table and existing tables (this dialog only appears if there are other tables in the database
already). Access has already guessed that the transactions are related to an asset through the AssetID
field. This is signified by the Related to ‘Assets’ entry in the list box on the Relationships dialog box.
Figure 14.9 The Table Relationship dialog box.
If you want to change a particular relationship, select its entry in the list box and click the Relationships
button. The Relationships dialog box shown in Figure 14.10 appears. Here you can specify the type of
relationship that exists between these two tables. Hour 16 describes table relationships in more detail.
Close the Relationships dialog box, if you’ve opened it, and click Next to continue.
Figure 14.10 The Relationships dialog box.
6. The final dialog box of the Table Wizard has three option buttons: Modify the Table Design, Enter
Data Directly into the Table, and Enter Data into the Table Using a Form the Wizard Creates for Me.
Choose which option you’d like to pursue and click Finish.
Congratulations! You’ve added a whole new table to your database! Open the new table in Design view and
verify that Access has chosen the TransactionID field as the primary key.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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The Table Analyzer Wizard
Now that you’ve seen how to use wizards to create databases as well as to add tables to a database, let’s take a
look at another useful wizard. The Table Analyzer Wizard removes repeating information from a table.
-----------
For example, you might have a table containing business contacts. This table could include information about
the contact’s employer. But suppose you had more than one contact working for the same company. The
company information in each contact’s record will be what’s known as repeating information. This presents
several possible problems:
• Wasted space. Any time you duplicate information in a database, you’re wasting space.
• Data entry mistakes. Each time you enter data into a new record, you run the risk of entering it
incorrectly.
• Updates made more difficult. If, for example, the company changes its phone number, you’ll have to
change it in the record of each contact that works for the company.
These are three compelling reasons to avoid or eliminate repeating information. As you’ll see in Hour 16, a
properly designed relational database does not contain repeating information. The Table Analyzer Wizard
helps you eliminate repeating information by separating the fields containing the repeated information into a
new table. The existing table will be left intact; the Wizard will create at least two new tables.
To use the Table Analyzer Wizard, follow these steps:
1. Open the database containing the table with repeating information. One of the Wizard’s dialog
boxes will enable you to choose which table to analyze so you don’t have to select it ahead of time. In
fact, if you have the table to be analyzed open in Design view, you need to close the Design view
window before proceeding.
2. Click on the Tools menu and then click the Analyze flyout menu. Finally, click the Table item.
Alternatively, if the Database window is the active window, you can click the Analyze button on the
toolbar (see Figure 14.11 for the location of this button). The first dialog box of the Table Analyzer
Wizard, shown in Figure 14.11, appears.
Figure 14.11 The first dialog box of the Table Analyzer Wizard.
3. This dialog box explains the problems caused by repeated information. You can click on the Show
Me an Example buttons to get even more details. When you’re ready, click the Next button to move on.
4. The next dialog box explains how Access will solve the problem. Again, you can click on the Show
me an example buttons to get more information about the explanation. Click Next to continue.
5. In the dialog box that appears next, you select which table the Wizard will analyze (see Figure
14.12). You can also turn off the two introductory dialog boxes by unchecking the Show Introductory
Pages? check box. Select the table you want analyzed and click Next.
Figure 14.12 The table selection dialog box of the Table Analyzer Wizard.
6. In this dialog box you choose whether you or the Wizard will decide how to break up the repeated
information. If you’re sure of how to split the table, select No, I Want to Decide and click Next. To let
the Wizard do the work, select Yes, Let the Wizard Decide. Make your choice and click Next.
Note: In order for the Wizard to do its work of deciding how to split your table, there must be enough
data for it to analyze. In other words, make sure there’s data in the table that actually demonstrates a
repeating tendency. If there are not at least two rows in the table, the Wizard will inform you that you’ll
have to split the table manually.
7. If you choose to split the table yourself, your next dialog box will be the one shown in Figure 14.13.
The wizard has already created a new table (that’s a copy of the original) and given it a default name.
Remember, the wizard leaves your original table as-is. It’s creating a new table that’s a copy of the
original but without the repeating information. To change the name, click the Rename Table button and
enter the new name when prompted.
Figure 14.13 The work area for the Table Analyzer Wizard, where you decide which fields to move to
the new table.
In Figure 14.13 you see a table named Table1 that contains a CompanyName, a WorkPhone, and a
WorkFax field. These are the repeated information fields in this table. To split these fields into a new
table that will be used as a lookup table, first click the CompanyName field, and then hold down the
Ctrl key and click the WorkPhone and WorkFax fields. Next click one of these fields again and drag
them over the blank area of the dialog box’s work space. Drop them there to create a new table.
8. Access prompts you for a name for your new table. Enter an appropriate name and click OK. You
cannot duplicate the name of another table, so enter a unique table name. Figure 14.14 shows how the
workspace looks after all this. Click the Next button to continue.
Figure 14.14 The updated work area after selecting the fields to move to the new table.
9. After the Wizard has finished splitting your table, it displays the dialog box shown in Figure 14.15.
Here the Wizard is giving you the capability to replace the original table with a query that behaves just
as if it were the original table. This enables any forms, queries, and reports that reference the original
table to keep working without modification. The original table will be renamed with the suffix _OLD
so as not to conflict with this new query. If you want to proceed with the new query, leave the default
option button selected. Otherwise, click on No, Don’t Create the Query. Click Finish to create your new
tables and query (if selected).
Figure 14.15 The final dialog box of the Table Analyzer Wizard.
Summary
In this hour you learned the basics of creating and adding tables to a database. With what you learned in just
this one hour, you can create and extend usable Access 2000 databases in a short period of time. The next
hour, “Adding to a Database Using Wizards,” will discuss other wizards Access provides for adding forms,
queries, and reports to your database.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Workshop
This section contains a questions and answers section and Quiz to test your knowledge of queries. The Quiz
answers are contained in Appendix A, “Quiz Answers.”
-----------
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Can I create my own wizards?
Yes. Using Access 2000’s Visual Basic for Applications, you can create wizards to be included and
distributed with your Access database. A good reference on this topic is Sams Publishing’s Microsoft
Access 2000 Unleashed.
Is a data model really necessary? Can’t I just start adding tables to my database until I’ve
completed it?
In my opinion, a data model is necessary before you begin. It will serve as a road map, guiding your
path as you create your database. Without it, you might get lost or sidetracked. At the very least, create
a simple model of the major elements in your database.
Quiz
1. What is a data model?
2. For which elements can you specify a style when creating a database using the Database Wizard?
3. When creating a table using the Table Wizard, are you stuck with the field names in the wizard’s
template?
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Hour 15
Adding Additional Components to a Database Using
Wizards
Timothy Buchanan
In this hour, you’ll learn about wizards. Wizards automate the creation of objects such as forms or reports. All
the objects in an Access database can be created from scratch, but this can be time-consuming and repetitive,
so Access 2000 includes several wizards to make your job easier. You can create most of the objects in
Access using wizards. You can even create complete, ready-to-run databases by using a Database Wizard.
The topics covered in this hour follow:
• Creating new tables with the Table Wizard
• Tuning your tables with the Table Analyzing Wizard
• Creating new forms with the Form Wizard
• Creating new queries with the Query Wizard
• Creating new reports with the Report Wizards
• Quickly creating new databases with the Database Wizards
Using the Table Wizard
You use the Table Wizard to create a new table. After you click New in the Database window with the Table
tab selected, Access displays the New Table dialog box, as shown in Figure 15.1. Select the Table Wizard and
click OK to load the Table Wizard and display the Table Wizard dialog box, as shown in Figure 15.2. You
can also double-click the selection in the Table list entitled Create Table by Using Wizard. The first Table
Wizard dialog box has three sections. Use the left-most section to choose from a selection of sample tables.
There are different tables for business use and personal use. After you select the sample table on which you
will base your new table, you can choose from a number of sample fields for that particular table. Each
sample table has different sample fields. By clicking the arrow buttons on the dialog box, you can select the
sample fields you want to include in your table. You can rename the fields now, or you can rename them later
in Design view. After you select the fields you want to use in your table, click Next.
Figure 15.1 The New Table dialog box.
Figure 15.2 Deciding to base your new table on one of many business and personal tables.
The next dialog box asks you what you want to name your new table (see Figure 15.3). You also can have the
Table Wizard set the primary key, or you can set it yourself. After you name your table, decide on the primary
key and click Next. The Table Wizard displays the dialog box shown in Figure 15.4. Here, you are asked
about the relationships between your table and any other tables in your database. You can make changes to
the relationships in this box, or you can change them later. Click Next when you are finished with this screen,
and the Table Wizard tells you that it has all the information it needs to create your table.
Figure 15.3 Naming your table.
Figure 15.4 Defining table relationships.
Now the wizard creates your table and gives you a choice of what you would like to do next, as shown in
Figure 15.5. The default choice is to open the table in Datasheet view and enter data directly into the table.
You also can choose to open the table in Design view and modify the design, or let the Wizard create a form
to use for data entry and enter data into the table using this new form. Click Finish to continue after you make
your choice. Your new table then opens in the view you selected. After you make any changes, save the table.
It then is listed on the Tables list on the main database screen with the other tables in the database.
Figure 15.5 Deciding to modify your table design, enter your data directly, or enter the data using a table
created by the wizard.
Using the Form Wizard
You use the Form Wizard to simplify the layout process of a new form. Using the Form Wizard is a quick and
easy way to create a new form that is bound to a table. The Form Wizard visually walks you through the
form-creation process, asking you questions about the form you want to create. These questions include what
type of form you want and where the data will be located in your database. The Form Wizard then creates the
form. You can use the form immediately, or you can make any changes to get the form to look exactly the
way you want.
To create a new form by using the Form Wizard, select the Forms tab in the Database window and click New.
You can also double-click the selection in the Form list titled Create Form by Using Wizard. The New Form
dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 15.6. Select the Form Wizard in the upper-right box, and choose the
table or query that has the information you want to display on the form. Click OK to continue.
Figure 15.6 The New Form dialog box.
The next Form Wizard dialog box asks you to select which fields from the table or query you want to place on
the form. Figure 15.7 shows this dialog box with the Customers table selected and all the fields added to the
new form. By clicking the arrow buttons, you can add one field at a time, or you can click the double arrow
button to select and move all the fields. After you select the fields, click Next to continue.
Figure 15.7 Specifying which fields to display on the form.
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The next Form Wizard dialog box asks you to choose which layout you want for your new form. The default
form is a Columnar form, as Figure 15.8 shows. Your other choices are Tabular, Datasheet, and Justified.
After you select each option, the left half of the box shows a sample of that layout. Choose your layout and
click Next to continue.
-----------
Figure 15.8 Specifying which layout the form will use to display data.
The Form Wizard next displays a dialog box that enables you to choose what style to use for the form. The
style controls the color and font used to display the data, as well as other formatting options, such as a
background picture. The default choice is Standard (see Figure 15.9). Choose your style option and click Next
to continue.
Figure 15.9 Specifying the style the form uses to format the data it displays.
Figure 15.10 shows the last Form Wizard dialog box. Here, you can choose a name for your new form. You
also can choose what to do after the form is created. You can open the form in View mode and begin entering
data, or you can open the form in Design mode and make any changes you need. In Design mode you can
change any of the options you chose in the Form Wizard dialog boxes. Name your form, choose how you
want to open the form, and click Finish. The Form Wizard creates the form for you and opens it in the view
you selected. You can also select the Help button from many of the wizard menus. These Help options give
you help on other ways to work with your data.
Figure 15.10 Naming the form and choosing the view in which to open the form.
Figure 15.11 shows the completed form. You could have created this form from scratch, but using the Form
Wizard is much easier and quicker.
Figure 15.11 The form created using the Form Wizard is based on the Customers table.
Using AutoForm to Create a Form
You can create a simple form instantly by using the AutoForm feature. AutoForm creates a new form that
displays all the fields and records from the selected table or query. Each field from the table appears on the
form on a separate line with a label to its left. You can use AutoForm by clicking the New Object button on
the toolbar and choosing the AutoForm icon. AutoForm creates single-column, tabular, and datasheet forms.
Using Query Wizards
Access has four Query Wizards to help you easily create a query: the Simple Query Wizard, the Crosstab
Query Wizard, the Find Duplicates Query Wizard, and the Find Unmatched Query Wizard.
The Simple Query Wizard
You use the Simple Query Wizard to create a simple query. This wizard is very easy to use. The queries
created by using this wizard are not as powerful as queries created in Design view using QBE, however. This
type of wizard is fine for queries that use only one table because it simply enables you to choose which fields
are included in the resulting query.
The Crosstab Query Wizard
You use the Crosstab Query Wizard to create a crosstab query quickly and easily. Crosstab queries display
summary data in cross-tabular form, similar to a spreadsheet. The row and column headings are based on
fields in the table. The individual cells in the dynaset created by this query are tabular—in other words,
computed or calculated.
The Find Duplicates Query Wizard
You use the Find Duplicates Query Wizard to create a Find Duplicates query. Find Duplicates queries show
any duplicate records in a single table, using fields in the table as a basis. This wizard asks which field or
fields you want to use to check for duplication and then asks you what other fields you want to view in the
query. This type of query helps you find duplicate data in your database, such as duplicate-key violations.
Finding duplicate-key violations is helpful if you have an existing table without a unique primary key field
and you want to designate one field as the unique primary key but are not sure whether any duplicates exist.
Using this type of query, you can check the field to make sure that no duplicates exist that could cause
problems.
The Find Unmatched Query Wizard
You use the Find Unmatched Query Wizard to create a Find Unmatched query. This type of query shows all
records in a table that do not have a corresponding record in another table. Some of these records, called
orphan records, are records on the many side of a relationship, and they have no records on the corresponding
one side. Other records, called widow records, are records on the one side of a one-to-many or one-to-one side
of a relationship that do not have corresponding records in another table. Using this type of query, you can
easily find records that may be causing errors when you try to set relationships and enforce referential
integrity.
Using Report Wizards
Access provides many kinds of reports you can use in your database. Some reports are very easy to create,
whereas others can be tedious and time-consuming. Report Wizards supply a very easy way to create any kind
of report, and they are great tools for those more complicated reports. You can use Report Wizards for these
types of reports: single-column, group/totals, mailing label, summary, tabular, auto, and Microsoft Word mail
merge. To create a report using the Report Wizards, select the Report tab from the main database screen and
click the New button. Select the Report Wizard from the selections on the first menu and select what table or
query to base the report on. The Report Wizards help you lay out the fields by asking you questions about the
type of report you want to create and other information needed for the report. The wizard then creates the
report for you.
Using AutoReport to Create a Report
Similarly to using Autoform to automatically create a new form, you can create a simple new report instantly
by using the AutoReport feature. AutoReport creates a new report that displays all the fields and records from
the selected table or query. Each field from the table appears on the form on a separate line with a label to its
left. You can use AutoReport by clicking the New Object button on the toolbar and clicking the
AutoReport icon. AutoReport creates single-column or tabular reports. Although AutoReport is the easiest
and quickest way to create a report, you usually want more control over the design of your report. You can
use AutoReport to add all the fields to a report and then customize it to your specifications.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Using Database Wizards
Database Wizards provide an easy way to create new databases based on pre-programmed database templates.
Access 2000 actually combines the features of the other wizards with a tool that creates complete
applications, called an application generator. When you run the Database Wizard, it creates a complete,
customizable database application. You choose which fields you require from the table definitions for the
database you selected, and Access creates a ready-to-run application for you. To run the Database Wizard,
choose File, New…. A New dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 15.12 appears. Each icon
represents a different application that the Database Wizard can create. You can choose from more than 22
applications, including the following:
Asset Tracking
Order Entry
Contact Management
Resource Scheduling
Event Management
Service Call Management
Expenses
Time and Billing
Inventory Control
Ledger
Figure 15.12 The New dialog box has 10 database templates.
After you choose which application is similar to the one you want to create, double-click its icon to begin
defining your new application. The Database Wizard first displays the File New Database dialog box, as
shown in Figure 15.13. Here, you name your new database and specify where you want to store it. Once it is
created, you can change any of the objects to develop your own unique database, without having to manually
create all of the tables and other database objects.
Figure 15.13 The New Database dialog box asks you to name the new database and specify where to save
the database file.
Note: The different database templates you can use are not only very easy and quick ways to create powerful
and useful databases, but they can be great learning tools as well. Create a few of these databases and take a look
at how they are designed and what features they use to create great-looking, user-friendly databases.
Summary
This hour goes into more detail about wizards. Access 2000 includes several wizards that make it easy to
create many different objects. You learned about Table, Form, Query, Report, and Database Wizards in this
hour. You looked at many examples of how wizards can be used. Wizards can help you to create many
different database objects.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Can I create my own wizards?
Yes, Access 2000 gives you the tools to create your own wizards.
Can I change any of the wizards?
Yes, you can change the existing wizards, but that is something best left to an expert programmer.
Quiz
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why should you use wizards?
Why should you use the Table Analyzer Wizard?
What query wizards are available?
How many database wizards are there that create complete, new databases?
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by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Part V
Creating a Database from Scratch
Hour
16 Planning and Designing Your Database
17 Creating Tables
18 Creating Queries
19 Creating Forms
20 Creating Reports
21 Creating Macros
Hour 16
Planning and Designing Your Database
Craig Eddy
Up until Part IV of this book, you dealt with databases that already existed. In Part IV, you learned about
creating and extending databases using Access 2000’s many wizards. This section explains how to manually
create a database from scratch. The topics covered in this hour include
• The basics of relational databases, including some definitions of relational database terms.
• The three types of table keys and three types of indexes.
• The steps typically followed in the design of a relational database.
The first step in creating any database is to plan the database carefully. This is especially important when
you’re designing a relational database such as the ones which you can create and view with Access 2000. In
fact, having a good design is the single most important factor in creating an effective database. The design
must be flexible, logical, and methodical. By the time you finish this hour, you’ll have learned how to design
such a database.
Some of the key points that define an effective relational database are
• It is easily adapted to meet future changes in design requirements.
• Its table layout and relationships are easily understood.
• It provides acceptable performance and disk space utilization.
Note: The topics discussed this hour apply equally to databases you create for the Access integrated data store or
for SQL Server back-end databases which you create through an Access project file. Because both back-end
databases are relational databases, the concepts and techniques are applicable to both.
Relational Databases
There are many different qualities which make a database system a relational database. A relational database
can best be described as a set of data tables, each modeling a single entity and having certain “key” fields in
common with other tables. These key fields establish the relational links between the data tables. The
relational database model excels in providing the capability to collect, organize, and report on data that might
be of a different nature, but is in some way related. This section discusses relational databases in detail by
providing definitions for the database terms used when discussing relational databases.
The many table relationships contained in the Northwind sample database are shown in Figure 16.1. The lines
connecting the tables represent the joins (that is, relationships) between the key fields in the tables. It should
be obvious that the Northwind database is a highly relational database, containing many related tables.
Figure 16.1 The Northwind database’s Relationships window.
Review of Relational Database Terms
Most objects used in a relational database closely parallel objects used in spreadsheet applications and flat-file
databases; therefore, the terms are not difficult to visualize or understand. Although this section will not serve
as a complete dictionary of relational database terms, it will go a long way toward helping you create effective
relational databases.
Field
The term field refers to the basic building block of any database, relational or not. A field is the database’s
way of representing a single piece of information or an attribute of an object. Fields should always be atomic,
meaning that they cannot be broken into multiple pieces of information. For example, a field representing a
person’s entire name is not atomic because it could be broken into First Name and Last Name fields.
Fields are given a data type that defines the kind of data that can be stored in the field. There are many
different data types available, including Text (which stores character data) and Numeric (which stores,
surprise!, numerical data).
Table
A table is a collection of fields. The data contained in a table is stored as a record. Each table in a database
should represent a different entity. For example, the Northwind database contains separate tables for
customers, suppliers, employees, products, and orders. Although these are all related in some way, they are all
completely different entities. The fact that a table can only represent a single entity should not be
overlooked—it is one of the keys to creating an effective relational database. Figure 16.2 shows the
Customers table in Datasheet view. Notice that the table’s fields are represented as columns in this view of the
table.
Figure 16.2 The Northwind database’s Customers table.
Record
A record is a collection of data for a specific object or table. In the Northwind database, a customer record is
the row of data stored for each customer (see Figure 16.2, where each record is represented as a row in the
view). Each record in the database should contain a unique piece of information, representing one specific
instance of the entity represented by the table. In the Customers table, for example, each record should
represent one and only one customer.
Because a relational database does not store or retrieve records in any set way, there is no physical order to
the records. In other words, there is no concept of a record number as there is in many other database systems.
Key Field
A field is said to be a key field when it can be used to relate two or more tables to each other. The keys are
fields that these related tables have in common. The data values stored in key fields are identical between
related records in the related tables. For example, in the Orders table, CustomerID and EmployeeID are
fields that relate a specific order to a customer and an employee, respectively. Therefore, if an order record is
created for Around the Horn (a customer in the Northwind database), the CustomerID field in the Orders
record will contain the data AROUT. This, of course, is the CustomerID value found in the Customers table
for Around the Horn.
Keys are classified as either primary, foreign, or composite, depending on their use and the fields that
comprise them. Primary keys uniquely identify a record. Foreign keys point to a related record in another
table. Composite keys are those made up of two or more fields. These three different types of keys are
discussed in detail in the upcoming section “The Three Types of Keys.”
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Relationships and Joins
-----------
A relationship between two tables indicates that the two tables share a common key value. The order record
discussed in the preceding section is related to a customer. The fact that the order has a value in its
CustomerID field establishes a relationship between this particular order and Around the Horn’s record in
the Customers table.
A join is a sort of virtual table created when the user requests information from different tables that participate
in a relationship. The key fields are used to find the matching records in the different tables participating in
the join. Figure 16.3 illustrates a join created to return the customer name and phone number along with some
details about orders they’ve placed.
Figure 16.3 Using a join to return information from multiple tables.
A more advanced form of a join is called the self-join. This is a join in which a table is joined to itself based
on a field or combination of fields that have duplicate data in different records. This can be used in the
Northwind Employees table, for example, to create a join among the employees using the ReportsTo and
EmployeeID fields. The ReportsTo field might contain the EmployeeID of another employee’s record
in the table. This EmployeeID would be the EmployeeID of the employee the current employee reports
to.
The Three Types of Keys
As mentioned previously, there are three different types of keys: primary, composite, and foreign. A
database’s keys really do unlock the relationships contained within the database, but only if they’re correctly
implemented. The types of keys you use in a table are dictated by what the table is representing and how it
relates to other tables in the database.
Tip: Give each key field the same field name throughout the database. This makes creating joins between the
tables easier. It also aids in understanding the database design. For example, any field which is used as a
customer identifier should be called CustomerID in all tables in which it appears.
Primary Keys
Each table in a relational database should have a unique identifier that consists of one or more fields. Without
this unique identifier, there is no way to define relationships between tables. The field or group of fields that
is the unique identifier for a table is called the table’s primary key. The selection of which field or fields to
use as the primary key is one of the most important decisions made when designing a database.
The primary key must be able to uniquely identify each record in the table and, therefore, must never have
duplicated values. For this reason, I recommend that you use the AutoNumber data type when creating a
primary key field. Using an AutoNumber field guarantees that a duplicated value is never inserted in the
primary key field. Access automatically inserts a unique value in the field when a record is inserted into the
database. Access also prevents you from modifying or deleting the values in this field after they are inserted.
There are also a great many database professionals who prefer to use what are called “natural keys.” These
keys derive their value from some combination of the data contained in each record. For example, you might
combine the first several characters of a person’s last name with the first few characters of their first name and
the last four digits of their telephone number. Chances are pretty good that this data won’t be repeated, but it
isn’t guaranteed to be unique (which is why I personally lean to the AutoNumber route).
Note: If your back-end database is on SQL Server, you won’t find an AutoNumber data type. Instead, SQL
Server allows you to specify that a field with numeric data types of int, smallint, tinyint, decimal, or
numeric be an identity column. This has the same effect as the AutoNumber data type provided by the
integrated store.
If you’ll look back to Figure 16.1, you’ll see that the primary key fields of each table are displayed in a bold
typeface.
Composite Keys
There are often cases in which a record cannot be uniquely identified by a single field. In these cases, a
composite key is used. A composite key is the group of fields that together uniquely identify a record. A
composite key is also the primary key for that table. Although duplicate values are allowed within any of the
fields of a composite key, there cannot be duplicated values across all the fields that make up the composite
key.
An example explains this concept in a clearer way. The OrderDetails table is used to relate a record in the
Orders table to a record in the Products table. Each line item of an order references a specific product. The
OrderDetails table has a composite key consisting of its OrderID and ProductID fields. Using this table
and its composite key, you can create relationships between many orders and many products. A specific
OrderID can appear many times in the OrderDetails table, as can a specific ProductID. However, the
same values for both OrderID and ProductID in a record cannot be repeated within the table. Each order
can have only one OrderDetail for each product on the order. This is illustrated in Table 16.1.
Table 16.1 Sample Data from the OrderDetails Table
OrderID
ProductID
1
1
2
2
2
2
3
2
3
4
Foreign Keys
If you understand the concepts of primary and composite keys, you will easily grasp the concept of foreign
keys. Essentially, a foreign key is a field (or group of fields) in one table that references the primary key field
or fields of a related table. For example, the Orders table has a CustomerID and an EmployeeID field.
These fields are foreign keys in the Orders table but are the primary keys of the Customers and Employees
tables, respectively. The Relationships window shown in Figure 16.1 graphically shows the relationship
between foreign and primary keys. It is this relationship that actually allows Access to join data between the
tables.
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Referential Integrity
The term referential integrity refers to the capability to maintain links among tables. Basically, maintaining
referential integrity means that every foreign key value stored in a table must map to a corresponding record
in the table that has this foreign key as its primary key.
For example, if an order was created and an invalid value was placed in the CustomerID field, there would
be no corresponding record in the Customers table. This Orders record would be called an “orphan” record
because it has no “parent” record in the Customers table. Allowing this condition would violate the rules of
referential integrity and would render your data practically useless.
Access can be made to enforce referential integrity and thus avoid this situation. This mechanism is part of the
Relationships window (select Relationships from the Tools menu). To change the referential integrity settings
for a relationship, select the relationship by clicking the line that joins the two tables and then use the
Relationships, Edit Relationship menu.
Note: If your back-end is SQL Server, Access won’t provide you with a Relationships window. Instead, you’ll
need to use a Database Diagram such as the one shown in Figure 16.4. The concepts are the same as the
Relationships window provided with the integrated store. However, the terms used on the relationship properties
dialog are SQL Server terms, not the one’s familiar to Access database professionals.
Figure 16.4 A SQL Server Database Diagram illustrating how relationships are viewed in SQL Server.
The Three Types of Relationships
The real power of a relational database is the capability to combine primary and foreign keys to establish
relationships between data tables. There are three types of relationships that can be created using the relational
database model. Essentially, the type of relationship created between tables determines the format of the data
retrieved when the tables are joined.
One-to-One
The simplest (and least used) type of relationship is the one-to-one relationship. This means that for every
record in one of the tables in the relationship, there is a single corresponding record in the other table that
takes part in the relationship. Because these tables could easily be combined into a single table (thus avoiding
having to join the two tables), this relationship is used only in special circumstances.
One instance where this type of join is useful involves the use of secure data. You might want certain users to
have access to some fields but not to others. For example, in a human resources database you might want to
give everyone access to common information in the Employees table. You would not want everyone to view
the employees’ salary, however. This is a prime example of when using a one-to-one relationship is a
necessity.
One-to-Many
A one-to-many relationship is a relationship in which a record in one table has one or more related records in
another table. The one-to-many relationship is by far the most common relationship used in a relational
database. Strictly speaking, the Northwind database contains nothing but one-to-many relationships.
In the Northwind database, there is a one-to-many relationship between the Customers table and the Orders
table. Each customer can have more than one order related to it. The key field CustomerID is used to join
the tables.
Many-to-Many
A many-to-many relationship is a relationship in which many records in one table can have many records in
another table. The strict definition of relational databases does not allow for many-to-many relationships.
Instead, an intermediate table is created that holds the primary keys from the two original tables as foreign
keys. This creates two one-to-many relationships for the intermediary table—one for each table in the
many-to-many relationship.
In the Northwind database, each product can be used on multiple orders and each order can contain multiple
products. Therefore, a many-to-many relationship exists between these two tables. The OrderDetails table,
illustrated in Table 16.1, is used as the intermediary table in this relationship. A one-to-many relationship
exists between Orders and OrderDetails (a record in the Orders table can relate to multiple records in the
OrderDetails table) and a one-to-many relationship exists between Products and OrderDetails (a record in the
Products table can relate to multiple records in the OrderDetails table).
Steps to Creating a Relational Database
This section describes the methods used in creating a database from scratch. The process of creating a
database structure is known as data modeling. The term modeling is used because databases are used to
actually model a real-world system or collection. This section presents a methodical means of modeling data
and creating an effective database.
Identifying Required Data
The first step in creating a database is to determine exactly what information needs to be tracked and what the
objective for tracking this information is.
The questions to answer in this stage should deal with how the data will be used. It is important to answer as
fully as possible these high-level questions up front because the answers will determine how best to structure
the data within the database. By studying the current forms and reports used to track the data, you can get a
good feel for the amount and types of data being tracked. You’ll also need to analyze the business process to
gain some insight into how data is collected. This insight will help you in organizing the data into logical
tables and also tell you how your database’s forms should be designed.
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Collecting the Identified Fields into Tables
-----------
The next step of the process is to arrange the fields you identified in the preceding step into logical tables.
One of the requirements of a table is that it models one and only one entity. Thus, fields containing contact
information should be stored in a separate table from fields containing company information. Also, the
collection of fields used should describe the entity in question as fully as possible.
Along the way, watch for fields that are candidates for lookup tables. If the data being modeled has a field that
consistently has repeated values, this field is a good candidate for a lookup table. The lookup table will most
likely consist of two fields: a primary key field (the AutoNumber data type is recommended) and a
description field that contains the values being repeated. The main table’s field would then be replaced with a
foreign key field that matches the primary key of the lookup table. In the Northwind database, the Shippers
and Categories tables are the best examples of lookup tables.
A lookup table is a table that holds a list of possible values for a field in another table.
The use of lookup tables prevents data inconsistencies that can occur when free-form text is entered into
fields. However, lookup tables might not always be warranted. The drawback to using lookup tables is that a
join must be created between the base table and the lookup table in order to retrieve a meaningful description
of the data stored in the lookup table. This can sometimes degrade performance if too many joins are
attempted in a single query. A balance must be struck between the desire for consistent data and performance.
Identifying Primary Key Fields
Every table must have a unique identifier for each record. This can be one field or a set of fields. Attempt to
identify candidates for the primary key at this stage. I recommend that if the table in question is not an
intermediate table for a many-to-many relationship, an AutoNumber field be added to the table to serve as
the primary key.
Drawing a Simple Data Diagram
Now comes the task of creating a diagram (similar to the one shown in Figure 16.1) for the new database.
Draw each entity in its own box and be sure to include the primary key fields. After each entity (table) is
drawn, draw the links between the tables by connecting primary (and composite) keys to foreign keys.
While these links are being drawn, check for links that would benefit from intermediate tables. These links are
usually present when there are links in different directions between two tables, as is the case with
many-to-many relationships.
Normalizing the Data
The process of modifying a database’s structure so that it fully conforms to the relational model is known as
normalization. The basic goal of normalization is to remove redundant data from the database. In the process,
the final database is made more flexible and better able to absorb the inevitable changes to its structure. Now
is the best time to make sure the new tables follow these recommendations!
Normalization involves the following processes:
• Ensure that each table’s fields are uniquely identified by the table’s primary key.
• Ensure that each field represents a single piece of information. Do not store both city and state in the
same field, for instance.
• Remove redundant data from the tables. Each record of the database should contain unique data.
Each unique piece of information should be stored in one place (except for key fields, which have
duplicated values throughout the database).
• Remove repeating group fields if there is a possibility that more fields will be added to the group. For
example, if a table holding contact information stores a home phone number, a business phone number,
and a fax number, it might be wise to create a table to hold the number and a description of its type,
along with a foreign key to the contact belonging to each phone number. To track additional types of
phone numbers in the future, merely add the new phone number type to the list of available phone
numbers. This becomes a data issue because you won’t need to change the structure of the database to
accomplish this task.
Identifying Field-Specific Information
After the complete structure has been created, it is time to start defining the physical layout of the tables.
Here’s the recommended process:
1. Create sensible field and table names. These should describe the data but not be excessively long.
2. Identify the data type for the fields: text, numeric, currency, and so on. For text fields, determine the
maximum length that will be allowed. For numeric fields, determine the range of numbers that will be
stored.
3. Determine whether there are any validation rules, defaults (a value that will be inserted
automatically when a new record is added), or input formatting that should be applied to the field.
Creating the Physical Tables
The last step of the design process is to use Access to create the physical database tables. As you saw in the
previous two hours, Access has several wizards that aid in the creation of new or linked tables. I recommend
that you create some tables using the wizards and then experiment in the Design view of the tables. The
upcoming hours discuss manually creating components of an Access 2000 database.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Choosing a Back-End Database: The Integrated Store or SQL Server
Another very important consideration when designing a database is choosing the platform on which to host
the new database. Access 2000 allows you to create databases using its standard, “integrated store” desktop
database format or to connect to a SQL Server database.
The factors you should consider when choosing which platform to use include (but are not limited to)
• Number of simultaneous users: Generally speaking, if you’ll have more than about five
simultaneous users you should consider using SQL Server. Although the integrated store is designed to
handle multiple user connections, it’s not designed to handle a large number of such connections. On
the contrary, SQL Server is designed from the ground up to handle hundreds and even thousands of
simultaneous connections.
• Data size: Again, the larger the size of the database, the more you should consider using SQL Server.
The SQL Server database engine is designed to handle large amounts of data efficiently. This is done
through intelligent data caching and efficient query plans (the “execution path” that the server will take
when running a query).
• Data security: Although Access’ integrated store provides a robust user-level security model, it is
difficult to maintain and cannot be integrated with your network security model. Using SQL Server,
you can more easily maintain your user groups and can provide for integrated security, meaning that
your users will not be required to log in to the SQL Server database as long as they have successfully
logged into your network domain.
• System integrity: If your database needs to run in a highly reliable, fault-tolerant environment, you
should consider SQL Server as your back-end. SQL Server provides tools for maintaining and
automatically backing up the data it contains. Although such tools exist for Access’ integrated store,
they are not as robust and reliable as those provided by SQL Server.
Summary
During this hour you learned how to design effective databases. However, all the reading in the world is no
substitute for on-the-job training. The best way to learn the ins and outs of database design is to design and
work with a lot of different databases. Fortunately, Access 2000 makes database design and construction
nearly painless and very time efficient.
Always remember these two key points:
• An effective database design is flexible, logical, and methodical by nature.
• The power of relational databases lies in the relationships that can be created between diverse tables.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A,
“Answers to the Quiz.”
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Does Access require that every table have a primary key?
No. There is no such requirement imposed by Access itself. However, if the table is going to be used in
conjunction with another table (that is, in a join), there should be a unique identifier in order to create
the joined data.
Does Access have any built-in features for assisting in the use of joins?
Yes. When a relationship is defined between two tables, you can specify the type of join to use when
querying on both of the tables in the same query. This is done by opening the Join Properties dialog in
the Relationships window. You access the Join Properties dialog by double-clicking the line
representing the join in question.
Quiz
1. Name the three types of keys.
2. What is the main difference between a primary and a foreign key?
3. Name the three types of joins.
4. Briefly define normalization.
5. Having multiple fields in a single table to represent different types of phone numbers is an example
of what?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 17
Creating Tables
-----------
Craig Eddy
In Hour 16, “Planning and Designing Your Database,” you learned about relational databases and how they
should be structured. In this hour, you’ll learn how to create the physical tables that make up the database.
Tables are the storage bins for the information that your database will hold.
If you’ve been reading this book sequentially, some of the material you find here will be a review of the
material from Hour 6, “Using an Existing Table” and Hour 10, “Modifying an Existing Table.” If you haven’t
yet read the material in those hours, you might want to skim them before proceeding.
Before you proceed with creating a new table, you should follow the steps in Hour 16 to design your new
table. In other words, you should know the name of the new table, the type of data it contains, the names of
the fields in this new table, and which field or fields the primary key should consist of.
Many Means to the Same End
Like most tasks you encounter in Access 2000, you can create tables using any of several techniques. Access
provides five different mechanisms for creating tables. In this hour you’ll learn about two of those
mechanisms, Datasheet view and Design view.
The five table creation techniques are
• Table Wizard: This is probably the easiest way to create a new table. The Table Wizard enables you
to create a new table based upon predefined templates. This wizard was covered in Hour 14, “Creating
a Database Using Wizards.”
• Datasheet View: Creating a table using Datasheet view involves entering data into a blank datasheet.
Access then uses this data to determine the data types and other properties for the fields in your new
table. Although you can get started quickly with this method, you’ll nearly always have to resort to the
Design view method. The Datasheet view technique is covered more later in this hour.
• Design View: Typically you’ll create your tables using the Design view. Here you have complete
control over the data types and properties for the table’s fields, as well as the ability to create primary
keys and other indexes. The Design view is different for the desktop and the SQL Server data stores,
but the concepts are nearly identical. This technique is also covered in this hour.
• Import Table: Using this technique, you use an external data source to create a new table and
populate it with data from that data source. This creates a copy of the data within your Access data
store. Any changes you make to the Access data store will not be reflected in the original data. This
technique will be covered in Hour 22, “Exchanging Data with Word 2000, Excel 2000, and Other
Applications.”
• Link Table: Like the Import Table mechanism, the Link Table requires an external data source for
its data. However, this technique does not create a physical table within your Access data store. Instead,
Access creates a live link to the external data source. Any changes you make from within Access will
be reflected in the external data.
Note: If you’re using SQL Server as your back-end data store, you can only use the Design view and Import
Table techniques to create a new table. The other techniques will be unavailable.
Creating a New Table
Now let’s take a look at how you can use the Datasheet view and Design view methods to create new tables.
Both of these methods begin in the same way. To get ready to create a new table, follow these steps:
1. Open the database to which you want the new table to be added. Activate the Database window.
2. If the Tables list is not active, click on the Tables entry at the left of the Database window. Your
screen should appear similar to Figure 17.1.
Figure 17.1 The Northwind Traders database’s Tables list, containing the Create Table entries.
3. To create a table using the New Table Wizard discussed in Hour 14, double-click the Create table by
Using Wizard entry.
To create a table using the Datasheet view, double-click Create Table by Entering Data.
To use the Design view method, double-click Create Table in Design View.
You can also click the New button and select one of the methods from the New Table dialog box shown
in Figure 17.2. This dialog box also provides you with the Import Table and Link Table methods.
Figure 17.2 The New Table dialog box.
If your back-end database is on SQL Server, your Tables list will only contain the Create table in Design
View entry (recall that this and the Import Table method are the only options for creating tables in SQL
Server). Likewise, when you click the New button, you’ll be taken immediately to the SQL Server table
Design view. Figure 17.3 shows the Table list for the Northwind Traders database hosted on a SQL Server
database.
Figure 17.3 The Northwind Traders database’s Tables list when hosted on SQL Server.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Creating a Table in Datasheet View
-----------
To create a table using the Datasheet view method, make sure you follow the preceding steps, selecting the
Create table by Entering Data entry on the Database or the Datasheet View entry on the New Table dialog
box. Having done so, your screen should resemble Figure 17.4 (after you maximize the Datasheet view
window that appears).
Figure 17.4 The Datasheet view when creating a new table.
The new table is now ready for you to start entering data. Access will use the data you enter to help it decide
what data types and properties to use for the fields in your new table. You should already have created a list of
the fields for this new table and the data that they’ll contain. Make sure you have this handy as you follow the
steps outlined later in this hour.
A few notes about this Datasheet view are in order. If you scroll across the window to the right, you’ll notice
that Access has provided you with 20 columns, labeled Field1 through Field20 These are the default names
for the fields in the new table. You’ll change these names to match the field names in your new table. If there
are more that 20 fields in your new table, you can easily add columns to the Datasheet. If you have fewer than
20 fields, you simply won’t enter data into the extra columns. Access will then ignore these columns when
saving the new table.
Also, the Datasheet view for the new table has a default of 30 rows (recall that each row in the Datasheet view
represents a single record in the table). If you have more than 30 records to enter, Access will automatically
add a new row after you save the 30th row. If you have fewer than 30 records to enter, Access will simply
ignore any empty rows when you save the table.
Follow these steps to create the table:
1. Your first step is to get the proper field names into the table. To rename a field from the default
(Field1, for example) to the field’s real name, double-click the column header (double-click on the
word Field1, for example) and type the name of the field.
2. Repeat Step 1 for each field in your table. If you have more than 20 fields, right-click over the
column header of any column and select the Insert Column. You can also use the Insert menu and select
Column. Rename the new column appropriately using the technique in Step 1. Repeat until you have
enough columns for your table.
3. Begin entering the data for your table. Each row in the Datasheet represents a single record and each
column represents a single field.
If a field contains numeric data that should be formatted in a certain way (such as a currency field),
enter the characters that define that. For example, enter data for currency fields using the dollar sign
($6.50, for example).
4. After you’ve entered data for each field, and enough rows to properly define the fields, click the
Save button on the toolbar.
5. Access will prompt you for the name of the new table. Enter an appropriate name for the new table
and click the OK button.
6. Next, Access informs you that there’s no primary key defined for the new table (see Figure 17.5).
There’s no way to define a primary key field using the Datasheet view, so Access is now giving you a
way to automatically create one. If you click Yes, Access will create a new field named ID, will define
that field as an AutoNumber field, and will make that field the primary key for the table. If you click
No, your table will be left as-is. You should later open the table in Design view and define the primary
key. Clicking Cancel will simply return you to the Datasheet view.
Figure 17.5 The Create Primary Key dialog box.
7. After the table is saved, it will be opened again in Datasheet view. To return to the Database
window, simply close the Datasheet View window. You’ll see that the new table has been added to the
Tables list.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Creating a Table in Design View
Now that you’ve seen how to quickly create a table using Datasheet view, it’s time to delve into the most
common mechanism for table creation: the Design view. Although the Datasheet view will get your table off
the ground quickly, you’re at the mercy of Access to decide what data types to use and what values to assign
to the various properties for each field. The Design view method enables you to specify all this information
from the get-go.
To create a table using the Design view, follow the steps outlined earlier and double-click the Create Table in
Design View entry on the Tables list. Figure 17.6 shows the Design View window for a new table using the
default Access data store.
Figure 17.6 The Design View window for a new table.
Note: For more information on working with the Design View window, refer to Hours 6 and 10.
For more information on designing tables for relational databases, see Hour 16.
With the Design View window opened, and your new table’s design handy, follow these steps:
1. The cursor should be in the first column of the first row of the design grid. This column is where
you enter the name of the field. Enter the name for this field and press the Tab key or click in the Data
Type column.
2. A default data type, usually Text, will be entered into the Data Type column for you. If this is not
the correct data type, there is a dropdown list from which you can pick the appropriate one for this
field. Select the data type from the list (see the section “Data Types” later in this chapter for more
details). Press the Tab key or click in the Description column.
Tip: You can change the default data type which Access uses by invoking the Options dialog box (click
the Tools menu and select Options). In the Options dialog box, move to the Tables/Queries tab. The value
entered in the Default field type dropdown list is the data type that will be used by default.
3. Although certainly not a requirement, you should enter a description of the field. This will serve as
documentation of the field’s purpose, possible values, or other pertinent information. The text entered
here will also be used as the default status bar text whenever this field is selected on a form. After you
enter a description, click in the Field Properties pane.
4. Make any changes necessary to the field’s properties. In particular make sure that, for text and
numeric data types, the Field Size property is set correctly for the data that the field will contain.
For more information on field properties, see the section “Field Properties” later in this chapter and
review the sections on field properties in Hours 6 and 10.
5. To add another field to your new table, click in the Field Name column of the next empty row in the
design grid and return to Step 1. When you’ve entered all your fields, proceed to Step 6.
6. Your table should have a field or a set of fields which serve as the primary key (check your table’s
design). If there’s only one field, click in this field’s row in the design grid. Next click the Primary Key
toolbar button.
If the table’s primary key has multiple fields, you’ll need to select each field. First click in the row
header for one of the fields. This will select the entire row. Next, hold down the Ctrl key and click the
row header for each additional field involved in the primary key. When you’ve selected each primary
key field in this manner, click the Primary Key toolbar button.
7. Click the Save button on the toolbar to save the new table. Access will prompt you to enter a name
for the table. Do so and click the OK button. The new table will now be part of your database. Close the
Design View window. Notice on the Tables list that your new table is now included.
Congratulations! You’ve just seen two handy ways to create new tables in your database. Most of the real
work should have been completed before you got to this hour (in Hour 16, “Planning and Designing Your
Database”), so these steps were probably a breeze for you.
If you’re using an Access project with a SQL Server back-end database, the Design View window for a new
table is a bit more complicated (see Figure 17.7). As you can see, there is no separation of the design grid and
the field properties pane; they’re both contained within the grid. The general steps involved in creating tables
for SQL Server aren’t much different from the desktop database steps, but the specifics are beyond the scope
of this book. In the upcoming “Field Properties” section you’ll find an explanation of the more widely used of
the field properties represented by the columns seen in Figure 17.7.
Figure 17.7 The Design View window for a new SQL Server table.
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Data Types
Each field in a table, whether you created the table with Datasheet view or Design view, has a data type
assigned to it. The data type specifies the type of information that will be stored in the field. Choosing the
data type for each field is one of the database design steps discussed in Hour 16.
The data types available for the default Access desktop database store are
• Text: A string of characters used to store alphanumeric data. You can have up to 255 characters in a
Text field.
• Memo: Stores long text fields. These can store up to 64,000 characters, but you don’t specify a
maximum size as you do with Text fields.
• Number: Stores numeric data.
• Date/Time: Stores dates and times.
• Currency: A special numeric data type used for monetary values because it prevents round-off
errors during calculations.
• AutoNumber: A special numeric data type that is perfect for use in a primary key field because
Access automatically inserts either the next number in the sequence or a unique random number when a
data record is created. Because Access is responsible for filling in values for this type, AutoNumber
fields are always read-only.
• Yes/No: Stores Boolean data, which can contain only one of two values, such as On/Off,
Yes/No, or True/False.
• OLE Object: This data type stores data provided by an object or component that acts as a
Windows OLE server.
• Hyperlink: Stores the text for a hyperlink address. Access enables you to store addresses to Web
documents, network files, and local files. The hyperlink also can contain more detailed information,
such as a bookmark in a Word document, an object in an Access database, or a range of cells in an
Excel spreadsheet. After a Hyperlink field is clicked, Access attempts to load the referenced file or
document using the appropriate viewer.
The list of data types for a table on a SQL Server database is quite a bit longer than this list. The more
common of these data types are:
• Binary and varbinary: Binary data consists of the characters 0 through 9 and A through F (or a
through f), in groups of two characters (each group representing a single value). This data type is
intended for storing bit patterns, not hexadecimal numbers. The binary data type requires you to
specify a size; the varbinary data type is for variable-length data.
• bit: The bit data type will store only the values 0 or 1. If any value other than 0 is entered into a
field of this type, it will be converted to 1.
• char and varchar: Used for storing alphanumeric strings up to 255 characters in length. The
char data type has a specified length; the varchar data type is for variable-length strings.
• smalldatetime and datetime: Used for storing date/time information. The smalldatetime
data type is less precise than the datetime data type, storing data in increments of minutes, as
opposed to milliseconds for the datetime data type.
• decimal and numeric: These data types store exact numeric values, down to the least significant
digit. They differ from the float and real data types, which can only approximate the least
significant digit. You’ll specify a precision that determines how accurately the data is stored.
• float and real: These data types are for storing numeric data that does not require the precision
provided by decimal or numeric.
• image: Used for storing variable-length binary data, similar to the OLE Object data type.
• int, smallint, tinyint: Used for storing integer data. Each data type is capable of storing a
different range of values.
• money and smallmoney: Used for storing currency values with up to four digits following the
decimal point. The smallmoney data type stores a smaller range of values than the money type.
• text: Similar to the Access Memo data type, this type is used to store extremely long string data.
• timestamp: A special data type that provides unique values within the database. When a record in
a table containing a timestamp field is updated, the timestamp field is automatically updated,
enabling programs to monitor the value the field contains in case two users attempt to update the same
record simultaneously. Note that timestamp data cannot be used as a date/time value because it is
relative to a system counter, not the actual time.
Field Properties
When you use the Design View window to create a table for the default desktop database store, you can
customize a each field’s properties using the General tab of the Field Properties pane (see Figure 17.6). These
properties give you a powerful edge in creating the table to fit your design’s needs. The following sections
describe some of these properties and how you can use them.
SQL Server tables have a similar set of properties, but displayed in the design grid, as you can see from
Figure 17.7. For the purposes of this chapter, I’ll keep the discussion specific to the desktop database store.
Field Size
The Field Size property enables you to specify the amount of data that can be entered in Text, Number,
or AutoNumber fields. Access uses variable-length record storage, so it only stores the information you
actually enter into a field. In other words, if you set a Name field to a length of 50 and you enter Bob, Access
stores only three characters for the field, not all 50 characters as some other database management systems do.
On SQL Server databases, this property is named Length.
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Format
You use the Format property to specify how the data is displayed in datasheets or on forms. You can use it
with Text, Number, Date/Time, and Yes/No data types. There are different sets of named formats for
each data type, or you can enter a format string to explicitly specify the format. For example, if you have a
Date/Time field that you want to display as hours and minutes in the 24-hour format, set the Format
property to Short Time.
This property is not available for tables that exist on SQL Server databases.
Input Masks
You use input masks to restrict what kind of data is entered into a field and how it is entered. Input masks use
special characters as instructions and placeholders for data.
For example, you could specify an input mask of !##/##/####. The first character (an exclamation point)
instructs Access to display the input mask from right to left, rather than left to right.
The pound symbols are placeholders and they restrict data to only numbers and spaces. The forward slash is a
standard date separator and automatically appears when the cursor enters the field.
There is an Input Mask Wizard that you can use to help you define the value for an input mask. Simply click
the builder button that appears to the right of the Input Mask property’s edit box when the property has
focus (that is, when your cursor is in the property’s edit box).
This property is not available for tables that exist on SQL Server databases.
Default Value
The Default Value property enables you to set a default value (what else) for a field. The value entered
here will be placed into the field whenever a new record is created. The user can, of course, override this
value by editing the data.
This property is named the same in both Access and SQL Server.
Lookup Fields
The Lookup tab contains special properties that enable you to limit data input in a field to a list from another
table or query. Using a lookup field not only makes sure that good data is entered, but it also enables the user
to select a value from a list instead of having to type it.
Access provides a Lookup Wizard that will step you through the process of creating a lookup field. To start
this wizard, click in the Data Type column for the field that will become a lookup field. Next click on the
dropdown button to display the list of data types and select Lookup Wizard (it’s the last entry in the list). If
the field will be getting its list of available values from another table, that table must exist before you can use
it in the Lookup Wizard.
SQL Server Field Properties
When the table exists in a SQL Server database, some of the preceding properties change names and some are
not available. This section discusses the various properties displayed in Figure 17.7.
Length, Precision, and Scale
These properties determine the size and range of values available for a numeric data type.
The Length property, which determines how many characters or bytes are valid for a field, is set
automatically when you select the data type. However, you can change the value of this property for the
binary, char, varbinary, and varchar data types.
The Precision property determines the number of digits that the field uses. The Scale property sets the
number of digits that are to the right of the decimal point.
Allow NULLS
This Boolean property enables you to specify whether or not NULL values are allowed in the field. A NULL
value simple means that there has been no data put into the field.
Identity Properties
Fields that are marked as Identity fields (the Identity check box is checked) contain system-generated
values that uniquely identify each row within the table. You use these just as you use AutoNumber fields in
Access’s default data store. Only one field per table can be an identity field.
The Identity Seed property is the value that will be assigned to the first row in the table. If you leave
this property blank, the number 1 will be used.
The Identity Increment property determines what value will be added to each subsequent row’s
identity value. For example, if the Identity Seed property is set to 10 and the Identity
Increment property to 5, the first row will have a value of 10 in its identity field, the second row will have
15, the third row 20, and so on.
Creating Table Indexes
Access uses indexes as road maps to find your data in a timely and efficient manner when you run a query or
report or simply browse your tables. Indexes are similar to the index in the back of this book that you use to
search for a particular topic or word. If you enter a lot of records and then run a query or a report based on the
fields in one of your indexes, Access can more quickly handle the output of the data.
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Setting and Changing Indexes
You create indexes on a table-by-table basis. To create an index for a table in a database using the desktop
database store, perform the following steps:
1. In the Database window, select the table and click the Design button.
2. Click the Indexes button on the toolbar (the one with a few lines next to a lightning bolt). The
Indexes dialog box, shown in Figure 17.8, appears. Even if this is a brand new table, Access might have
created some indexes for you. For example, the primary key is always used as an index and will be
listed on the Indexes dialog box.
Figure 17.8 The Design view’s Indexes dialog box.
3. Click an empty row in the Index Name column. Type a name for the index. The name must be
unique on the current table. Any name will do because chances are pretty good you’ll never need to
refer to it by name.
4. In the Field Name column, click the arrow and select a field to include in this index.
5. If the index will include multiple fields, click in the Field Name column of the row immediately
following this one and select the next field’s name. Do not enter anything for the Index Name column
on this row. Repeat this step for each field in the index. Figure 17.9 shows an example of how an index
with multiple fields would be displayed.
Figure 17.9 The Indexes dialog box for multiple-field indexes.
6. If you have additional indexes to define, return to step 3. Otherwise, click the Close button on the
Indexes dialog box to return to the Design view window. Be sure to save the table design (Access will
prompt you if you attempt to close the Design view window without having saved the changes).
If your table is in a SQL Server database, there is no Indexes dialog box. Instead, launch the table’s Properties
dialog box by clicking the Properties button on the Design view window’s toolbar. Next move to the
Indexes/Keys tab and click the New button to create a new index (see Figure 17.10). Access will create a
default name for the index and put the focus in the Column Name column. Select the name(s) of the field(s) to
be used in the index. SQL Server indexes provide a few properties that aren’t available in the desktop
database store and are beyond the scope of this book. Consult your SQL Server documentation for an
explanation of these index properties.
Figure 17.10 The Indexes/Keys tab of the SQL Server table Properties dialog box.
Caution: If you’re creating a new table in SQL Server and want to specify its indexes, you must save the table
first. This also applies when you alter the table to add fields. You must save the table before the new field(s) will
be available on the Indexes/Keys tab.
Which Fields to Index
It is not always obvious what types of fields should be indexed. Some data types, such as text, seem to always
perform better with an index. AutoNumber fields and other nontext fields don’t seem to gain much benefit
from indexing. As a rule of thumb, you should index any Number or Date/Time fields that are frequently
used as search criteria in queries. Some database pros feel that you cannot have too many indexes on a table.
It’s important to realize, however, that every index placed on a table must be updated whenever records are
added, modified, or deleted.
Setting Relationships Between Tables
Access 2000 uses relationships to relate the data within various tables, especially when they’re used in
queries. Hour 10 discusses relationships, why you would want to relate tables to one another, and how to
work with the various properties of table relationships. In Hour 16 you learned how to design properly related
tables, the meaning of referential integrity, and what the three types of relationships (also called “joins”) are.
These concepts are all used when defining relationships among the tables in your database.
To establish a relationship between two tables:
1. Close any tables you might have open and activate the Database window.
2. Click the Relationships button on the toolbar or click the Tools menu and select Relationships.
Depending on your database, you might or might not have some relationships already established (see
Figure 17.11).
Figure 17.11 The Relationships window for the Northwind Traders database.
3. If either of the tables that are involved in the relationship is not visible in the Relationships window,
click the Show Table button on the toolbar (a yellow plus symbol). If you prefer to use the menu, click
the Relationships menu and then select Show Table.
4. Double-click the two tables. This adds them to the Relationships window. Click the Close button.
5. Drag the tables around so they are side-by-side and easier to work with.
6. Now the fun part: Select the table that contains the foreign key field (recall from Hour 16 that this is
a field which is used to “look up” a row in the related table). Click the foreign key field and drag this
over to the primary key field of the related table. Drop it right over the primary key field. Access
displays the Relationships dialog box.
7. Verify that the fields from each table are correct. Using the information from your database design
and what you learned in Hour 16, set the various properties of this new relationship.
8. Click the Create button and the Save button on the toolbar. Your new relationship is now safely
embedded into your database.
If you are using the SQL Server back-end database, you won’t have a Relationships toolbar button or a
Relationships window as in the desktop database. Instead, Access 2000 provides a new type of object called
the database diagram. The database diagrams work in a nearly identical fashion to the Relationships window,
but using SQL Server terms and constructs. Figure 17.12 shows the Relationships database diagram for the
Northwind Traders SQL Server database. Notice the similarities to Figure 17.11.
Figure 17.12 The Relationships database diagram for the Northwind Traders SQL Server database.
Discussion of the intricacies of establishing relationships and setting their properties is beyond the scope of
this book. However, if you’re familiar with SQL Server database administration, you’ll learn to greatly
appreciate the power of the database diagram object provided by Access 2000.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
-----------
Summary
In this hour you’ve learned all about creating new tables by hand. There are several ways to create tables:
Using the Table Wizard, Datasheet view, or the Design view, importing tables, and linking to tables. This
hour covered the Datasheet view and Design view methods.
You also learned about the various data types which are available for fields, as well as the properties that you
can set on the fields. Finally, this chapter covered indexes and relationships.
In the hour that follows, “Creating Queries,” you’ll learn all about how to create queries in your Access
database.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
When is it appropriate to use a table wizard instead of using Datasheet or Design view method?
Access wizards are great for producing simple, cookie-cutter solutions. They are useful for quickly
creating a prototype model, which can then be modified to more exactly fit your needs. However, as
you gain experience creating tables from scratch using the Design view method, you’ll probably find
yourself using it more and more.
I created a table using the datasheet view, and I entered the following numbers in a column:
4500, 6325, and $3456. When I saved the table, Access selected Text as the data type for this
column. Why did Access create is as a text field?
Access is pretty smart about selecting the correct data type. However, if you enter a mixture of data
types—in this case general numbers and a currency number—Access will pick a data type that they
will all fit into, which is usually the Text data type. If you had entered the currency number in the first
row, Access would have selected Currency as the data type.
When creating a table in Design view, what is the Description column used for?
A
The Description column is valuable for a couple of reasons. First, it is a way to document your fields
when you create them. Sometimes when creating tables, developers create names that are short and
meaningful, but that don’t make much sense a year or two later. Secondly, descriptions show up in the
status bar at the bottom of the screen when you enter that field in Datasheet view, and are a handy way
of reminding your users the purpose of that field.
Quiz
1. Which method would you use to create a table if the original data source was in an outside database
and you wanted to update the original data when you changed the data in Access?
2. What is the data type that you use when you want Access to automatically create unique values for
each new record?
3. How would you restrict data in a field to only dates?
4. What’s the main purpose for creating table indexes?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Title
Hour 18
Creating Queries
-----------
Craig Eddy
In the previous hour, you learned how to create new tables in a database. In this hour you learn how to add
queries to your database. Queries, which were also covered in Hour 7, “Using Existing Queries” and Hour 11,
“Modifying and Using Existing Queries,” are used to retrieve specific data from the tables in the current
database, from other data sources, and even from other queries. Such queries are called select queries. Queries
can also perform actions upon the data in your tables, such as updating or deleting specific records. These
queries are called action queries.
A select query, the most common kind of query, retrieves data from one or more tables (or other
queries). The resulting data can be displayed in a datasheet or used as the data source for forms, reports, or
data access pages.
An action query is a query that’s designed to perform some sort of operation on the data in a table
or tables, or to modify a table’s structure. There are four kinds of action queries: the delete query, which is
used to delete rows from the database, the update query, which is used to update data in the database, the
append query, which is used to add new rows to a table or tables, and the make-table query, which creates a
new table using data in existing tables.
In this hour, you’ll learn the following:
• The various ways available to create queries
• How to create a query “by hand”
• How to use parameters and calculated fields in your queries
On a SQL Server database queries are called views. If you’re using an Access Project to design a SQL Server
database, you’ll have a different, but very similar, set of tools available for creating views. Although this hour
focuses on creating queries for the default Access data store, I will point out major differences to watch out
for when dealing with SQL Server views.
Ways to Create Queries
Like most tasks in Access 2000, you have your choice of means to create new queries. Access provides five
different mechanisms for creating queries:
• Design view. This is the manual means of creating a query. The Design view method provides you
both a QBE Design Grid (known, confusing as it is, as the “Design view” on the View menu and
toolbar button) and a SQL View. The Design Grid, discussed in the next section, is a graphical tool for
creating queries. The SQL View enables you to fine tune the SQL code that underlies the query. This is
the only method described in this hour, and the only method available when creating with SQL Server
views.
• Simple Query Wizard. This wizard enables you to create the most basic of select queries. And when I
say basic, that’s exactly what I mean. About all this wizard automates is the task of selecting which
tables and queries will be used as the source of the data and which fields from those queries will be
output by the query.
• Crosstab Query Wizard. This wizard helps you create a crosstab query, which displays summarized
values from one field in a table and groups them by one set of data listed down the left side of the
datasheet (such as a region or category) and another set of data listed across the top of the datasheet
(such as year, quarter, or month). For example, you may wish to see sales grouped by region and
quarter. The Crosstab Query Wizard assists you in creating such a query.
• Find Duplicates Query Wizard. Assists you in creating a query which will identify duplicate data
contained in a table or returned by another query.
• Find Unmatched Query Wizard. This wizard helps you find records which are “orphaned” by related
tables. In other words, records that should be related to one or more records in a different table but
aren’t. Orphaned records can be created when referential integrity is not enabled for a relationship and
records are deleted from one of the tables. Hour 16, “Planning and Designing Your Database,”
discusses how referential integrity prevents orphaned records.
The Query Design View
Whenever you edit an existing query or create a new query using the Design view method, you’ll more than
likely see the Query Design view shown in Figure 18.1. Using the Design view you can visually create and
modify the query which is being displayed. Throughout this hour, the terms Design Grid and Design view
refer to the same window (the one shown in Figure 18.1).
Figure 18.1 The Query Design Grid.
Note: Some advanced queries cannot be represented by the Design Grid. For such queries you’ll only be able to
use the SQL View. If the Design Grid is not available for a query, the Design view item will be disabled in the
View menu when you open the query in Design mode.
The Design view is divided into two sections: the table/query pane and the field pane. The table/query pane
displays a Field List window for each of the tables and queries involved in the query. The field pane at the
bottom of the window is also known as the QBE Design Grid. This is where you define the fields returned by
the query, set the sort order, and specify any criteria.
If you’re creating views in a SQL Server database, the Design Grid has three available panes: Diagram, Grid,
and SQL (see Figure 18.2). These three panes operate in a manner very similar to the combination of Design
Grid and the SQL View available for queries in the Access default data store.
Figure 18.2 The View Design Grid for SQL Server databases.
Steps in Creating a Query
Now that you’ve seen the Query Design Grid, it’s time to learn how to create a new query. If you need some
instruction on working in the Query Design Grid, see Hours 7 and 11 where the topic is discussed in more
detail. To follow along, open the Northwind Traders sample database.
There are four major steps to creating a query:
1. Create the basic query.
2. Specify the sort order.
3. Specify the selection criteria.
4. Decide which fields that you want to see.
Each of these steps can themselves be broken down into a series of steps or actions that you must performed.
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by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Creating a Basic Query
To create a new query, follow these steps:
1. Open the database to which you want to add the query. Activate the Database window and click on
the Queries section. The Queries list will be displayed in the Database window.
2. Double-click the Create query in Design view entry in this list, or click the New button at the top of
the Database window, select Design view in the New Query dialog that appears, and click the OK
button. Either way, the Query Design Grid window and the Show Table dialog box, shown in Figure
18.3, will appear.
Figure 18.3 The Query Design Grid window and Show Table dialog for a new query.
3. Add the tables or queries on which this new query is to be based by clicking the table or query name
and then clicking the Add button. Alternatively, you can double-click the table or query name. As an
example, double-click the Customers table. When you’ve added the appropriate tables and queries,
click the Close button. This will close the Show Table dialog and leave you staring at the Query Design
Grid with the table/query pane populated.
4. Add the fields which will be output by the query or used as criteria for selecting records to the QBE
Design Grid at the bottom of the Design View window. This is done by either dragging and dropping
the field’s name from the Field List window onto the QBE Design Grid or by double-clicking the
field’s name. For our example, add the ContactName, CompanyName, and ContactTitle fields.
Figure 18.4 shows the results of adding these fields to the grid.
Figure 18.4 The Design View window with some query design in place.
5. Save the query using the Save toolbar button. To view the results of the query, click the drop-down
arrow on the View toolbar button and select Datasheet view (or use the View menu and select
Datasheet view). The datasheet window for your query will be displayed. To return to the Design Grid,
use the Design View toolbar button or menu item.
Specifying a Sort Order
The query you just created is not much different than viewing the Customers table in Datasheet view. There
aren’t as many fields showing, of course, but otherwise the results really haven’t been worth the effort. There
is, however, more that you can do. One advantage of queries is the capability to specify a sort field (or fields)
and sort order (ascending or descending) that’s particular to the query.
To specify a sort order for a query, follow these steps:
1. With the query open in the Design Grid, find the field you want to sort by in the QBE Grid at the
bottom of the Design Grid window. Click in the Sort row. If you’re following along from the previous
section, click in the ContactName column.
2. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the cell and select the sort order (ascending or descending)
to be used for this field. For our example, select Ascending.
3. Repeat step two for any other fields which should also be used as sort fields. The order from left to
right that the fields appear in the QBE Grid determines which are used first in the sorting. For example,
if you set ascending sort order for both the ContactName and CompanyName fields, the sorting
would be done by ContactName first and then by CompanyName. This means that if two Customer
records have a contact named John Smith, the two rows will appear one after the other with the value of
the CompanyName field determining which appears first. If you’re following along, set the
CompanyName field to be sorted ascending as well. Figure 18.5 shows how the Design View window
should look.
Figure 18.5 The Design View window with a sort order specified for the query.
4. Save the query’s design by clicking the Save button. Go to the Datasheet view to see the results.
Specifying Criteria
Now you can select some fields and sort them in a specific way, but we’re still not much better off than
viewing the table’s datasheet. However, queries also give you the capability of specifying the criteria with
which to select the records. In other words, you tell the query what data must be present in (or missing from)
the records that the query will display. This lets you work with a specific subset of data which may be more
meaningful than the entire set of data contained in a table or returned by another query.
To specify criteria for your query, follow these steps:
1. With the query open in Design view, make sure the field or fields which will be used to specify the
criteria are present in the QBE Grid at the bottom of the Design View window. If you’re following
along, add the Country field to the QBE Grid.
2. Click in the Criteria row for the field whose criteria you are specifying (in our example, the
Country field). Enter the criteria to be used when selecting records by typing an expression.
Alternatively, you may use the Expression Builder by clicking the Build toolbar button (the button with
the magic wand). The section that follows, “Using Advanced Query Options,” describes the various
wild card characters and comparison operators that are available when specifying criteria. If you’re
following along, enter =‘France’ (including the single quotes) into the Criteria row for the
Country field. Your screen should appear similar to Figure 18.6.
Figure 18.6 The Design View window with criteria specified for the query.
Note: For the default Access data store, the case used in string expressions does not affect the query’s
results. In the above example, you could have entered =‘FRANCE’ or =‘france’ and received the
same results. However, some databases (SQL Server included) offer the capability to be case-sensitive.
You should determine ahead of time if your database is case-sensitive and enter your criteria
appropriately. In general, you should always use proper case in your expressions.
3. Save the query and switch to the Datasheet view. You should now see only customers who are in
France.
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Showing and Excluding Fields
-----------
Now you’ve got a query that returns only selected fields, that sorts the returned data for you, and that shows
you the subset of data that you’re interested in working with. Pretty handy to have around. But if you
followed along with the previous section and saw that the query returned the customers in France only, there’s
a little more tweaking to be done.
Notice that the Country field, despite the fact that it always contained the word France, was also returned
by the query. If you know the value in the field will always be France, you don’t really need to display that
field, do you? Well, Access provides a mechanism which you can use to sort by or specify criteria on fields
but not display those fields. For the default data store, this is done using the Show row’s checkbox in the QBE
Grid. For views on a SQL Server database, you’ll have a checkbox labeled Output for you to use for this
purpose.
To have a field appear in the query’s output, make sure its Show checkbox is checked. To have it not appear
in the output, clear (uncheck) the Show checkbox. If you’re following along with the example, uncheck the
Show checkbox for the Country field and view the datasheet again. Your results should appear similar to
Figure 8.7.
Figure 18.7 The Datasheet View window for the sample query.
Using Advanced Selection Options in Queries
So far in this hour you’ve learned how to create a basic query. Access 2000 provides a wide variety of
additional features that enable you to create more complex queries. The remainder of this hour discusses the
more widely used of these features.
Wildcards
The criteria we used in the example query above (=‘France’) was perfect when we knew the exact value
we were looking for from the query. But what if you don’t want to require an exact match or don’t know the
exact spelling of a value ahead of time?
Access provides special wildcard characters which can be used in query criteria to cover such circumstances.
These characters, listed in Table 18.1, can be used as placeholders within the value or can specify the
beginning or ending characters of a text field.
Table 18.1 Access 2000 Wildcards
Symbol
Usage
*
Used to match any number of characters in An*
afield either at the beginning or the end of *an
the field.
?
Use to match a single Ro? character in a Rob; Ron; Rod
field
Use to match any single number in a field. 7#7
Use to find a single
character within a range of characters you J[a-o]N
specify.
#
-
Example
Matches…
Anne; Andrew
Buchanan; allahan
727, 737, 747, 757,
767, 777
Jan, Jen, Jon
Comparison Operators
When you specify a criteria for a field, you have to instruct the query how to compare the value in the data to
the expression you enter as the criteria. This is done using a comparison operator. The equals sign (=) in our
example query (where we used =‘France’ as the criteria) is the comparison operator for that criteria.
Table 18.2 shows the various comparison operators available in Access 2000, along with some examples that
utilize each operator.
Table 18.2 Access 2000 Comparison Operators
Operator
Description
IN()
Match any item in the list
IN(‘a’,‘b’,‘c’)‘a’;‘b’;‘c’
provided
Less than
<12/31/96
Less than or equal to;
<=5000
includes the value you specify
Equal to
=“Janet”
Greater than
>1000
Greater than or equal to;
>=1/1/95
includes the value you specify
Not equal to
<>“Bill”
<
<=
=
>
>=
<>
Example
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Result or Valid
Value
12/30/96
5000,4999
Janet
1001
1/1/95,1/2/95
Janet
Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Title
Creating Queries that Accept Parameters
Now that you’ve seen how comparison operators work, let’s take a look at another advanced capability
provided by Access queries.
-----------
In our sample query we added the criteria =‘France’. This criteria is just fine if we always want to return
only the rows where the Country field has France in it. But what if we want to be able to choose which
country will be used each time we run the query? In this case, you have to turn the criteria into a parameter.
After you’ve done so, you’ll be prompted to enter a value for the country field each time you view the query’s
results, and Access will retrieve only records for that country. Now you won’t have to create a query for each
country, but instead can enter the desired country each time the query is viewed.
To turn a criteria into a parameter, simply replace the value portion of the criteria (‘France’ in our
example) with a prompt question surrounded by square brackets. For our example, change the criteria to read
=[Enter the desired country]. Then view the query in Datasheet view. When you do this, Access
will prompt you with the dialog shown in Figure 18.8. Enter a value (no need to enter the single quotes on this
dialog, Access will supply them for you when it evaluates what you enter here) and click the OK button. The
results are displayed in the Datasheet view.
Figure 18.8 The Enter Parameter Value dialog box.
If you want to verify that the value you enter in the dialog is the value actually used, make sure the field is
being displayed in the query’s output. For our sample query, return to the Design view and check the Show
checkbox for the Country field. Then switch back to Datasheet view, entering the desired country when
prompted. Your screen should now resemble Figure 18.9. I’ve entered USA as the country to produce these
results; yours will be different if you enter a different country.
Figure 18.9 The Datasheet View window for the parameterized query example.
Adding Calculated Fields
Another useful reason to create queries is their capability to transform data through the use of calculated
fields. You’re not restricted to having your queries return the exact data from tables or other queries. Using
calculated fields, you can perform data manipulation on the data in your database and return more meaningful
results from the query.
For example, if you have an order entry table, you could create a query which calculates a discount priced
based on the quantity of each item ordered. You can also use calculated fields to create a compound text field
which concatenates the values of several fields in the table. This is useful for creating mailing labels where
you want the name and city/state/ZIP (or city/province/postal code) fields concatenated into one line.
To see how to work with calculate fields, return to the example query and follow these steps (or, open any
query in Design view mode):
1. Click in the Field row of the first empty column in the QBE Grid.
2. Enter Addr2: [City] + “, ” + [Region] + “ ” + [PostalCode]. This specifies
that the calculated field should be named Addr2 and that its value should be calculated by
concatenating the values of the City, Region, and PostalCode fields. The square brackets in the
expression inform Access that what’s within the brackets is a field name. If you have the same field
name in two different tables referenced by your query, use the format [tablename.fieldname]
to indicate exactly which field you mean.
3. You can leave the Table row empty for this field. Check the Show checkbox so that the field will be
output by the query. Your screen should appear similar to Figure 18.10.
Figure 18.10 The Design View window with the calculated field.
4. Click the View button to switch to Datasheet view. Enter an appropriate country when prompted
(remember that we added a parameter to the query earlier in this hour).
Additional Query Features
There are many more features offered by queries than we can possibly cover in a single hour. As you create
new queries to meet newly discovered needs, you’ll no doubt want to explore the many other features
available. The Access 2000 help files are a great place to find out about all of these features. Some topics I’d
suggest searching for include
• Filtering results
• Formatting fields in results
• Optimizing performance
To close this hour, I’ll briefly discuss two often-used features: grouping and totals.
Grouping the Query’s Results
Grouping is similar to sorting, but using grouping you can arrange and perform calculations on your data in
groups. For example, you may want to group customers by region and calculate the total amount of all sales
for each region. Grouping enables you to do this.
To see how grouping works, return to the example query’s Design View window and follow these steps:
1. Click the Show Table toolbar button or use the View menu and click Show Table. When the Show
Table dialog appears, double-click the Orders table. Now click the Close button.
2. Switch to the Datasheet view, entering USA when prompted for the country name. Your screen
should appear similar to Figure 18.11.
Figure 18.11 The Datasheet View window showing repeated data rows.
Notice that each customer is repeated several times. This is because each one has several related orders
in the Orders table. To see that this is true, return to the Design view, add the OrderID field from the
Orders table to the query’s output, and come back to the Datasheet view. This is where grouping comes
into play.
3. Return to the Design view and click the Totals toolbar button (the one with the Greek Sigma
character). A row labeled Total is added to the QBE Grid and the expression Group By is
automatically entered for each column in the QBE Grid. If you added the OrderID field in step 2,
remove it now by clicking its column header in the QBE Grid and pressing the Del key.
4. Now go back to the Datasheet view and notice that the duplicate rows are now missing from the
query’s output.
What’s happened here? Access has combined each duplicate row into a single row in the query’s output.
Although the above steps don’t display any meaningful results, they do demonstrate how the rows are
grouped. In the following section, you’ll see how that grouping of similar data can be used to produce
meaningful summary data.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Queries that Display Totals
Now that you know how to group your data, let’s take a look at how you can calculate some meaningful
summary data using those groups. Access can perform counts, sums, averages, standard deviations, and
min/max summary calculations on your grouped data.
To see how this can be useful, return to the example query and open the Design View window for it. Now
follow these steps:
1. Add the CustomerID field to the QBE Grid.
2. Click in the Total row for the CustomerID field and click the drop-down arrow. Select Count
from the drop-down list.
3. Click the Properties button on the toolbar. When the Properties window appears, enter # of
Orders into the Caption property. Close the Properties window.
4. Switch to Datasheet view, entering USA as the country when prompted. Your screen should look
like Figure 8.12.
Figure 18.12 The Datasheet View window showing a summary of the grouped data.
This query provides you with a count of the number of orders placed by each customer in a specified country.
Pretty handy, wouldn’t you say? But let’s look at an even more powerful summation, the total.
1. Return to the Design View window.
2. Add the Freight field from the Orders table to the QBE Grid.
3. In the Total row for Freight, select Sum.
4. Switch to Datasheet view, again entering USA as the country. You should see results similar to
Figure 18.13.
Figure 18.13 The Datasheet View window showing even more ways to summarize grouped data.
Now you can see not only how many orders each customer has placed, but also the total amount they’ve paid
for freight. You can see how this example can easily be extended to calculate other summary information.
Summary
In this hour you’ve learned about creating queries. Queries are used to view and manipulate the data that
exists within your database. You’ve seen how to sort the results, specify criteria for record selection, and how
to exclude fields from the queries output. You also learned how to create a parameter to use as part of the
query’s criteria, allowing you to use the same query to return different subsets of data. Finally, you learned
about some of the powerful grouping and summary features available with Access queries.
In the next hour, “Creating Forms,” you learn how to create new forms from scratch. This includes adding
controls to your forms and binding the form to one of the database’s tables or queries.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
What is the star (asterisk) at the top of each table when in Query Design mode?
This is the symbol for ALL, just like the wildcard character. As a shortcut to selecting all the fields in
the table, you can insert the star in your query (by double-clicking). Then, when you view the query, all
the fields in the table will be displayed.
How do I enter more than one criteria per field in a query? For example, what if I want to search
for customers in either England or France?
In the Design Grid window you will notice in the lower section of the grid, you have a row called
Criteria. Below that is a row called or. You can enter as many criteria as you want by simply entering a
criteria on each row. So, you’d enter ‘England’ in one row and ‘France’ in the row immediately
below.
I have a query that has a lot of duplicates in it. How do I select only unique records?
While in Design view mode, select View, Properties from the menu. Click on the property for Unique
Values. Change this to Yes.
Quiz
1. You have a query that returns a number of fields, including Title and Hire Date. How would
you sort a query first by Title from lowest to highest, and then by Hire Date from highest to
lowest?
2. Which wildcard symbol would you use to match a single character in a field?
3. What does the >= operator mean?
4. How do I get the total of all the values in a field?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 19
Creating Forms
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
In this hour, you create forms from scratch. You will take a couple forms from the Northwind database and
re-create them to give you a better understanding of forms and form design. Some of the topics covered in this
hour are
• Types of forms
• Types of controls
• Creating and adding controls
• Setting control properties
• Creating expressions
• Creating and linking subforms
• Aligning and sizing controls
• Adding graphics
Note: Earlier, in Hour 15, “Adding Additional Components to a Database Using Wizards,” you learned how to
create forms using wizards. This hour concentrates on building forms from scratch without using wizards. This
gives you a better understanding of the design and inner workings of a form.
Types of Forms
As discussed in Hour 12, “Modifying an Existing Form Design,” there are six basic types of forms:
• Single column
• Tabular
• Datasheet
• Subforms
• Pivot table
• Graphs
You will concentrate on creating three types of forms in this hour: single column, tabular, and subforms. You
will look at some forms in the Northwind database and then learn how to re-create them from scratch.
Types of Controls
As discussed in Hour 12, there are three basic types of controls:
• Bound controls are controls whose source of data is a field in a table or query. When you enter a
value into a bound control, that value updates to the bound table’s current record.
• Unbound controls are controls that do not have a source of data. These controls retain any values you
enter but do not update any field in the table.
• Calculated controls are controls whose source is an expression instead of a field in a table or query.
These controls are based on expressions or calculations. Calculated controls do not update any table
fields, so they are also a type of unbound control.
Adding Controls
Figure 19.1 shows the Customers form from the Northwind database. You will re-create this form from
scratch to learn how to create your own forms.
Figure 19.1 The Customers form from the Northwind database.
Designing a Form
Look a little closer at the Customers form before you attempt to re-create it. As you can see in Figure 19.1, the
Customers form lists all the information about the customer: ID, name, address, phone number, and so on.
Each page of the form lists the information about one single customer. The country field has a drop-down list
box to enable the user to select the customer’s country. A globe graphic is in the background to spruce up the
appearance. When you select the Design View button in the upper-left corner, the display changes to the
Design view. There are a couple ways to tell which table or query the form is linked to. If it is not already
visible, click the Properties tool to display the property sheet. If you select the form, the property sheet
displays the properties for the form, as shown in Figure 19.2.
Figure 19.2 The property sheet for the Customers form.
Note: The toolbox is the menu on the form design screen on the side of the screen. This menu consists of the
following buttons from top to bottom: Mouse Selector, Wizard, Label, Text Box, Option Group, Toggle Button,
Option Button, Check Box, Combo Box, List Box, Command Button, Image, Unbound Object Frame, Bound
Object Frame, Page Break, Tab Control, Subform/SubReport, Line, Rectangle, and a More Controls button.
Selecting one of these buttons and clicking one of the sections of the form will create that control wherever you
click. This is the easiest way to create new controls. You can also customize what buttons are displayed on the
toolbar by right-clicking on the toolbar and selecting Customize.
The record source for the Customers form is the Customers table. You can see the fields in the Customers
table by clicking the Field List button on the toolbar. This displays the field list box as you can see in Figure
19.3. This shows the table or query the form is based on and the fields that are in that table or query.
Figure 19.3 The field list box for the Customers form.
Now that you know which table the query is based on and what the form is designed to display, take a look at
the data in that table. Close the Customers form and click the Tables tab in the Database window.
Double-click the Customers table to open it in Datasheet view. You should see a screen similar to Figure 19.4.
By scrolling to the right, you can see that all the information you saw on the Customers form is stored in this
table in datasheet form. The Customers form is a good example of a form that makes tasks such as data entry
much easier. Now that you know which table has the information you need and how you want that
information to be displayed, create the form.
Figure 19.4 The Datasheet view of the Customers form.
Note: When you create your own forms, you should spend some time thinking about how you want your form to
look and what you want your form to accomplish before you begin the actual steps to create it in Access. It is a
good idea to sketch on paper what you want the form to look like and then use this as your blueprint when you
actually create the form. This advance design work is very beneficial when you actually start to create the form.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Creating a New Form
Now you are ready to create a new form. Make sure the Northwind database is open, select the Forms tab
from the Database window, and click the New button. A dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 19.5, that
asks you for details about the form you want to create.
Figure 19.5 The dialog box that appears when you want to create a new form.
The dialog box asks you how you want to create the form, and to select the table or query upon which you
want to base the form. Because the Customers form is based on the Customers table, select the Customers
table from the dialog box drop-down list. Make sure the top selection is Design view and click OK to create a
blank form that is linked to the Customers table. You should see a blank form view similar to the one shown
in Figure 19.6. This blank form shows the property sheet open, as well as the field list box.
Figure 19.6 A blank form with the property sheet and field list box open.
The first thing you need to do is add the controls to the form. Looking back to Figure 19.1, notice that all the
controls except the country control are regular text boxes used to display the data. The country control is a
drop-down list box. You need to add all the fields from the Customers table as text boxes, except the country
field. Before proceeding, make sure that the field list box is open and your screen is similar to Figure 19.6.
There are a couple ways to add all the controls to the form. To do this easily, click the Text Box button (see
Figure 19.7) on the toolbox. Now you can click and drag each of the fields from the field list box to the detail
section. For a quicker addition, you can drag the fields all at once. To do this, select the text box tool, click the
first field in the field list box, and then scroll down. While holding down the Shift key, select the last field in
the list. All the fields are selected. Click the first field in the field list box and drag to the detail section of the
form. The cursor will change to a little field drag icon. Drop the icon in the upper-left corner of the detail
section, allowing enough room for the text box and label to be displayed to the left of where you drop the
icon. Your screen should be similar to Figure 19.7.
Figure 19.7 The new form after adding the Text Box controls.
You must delete the Country text box because you will be creating a list box for that field. Scroll down until
you see the Country text box. Click the text box and press the Delete key. Now you need to move the controls
around and resize them to look like the screen in Figure 19.1. Don’t worry about getting things too perfect or
matching Figure 19.1 exactly. Make sure to leave room for the Country control.
Note: To select a large group of controls at once, click your mouse pointer on a clear area of the form and drag a
square around the controls you want to select. This is useful to size all the controls on this form at one time. After
they are all selected, you can click and drag on one line of the box, and all the selected objects will change at the
same time.
After you resize and rearrange your controls, your form design screen should be similar to the one shown in
Figure 19.8. Now you add the Country field as a combo box to enable the drop-down list box to select the
country from a list. To add the Country combo box, click the Combo Box icon (see Figure 19.8) on the
toolbox, click the Country field in the field list box, drag it to the detail section of your form, and place it near
its correct position. When you release the mouse button, the Combo Box Wizard loads, as shown in Figure
19.9. You want the combo box to look up the values for the country field from another table in the database,
so leave the selection as it is and click Next.
Figure 19.8 The form with all the controls added except the Country drop-down list box.
Figure 19.9 The Combo Box Wizard loads automatically when you place the control on a form.
This wizard walks you through setting up a drop-down list box for the Country field. The first screen, shown
in Figure 19.9, asks you to tell Access where it should get the values you have to choose from in the list box.
Because you want the values already stored in the table, click the Next button to continue.
Now, Access asks which table or query you want to base the values on. Select the Customers table, as shown
in Figure 19.10. Click Next to continue.
Figure 19.10 The first menu that appears when using the Combo Box Wizard.
The next screen, shown in Figure 19.11, asks you to choose which field in the table you selected should be
used to make the list box. Again, choose the Country field, click the right arrow to add that field to the list,
and click the Next button.
Figure 19.11 The second dialog box of the Combo Box Wizard.
Now Access asks you to select the width of the list box. The default should be fine, and you can always
change it later. This is shown in Figure 19.12. Click Next to continue.
Figure 19.12 The third dialog box of the Combo Box Wizard.
Access asks whether you want to remember the value for later use or to store the value in the chosen field.
You want the value to tell you what country the customer is from, so you want Access to store the value in the
Country field. This is the default, as shown in Figure 19.13, so click the Next button.
Figure 19.13 The fourth dialog box of the Combo Box Wizard.
Access asks what name you want to give to the label for the list box. It picks Country as the name, as you see
in Figure 19.14; click the Finish button to continue.
Figure 19.14 The fifth dialog box of the Combo Box Wizard.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Now that you have created the main elements of the form, it is time to begin thinking about how the overall
form looks. A title would look good at the top of the form. To do this, you must add a form header to place
the title. To add a form header, select View, Form Header/Footer from the main menu. This adds the header
and footer to the form. You will add a label with the title to the header. To do this, add an unbound label and
enter the title you want to use. Click the Label button on the toolbox, and click the detail section at the top
where you want the title to be. Access adds an unbound label control with a blinking cursor for you to add
your title. Type the title Customers and press Enter. Change the font style to bold and the size to 12 by
clicking the Bold button and Font Size box on the toolbar. You can manually resize the label box to fit the
new font size, or you can double-click the border of the label box. That automatically resizes the box to fit
your data. (See Figure 19.15 for the final results.)
Figure 19.15 The new form with all the controls added.
The only thing left to add is the graphic behind the form. As is usually the case with Access, you have several
ways to add graphics. The quickest way is to select the form by clicking the gray box with the black center
that is located where the vertical and horizontal rulers meet. This selects the entire form.
Next, click the properties tool on the toolbar if the property sheet is not already open. Make sure the All tab is
selected, and scroll down to the Picture property. Click in this field and then click the Builder button, the
button with the three dots in it located next to the property field. Access asks you where the graphic you want
to insert in your form is located. The default location with Office 2000 for the globe graphic is C:\Program
Files\Microsoft Office\Bitmaps\Styles\Globe.wmf. If your setup is different, the graphic might be located
elsewhere on your hard drive. Select Globe.wmf and click OK.
The form shows the globe graphic in the background, but it is too small. You need to change the Picture
Size Mode property to Stretch to make the graphic to fill the whole form.
Note: You can add many types of pictures to your forms and reports. Access 2000 comes with a few default
pictures, but you can also import your own. One thing to consider is that adding graphics takes up more system
resources, and can slow down the speed of your database.
Your form should look like the form in Figure 19.1. You have successfully re-created the Customers form
from the Northwind database. Exit your form. Access asks you whether you want to save your changes. Click
the OK button, and Access asks you to give your form a name. Do not name it Customers because that
overwrites the original form. Give it a different name that you will remember.
Another Form Example
Calculated expressions are one more type of control that is often used on forms. These are controls whose
source is an expression instead of a field in a table or query, so they are unbound controls. None of the
Northwind forms has an adequate example, so you will quickly create your own. Open a new form in Design
mode and base the form on the Products table. Add the Unit Price field to the form as a bound control text
box. Now select the text box button again, but instead of dragging a field onto the form, just click the form
and create an unbound text box. You will calculate the total price of an item with 6 percent sales tax. In the
Control Source property field in the property sheet, type the following formula: =[unitprice] * 1.06.
The next field in the property sheet is the format field. Select Currency from the Format property on the
Properties list. Now, take a look at the form in Form view. Your form should be similar to Figure 19.16.
Figure 19.16 A form with a calculated control
Note: You also can add other options to the page header and footer. Remember from Hour 12 that page headers
and footers are only visible when you print a form, not when you view it on the screen. In an unbound text box,
you can use several Access functions, such as =Date() and =Page() to add the date, time, page number,
filename, and other information. Look in Help under functions for more details and a list of functions.
Summary
This hour was devoted to studying forms and their design. You examined a form in the Northwind database
and re-created it using a variety of controls and properties. You now should have a good understanding of the
basics of forms and be able to create your own forms from scratch.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
What are subforms?
A subform is a form within another form. It is usually used to show data from a table or query that has
a one-to-many relationship.
What is a pivot-table form?
A pivot table is an interactive table that performs the calculations you choose, such as sums and counts,
based on how the data is arranged. You change layouts to analyze the data in different ways.
What is a graph form?
You can add graphs to any form, using your own data or using data from a table or query.
Quiz
1.
2.
3.
4.
What are the six types of forms?
What are the three main types of controls?
What should you do before creating a form?
How do you add the current date or page number to a form?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 20
Creating Reports
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour provides more detail on reports. You need to think about several things before you begin to design
and create your first report. I discuss some of these issues and show you how to create a new form from
scratch and add more advanced controls to your report. In the course of this hour, you re-create a report from
the Northwind database. Topics covered this hour are
• Designing reports
• Sorting and grouping data
• Re-creating a Northwind report
Note: Controls and properties are the fundamental building blocks of forms, as well as reports. You must
understand these important database items before you begin to design and develop reports.
Designing Reports
There are nine important steps in designing a report:
1. Determine what data is needed.
2. Design the appearance and function of your report.
3. Create the table or query to which the report will be bound.
4. Create a new report and bind it to the table or query.
5. Place the relevant fields on the report by using the proper controls.
6. Add other labels and calculated controls for other fields as necessary.
7. Modify the size, appearance, location, and size of the various controls.
8. Define sorting and grouping options.
9. Use graphics and other special effects to enhance your report.
These steps are very important to the proper design and development of your database. Next you will take a
closer look at these nine steps. Then you will use these steps to re-create the “Sales Totals by Amount” report
from the Northwind database.
Design the Appearance, Function, and Data Sources of Your Report
Reports display your data onscreen and on paper. Before you design a report, you need to know what
information you want your report to display and what source you will use to get this information. For
example, if all the information you need is in one table in your database, the report can be based on that table.
If the information is in more than one table, you must base the report on a query. Designing the table or query
properly is just as important as designing the report. If the report does not have an easy way to receive valid
data, the report will be useless.
Determining What Data Is Needed and Creating a Query
You can use one table as the data source for your report only if that is the only place you can get the relevant
data. If more than one table has the information you want to display in the report, select a query that contains
all the information that is needed. If a query does not exist that contains the information you need, you have to
build a new query specifically for that report. Reports can have only one source for information. In other
words, reports can be based on only one table or one query. Creating a query that incorporates all the
information from several tables is the only way to use information from more than one table in a report.
Creating a New Report and Adding Controls
After you determine the data you need displayed on the report, and you create the table or query that your
report will use as the data source, you can create a blank report. Link the report to a table or query and begin
adding controls. As discussed in Hour 9, “Displaying Data in Reports,” report controls can be bound,
unbound, or calculated. The original source of the data displayed by a control is a good factor to help
determine what type of control is needed. Use bound controls when the control gets its values from a field in
the underlying table or query. Use unbound controls when the data the control displays does not exist
anywhere in the database. Some examples of unbound controls are captions and titles. A calculated control
uses an expression instead of a field to determine the data displayed. Report controls are the same as the
controls that are used on forms. After you add the text boxes for your report, you can begin adding other
controls as needed, such as labels and other text boxes. You can then change the size and appearance of the
controls to fit the design you had in mind for the report.
Sorting and Grouping
Sorting data allows you to determine the order in which the data is displayed in the report. Grouping data
groups relevant data together in the report. This allows you to easily identify the relationships between the
groups. You also can use sorting and grouping to enhance readability and ease understanding of complex data.
You can sort or group the data in the underlying query, but sorting in the report allows you to change the
query without affecting the sort order in the report.
Adding Special Effects
A report with nothing but pages and pages of plain black and white text can be boring and unreadable. You
can improve reports with graphic elements such as lines, boxes, graphics, and images. These elements
enhance the readability and appearance of a report. You can use the rulers at the top and side of the page and
the background grid to help with the placement of controls and objects to make the report look its best.
Adding other sections, such as headers and footers, can also improve readability and appearance. These
sections also are useful for displaying totals for grouped or sorted data.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Designing and Creating a New Report
Now that you understand some of the basic ideas of reports, take a look at a report from the Northwind
database and re-create it from scratch. This lets you see all the steps you need to consider when designing and
creating your own reports. The report you will work with from the Northwind database is the “Sales Totals by
Amount,” which is shown in Figure 20.1.
Figure 20.1 The Sales Totals by Amount report from the Northwind database.
The first step you need to take is to determine what you want the report to display. The “Sales Totals by
Amount” report displays all the sales totals, the order ID, the company name, and a counter ID. The totals are
sorted by the sale amount and grouped into $10,000 sections. The title and date appear at the top of the first
page, the column names appear at the top of every page, and each page has the total sale amount for that page
at the bottom of the page, along with the page number and total number of pages. You want to display only
the sales that are more than $2,500. You also want only the sales that were shipped during 1998. You first
need to create a query that gives you the information you need.
The information the report needs is stored in three places: The Customers table, the Orders table, and the
Order Subtotals query. You need to combine these three objects to form the query for the report.
1. Open the Northwind database if it is not already open.
2. Select the Query tab and click the New button. Access displays the New Query dialog box.(See
Figure 20.2.)
Figure 20.2 The dialog box Access displays when creating a new query.
3. The default choice is to create a new query without using a wizard. This opens a blank query in
Design view.
4. Click the OK button to continue.
Access asks you which tables or queries you want the query to use. You know that the Orders and
Customers tables and the Order Subtotals query are what you need.
5. Double-click each of these to add them to the query builder and then click the Close button.
Your screen should now look like Figure 20.3.
Figure 20.3 The Access Query builder with the tables and query added to create the new query.
Note: Notice that the tables already have the proper relationships displayed. The CustomerID field in the
Customers table has a one-to-many relationship with the CustomerID field in the Orders tables, and the
OrderID field in the Orders table has a one-to-one relationship with the OrderID field in the Order Subtotals
query. You have to define your own relationships in all tables and queries that you design from scratch.
Now you need to add the fields you want to use in the report. You first need the sale amount from the Order
Subtotals query.
1. Drag the Subtotal field from the Order Subtotals box to the first query line.
2. You only want the sales that are more than $2,500, so add the text >2500 in the criteria field.
3. You want this field to have a different name in the report. Although you can change the label in the
report design, it is easier to change the name at this stage. You want this field name to be Sale
Amount instead of Subtotal.
4. To make the change, click in the Field row and type Sale Amount: before the name Subtotal,
as shown in Figure 20.4. This displays all the sales totals from the Order Subtotals query that are
greater than $2,500.
Figure 20.4 The new query with the first field added and formatted.
5. Now add the OrderID field from the Orders table, which is used to display the order ID on the
report. To add this field, drag the OrderID field from the Orders table to the second query column.
6. Now, your screen should be similar to Figure 20.5.
Figure 20.5 The new query with the first two fields added and formatted.
7. The next field you need is the company name, which is stored in the CompanyName field in the
Customers table. Drag this field to the third query column.
Figure 20.6 displays the query with three fields entered.
Figure 20.6 The new query with the first three fields added and formatted.
The fourth and final field you need on the report is a field that enables you to display only the orders
that were shipped during 1998. This field is not displayed on the final report but determines what
records the query returns. The date information is stored in the ShippedDate field in the Orders
table.
8. Drag the ShippedDate field to the fourth query line.
9. You only want the orders from 1998, so you need to add a line to the Criteria field. To do this,
you use the Between…And function. Type the following into the Criteria field: Between
#1/1/1998# And #12/31/1998#. Using this criterion only displays the records with a ship date
occurring during 1998.
10. Your screen should now look like Figure 20.7.
Figure 20.7 The new query with all four fields added and formatted.
Note: In Figure 20.7, the column with the ShippedDate field has been widened so that you can see the
entire text of the Between condition. Similarly, the first column has been widened, so that you can see
how Subtotal was renamed to Sales Amount.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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The query is now finished. To test the query, first save it, naming it New Sales Totals by Amount.
Click the Run button on the menu toolbar (the button with the exclamation point). Your datasheet should look
like Figure 20.8.
-----------
Figure 20.8 Datasheet displaying the information you designed the “New Sales Totals by Amount” query to
display.
Now that you are satisfied that the new query displays the information you need for the report, you can design
the report.
1. Close the new query, making sure that it was saved.
2. Click the Reports tab and click the New button.
Access displays the New Report dialog box and asks you what table or query you want to link to the
new report.
3. Select the “New Sales Totals by Amount” query and click OK.
Access now displays a blank report that is bound to the new query. According to Figure 20.1, which
shows the original report, the first thing we will add is the title and date that is displayed in the report
header.
4. To add the report header, select View, Report Header/Footer from the menu.
You can add both of these elements with an unbound text box placed in the report header.
5. Select the text box tool from the toolbox and click in the Report Header section.
6. Type Sales Totals by Amount in the label section.
7. Move the label to the top-left corner of the report header, change the font size to 18, and make the
text bold (you can use the Formatting toolbar to do so).
8. Increase the size of the label box to display all the data. You can use a separate label to display the
title, but using the label that is provided automatically to the unbound text box saves you a step or two.
9. Now, you want the text box to display the date. Add the text =date() to the text box.
10. Change the font size to 10 and make the text bold.
11. Resize and place directly under the title label, and align the left sides.
12. To match the date format of the original report, click in the Format property for the text box
(located in the Properties dialog box under the Format tab) and select the Medium Date format.
13. Scroll down to the Text Align property and select Left.
Your screen should be similar to Figure 20.9. Now, you are ready to add fields to the Page Header and Detail
section.
Figure 20.9 The new report with the first two fields added to the report header, displayed in Design view.
You add the data from the Sale Amount, Order ID, and Company Name fields to the Detail section
and labels for these fields to the Page Header section. The labels act as column titles and are printed on each
page. The data displayed on the text boxes is printed on each page of the report.
1. Select the text box tool from the toolbar and drag the three fields from the Field list box to the Detail
section of the report. Select the labels for each of these text boxes and delete them, leaving behind just
the text boxes.
2. Select the label tool, click in the Page Header section, and create three labels, typing in the name of
each of the three field names Sale Amount, Order ID, and Company Name.
3. Change the label font to 10 and make the text bold for each label.
4. Line up the labels like the report in Figure 20.1 and align the text boxes in the Detail section below
the labels.
5. Change the Text Align property of the Order ID text box to Center to display the information
in the middle of the text box instead of the right.
6. Change the Decimal Places property for the Sales Amount text box to 0 in order to round up
the values to the nearest dollar.
7. Add another label in the Page Header and type Counter: in the label.
8. Add an unbound text box in the Detail section directly under the Counter label and type =1 in the
text box. Select the label next to this text box and delete it.
9. To change the background color of the Page Header, click the Page Header section and click the
button with the three dots next to the Back Color property in the Property sheet.
10. Select the light gray color for the background of the page header.
Your screen should now be similar to Figure 20.10.
Figure 20.10 The new Sales Totals by Amount report with the Report Header, Page Header, and
Detail sections added and formatted.
11. You want to sort the sale amount in descending order and group the sales amount in $1,000
increments. To do this, select the Sorting and Grouping button on the toolbar.
12. In the top line under Field/Expression, click the drop-down list and select Sale Amount.
13. To the right under Sort Order, select Descending to sort the values in descending order.
14. You want a line to separate each group, so select Yes for Group Footer in the Group Properties
field in the lower section of the Sorting and Grouping box. This is shown in Figure 20.11.
Figure 20.11 The new Sales Totals by Amount report with the Report Header, Page Header, Detail,
and Sales Amount Footer sections added and formatted.
15. You want to group on an interval of $1,000, so select Interval for the Group On property and select
1000 for Group Interval.
16. Add a horizontal line running the width of the report in the Sale Amount footer using the Line
button from the toolbox.
Your screen should be similar to Figure 20.11, which shows the Sorting and Grouping dialog box open.
You can partially see the horizontal line in the group footer. Look behind the Sorting and Grouping
dialog box, about two thirds of the way down. To see the screen without the dialog boxes in the way,
refer to Figure 20.12.
Figure 20.12 The new report with all the controls added and formatted.
17. The next step is to change the Running Sum property of the Counter unbound text box to Over
All. The property is found on the Data tab of the control’s Properties window. This will keep the
counter number set up properly, with the number consistent over the whole report, not renumbering on
each separate group.
18. The last thing you need to do is add the page number box in the Page Footer.
19. Add an unbound text box to the lower-right corner of the Page Footer and delete the label.
20. Add the following text to the Control Source property for this text box: =“Page ” & [Page]
& “ of ” & [Pages].
This uses the concatenation function, represented by the “&” operator, to add the words Page and of
to the current page number and total page numbers.
21. Change the size of the font of this text box to 10, and line it up all the way to the right of the Page
Footer. Set the Text Align property to Right.
22. Add a horizontal line to the entire width of the Page Footer. Click the line and change the Border
Width property to 3 and the Border Color to light gray.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Now, the report is finished and ready to preview. Your screen should look something like Figure 20.12.
Save the report as New Sales Totals by Amount Report and select the Print Preview view. Your
new report should be similar to the one shown in Figure 20.13.
-----------
Figure 20.13 The new report shown in Print Preview.
Congratulations—you just designed and created your first report, a complex combination of several tables and
queries that display exactly the information you need to know.
Summary
This hour provided more detail on reports. I discussed several steps you need to take before you can design
and create a report. You re-created a report from the Northwind database from scratch while learning many of
the design issues you need to think about when designing and creating reports.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
What is a good way to learn more about creating reports?
By doing exactly what you did in this hour. Pick a report that does something similar to what you want
to do and examine all the parts of that report. After you get an idea of how the report works, you can
use that information to help you create a new report.
What other calculations or expressions can you add to a report?
A
Many more calculations and expressions can be added, such as a running sum, average, and other
arithmetic calculations.
Quiz
1. What are the fundamental building blocks of reports?
2. What kind of special effects can be added to a report?
3. What are the nine steps in designing a report?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Hour 21
Creating Macros
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour introduces macros. Macros help automate tasks that are performed frequently or repetitively. You
can use macros by themselves or in combination with other objects in your database. You can automatically
run macros using events, such as when a button on a form is clicked. How macros work and how you
integrate them into your databases is the focus for this hour. Topics covered this hour are
• What a macro is
• The uses of macros
• The macro window
• Creating and editing macros
• Running macros
• Conditional macros
• Debugging macros
• Events
• Self-executing macros
• Integrating macros and forms
What Is a Macro?
A macro is an Access object that executes certain tasks or a series of tasks. Each of these individual tasks are
called actions. Access 2000 allows you to select and perform dozens of different actions in a macro.
When you run a macro, Access uses the objects and data that were specified in the actions of the macro to
execute those actions in the sequence in which they are listed. For example, you can design a macro that
automatically opens two forms that are used often in your database. Your macro would have two actions that
tell Access to open the forms in the order you list them. You also can use macros for other functions, such as
validating complex data, creating custom menu bars, or triggering other macros.
Note: Macros can change the data in your tables! Make sure you make a backup copy of your database before
you attempt to create your own macros.
The Uses of Macros
You can use macros for any repetitive task or series of tasks you do in your database to save time and effort.
Any task that is repetitive or performed often is a good candidate for implementing as a macro. Macros also
add accuracy and efficiency to your database by performing the actions you specify in the exact same way
every time they are run. You can use macros to perform a wide variety of tasks such as
• Open a table, form, query, or report in Design view or Datasheet view.
• Open multiple forms and reports together. For example, a form can have buttons linked to macros to
automatically print a report that is based on the current form. You also can use buttons to open one
form that is related to the form you are currently using.
• Set or change most form and report properties and the properties of their controls using macros.
• Close tables, forms, and reports that are open.
• Run action queries.
• Move data between different tables.
• Execute any commands from the Access menu bar.
• Set values of controls on forms and reports. Using the results of calculations or using a value from
another table, a macro can set the value in the form or report.
• Perform certain actions when you click a command button or press a key.
• Move, minimize, maximize, size, or restore any window.
• Display information, such as warnings, to the user.
• Rename database objects.
• Start other applications.
The Macro Window
The Macro window is the graphical design workplace used to create macros. It is very similar to the design
window of other Access objects. To open the macro design window, click the Macro tab in the Database
window, select a macro from the list, and click the Design button. Figure 21.1 shows the list of macros in the
Northwind database.
Figure 21.1 The list of macros available in the Northwind database.
Figure 21.2 shows the Suppliers macro from the Northwind database displayed in Design view. The Macro
Name column is used when creating macro groups. Macro groups are used to group a series of actions into a
single entity. Whenever a macro group is executed, Access will perform all of the actions in that group. A
macro group ends at the next line without an empty macro name. For example, the Add Products macro
group begins with the Echo action and ends with the GoToControl action (it actually ends two lines past
that, but neither of those lines do anything, they’re just comments).
Figure 21.2 The Suppliers macro from the Northwind database opened in Design view.
To create a new macro, click the Macro tab on the Database window and click the New button. Figure 21.3
shows a blank macro in Design view. Notice that the design window is separated into four parts. The menu
and toolbar are located at the top of the screen, similar to the other Access objects. The upper section of the
macro window is where the macro is designed. This section has two columns, Action and Comment. You use
the Action column to add the actions for each step of the macro. You use the Comment column to add a
description of each action. The data in the Comment column is ignored by Access and is a good place to
document the actions of a macro (see Figure 21.2). You can make comments about each action of the macro
for future use. Documenting your code is an important programming technique.
Figure 21.3 A blank macro opened in Design view.
Note: You can display the two columns missing from the default macro Design view (Macro Name and
Condition) by selecting View, Macro Name and View, Condition. You also can click the icons on the toolbar to
view these sections. Conditional macros are discussed in the “Conditional Macros” section below.
The lower section of the macro window specifies the arguments for each action. You need to provide
information for most actions before Access can perform them. Access uses these arguments to get more
information about how to perform each of the actions. In Figure 21.4, the Customer Labels Dialog macro
from the Northwind database is open, and an action that opens a report is selected. Notice that the Action is
OpenReport. The lower section lists the arguments for the OpenReport action. The Report Name is the report
to be opened. In this case, the Customer Labels report is specified. The View is the view in which the report is
to be opened. In this case, the Customer Labels report is to be opened in Print Preview. Each action has
different arguments it needs before it can execute properly.
Figure 21.4 The Customer Labels macro from the Northwind database is opened in Design view, and the
OpenReport action is selected.
Note: You can easily and quickly move between the upper and lower sections by pressing the F6 key.
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Creating and Editing Macros
When creating a macro, you must use both sections of the Design window. After you add the actions and
arguments, you can save the macro to use another time.
-----------
Adding Actions
There are several ways to add an action. You can enter the action name directly in the Action column of the
macro window. You can also select an action from the drop-down list box in the Action column. The next
step is to add a description of the action in the Comments column. Adding a description is not mandatory but
is considered a good programming practice. Now, you must specify the arguments for the action listed in the
Action column. After the action is selected in the Action column, the lower section displays the arguments
that you can select for that specific action. Each macro action has a different set of arguments. You can
manually type a value into the argument or, where appropriate, select a value from a drop-down list.
Another feature that makes creating macro actions easy is the ability to drag and drop items from the Database
window onto the Macro Design window. If you drag a table and drop it onto the macro Design window, the
OpenTable action is added to the macro and the name of the table is placed in the appropriate argument
value for this macro. Most of the other object types (queries, forms, reports, pages, and modules) have similar
Open macro actions. If you drop an existing macro onto the Design window, the RunMacro action is added.
You can add more than one action to a macro. Access performs the actions in the order in which the actions
are listed. Simply use the next empty line in the upper pane of the macro Design window.
Editing Actions
When you have a macro with multiple actions, you might need to change the order of the actions. To move an
action, select the action by clicking the row selector to the left of the action name. Next click the highlighted
row and drag it to where in the macro you would like that action to be performed. You can also delete macro
actions. Click the row selector to the left of the action name, and press the Delete key or select Edit, Delete
Rows from the menu. Macros are run in the order in which they are listed in the macro screen, from top to
bottom. If you call another macro from your original macro, the macro you call is run in its entirety, and
control is returned to your original macro. The remaining macro actions are then performed.
Saving Macros
You must save a macro before you can run it. If you attempt to run a macro that was not saved, Access asks
you whether you want to save it. After the macro is saved, it is listed with the other macros under the Macro
tab in your Database window.
Tip: The easiest and fastest way to save a macro is to press the F12 key and type the macro name.
Running Macros
After you create a macro, several different places in Access allow you to run the macro. You can run the
macro from the Macro Design window by clicking the Run button in the toolbar, which has an exclamation
point icon. You also can choose Run, Run from the Design menu. Another way to run a macro is from the
Database window. Select the macro from the macro list under the Macro tab in the Database window, and
click the Run button. You can also double-click the macro you want to run.
Note: You also can run a macro within another macro. The action RunMacro enables you to run any other macro
in your database.
Conditional Macros
In some cases, you might want to perform a certain action or actions only if a specific condition is true. For
example, you might want to display different information to the user depending on what value the user enters.
In these cases, you can use a condition to control the flow of a macro.
A condition is a logical expression. In other words, it can only be true or false. When the condition is true, the
macro executes the action and subsequent actions having ellipses in their Condition column; when the
condition is false, the action is not executed and execution continues at the next action which does not have
ellipses in its Condition column (more on the ellipses in a moment). The Customer Labels Dialog macro from
the Northwind database, displayed in Figure 21.5, has several actions that depend on the condition of the
PrintLabelsFor variable.
Figure 21.5 A macro with Conditions.
To add a condition to a macro, you must have the Condition column visible. Click the Condition button on the
toolbar to view this column. You enter the conditions for the actions that require them in the Conditions
column in the Macro Design window. If the condition is true, Access performs that action. Access can also
execute a series of actions if the condition is true.
Type an ellipses in the Condition column of the actions that immediately follow that condition. The ellipses is
shown in the Customer Labels Dialog macro from the Northwind database in Figure 21.5. When you run a
macro, Access examines each expression in the Condition column and determines whether the condition is
true or false. If the expression is false, Access ignores the action and moves to the next row that does not have
an ellipses. If the expression is true, Access performs the action that is beside the expression and all the
following actions with an ellipses in the Condition column. If the Condition column is blank, Access performs
that action and continues to the next expression, where the cycle continues.
For example, note the actions in Figure 21.5 having the condition [PrintLabelsFor]=2 And
IsNull([SelectCountry]). This condition will be true if the value of PrintLabelsFor is 2 and
there is no value for SelectCountry. In this case, the action on the line containing the condition is
executed (MsgBox). Likewise, the two actions following this one, GoToControl and StopMacro are
executed. If the condition is false (either PrintForLabels is not 2 or there is a value in
SelectCountry), execution jumps to the line which has a Condition column of
[PrintLabelsFor]=2. Note that this line would have been evaluated after the previous lines were
executed but for the StopMacro action.
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-----------
Debugging Macros
Access provides two tools to help you troubleshoot problems in your macros: single stepping and the Action
Failed dialog box. Using Single Step mode allows you to see how each line of the macro operates. The Action
Failed dialog boxsimple informs you that your macro had a failure, and shows you some information about
the line that caused the failure.
Single Step
You use single-step mode when you receive unexpected results from your macro and you want to examine the
macro’s actions more carefully. Single stepping moves through the macro’s actions one step at a time,
pausing between each action. Single stepping allows you to take a look at the result of each action and
determine what action or actions are causing the incorrect results. To use the single-step mode, click the
Single Step button on the toolbar (see Figure 21.6) or select Run, Single Step. This is a toggled item, meaning
that you’ll stay in single step mode until you click the toolbar button or use the menu item again. Run the
macro as you usually do by clicking the Run button on the toolbar. The Macro Single Step dialog box, shown
in Figure 21.6, appears.
Figure 21.6 The Macro Single Step dialog box.
You have three options when single stepping:
• Step performs the action listed in the dialog box. If no errors occur, the next action appears in the
dialog box.
• Halt stops the execution of the macro and closes the dialog box.
• Continue turns off the single-step mode and continues to run the remainder of the macro.
Note: Turning on single-step mode opens all macros in the single-step mode. You can’t limit the effect to just
one. Turn off single stepping if you want to run any macros as usual.
Action Failed Dialog Box
When a macro is run and an action causes an error, an error message appears. The error message appears in a
dialog box that looks just like the macro single step box, but the only option available is the Halt button.
Choose Halt and return to the macro window to correct the problem.
Events
Another way that you can run macros is to base the activation of a macro on an event, which is the result of
some user action. An event can occur when a user clicks a button in a form, closes a report, moves between
records in a form, and many other cases. Access databases are event-driven. Access objects respond to many
different events. Access 2000 has eight different groups of events.
• Data events occur when data is entered, deleted, or changed, or when the focus moves from one
record to another.
• Error and timing events are used for error-handling and synchronizing data.
• Filter events occur when you apply or create a filter on a form.
• Focus events occur when a form or control loses or gains focus or becomes active or inactive.
• Keyboard events occur when you type on the keyboard or when you send keystrokes using the
SendKeys action.
• Mouse events occur when a mouse action happens.
• Print events occur when a report is printed.
• Window events occur when you open, resize, or close a form or report.
You can trigger a macro when a user performs any of the approximately 50 events that Access recognizes.
Access recognizes these events through the use of special properties in forms, reports, and controls. There are
no event properties in tables or queries.
For example, to run a macro that displays a report when the user clicks a button on a form (which raises the
On Click event), follow these steps:
1. Create a new macro using the steps outlined earlier. Add a single action, OpenReport and set the
Report Name and View arguments appropriately (remember that you can also drag the report from the
Database window to add the action quickly). The View argument determines whether the report will be
printed, opened in print preview mode, or opened in its Design window. Select Print Preview for
this example.
2. Close the macro window, saving the new macro as Print Report.
3. Create a new blank form using the Design button on the forms tab of the Database window. Add a
command button to the form (if the Command Button Wizard appears, click Cancel to dismiss it).
4. Right-click the command button and select Properties from the shortcut menu. On the Properties
window, go to the Event tab. Click in the box next to On Click.
5. Drop down the list box for this property and scroll until you find Print Report. Select this entry
and close the Properties window.
6. Switch to Form view and click the button. The report you specified in step 1 should display in the
Print Preview window. If the Macro Single Step appears, you’ve left Single Step mode turned on. Click
Continue to turn it off.
Self-Executing Macros
A good example of a macro that uses an event to trigger the macro execution is a self-executing macro. The
most common self-executing macro is the AutoExec macro, which is automatically executed every time you
open your database. To create the AutoExec macro, simply create a macro that you want to run every time
you open the database. Save the macro and name it AutoExec. Every time you open the database, the
AutoExec macro runs, which is useful if you want to display an opening screen to your users or open a main
switchboard menu.
Note: To bypass the AutoExec macro, hold down the Shift key as you select the database in the Open Database
dialog box and continue holding it while the database loads.
Integrating Macros and Forms
When you use a form in your database, Access recognizes certain events that occur on the form. Some events
that Access recognizes are moving from one record to another or double-clicking a control. You can use
macros on forms to respond to these types of events. Form events have corresponding event properties.
Macros specify how each control or form responds to any event. The form or control property is linked to the
macro. When creating a response to an event, you must first identify the control or form event that the macro
responds to. If the macro you want to link to this event does not exist, you have to create it first. Next set the
event property to the name of the macro. You can use the Macro Builder to create a macro, and it sets the
event property automatically. You can use the Macro Builder for any event property. To use the Macro
Builder, select the control property you want to change and click the small button with the ellipses (…) on it.
Select the Macro Builder button, and you can create and save the macro without leaving the form or report
you are currently working on. Access help offers more information on the Macro Builder.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Summary
This hour introduces the topic of macros. How macros work and how you can integrate them into your
databases is the focus of this hour. This hour covers what macros are, as well as when and why to use them.
Macros are a very broad topic, owing to the many available macro actions. Also, macros are quickly being
replaced with Visual Basic for Applications code. However, this hour is a good introduction to macros and
how to use them.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Can a macro cancel an event?
Macros that are executed from an event that is cancelable, such as the BeforeUpdate event, can use
the CancelEvent action to cancel the event. In the case of BeforeUpdate, using the
CancelEvent action will cause the update to be canceled.
Can you do anything more advanced than macros?
Yes, you can, using Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications. Much of what you can do with macros,
and even more, can be done with code, and code has the advantage of being faster and more powerful.
In addition, you can trap any errors that occur.
Quiz
1.
2.
3.
4.
What is a macro?
Why should I use a macro?
What are events?
Why use events to trigger macros?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Part VI
Additional Topics
Hour
22 Exchanging Data with Word 2000, Excel 2000, and Other Applications
23 Database Administration
Hour 22
Exchanging Data with Word 2000, Excel 2000, and
Other Applications
Craig Eddy
You’re almost done. You’ve made it to Hour 22 in the quest to teach yourself Access 2000. You’ve learned
all about using, extending, and creating an Access 2000 database. Now it’s time to learn how to use that
database in some real-world situations.
This hour covers the basics of using Microsoft’s Office Links. These are built-in wizards that assist you in
using information contained in one Office application in a different Office application. The Office Links
included with Access 2000 are Merge It with MS Word, Publish It with MS Word, and Analyze It with MS
Excel. You’ll also learn about the Label Wizard for generating labels, and about exporting data from Access
2000 to other file formats, or even other database systems.
Note: You must have the appropriate Office 2000 applications installed on your computer to use the Office
Links.
In this hour I’ll use the Northwind database that’s included with Access 2000 as a sample database. If you
want to follow along with the examples in the text, open that database now.
Using Access Data for Microsoft Word Mail Merges
Perhaps the most useful tool in the Microsoft Office suite is Word 2000’s mail merge. Performing a mail
merge involves creating a Word document that contains special merge fields and then combining this
document with a data source. The data source is used to replace the merge fields with real data. A separate
document is created for each record in the data source.
The Merge It with MS Word Office Link can be used for data contained in tables or returned by a query. You
cannot use this Office Link with forms and reports. If you’re using SQL Server as your back-end database,
this Office Link works with Tables, Views, and Stored Procedures.
To use the Merge It Office Link, follow these steps:
1. Activate the database window and select the table or query that will provide the data for the mail
merge. For our example, select the Customers table.
2. On the Tools, Office Links flyout menu, select the Merge It with MS Word menu item. The Office
Links menu item is on the full menu. If your Tools menu resembles Figure 22.1, click on the last entry
in the menu to display the full menu. Next click on Office Links and select the Merge It with MS Word
menu item.
Figure 22.1 The “compact” Tools menu, missing the Office Links menu item.
Alternatively, you can simply click the Merge It with MS Word Office Link toolbar button, found on
the standard Database toolbar.
3. The Microsoft Word Mail Merge Wizard appears as shown in Figure 22.2. This dialog box allows
you to choose between merging with an existing document or creating a new document. For now,
choose to create a new document and click OK.
Figure 22.2 The Microsoft Word Mail Merge Wizard.
4. Microsoft Word loads a new document and turns on the Mail Merge toolbar (as you can see in
Figure 22.3). In this figure, I have clicked the Insert Merge Field to drop down the list of available
merge fields. As you can see, this list matches the fields available in the Customers table.
Figure 22.3 Microsoft Word prepared for the Customers table mail merge.
5. Create the document as you normally would in Microsoft Word. Insert the merge fields from the
Customers table where appropriate in the document. You do this by clicking the field’s name from the
Insert Merge Field dropdown menu.
6. After you’ve finished creating the document, you should save it for future use.
7. To see the merged document, click the View Merged Data button (the one labeled ABC) that resides
to the right of the Insert Word Field button on the Mail Merge toolbar. The data from the Customers
table is merged with the document, replacing the merge fields with the appropriate data. The example
document I created is shown in Figure 22.4.
Figure 22.4 The final merged document.
8. You can use the record locator buttons on the Mail Merge toolbar to display other records in the
merge document. To print the merged document, use the File, Print menu.
Now that you’ve created a merge document for the Customers table, you can use this file for future mail
merges by choosing Link your data to an existing Microsoft Word document option on the initial Mail Merge
Wizard dialog. When you do so, Access will present you with a Select Microsoft Word Document file open
dialog box. Simply locate the appropriate file using this dialog, and then continue at step 5 above.
You can also use the Save As/Export feature, discussed later in this hour, to save the data in a table or query
into a form Word 2000 can use for mail merge. Doing so, however, does not allow you to select the document
to be used for the merge, nor does it allow you to create a new document.
Publishing Access Components Using Microsoft Word
The Publish It with MS Word Office Link allows you to quickly create a Word document from the datasheet
view of tables, queries, and forms. It can also create a document from a report. This Office Link creates a file
in the Rich-Text Format (RTF) and immediately launches Word 2000 with this document.
Using this Office Link is simple. Simply select the table, query, form, or report you want to use as the source
for the new document. Next use the Tools, Office Links, Publish It with MS Word menu item, or click the
Office Link toolbar dropdown and select the Publish It with MS Word toolbar button.
Access will choose the name for the file based on the name of the object. If the filename already exists,
Access will ask you whether you want to replace the existing file. If you answer no, a File Save dialog will
appear allowing you to choose a different name or folder for the file. If you answer yes, the existing file will
be replaced with the new one.
For tables, queries, and forms, the Publish It Office Link will produce a document that uses a table to display
the data. For a report, the document will closely resemble the printed report, except that charts embedded in
the report will not be ported to the Word document. For SQL Server databases, you can also use this Office
Link with Views and Stored Procedures.
Figure 22.5 shows the document produced when the Publish It Office Link was used on the Sales by Category
query.
Figure 22.5 The results of the Publish It Office Link used with the Sales by Category query.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Analyzing Access Data Using Microsoft Excel
The final Office Link is the Analyze It with MS Excel Office Link. This Office Link allows you to transfer
your tables, queries, forms, and reports (and Views and Stored Procedures for SQL Server databases) to an
Excel spreadsheet. Most of the formatting from the original object is preserved in the spreadsheet. Forms are
saved with their Datasheet views. If you have grouping levels in your reports, they are saved as outline levels
in the spreadsheet.
To use this Office Link, select the component you want to transfer to Excel. Use the Tools, Office Links,
Analyze It with MS Excel menu item, or click the Office Link toolbar dropdown and select the Analyze It
with MS Excel toolbar button. Like the Publish It Office Link, Access will choose the name for the file based
on the name of the object. If the filename already exists, Access will ask you whether you want to replace the
existing file. If you answer no, a File Save dialog will appear allowing you to choose a different name or
folder for the file. If you answer yes, the existing file will be replaced with the new one.
Figure 22.6 shows the Excel spreadsheet produced when the Sales by Category report was used with the
Analyze It Office Link.
Figure 22.6 The results of the Analyze It Office Link used with the Sales by Category report.
Using the Label Wizard to Produce Labels
As you’ve seen so far in this hour, Access 2000 is full of features that assist you in using the data entered into
your databases. This section covers another very useful feature, the Label Wizard. The Label Wizard is a
report generator that can create a variety of printed labels from the data in a table or query. Typically labels
are created for mailing purposes. However, you can just as easily create product labels, tape labels, or any
other type of label you want.
Note: The table or query to be used as the source of data must exist prior to starting the Label Wizard.
To create a new set of labels using the Label Wizard and the Northwind database, follow these steps:
1. Open the Northwind database, activate the Database window, and select the Reports item in the
Objects group.
2. Click the New button to open the New Report dialog, shown in Figure 22.7.
Figure 22.7 The New Report dialog box.
3. Select Label Wizard in the list box at the right side of the dialog.
4. In the drop-down list box at the bottom of the dialog, select the table or query that contains the data
to be used for the labels. In this example, select Customers.
5. Click OK to launch the Label Wizard. The first dialog of the wizard, shown in Figure 22.8, appears.
Figure 22.8 The initial dialog of the Label Wizard.
6. Select the label style you’re using or click the Customize button to create a new label style. The
default styles available are the styles for the Avery brand of labels. To see which labels are available
from a different manufacturer, use the Filter by manufacturer dropdown list. For this example, select
5164 from the default list of labels. Click Next when you’ve chosen the proper label style.
Note: If you have created custom labels and check the box labeled Show Custom Label Sizes, the
standard labels will not appear in the list of available labels. Only the custom labels will appear. Simply
clear the check box if you need to use a standard-sized label.
7. The font and color dialog appears. Here you select which font to use, what size it should be, the
color of the text, and a few other attributes. A sample showing how the label text will look appears at
the left. Click Next when you’re ready to move on.
8. The next dialog, shown in Figure 22.9, is where you’ll do the field layout for the label. Select the
field in the list of available fields and click the > button to move it to the prototype label on the right
side of the dialog. In the prototype label, you can type static text as well as use the Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, and
Ctrl+V copy, cut, and paste shortcut keys. After the label is laid out properly, click Next to continue.
Figure 22.9 The label layout dialog box.
9. The next dialog is where you choose how to sort your labels. This is useful if you’re doing bulk
mailings, for example, because the postal rates are lower for sorted mail. Select the field or fields you
want to sort on and move them to the Sort By list by either double-clicking them or click the > button.
You can add all fields by using the >> button. To remove a field, select it in the Sort By list and click <.
To remove all fields, click <<. When you’re finished here, click Next to continue.
10. This is the final dialog. Name for the report and instruct Access what to do when you click Finish.
For our example, change the name to Customer Labels (5164) and click Finish. The resulting
report is shown in Figure 22.10.
Figure 22.10 The finished Customer Labels (5164) report.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Exporting Data to Other Sources
-----------
In addition to the means already discussed in this hour, Access 2000 provides a way to manually export data
from your database to an external file or database. The available recipients for this export feature depends on
the options that you installed when Access 2000 was installed. Likewise, different components have different
possible export capabilities. For example, forms and reports cannot be exported to other database systems, but
can be exported to Excel files and other types of files. Tables and query results can be exported to other
database systems as well as Excel files.
Note: If an external file type or database is not available when you follow along in this section, it simply means
you haven’t installed that option. To do so, return to Hour 2, “A Quick Tour of Access 2000,” for instructions on
installing Access.
To export an entity to an external file, follow these steps:
1. Select the entity in the Database window.
2. Use the File, Export menu item, or right-click the entity’s name and select Export from the shortcut
menu.
3. The Export Entity Name To dialog shown in Figure 22.11 opens. In this dialog box you specify how
and where you want to save the entity.
Figure 22.11 The Export To dialog box.
4. Select the type of file to which to save the entity using the Save as type drop-down list box at the
bottom of the dialog. Open the list box to see which types are available on your system. Select the type
desired.
5. Use the top portion of the dialog to specify the location and filename for the file to export to and
click Export.
ODBC refers to an Open Database Connectivity. ODBC defines a standard means of connecting to
an external data source. The interface to the outside world is identical for every ODBC-compliant database.
ODBC drivers, which perform the actual access to the data, are built for each ODBC-compliant data source.
If you’re exporting a table or query to another database using ODBC, follow the above steps through step 4,
and then continue as follows:
1. Select ODBC Databases() in the Save as Type drop-down list.
2. In the Export dialog that appears next, specify a name to use for the entity in the destination ODBC
database. Click OK.
3. The Select Data Source dialog appears. Specify or create an ODBC data source name for the
database you’re exporting to. The choices of databases and ODBC drivers available varies greatly from
system to system.
4. Click OK and the data is exported to a table on the specified data source. If any errors occur during
this process, you will receive the appropriate message boxes informing you of the problem.
Caution: Different database systems have different ways of representing data, including different data types.
There is no guarantee that what you end up with in the target database is identical to the Access version. For
example, most databases don’t sport an AutoNumber data type, causing any AutoNumber fields to be
exported as plain old Integer data.
Access can also export to a variety of Internet formats, including creating Web-based Data Access Pages
based on your database. Publishing data on the Web is the subject of Hour 24, which is appropriately titled
“Access 2000 and the Web.”
Summary
Hopefully by now you’ve discovered a wealth of ways to put the data in your database to good use. This hour
has shown you how you can create Word and Excel documents from your data, how to create labels using the
Label Wizard, and even how to export your data to just about any other file or database.
Access 2000 really removes the limits on what you can do with data after it’s placed in your database. In other
words, the data is not stuck in the database serving little to no purpose. You can always act upon and use your
data in the way that best matches how you operate.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A,
“Answers to the Quiz.”
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
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Q&A
Q
A
-----------
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
Can other users share the merge documents that I create with the Merge It Office Link?
Yes, as long as the other users have a database with the same name, and it contains the same table or
query (depending on which you used as the source for your merge).
After I create a merge document and perform a mail merge, what can I do with it?
You can merge to a new document, the printer, or to email. If you merge to email, you can specify
which field in the merge data is to be used as the recipient’s email address.
How are these wizards created? Can I create my own?
Almost all of the wizards you’ll find in Access 2000 are written using the VBA (Visual Basic for
Applications) programming language that’s included with Access 2000 (and the entire Office 2000
suite). If you know how to program with VBA, you can most definitely write your own wizards.
Unfortunately, to my knowledge the source code for the Microsoft-provided wizards is not available
outside of Microsoft.
I have an existing database system to which I’d like to export data. Where can I find the ODBC
drivers for this system?
Access 2000 ships with quite a few ODBC drivers. If the driver you’re looking for isn’t currently on
your system (use the 32-Bit ODBC Control Panel applet to find out which drivers are installed), try
running the Access 2000 setup again to see whether it’s available within Access 2000. If it isn’t,
contact the database vendor to see if they have a 32-Bit ODBC driver available. Chances are most
commercial database systems have such a driver available. You can also check Microsoft’s Universal
Data Access Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/data for additional drivers.
Quiz
1. What is the main difference between the Merge It and the Publish It Office Links?
2. When using the Merge It Office Link, must the document to be merged with already exist?
3. What size labels can be created using the Label Wizard?
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Hour 23
Database Administration
-----------
Timothy Buchanan
This hour discusses the topic of database administration. Above and beyond the design of your database and
the overall scheme of how it works, you need to know several things about how to manage your database.
Knowing how to compact and repair your database is very important. Access 2000 provides several utilities
that make it easy to manage your database. Topics covered this hour are
• Compacting a database
• Repairing a database
• Backing up a database
• Encrypting a database
• Converting a database
• Securing a database
Compacting a Database
When deleting records from a table, or deleting objects such as tables, queries, forms, or reports from your
database, Access does not reduce the size of the database file. Consequently, when the database becomes
fragmented, it does not use drive space efficiently. Access does not reduce the size of the database every time
you delete something because that can be a very time-consuming activity. When you reduce the size of a
database file, all the objects in the database are recopied. This can take considerable time, which greatly
affects the speed at which your database operates. Access provides a utility that allows you to specifically
compact the database and eliminate wasted disk space. The only way to easily tell if your database needs to be
compacted is if the current size of your database is much larger than its previous size, and few objects have
been added to it since.
To compact the database that is currently open, select Tools, Database Utilities, Compact & Repair Database
from the menu, as shown in Figure 23.1.
Figure 23.1 The menu option to compact a database that is currently open.
To compact a database that is not currently open, first make sure no databases are open in Access, then select
Tools, Database Utilities, Compact & Repair Database from the menu as shown in Figure 23.1. Specify the
database you want to compact in the Database to Compact From dialog box, which is shown in Figure 23.2.
Click Compact to continue. In the Compact Database Into dialog box, specify the name of the compacted
database and where on your drive you want it stored. Access will create an entirely separate copy of the
existing database, storing it where you specify in the Compact Database Into dialog box. Click Save to
continue; Access compacts your database and writes the compacted database to the location you specified.
This new copy will have all of the same data and objects, but won’t have the fragmented and wasted disk
space.
Figure 23.2 The Database to Compact From dialog box is where you select the database you want to
compact.
Note: You can use the same name as the original database, but make sure to have a backup copy of your
database. If you choose the same name and location as the original database, Access overwrites the original
database with a compacted version.
Compacting a database from a previous version of Access does not convert it to Access 2000 format.
It is usually a good idea to compact a frequently used database on a regular basis, especially those databases
where a large number of records or objects is deleted on a regular basis, such as inventory databases.
Problems When Compacting a Database
Compacting a database usually consists of waiting for Access to finish the job. Sometimes a problem can
occur. There are a few reasons why a database cannot be compacted.
If you do not have enough storage space on your hard drive, the database cannot be compacted. You must
have roughly twice as much space available as the size of the database you are trying to compact. Delete any
files you do not need and attempt to compact the database again.
Compacting the database fails if you do not have Modify Design or Administer permissions for all the tables
in the database. If this database is not your own and was created by someone else, you must contact the
original creator and get permissions on all the tables. If this database is your own, you must update
permissions on all the tables. Search for help in Access under the topic “Compacting Database” for more
information.
Note: If you attempt to compact a database from Access version 1.x and an object in this database includes a
backquote character (‘) in its name, the database will not compact. Use Access 1.x to rename the object or update
the database to Access 2000.
Repairing a Database
A database can become corrupted when a user turns off the PC without first exiting from Access, or when a
power surge or other related problem prevents the user from exiting Access properly. Access usually detects a
corrupted database when you try to open or compact a database and gives you the option to repair the
database at that time. You cannot open or compact a database that is corrupted; you must first repair it.
A database is corrupted when the database is improperly closed or exited, leaving certain Access
files open. Access cannot open databases that are corrupted, and will give an error message when you try to
open one.
To repair the database that is currently open, select Tools, Database Utilities, Compact and Repair Database
from the menu, as shown in Figure 23.3.
Figure 23.3 The menu option to repair a database that is currently open.
When Access repairs a database, it fixes and closes the files that were left open when the database
was improperly closed. Most of the time the repair will be completely effective.
To repair a database that is not currently open in Access, first close any open databases. Select Tools,
Database Utilities, Compact and Repair Database from the menu as shown in Figure 23.3. Enter the name and
location of the database you want to repair in the Database to Compact From dialog box. (see Figure 23.4).
Click Compact to continue. Access repairs and compacts the database.
Figure 23.4 You choose the database you want to repair in the Repair Database dialog box.
Note: If your database is behaving erratically, you might need to repair it. As with compacting, it is a good idea
to repair important databases that are frequently used. Your database might need to be repaired if nothing
happens when buttons are selected, information is lost, or the system experiences sudden crashes.
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Backing Up a Database
Backing up databases was covered in Chapter 2, “A Quick Tour of Access 2000,” but I will cover it again
quickly and discuss how to restore a database from the backup copy.
-----------
All important databases must be backed up frequently on a regular schedule. A good rule of thumb is to back
up those databases that you don’t want to re-create from scratch. For most of us, that is every database.
Make sure the database is closed. If you are on a network environment, backing up a database is as easy as
copying the database file to a drive on the network. If you are not on a network, backing up a database is still
very simple. Choose a location or backup medium in which to place a copy of your database. You can use
Windows Explorer, the MS-DOS copy command, or My Computer to copy the .MDB database file to the
location you choose. Make sure there is enough room in this new location for the database to be written.
Choose a location on a different disk or other media that will not be affected if the media containing the
database file is accidentally erased or permanently corrupted. If you have the option, save a copy of the
database to your network at work, or save a copy on floppy disk. You want to have a copy of the database in
at least two separate locations and hardware mediums to ensure complete protection.
Restoring a Backed Up Database
If your original database has been corrupted or destroyed, you can restore your backed up copy of the
database. Simply copy the backed up database from its location to your database folder. You also can choose
to run the database from the backup copy location.
Note: If you copy the backup database to the same location as the original database and they both have the same
name, the backup database overwrites the original database. If you want to save the original copy of the database,
rename one of the databases before you copy the backup file.
Encrypting and Decrypting a Database
Sometimes you want to shield the contents of a database from unauthorized users. Encrypting a database
might sound complicated and powerful, but it is actually very simple and not extremely effective. Encrypting
a database makes the database information unreadable to word processors or utility programs. Encrypting a
database also compacts a database first. The database is still readable by anyone with Access and a copy of
the database because Access uses its own algorithm to encrypt the data. To restrict access to the database, you
must define user-level security. Securing a database is covered later in this hour in the “Securing a Database”
section. Decrypting a database reverses the encryption of the database. You don’t need a password to decrypt
the database.
To encrypt or decrypt a database, first make sure the database is closed. You cannot encrypt or decrypt an
opened database. After the database is closed, select Tools, Security, Encrypt/Decrypt Database from the main
menu. Choose the database you want to encrypt or decrypt and click the OK button. Figure 23.5 shows the
Encrypt/Decrypt Database dialog box. Choose the location where you want to write this encrypted or
decrypted database and its name, and click the OK button.
Figure 23.5 Use the Encrypt/Decrypt Database dialog box to choose the database you want to encrypt or
decrypt.
Note: You can use the same name as the original database, but make sure to have a backup copy of your
database. If you choose the same name and location as the original database, Access overwrites the original
database with the encrypted or decrypted version. If there is an error when encrypting or decrypting the database,
Access preserves the original database file.
The errors or problems that can occur when encrypting or decrypting a database are the same as when
compacting a database. Refer to the section “Compacting a Database,” earlier in this hour, for more details.
Converting a Database
If you have used a previous version of Microsoft Access, you probably have databases that were created in a
version other than Access 2000. Access 2000 databases use a file format different from any previous version
of Access. You can open a database from any previous version with Access 2000, but the database is opened
in read-only mode, and you cannot make changes to the database. You must convert the database to Access
2000 if you want to make any changes. When you open a database that was created in an earlier version of
Access, you are prompted to choose if you want to convert the database or open it in read-only format (see
Figure 23.6).
Figure 23.6 The dialog box that appears when you open a database that was created in an earlier version of
Access.
To convert a database from a previous version of Access to Access 2000, select Tools, Database Utilities,
Convert Database from the menu. Choose the database you want to convert in the Database to Convert From
dialog box. Choose the name and location for the converted database in the Convert Database Into dialog box,
as shown in Figure 23.7. You must choose a new filename or location for the converted database in the
Convert Database Into dialog box. You have two databases when you are done: one in the older version of
Access and one in Access 2000. Make sure the converted database was correctly converted and delete or
rename the older version of your database. This ensures there is no confusion between the two databases.
Figure 23.7 Use the Convert Database Into dialog box to specify the name and location of the converted
database.
Note: After you convert the database to Access 2000, it cannot be converted back into a version earlier than
Access 97, and it cannot be used by versions of Access older than Access 97. Keep a copy of the older version
only if someone who has not upgraded to Access 2000 might need to use it. If you are in a network environment
and more than one user uses the database, make sure all users have upgraded to Access 2000 before you convert
the database. Keeping an older version of a database active is dangerous, considering that Access is not easily
backward-compatible. It would be a good idea to make the older version Read-Only, and to create a warning to
those users informing them that they are using an older version.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Securing a Database
Methods on how to secure a database were covered in Chapter 4, “Understanding Someone Else’s Database.”
This section outlines a brief summary of those methods.
-----------
Encrypting a database does nothing to prevent a user with Access 2000 on his computer from opening a copy
of your database. To prevent this, Access 2000 provides two methods of adding security to your database.
You can set a password for your database that prevents anyone who does not have the password from opening
the database. You also can use user-level security to control which parts of the database the user can access or
which parts the user can change.
The first and simplest type of security is password security. Databases with this type of security display a
password screen when you try to load the database.
If you do not enter the correct password, you cannot open the database. If you enter the correct password, you
are allowed to open the database. You also have the rights to view and edit all objects in the database.
Note: Do not use database passwords if the database will be replicated. Replicated databases will contain errors
and cannot be synchronized when database passwords are enabled.
The second type of security is called user-level security, and it is more flexible and extensive than simply
setting a password. This form of security is similar to a network system’s security. Users must enter a user ID
and password when they open these databases. Each user is defined as a member of a group in the Workgroup
Information file. Each group is given permissions that regulate what they are allowed to do with each object
in the database.
There are some good reasons to use user-level security in databases that are distributed to a number of users.
One reason is to protect the intellectual property of your database design and code. Users outside your
company should not be able to determine how you designed your database and wrote your code. Another
reason to use user-level security is to prevent users from accidentally changing the design or code of your
database. Simple errors that users make can prevent your database from working properly or cause
unexplained errors. Still another very good reason to use user-level security is to protect sensitive data you
might have stored in your database. Unauthorized users should not have access to important data.
For more detailed information of user-level security, refer to the Help file documentation.
Summary
This hour discusses the topic of database administration. It covered the utilities that Access 2000 provides to
make it easy to manage your database. How to compact, repair, back up, encrypt and decrypt, convert, and
secure your database are also discussed in this hour. Although some of these utilities might seem trivial, they
can be the most important steps in designing and managing your database. You should now know how to
administer your databases.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned, and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A.
Q&A
Q
A
Q
A
Q
A
What versions of Access databases can be converted to Access 2000?
Any previous version of an Access database can be converted to an Access 2000 database.
Can other databases be converted to an Access 2000 database?
Yes, some databases created using other applications can be imported or converted as Access 2000
databases. See Access 2000 Help under Converting Databases for more information.
What is replication?
Replication is a new feature of Access 2000 that allows a database to be used at two different locations,
but allows changes made at one location to be reflected at the other locations. This subject is beyond
the scope of this book, but is covered in Help, and other Sams publications like Microsoft Access 2000
Unleashed.
Quiz
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why should I compact my databases?
How often should I compact my databases?
How does a database become corrupted?
Where should I back up my databases?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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-----------
Part VII
Advanced Topics
Hour
24 Access 2000 and the Web
Hour 24
Access 2000 and the Web
Craig Eddy
By far the hottest news in computing during the second half of this decade has been the Internet and World
Wide Web. Microsoft has promised that their products will make publishing information on the Internet in
general and the Web in particular accessible to everyone. The Office 2000 suite, including Access 2000, goes
a long way toward making this promise a reality.
Access 2000 has many features useful in publishing your data on either the Internet or an intranet. These
features include the capability to export tables, queries, forms, and reports to HTML format and to create
dynamic links to your Access database with Data Access Pages. Access 2000 also provides useful tools for
actually publishing the files to your Web server. All these topics will be touched on in this hour. Hold on to
your seat, you’re about to blast into cyberspace!
An intranet is a TCP/IP network set up for access by people within a specific organization, not the
entire world. It’s implemented the same way as the Internet, and Web servers, FTP servers, and other
Internet-related servers might be installed. However, unlike the Internet, which is accessible to everyone in
the world, an intranet is accessible by only a select group of computers and users, usually within a single
company or other organization.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language that’s interpreted by Web browsers and other
viewers designed to display HTML files. HTML allows you to create a document that can be rendered
(displayed) on any type of system from a text-based terminal to a high-powered graphics display. HTML is
the language used to create most of the documents found on the World Wide Web.
Note: I’ll once again be using the Northwind database to illustrate the steps in this hour. If you want to follow
along, make sure you’ve installed the sample databases.
The topics covered in this chapter include
• Setting up the Web server application.
• Creating and accessing Web Folders.
• Exporting your data from Access 2000 into Web-accessible formats.
• Creating Data Access Pages.
Setting Up a Web Server on Your Computer
The Internet in general and the World Wide Web in particular have gained popularity because of their ability
to provide a medium of information exchange. On the Web, this information exchange typically takes place
when a Web browser application (acting as a client) requests a specific page from a Web server. The server
then returns that page, assuming that the page exists and that the browser has the right to retrieve the page.
In the past, setting up a Web server required a great deal of knowledge about computers and networking.
Now, assuming you already have an Internet or TCP/IP network connection, it’s simple to install and operate
a small-scale Web server.
Microsoft provides three levels of Web servers: the Personal Web Server (PWS), Peer Web Services, and the
Internet Information Server (IIS). The Personal Web Server is designed for single connections or small
networks and can run on Windows 95/98. The Peer Web Services are run on NT Workstation 4.0 and are
designed for supporting small networks on an NT platform. Finally, the IIS is designed for large-scale
networks and for the Internet. It is included in NT Server 4.0.
For your purposes, you’ll stick with the Personal Web Server. The PWS and the Peer Web Services are part of
the Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack (yes, Windows 95/98 users will need to obtain the NT Option Pack). You
can download the NT Option Pack from the Microsoft Web site at
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/winntw.asp.
The Personal Web Server will run on any machine capable of running Windows. You will need to ensure that
you have enough free disk space to hold the Web content (pages) that will be available on your PWS, but
beyond that the system requirements will be met by any computer currently running Windows 95 or Windows
98.
After you’ve installed the software (it’s a pretty painless process) and restarted your PC, the Web server is
probably up and running. By default, the PWS is set to run automatically when you turn on your computer.
You can verify this by checking the taskbar for the PWS taskbar icon, shown in Figure 24.1. Double-clicking
the icon will bring you to the server’s properties dialog where you can check the server and make sure it’s set
up to your liking. Also, if you don’t want the PWS running when you start the computer, the Services tab of
the Properties dialog allows you to change Personal Web Server’s startup behavior.
Figure 24.1 The Personal Web Server taskbar icon.
To test your Web server, start Internet Explorer and enter http://localhost in the address box. This is a
special Web address that points the browser back to the same computer. If everything is operating properly,
the default Web page installed with the PWS will display. You’re now ready to begin publishing your Access
data onto your Web site!
The PWS creates a content directory to hold your Web pages. The default folder for this is either
c:\Webshare\Wwwroot for Windows 95/98 machines or c:\inetpub\wwwroot for Windows NT machines. You
can make files available to the Web server by copying them to this directory. Note that Web browsers will
have access to any files that you place in this directory. Put files here only when it’s all right for everyone in
your company, or organization, to see them. This extends to subdirectories as well. Anything under the
wwwroot directory will be visible on your network.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Introducing Web Folders
One of the coolest new features provided by Office 2000 is actually an extension to the Windows Explorer.
Office 2000 adds a new entry to the Windows Explorer tree labeled Web Folders. You’ll find this entry
beneath the My Computer entry, as you can see in Figure 24.2.
Figure 24.2 Windows Explorer with the Office 2000 Web Folders entry.
Web Folders act just like folders on your hard drive, except that they display files that are accessible through a
Web server. The Web server (not your machine) must have either the Office Web Server Extensions or
FrontPage extensions installed (see the Office 2000 CD for details on installing the Web Server Extensions on
your Web server). After you’ve created a reference to a Web Folder, you can open files from and save files to
that Web Folder just like you can with any folder on your local hard drive. In fact, the File Open and File
Save dialogs throughout the Office Suite have a quick button that will take you straight to your Web Folders.
Adding a reference to a new Web Folder is quite easy. Click on the Web Folders entry in the Windows
Explorer tree. Next double-click the Add a Web Folder entry. The Add a Web Folder dialog appears. You can
either type the URL for the Web server you want to add (http://www.pipestream.com, for example) or click
the Browse button. Clicking the Browse button will launch Internet Explorer, allowing you to navigate to the
Web server you want to add. When you’re on the proper page, click back to the Add a Web Folder dialog and
the URL will be placed into the text box for you. When you’ve got the correct URL, click the Next button.
The URL will be verified, making sure that the FrontPage or Office Server Extensions are installed and that
you have the proper permissions to access the server. If all goes as planned, the new reference will be added
to your Web Folders.
Note: In the File Open and File Save dialogs you can type the URL for a Web-based file without opening your
Web Folders. When you’re successful in doing so, Office will add automatically a new Web Folder shortcut for
your future use.
Exporting Data to an HTML File
Now that you’ve seen how to work with Web Folders, it’s time to investigate actually publishing data onto the
Web. The remainder of this hour will be devoted to taking data from your Access 2000 databases and
publishing it in a form suitable for the Web.
Access 2000 provides several ways to publish your data to the Web. You can either publish static data or
dynamic data. Static pages never change; they always display the same data. Dynamic pages, however,
generate queries against your Access databases and produce Web pages on-the-fly, using current data from
the database. This section discusses creating static Web pages. The sections that follow explain how to
publish dynamic Web pages.
Creating an HTML Template File
Access 2000 can create Web pages from datasheets, forms, and reports without any input from you. However,
you can also specify an HTML template file to be used in creating these Web pages. This template file allows
you to specify your own standards for the Web page to be created. You can add graphics such as company
logos and backgrounds, as well as specify text colors, link colors, and background colors.
You can use any text editor or even a specialized HTML editor such as Microsoft’s FrontPage 2000 to create
the HTML template file. Store it in a common directory so that you’ll have no trouble locating it when you
perform an export. If you installed the sample databases when you installed Access 2000, a sample template
for the Northwind database is installed in the same directory as the MDB file. It’s named NWINDTEM.HTM
and can be opened using Internet Explorer or Notepad.
In addition to standard HTML coding, template files can also contain tokens that are used as placeholders for
various information. Place these tokens at the appropriate places in your HTML template file and Access will
replace them when you perform an export with this template specified. Table 24.1 illustrates the various
tokens and their replacements.
Table 24.1 HTML Template File Tokens
Token
Replacement
<!--AccessTemplate_Title-->
The object name is placed in the Web browser’s title
bar.
The exported data.
A link to the first page of a multipage export.
A link to the previous page of a multipage export. For
example, you may be viewing records 25–49 on page
two of the export. Page One (the previous page)
contains records 1–24.
A link to the next page of a multipage export.
A link to the last page of a multipage export.
The current page number in a multipage export.
<!--AccessTemplate_Body-->
<!--AccessTemplate_FirstPage-->
<!--AccessTemplate_PreviousPage-->
<!--AccessTemplate_NextPage-->
<!--AccessTemplate_LastPage-->
<!--AccessTemplate_PageNumber-->
Performing the Export
To perform the export to an HTML format, follow these steps:
1. In the Database window, select the object to be exported.
2. Use the File menu and click Export, or right-click and select Export.
3. On the Export To dialog that appears, select HTML Documents in the Save as type drop-down list.
4. Select the location to save the HTML file to (a Web Folder is a good choice) and enter the name of
the file. If you want to use an HTML template file, check the box labeled Save Formatted. If you check
the AutoStart checkbox, the page will be opened for you after Access finishes creating it. Click the
Save button.
5. If you elected to use an HTML template file in step 4, a dialog box will appear where you specify
the location of the template file. You can either type the file’s name or use the Browse button to locate
the template using the familiar file dialog.
If the component you selected requires any user input before being displayed (such as a report with date
parameters), you will be prompted to enter the required information. The HTML file is then created in
the location you specified. You can use Internet Explorer to view its contents. Figure 24.3 shows the
Northwind Customers table exported using the NWINDTEM.HTM template file.
Figure 24.3 The Customers table exported to HTML.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
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Creating Dynamic Web Pages
If you want to create pages that change each time they are requested (as opposed to the static pages created in
the previous section), Access 2000 provides several options. Which one you choose depends on the
capabilities of both your Web server and the clients who will be viewing these pages.
If you know that your clients will be using Internet Explorer 5.0 (typically this is only known for sure in an
intranet situation), you can use Data Access Pages.
If, however, you have no control over the client’s browser and your Web server is one of the Microsoft
servers, you can export your objects to files that work on all browsers. These “live” pages are created using
Microsoft’s Active Server Pages (ASP).
Note: ASP files require a Web server in order to run. The Web server will process the information contained in
these files and provide HTML data for the Web browser to display. You cannot open these pages as files on your
machine. Static HTML pages and Data Access Pages, however, can be viewed as files on your machine.
Active Server Pages contain some scripting language, typically (but not necessarily) VBScript, which
executes on the Web server. After the script executes, it returns a Web page to the requestor but doesn’t return
any of the script code that was executed. Active Server Pages can access any ActiveX-compatible component
installed on the server machine, including database-aware components and ActiveX controls.
Creating an ODBC Data Source
Active Server Pages utilize ODBC to retrieve the data from your database. ODBC uses what’s called a data
source to define how to access the database. Before you can use the ASP pages you’ll create, you need to have
an ODBC data source defined.
To create a Microsoft Access ODBC data source, follow these steps:
1. Launch Control Panel and double-click the 32-bit ODBC icon.
2. Click the Add button. Select Microsoft Access Driver and click Finish.
3. The ODBC Microsoft Access 2000 Setup dialog appears. Here you assign the name for the data
source, select the database to be used, set any advanced options, and perform some database utilities
(such as repairing or compacting the database once you’ve selected one). All that is required is a data
source name and a database filename. When you’ve entered the required information, click the OK
button to add the data source.
Creating ASP Pages
To create an ASP page, follow these steps:
1. On the Database window, select the item that you want to be displayed by the ASP page.
2. Open the File menu and click on Export. The Export To dialog appears.
3. In the Save as type drop-down list select Microsoft Active Server Pages.
4. Browse to the location where you want to save the page. Note that this location needs to be
accessible via a Web server in order for the file to be processed properly. Unfortunately you cannot
save this file to a Web Folder. You need to choose a folder on your machine or on your network. Click
the Save button to continue.
The Microsoft Active Server Pages Output Options dialog, shown in Figure 24.4, will appear.
Figure 24.4 The Microsoft Active Server Pages Output Options dialog.
This dialog provides text boxes for specifying an HTML template file, an ODBC data source name, a user
name and password, and information specific to ASP pages. As you can see, the template file has already
been filled in for us because you chose this one when you exported earlier.
The actual data source specification does not need to exist yet; you can create it later. Unless you have
secured your Access database using the techniques discussed in the preceding hour, or you’re using a SQL
Server database, you can leave the User to Connect As and Password for User boxes empty.
Click the OK button to save the page.
Figure 24.5 shows the results of the ASP page created for the Customers table. As you can see, it doesn’t look
any different from the page you exported (see Figure 24.3). The difference, though, is that if data in the
database changes before the next time this page is loaded, it will automatically show the updated data.
Figure 24.5 The results of an ASP page created for the Customers table.
Note: Until you create the ODBC data source, you won’t be able to use the Active Server Page. You don’t have
to have the data source set up when you export to the Active Server Page because the export process simply
places code referencing the data source within the ASP file. However, to actually run the ASP file, the data
source must exist.
Data Access Pages
Now that you’ve seen how to create standard HTML pages using a variety of techniques, let’s take a look at
Microsoft’s latest innovation in connecting databases to the Web: Data Access Pages. Data Access Pages are
similar to Access forms, but are designed to work within the confines of the Internet Explorer browser.
When you create a Data Access Page using Access 2000, you’re actually creating a Web page. This page is
stored somewhere in your file system, as opposed to within the Access data store itself, but has a link that
appears in the Pages section of the Access Database window. Access provides a designer which you can use
to edit the Data Access Page in conjunction with your database’s objects. However, if you prefer, you can use
an external HTML editor such as FrontPage 2000 or Visual InterDev, but you won’t have immediate access to
the tables, queries, and relationships like you have with the Access designer.
There are four ways to create to a Data Access Page:
• By saving an existing table, query, form, or report as a Data Access Page (using the Save As menu
item)
• Using the Data Access Page Wizard
• Using the AutoPage feature
• Using Design View to manually create a new Data Access Page
In the remainder of this hour, you’ll build your first Data Access Page using the Wizard. The page will
display information from the Employees table of the Northwind database. Next you’ll modify that page,
extending it to display information about orders taken by each employee, using the Design view.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
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ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Creating a Data Access Page with the Wizard
Like most tasks in Access, there’s a Wizard provided for creating new Data Access Pages. This wizard will
guide you through the creation of a Data Access Page, even allowing you to do a hierarchical page that
displays a master table (such as customers) and its related tables (such as orders). In this section you create a
simple page based on the Employees table. In the section that follows you add to this page using the Data
Access Page Design View.
To use the Data Access Page Wizard, follow these steps:
1. Open the database to which you want to add a Data Access Page. For your sample, open the
Northwind database.
2. On the Database Window, click on the Pages section. Your screen should appear similar to Figure
24.6 (note that I’ve added a few Data Access Pages already, so your list will probably be different).
Figure 24.6 The Pages section of the Database window.
3. Double-click the Create data access page by using wizard entry in the list. The Wizard starts and
displays its first dialog (see Figure 24.7).
Figure 24.7 The first screen of the Page Wizard, where you select tables, queries, and fields for use in
your new Data Access Page.
4. The drop-down list contains all the tables and queries defined in your database. Select the table or
query with which you want to work. In your case, select the Employees table. After you select a new
table or query, the Available Fields list will be repopulated with the fields from that table or query.
5. To add fields to the new page, double-click the field’s name or select the field and click the >
button. You can add all fields by clicking the >> button. You can remove a field by double-clicking its
name in the Selected Fields list or by selecting it and clicking the < button. The << button removes all
fields. For your example, add the LastName, FirstName, Title, and Region fields from the
Employees table. Now click the Next button to continue.
6. On the next dialog, you can specify any grouping that you want to use. For your example, you want
to group employees by region. To do so, double-click the Region field. Notice that the preview at the
left of the dialog changes to illustrate the grouping. The Grouping Options button allows you to control
how often the group will change with the data in the field. For most purposes, the default is fine, so you
won’t use this button. Click the Next button to continue.
7. Here you specify how you want the data on the page to be sorted. Select the LastName field in the
first drop-down list (note that the Region field is not available in this drop-down list because it’s
being used as a grouping field). Click the Next button to continue.
8. Finally you come to the last dialog. Here you’ll specify a title for the page, what action to take after
the page is created (open or modify), whether or not to apply a theme to the page (this will change the
look of the page based on some predefined templates), and whether or not to display help topics related
to Data Access Pages. Make sure the Open the page radio button is selected and click the Finish button
to create and open the new page.
After the Wizard cranks for awhile, the Web Page Preview window opens to display the newly created page.
Figure 24.8 shows the new page.
Figure 24.8 The Data Access Page created with the Page Wizard
You can use the Group Expansion button to show and hide the records belonging to a particular group. The
recordset navigators enable you to move from record to record, to delete a record, to sort the recordset, and to
filter the recordset. All these functions operate identically to the functions found in the Datasheet view for a
table, query, form, or report.
The beauty of a Data Access Page is that it can be viewed in a standalone Web browser as well as within
Access 2000. This means that you can take the Web page that’s associated with the Data Access Page and
install it (along with the database itself) on a Web server accessible on your intranet or the Internet. Doing so
allows anyone to use the page you built to browse and modify the data presented by the page! Figure 24.9
shows the same page displayed in Internet Explorer.
Figure 24.9 The Data Access Page displayed in Internet Explorer.
Because the Data Access Page has a hard-coded location for the database file, you’ll probably have to modify
it after you’ve moved the database to another machine. The simplest way to do this, after you’ve moved the
database and associated Web page, is to open the Data Access Page in Design view and save it.
Note: To find out where the actual Web page file is stored, activate the Database window, select the Pages
section, and hold the cursor over the page in question. The ToolTip will display the filename, including the folder
containing the page.
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Modifying a Data Access Page in Design View
-----------
Now that you’ve created a simple yet powerful Data Access Page, let’s take a look at the Design View
window for Data Access Pages. As you can see from Figure 24.10, the designer for Data Access Pages is very
similar to the one for forms and reports. There’s a Toolbox, a Field List, and a Properties window. You work
with these just like you work with their form and report designer counterparts.
Figure 24.10 The Data Access Page displayed in Design view.
So let’s add an Orders grid to your Data Access Page. This grid will display all the orders related to the
currently displayed employee. Adding it using the designer is a piece of cake, as you’ll see in the following
steps:
1. Return to the Database window. Select the Pages section and select the Data Access Page you just
created. Click the Design button. The Design View window appears.
2. First, you need to resize the detail area to make room for the Orders grid. Click in the blank area
beneath the Header: Employees bar. The familiar resize handles will appear. Grab the bottom right
handle with the mouse and drag it down and to the right. This will make the detail area taller and wider,
leaving room beneath the Title field for your grid.
3. If the Field List window is not on the screen, click the Field List toolbar button (or use the View
menu and click Field List). On the Field List window, expand Tables, and then Employees, and the
Related Tables. Your Field List should look like Figure 24.11.
Figure 24.11 The Field List ready to add your Orders grid.
4. Click on the Orders entry under Related Tables. Drag this into the empty area you just created,
dropping it at the right side of the empty space. When you’re in the right area, a blue border will appear
around the Header: Employees detail area (see Figure 24.12).
Figure 24.12 Adding the Orders table to the Data Access Page.
5. After the grid appears, resize it (click on the grid and use the resize handles) to fit within the empty
space of the Header: Employees detail area.
That’s all there is to it! Now switch to the Page View. Your page should appear similar to Figure 24.13.
Whenever you switch to a different employee, the Orders grid will change to match the newly selected
employee.
Figure 24.13 The modified Data Access Page in action.
Summary
This final hour has shown you another extremely useful way to put your Access 2000 databases to work.
You’ve learned the basics of using Access 2000 to generate HTML files, either with static or dynamic data.
You’ve also learned about the new and exciting Data Access Pages that enable you to create live-data forms
and reports for viewing in a Web browser. Hopefully Access 2000 in particular, and the whole Office 2000
suite in general, will live up to its promise of providing everyone with the capability to publish information on
the Web. This hour has given you the knowledge required to take advantage of this promise.
Workshop
The Workshop is designed to help you anticipate possible questions, review what you’ve learned and begin
thinking ahead to putting your knowledge into practice. The answers to the Quiz are in Appendix A,
“Answers to the Quiz.”
Q&A
Q
A
Q
My Internet service provider has told me that the Web server runs on a UNIX machine. Does this
mean I cannot use the tools in this hour to publish Access data to the Web?
Yes and No. You won’t be able to produce IDC or Active Server Pages files (unless a UNIX-based
Web server capable of handling IDC and ASP files has been produced since this writing) for use on the
Web server. However, you will still be able to create static HTML and use the Web Publishing Wizard
even on a UNIX server.
If I create an IDC or an ASP file attached to my database, is it possible for someone to gain
unwanted access to the data?
A
Q
A
No. Because the IDC and ASP files will use ODBC to open and query your database, they do not need
to be accessible to the Web server itself. This means you can (and should) store the database in a
directory that is not referenced by your Web server’s configuration and is therefore not made accessible
via the Web server.
In Figure 24.8, the Group Expansion button overlaps the Region label. Is it possible to move this
button?
Yes. This button is simply an HTML element which can be moved to anywhere else on the page.
Quiz
1. What is the primary difference between pages created for static HTML and pages created for IDC,
ASP, or using Data Access Pages?
2. Which of the Web servers mentioned in this hour is designed for use on the Internet, where hundreds
or even thousands of users can request pages at a single time?
3. How can you standardize the Web pages created using the techniques of this hour?
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
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Search this book:
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Title
-----------
Part VIII
Appendix
Appendix
A Quiz Answers
Appendix A
Quiz Answers
Hour 1
1. What, exactly, is Access 2000?
A relational database development tool.
2. What is the primary purpose for using an index?
Indexes speed up the execution of searches by creating an ordered list of the data contained in the
index’s fields.
3. What is the primary purpose of a query or view?
Queries and views are used to search, summarize, and analyze the data stored in a database.
4. What is the maximum size of the default data store for an Access 2000 database?
2GB.
Hour 2
1. Why are relationships between objects important to the design of your database?
Tables should be related to each other so information in one table can be accessed by other tables.
2. What are the seven main database objects used in Access 2000?
The seven main database objects are tables, queries, forms, reports, data access pages, macros, and
modules.
3. How do you save your database in Access 2000?
You can save your database by simply exiting Access 2000. Access will save your data changes
automatically, and ask you to confirm any changes made to the design of database objects which have
open windows when you exit.
Hour 3
1. Where can you get help on the Internet?
Microsoft has an entire Web site devoted to the Office Suite. You will need to have an Internet browser
program (such as Internet Explorer 5.0, which ships with Office 2000), and access to the Web. The
Web address for Office support is http://www.microsoft.com/office, or use the Help, Microsoft on the
Web menu from Access 2000.
2. How do you access Help?
The easiest way is to press F1 which will activate either the Office Assistant or the Access Help file. In
either case, the topics presented will be relevant to what you’re currently working on in Access and
you’ll have the opportunity to type a search phrase to get additional questions answered.
3. Can you browse for Help?
Yes. Press F1. If the Office Assistant is active you’ll be able to enter a search phrase. If not, the Access
Help file will load where you can browse the contents, use the index, of enter a search phrase.
Hour 4
1. How do you skip the startup screen when a database loads?
Press Shift while the database is loading.
2. How can you look at the relationships in a database?
Click the Relationship button on the toolbar.
3. Can you save the results of a database documentation?
Yes. Select File, Save As Table.
Hour 5
1. Which is more useful when you want to print a specific set of records in a datasheet: Find or Filter?
Filter. Find searches the entire set of records in the datasheet and locates only one record at a time.
Filter removes all records from the datasheet except the ones that meet the criteria. You can then print
these records using the standard datasheet printing.
2. Can you sort the datasheet based on more than one column?
Yes, as long as the columns are adjacent to one another in the datasheet. You can move columns by
clicking once in the column header and then using click and drag to move the column to the desired
location.
3. What differences are there between subdatasheets and standard datasheets?
None. All the functions which you can perform in Datasheet views can be performed upon a
subdatasheet.
Hour 6
1. How can you determine which fields make up the primary key for a table?
Open the table in Design View. The fields that define the primary key are denoted with a key icon in
the leftmost column of the grid at the top of the Design View window.
2. Which field property enables you to control what data can be entered into a field?
The ValidationRule property.
3. Can a field name contain spaces?
Yes, but doing so might require special handling when the field is being referred to in an Access
expression such as a query definition or a code module.
4. Are you stuck with the subdatasheet that Access uses as a default for a table?
No, using the Subdatasheet Name table property you can specify that any related table should be
used as the subdatasheet.
Hour 7
1. Which field property can be used to specify how data is entered into a field in an updatable query?
The InputMask property. The Format property is used to specify how the data should look when
the field is displayed in a datasheet or on a form.
2. How can you, in one step, cause all fields involved in a query to be shown in the query’s datasheet?
Set the query’s Output All Fields property to Yes.
3. While in Datasheet view, when is the Insert Hyperlink toolbar button active?
Whenever the cursor is positioned in a field whose data type is set to Hyperlink.
Hour 8
1. What are the six types of forms in Access?
Single-column, Datasheets, Tabular, Subforms, Pivot table, and graphs.
2. Why should you use forms instead of tables for data-entry use?
Forms provide a much easier and more flexible interface to edit and add data. Forms also can
drastically cut down on redundant data and data-entry errors.
3. Where is the underlying data in forms stored?
A query or table stores and supplies the data to a form.
Hour 9
1. What are reports?
They are the best way to present a customized view of information from tables and queries.
2. Why should I use reports?
They are the best way to distribute printed information.
3. What are the four basic types of reports?
Tabular, Single-Column, Mail-Merge, and Mailing Label.
4. What is the difference between forms and reports?
Reports are used to view data on-screen and on paper; forms are usually used to make data entry easier
and more reliable.
Hour 10
1. What types of controls are available for editing field properties?
A standard edit box, a dropdown list box, and an edit box with a Builder or Wizard button available.
2. How can you view and modify the indexes defined for a table?
Open the table in Design view and choose View, Indexes to display the Indexes windows.
3. Can you change a field’s data type if it already contains data?
Yes. Access attempts to convert existing data to the new data type. If any of the existing data cannot be
converted, Access gives you the option of deleting that data or reverting the data type back to the
original value.
4. What tool can you use to verify validation rules on demand?
The Edit, Test Validation Rules menu item will check the validation rules, the Required property,
and the Allow Zero Length property.
Hour 11
1. Which query field property specifies how data is input into the datasheet view for a specific field?
The InputMask property. The Format property specifies how data appears when it is displayed in
the datasheet.
2. In the Grid Design view, what do the lines that sometimes appear between tables in the table pane
represent? Why are there sometimes arrows and the ends of the lines and sometimes not?
These lines represent a relationship between the two tables. Each join has a join type property which
specifies which how related records will be included in the output. The arrow heads (or lack thereof)
indicate which join type is specified. For more information on table relationships, see the section
“Querying Multiple Tables” in this hour or refer to Hour 17, “Creating Tables.”
3. What are the two ways to limit the results returned when the query is executed?
Use the Criteria rows for the fields involved in the query or use the query’s Filter property.
Hour 12
1. What is a control?
Any object on a form, such as a text box or label.
2. What do controls do?
Provide an easy way to enter and display values, or provide some other type of feedback to the user.
3. What is an option group?
Option groups contain two or more toggle buttons, option buttons, or check boxes, and provide a way
to select one option from many choices.
Hour 13
1. What are the two main views of reports?
Design view and Print Preview view
2. What database objects do reports display information for?
Queries and tables
3. What sections make up a report?
Report header, page header, group header, detail, group footer, page footer, and report footer.
Hour 14
1. What is a data model?
A data model describes what tables are to be included in the database, what the properties of those
tables are, and what relationships exist between the tables.
2. For which elements can you specify a style when creating a database using the Database Wizard?
For both display elements (such as forms) and reports. You can specify different styles for each of
these.
3. When creating a table using the Table Wizard, are you stuck with the field names in the wizard’s
template?
No, you can modify the field names by selecting the field in the wizard’s initial dialog box and clicking
the Rename button.
Hour 15
1. Why should you use wizards?
Wizards save time and effort, and can also help you to avoid errors. You can also look at the end result
and learn more about creating and modifying objects.
2. Why should you use the Table Analyzer Wizard?
The Table Analyzer Wizard helps you create a more efficient database by splitting up tables that store
duplicate data into separate, related tables.
3. What query wizards are available?
There are four query wizards: Simple Query Wizard, Crosstab Query Wizard, Find Duplicates Query
Wizard, and Find Unmatched Query Wizard.
4. How many database wizards are there that create complete, new databases?
There are up to 22 databases you can create using the New Database Wizard.
Hour 16
1. Name the three types of keys.
Primary, composite, and foreign
2. What is the main difference between a primary and a foreign key?
A primary key serves as the unique identifier in a table. A foreign key is used in another, related table
to establish the relationship between a record in this other table and a record in the table in which the
matching field is the primary key.
3. Name the three types of joins.
One-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many.
4. Briefly define normalization.
The modification of a database’s structure so that it meets the requirements of a fully relational
database. The process of eliminating redundant data, ensuring that elements are atomic, and eliminating
repeating groups of fields.
5. Having multiple fields in a single table to represent different types of phone numbers is an example
of what?
A repeating group. The multiple fields could be broken off into a separate table which contains the
following fields:
• A field for the foreign key reference back to the original table.
• A field to describe the type of phone number being represented.
• A field for the actual phone number.
Hour 17
1. Which method would you use to create a table if the original data source was in an outside database
and you wanted to update the original data when you changed the data in Access?
Use the Link Table method.
2. What is the data type that you use when you want Access to automatically create unique values for
each new record?
AutoNumber
3. How would you restrict data in a field to only dates?
Create an input mask that only accepts date-formatted input.
4. What’s the main purpose for creating table indexes?
To speed up queries by providing Access with a “road map” of the data contained in the table.
Hour 18
1. You have a query that returns a number of fields, including Title and Hire Date. How would
you sort a query first by Title from lowest to highest, and then by Hire Date from highest to
lowest?
In the Query Design view’s QBE Grid, click on the Sort row for Title and select Ascending. Next
click on Hire Date and select Descending. Also, make sure that the order is correct: The column
for the Title field must be to the left of the column for the Hire Date field.
2. Which wildcard symbol would you use to match a single character in a field?
The question mark.
3. What does the >= operator mean?
Greater that or equal to.
4. How do I get the total of all the values in a field?
Create a grouped query and select Sum in the Total row for the field that you want to total.
Hour 19
1. What are the six types of forms?
Single column, tabular, datasheet, main/subform, pivot table, and graph.
2. What are the three main types of controls?
Bound, unbound, and calculated.
3. What should you do before creating a form?
Think about the overall design of the form. On paper, draw a blueprint of how you want the form to
appear on the screen.
4. How do you add the current date or page number to a form?
You can use the =Date() and =Page functions.
Hour 20
1. What are the fundamental building blocks of reports?
Controls and properties
2. What kind of special effects can be added to a report?
Lines, boxes, graphs, and images. Tables and queries supply the data used in the report.
3. What are the nine steps in designing a report?
The nine steps are:
a. Design the appearance and function of your report.
b. Determine what data is needed.
c. Create the table and/or query to which the report will be bound.
d. Create a new report and bind it to the table or query.
e. Place the relevant fields on the report by using text controls.
f. Add other labels and text controls for other fields as necessary.
g. Modify the appearance, location, and size of the various controls.
h. Define sorting and grouping options.
i. Use graphics and other special effects to enhance your report.
Hour 21
1. What is a macro?
A macro is an object that executes tasks or a series of tasks when run.
2. Why should I use a macro?
A macro helps with any repetitive task to save time and effort, and performs difficult actions with ease.
3. What are events?
Events are the result of some user action, such as clicking a button, pressing a key, or moving from one
field to another.
4. Why use events to trigger macros?
Events make great starting places for macros to be run, such as clicking a button to start a macro, or
moving into a field to run another macro.
Hour 22
1. What is the main difference between the Merge It and the Publish It Office Links?
The Merge It Office Link allows you to combine data from the database with a Word document. This
creates a link between the Word document and your database. The Publish It Office Link merely
exports the data into a new Word document that is static.
2. When using the Merge It Office Link, must the document to be merged with already exist?
No. Access gives you the option to create a new document or open an existing document.
3. What size labels can be created using the Label Wizard?
Any size. If you don’t have a standard Avery brand label, you can create your own custom label
definitions by clicking the Customize button on the initial dialog of the Label Wizard.
Hour 23
1. Why should I compact my databases?
Compacting your database saves hard drive space and increases database speed.
2. How often should I compact my databases?
It depends on the size and frequency of use, but once or twice a month is a good place to start.
3. How does a database become corrupted?
When you close or exit Access improperly, such as turning off your PC without exiting Access.
4. Where should I back up my databases?
Preferably on a separate computer network or on a floppy or other disk.
Hour 24
1. What is the primary difference between pages created for static HTML and pages created for IDC,
ASP, or using Data Access Pages?
The IDC and ASP pages are dynamic—they retrieve up-to-date data from the database each time they
are requested.
2. Which of the Web servers mentioned in this hour is designed for use on the Internet, where hundreds
or even thousands of users can request pages at a single time?
The Internet Information Server
3. How can you standardize the Web pages created using the techniques of this hour?
By using an HTML template file and placing within this file the standard elements and properties for
your Web site.
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Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 24 Hours
by Timm Buchanan; Craig Eddy
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
ISBN: 0672312891 Pub Date: 04/29/99
Search Tips
Search this book:
Advanced Search
Table of Contents
Title
Index
Symbols
* (asterisk), 156, 280
-----------
A
Access 97
run in parallel, 42
Access Project (ADP) files, 56
Access Upsizing Wizard, 29
Access window, 33
action query, 103, 265
actions, 312
Active Server Pages. See ASP
ActiveX, 362
Add a Web Folder dialog box, 359
Add new record, 74
Add To Group command
queries, 98
tables, 83
Additional Fields dialog box, 205
Alias property, tables, 168
Align command (Format menu), 180
Allow Edits property, 196
Allow Nulls property, 257
Analyze button, 210
Analyze flyout menu (Tools menu), 210
Analyze It with MS Excel command (Office Links menu), 332
Analyze menu commands, Documenter, 62
Answer Wizard, 46
application generator, 223
Apply/Remove Filter button, 109
Apply/Remove Filter command (datasheet view toolbar), 68
ASP (Active Server Pages), 362–363
ODBC, 362
page creation, 362–363
security, 372
UNIX server, with, 372
VBScript, 362
asterisk (*), 156
AutoExec macro, 56, 322
AutoForm, 221
AutoNumber data type, 89, 234, 253
exporting, 338
AutoPage feature, 364
AutoReport, 223
B
back up, 18, 40, 346
Blank Database, create, 31
browsers. See Web browsers
Build button, 108, 145
Builder button, 177
buttons
Builder, 177
close, 34
command, 184
Design, 119
form-navigation, 120
Maximize, 34
Minimize, 34
New Record, 121
option, 175
option groups, 175
Properties, 176, 322
radio, 175
Restore/Maximize, 34
Single Step (macros), 319
spin, 184
Start, 31
System Menu, 33
toggle, 175
byte fields, 90
C
calculated expressions, 292
Caption property, 91, 146, 168, 192
check boxes, 175
client/server, 9, 29
close
Access, 33–34, 40
button, 34
Datasheet view, 79
Close command (File menu), 79
column
moving, 78
sorting, 69
width, 77–78
Column Width command (Format menu), 78
Combo Box Wizard, 288–290
combo boxes, 176, 288–290
commands
Analyze menu, Documenter, 62
Create Table by Entering Data, 247
Create Table by Using Wizard, 247
Create Table in Design View, 247, 250
Datasheet view
Apply/Remove Filter, 68
Delete Record, 68, 73
Filter by Form, 68, 71
Filter by Selection, 68, 71
Find , 68, 70
New Record, 68, 73
Sort Ascending, 68–69
Sort Descending, 68–69
Edit menu
Copy, 73
Cut, 74
Delete Rows, 144
Find, 122
Paste Append, 74
Primary Key, 149
Test Validation Rules, 148
Export menu
HTML Documents, 360
Microsoft Active Server Pages, 362
File menu
Close, 79
Exit, 40
Export, 336
New (database), 203, 223
Print, 79, 123, 133
Format menu
Align, 180
Column Width , 78
Datasheet, 76
Font, 77
Row Height, 78
Size, 181
Help menu
Office on the Web, 50
What’s This, 50
Insert menu, Rows, 144
Office Links menu
Analyze It with MS Excel, 332
Merge It, 328
Publish It with MS Word, 331
Query menu
Filter, 100
Show Table, 157
Sort Ascending, 100
Records menu
Remove Filter/Sort, 69
Sort, 69
Remove Table, 157
Run menu, Single Step, 320
Security menu, Encrypt/Decrypt Database, 60
Tools menu
Compact & Repair Database, 342, 344
Convert Database, 348
Relationships, 152, 236, 260
View menu
Details, 83
Form Header/Footer, 290
Join Properties, 164
Indexes, 149
Macro Name, 315
Properties, 140–141, 166
Properties (fields), 105
Report Header/Footer, 304
SQL View, 102
Toolbars, 35
compact, 342–344
Compact & Repair Database command (Tools menu), 342, 344
Compact Database Into dialog box, 342
composite key, 235
Control Source text property, 193
controls, 114, 172, 282
adding to forms, 286–288
aligning, 180
bound, 173, 177, 282, 297
buttons, 175
calculated, 173, 282, 292, 297
check boxes, 175
combo boxes, 176
command buttons, 184
create, 177
deleting, 182
Field List window, 178
Form Design window, 179
label, 173
list boxes, 176
properties, 176
scroll bars, 184
selecting, 180, 287
sizing, 179, 181
Snap to Grid, 180
spin buttons, 184
text box, 173, 287
toolbox, 178
unbound, 173, 282, 297
conversion, 348, 351
Convert Database command (Tools menu), 348
Convert Database Into dialog box, 348
copy
tables, 83
queries , 98
Copy command (Edit menu), 73
corrupted database, 344
create
database, 31, 224, 238
form, 218, 220–221
query, 265, 268–269
Create Primary Key dialog box, 250
Create Shortcut command
queries , 99
tables, 83
Create Table by Entering Data command, 247
Create Table by Using Wizard command, 247
Create Table in Design View command, 247, 250
Criteria row, 161
criteria. See queries, criteria
Crosstab queries, 97
Crosstab Query Wizard, 221, 266
Currency data type, 89, 253
cut
queries , 98
tables, 83
Cut command (Edit menu), 74, 98
D
Data Access Pages, 17, 38, 361, 364
creation, 364
Design View, 368
designer, 364
determining location, 368
editing, 369–370
field, adding, 369
Group Expansion button, 367
Grouping Options, 366
recordset navigators, 367
Wizard, 365–367
data entry shortcut keys, 74
Data Link Properties dialog box, 57
data model, 214
data storage, 8
data types, 89, 253
changing, 143
conversion, 151
default, 251
selected automatically, 263
database
convert to MSDE, 29
create, 215, 238. See also Database Wizard; Table Wizard
defined, 36
design, 62, 229, 238
data required, 238
diagraming, 240
fields, 240
lookup tables, 239
normalization, 240
platform selection, 241
primary key, 239
tables, 239–241
modeling, 202–203, 238
planning, 202–203, 229
platform options, 28
relational qualities, 230
templates, 204, 224
window, 35
database administration, 341
Database Documenter Report, 63
database index. See indexes
database platform options, 28
Database Title dialog box, 206
Database Window button, 108–109
Database Wizard, 201, 203–206, 223–224
database, relational. See relational database
Datasheet command (Format menu), 76
Datasheet Formatting dialog box, 77
Datasheet view, 12, 65–66, 85
adding records, 73
close, 79
copying records, 74
create fields, 248, 250
create tables, 248
cutting records, 74
deleting records, 73
editing records, 73
filtering records, 70
finding records, 70
font, 77, 80
formatting, 76
print, 78
queries, 98–99
shortcut keys, 74
sorting, 68
subdatasheet, 67
toolbar, 67
Datasheet view commands
Apply/Remove Filter, 68
Delete Record, 68, 73
Filter by Form, 68, 71
Filter by Selection, 68, 71
Find, 68, 70
New Record, 68, 73
Sort Ascending, 68–69
Sort Descending, 68–69
dates, 89, 121, 192, 253
function, 192
insert current, 121
Now function, 192
Date/Time data type, 89, 253
debugging macros, 319
decimal fields, 91
decimal places, 146
Decimal Places property, 168
decryption, 347
Default Values, 146
Default Value property, 91, 256
delete
controls, 182
current record, 74
fields from tables, 144
queries , 99
tables, 83
unable to, 80
Delete Columns command (Edit menu), 159
Delete Record button, 109
Delete Record command (datasheet view toolbar), 68, 73
Delete Rows command (Edit Menu), 144
description, query, 165
Description property
fields, 167
queries, 105
Design button, 119
Design command, queries, 98
Design Grid, 13, 101
queries, 157
Show check box, 103
table pane, 102
Design view, 12
create table, 250–252
Data Access Page, 368
data types, 89
Description column, 263
field names, 88
forms, 119
macro, blank, 314
multiple table, 162
queries, 98, 100, 156–162
query, 266
reports, 132
tables, 84, 142
toolbar, 106
Design view window, new table, 251
designer, Data Access Page, 364
desktop database file, 8
detail section, 188
Details command (View menu), 83
dialog boxes
Add a Web Folder, 359
Additional Fields, 205
Compact Database Into, 342
Convert Database Into, 348
Create Primary Key, 250
Data Link Properties, 57
Database Title, 206
Datasheet Formatting, 77
Edit Relationships, 152
Encrypt/Decrypt Database, 347
Expression Builder, 161
Field Properties, 167, 169
File New Database, 57
Find, 122
Find and Replace, 70
Form Wizard, 218
Grouping, 188
Help Topics, 46
Indexes, 258
Join Properties, 164, 242
Label Wizard, 334
Macro Single Step, 320
Mail Merge Wizard, 331
Microsoft Active Server Pages Output Options, 363
New Database, 57, 224
new form, 285
New Group, 35
New Query, 269, 299
New Report, 303, 334
New Table, 216, 247
ODBC Microsoft Access 2000 Setup, 362
Options, 141
Print, 123–124, 134
Query Properties, 165
Relationships, 153, 209
Report Displays, 205
Screen Displays Style, 205
Select Data Source, 337
Select Microsoft Word Document file open, 331
Show Table (Field List pane), 157
Sorting and Grouping, 306
Table Analyzer Wizard, 210–213
Table Properties, 141
Table Relationship, 208
template selection, 204
Documenter, 62
Documenter command (Analyze menu), 62
double fields, 90
duplicates
finding, 222
finding with Wizard, 266
Table Analyzer Wizard, 209
dynamic data, 359
E
edit data
data, 73
field descriptions, 145
Edit menu commands
Paste Append, 74
Copy, 73
Cut, 74
Delete Rows, 144
Find, 122
Primary Key, 149
Test Validation Rules, 148
Edit Relationships dialog box, 152
email
mail merge to, 339
query results, 98
tables, 83
Encrypt/Decrypt Database command (Security menu), 60
Encrypt/Decrypt Database dialog box, 347
encryption, 60, 346
Enter Data Directly into the Table button, 209
erratic database behavior, 345
error messages
field cannot contain Null value, 93
macros, 321
record cannot be deleted, 93
table in use by another, 154
unable to delete, 80
Excel. See Microsoft Excel
exit Access, 40, 42
Exit command (File menu), 40
export
AutoNumber data type, 338
data, 336
HTML format, 360
OBDC, 337
queries , 98
tables, 83
Export command (File menu), 336
Export menu commands
HTML Documents, 360
Microsoft Active Server Pages, 362
Expression Builder, 147, 271
Expression Builder Wizard, Criteria edit boxes, 161
expressions, in reports, 192
F
fault tolerance, 29
Field Builder, 145
Field List, 102, 156
add table, 158
report Design view, 186
shortcut menu, 157
field names, 88
Field Properties dialog box, 167, 169
Field Properties pane, 255
Field Size property, 90, 252, 255
fields
add to queries, 300, 302
adding, 143, 145
Allow Zero Length, 146
Caption, 146, 91, 168
create in Datasheet view, 248, 250
Data Type, 251–253
Decimal Places, 146, 168
Default Value, 91, 146, 256
define as primary key, 250
defined, 231
deleting, 144
descriptions, 90, 145, 252
column, 263
property, 167
design, 240
Expression Builder, 147
Field Builder, 145
Field Size, 146, 255
foreign key, 261
Format, 146, 167, 255
Identity, 257
Indexed, 146, 149, 258–260
Input Mask, 146, 167, 256
Input Mask Wizard, 146
inserting, 144
key, 232–234
Label property, 93
lookup, 256
modifying attributes, 142–143
name, 251
pane, 267
primary key, 148, 157, 250, 252
properties, 90, 105–106, 146–147, 166, 252, 255
queries, 102, 166
related tables, 85
rename in Datasheet view, 249
Required, 91, 93, 146
size, 90, 252
SQL Server data types, 254–255
Table Wizard, 207
Validation Rule, 146–147
Validation Text, 146
view details, 85
File menu commands
Close, 79
Exit, 40
Export, 336
New (database), 203, 223
Print, 79, 123, 133
File New Database dialog box, 57
Filter by Form button, 109
Filter by Form command (datasheet view toolbar), 68, 71
Filter by Selection command (datasheet view toolbar), 68, 71
Filter by Selection button, 109
Filter command, queries, 100
Filter property, queries, 105, 166
filtering data, 69
Find and Replace dialog box, 70
Find button, 109
Find command
datasheet view toolbar, 68, 70
Edit menu, 122
Find dialog box, 122
Find Duplicates Query Wizard, 221, 266
Find Unmatched Query Wizard, 221–222, 267
finding data, 69
Folder Bar, 35
font, Datasheet view, 77, 80
Font command (Format menu), 77
footers, 119, 188
foreign key, 236, 261
form
AutoForm, 221
create, 215, 218, 220–221
fields, 218
layout, 219
naming, 220
saved as report, 131
style, 220
wizard, 218, 220–221
Form Design window, controls, 179
Form Header/Footer command (View menu), 290
Form Wizard, 218, 220–221
form-navigation buttons, 120
format
Datasheet view, 76
field, 146, 167
property, 192, 255
Format menu commands
Align, 180
Column Width, 78
Datasheet, 76
Font, 77
Row Height, 78
Size, 181
forms, 13, 37, 113–124, 171, 183, 281–293
add new record, 121
bound controls, 173, 177
Builder button, 292
buttons, 175
calculated controls, 173
calculated expression controls, 292
check boxes, 175
colors, 176
columnar format, 116
Combo Box, 176, 288–290
controls, 172
adding, 286–288
aligning, 180
command buttons, 184
create, 177
scroll bars, 184
sizing, 179, 181
spin buttons, 184
convert to report, 21
copy records, 121
create new, 285
Datasheet view, 117–118
delete records, 121
Design view, 119
Detail section, 119
display graphs, 125
edit record, 121
events in, 322
export to Excel, 332
Field List window, 178
find record, 122
fonts, 176
Form Design window, 179
Form view, 117
graph, 294
graphics for, 292
header, 290
Header/Footer sections, 119
label controls, 173
labels, 172
list boxes, 176
locked fields, 121
navigating, 120
New Record button, 121
open, 114
option groups, 175
Page Header/Footer, 119
Picture property, 292
pivot table, 294
planning, 285
print, 123
print Datasheet view, 125
Print Preview, 117–118
properties, 172, 176, 292
save, 124–125
security, 184
single-column, 116
Snap to Grid, 180
subform, 294
subforms, 182
tables based on, 284
tabular, 116
text box controls, 173, 287
text boxes, 172
title, 290
toolbox, 283
types of, 115
unbound controls, 173
v. datasheets, 117
views, 117
Word 2000 document from, 331
FrontPage 2000, 360
FrontPage extensions, 358
G
graphics, report, 195
graphs, 294
group, report data, 297
Group Expansion button, Data Access Page, 367
Group footers, 188
Group Header property, 188
group permissions, 60
Grouping dialog box, 188
Grouping Options, 366
Groups, 35
H
hardware requirements, 24
Headers, forms, 119
height, row, 77
Help, 43
Answer Wizard, 46
contents, 46
Help Topics dialog box, 46
hyperlinks, 47
index, 46–47
new features in Access 2000, 46
Office Assistant, 44
Screen tips, 49
search topics, 45
shortcuts, 49
ToolTips, 49
topics, 45
Help menu commands
Office on the Web, 50
What’s This, 50
Help Topics dialog box, 47
Hidden attribute, 92
Hidden check box, 141
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), 356
documents, 38
editor, 360
export to, 360
HTML Documents command (Export Menu), 360
Hyperlink data type, 89, 254
hyperlinks, 47
Hypertext Markup Language. See HTML
I
identity column, 235
Identity properties, 257
IIS (Internet Information Server), 356
Import Table, 246
Indexed property, 146
indexes, 10–11, 148–149, 257
create, 258–260
multifield, 149
naming, 258
performance with, 11
primary key, 148
SQL Server, 259
unique values, 20
Indexes command (View menu), 149
Indexes dialog box, 258
Input Mask, 106, 146
fields, 167
property builder, 167
Input Mask Wizard, 146, 256
input masks, 256
Insert current date, 74
Insert current time, 74
Insert default value, 74
Insert Hyperlink button, 109
Insert menu commands, Rows, 144
Insert new record, 74
Insert value from prior record, 74
inserting fields, 143–145
installation, 24–25
choosing platform, 28–29
custom, 25
hardware requirements, 24
Internet Explorer 5.0, 24
Jet platform, 29
license agreement, 25
maximum database size, 29
MSDE, 29–30
reboot, 27
security issues, 29
setup, 27
Setup information screen, 26
SQL Server compatibility, 28–30
time required, 24
upgrades, 25, 27
users, number of, 29
integer fields, 90
intermediary table, 238
Internet, 355–356, 367
Internet Explorer, 358–359, 361
Data Access Page, 367
Internet Explorer 5.0, 38
Internet Information Server, 356
intranet, 355–356, 361, 367
J
JET platform, 28
maximum database size, 29
join, 152, 158
defined, 233
dialog, 242
self, 233
Join Properties command (View menu), 164
Join Properties dialog box, 164, 242
K
key field, 233–236
AutoNumber data type, 234
composite key, 235
defined, 232
foreign key, 236
natural key, 234
primary key, 234
key icon, 85
keys, primary, 148
L
Label property, 93
Label Wizard, 333, 335
labels
create, 333, 335
formatting, 335
sort, 335
layout, form, 219
Layout Preview, 186
limitations of Access 2000, 18
Link Table, 246
links, Web page, 360
list boxes, 176
long integer fields, 90
lookup field, 256
Lookup tab, 85
lookup table, 239
Lookup Wizard, 89, 256
M
Macro Name command (View menu), 315
Macro Single Step dialog box, 320
macros, 17, 38, 56, 311–312, 323
Action Failed dialog box, 321
add condition, 319
arguments, 315
AutoExec, 322
Builder, 323
cancelable events, 323
CancelEvent action, 323
Comments column, 316
Condition column, 315, 318
conditional, 318–319
create new, 314, 316
debugging, 319
delete action, 317
drag objects to, 317
edit, 317
events, 321–323
form events, 322
groups, 314
Name column, 314
On Click event, 321
report, 190
Run button, 317
RunMacro action, 318
running, 317
save, 317
self-executing, 322
Single Step button, 319
Startup, 64
toggle sections, 316
uses, 312
window, 313
mail merge, 223, 328
email, 339
field selection, 328
record locator buttons, 331
reports, 130
sharing, 338
View Merged Data button, 329
Mail Merge toolbar, 328
Mail Merge Wizard dialog box, 331
master table, 152
Maximize button, 34
Memo data type, 89, 253
menu bar, 34
Merge It command (Office Links menu), 328
Merge It with MS Word Office Link, 328
sharing, 338
toolbar button, 328
Microsoft Active Server Pages command (Export menu), 362
Microsoft Active Server Pages Output Options dialog box, 363
Microsoft Data Engine. See MSDE, 28
Microsoft Excel, export to, 332
Microsoft SQL Server Database Wizard, 58
Microsoft Web pages, 52
Microsoft Word Mail Merge Wizard, 328
Microsoft Word, 331, 328
Minimize button, 34
modeling, 238
Modify the Table Design button, 209
modules, 17, 39
move
column, 78
field to query design grid, 157
MSDE (Microsoft Data Engine), 28
installing, 29–30
maximum database size, 29
protocols, 30
multifield index, 149
N
natural keys, 234
Navigation Buttons property, 196
networking, SQL Server, 242
New (database) command (File Menu), 203
New command (File menu), 223
New Database dialog box, 57, 224
new features, 19
new form dialog box, 285
New Group dialog box, 35
New Object button, 108–109
New Query dialog box, 269, 299
New Record button, 109–121
New Record command (datasheet view toolbar), 68, 73
New Report dialog box, 303, 334
New Table dialog box, 216, 247
New Table Wizard, 247
normalization, 240
Northwind sample database, 9
composite key, 235
Crosstab query, 97
Data Access Pages, 17
datasheet view, 67
Find and Replace, 70
form, Products, 13
forms, 114
forms from scratch, 283
graphics, 195
HTML sample template, 360
Invoice report, 130
labels, create, 333
Layout Preview, 186
macros, 313
open, 32
primary key, 148
Print Preview view, 128
queries, 13
query creation, 268
query modification, 156–162
relationships, 230
Relationships window, 151
report creation, 298
report design, 186
report properties, 188–190
report, Products by Category, 16
reports, 128
sorting, 69
splash screen, 56
table design, 84
Now function, 192
Number data type, 89, 253
O
objects, 12, 36
ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), 337
ASP, 362
data source, 362–363
drivers, 339
Microsoft Access 2000 Setup dialog box, 362
Office 2000, Office Links, 328
Office Assistant, 44
help topics, 45
menu, 45
opening, 44
Options button, 45
personalities, 51
queries, 108–109
search topics, 45
turning off, 46
Office Clipboard, 20
Office Links, 327
Analyze It with MS Excel, 332
Merge It with MS Word Office, 328
Publish It with MS Word, 331
Office Links menu commands
Analyze It with MS Excel, 332
Merge It, 328
Publish It with MS Word, 331
Office on the Web command (Help menu), 50
Office shortcut toolbar, 31
Office Web Server Extensions, 358
OLE (Object Linking and Embedding), 117
OLE data type, 254
OLE Object data type, 89
Open an Existing File command, 31
open
database, 31
queries, 96, 98
splash screen, 33
tables, 82
operators, 274
option buttons, 175
option groups, 175
Options dialog box, 141
Order By property, 105, 166
Order Entry database creation, 20
orphan records, 222, 236
Output All Fields property, 105, 166
P
page footer, 188
Page function, 193
page numbers, 193
pages, 38
password, 60, 349
Password Required screen, 59
Paste Append command (Edit menu), 74
Peer Web Services, 356
permissions, 80, 350
Personal Web Server. See PWS, 356
picture property, 192
pivot table, 294
platform selection, 241
Precision property, 257
primary key, 85, 148, 157, 169, 217, 234, 242
AutoNumber data type, 234
button, 149
define, 250
defined, 148
natural key, 234
select fields as, 252
Primary Key command (Edit menu), 149
print. See also reports
Datasheet view, 78
Forms, 117, 123
queries , 98
tables, 83
Print command (File menu), 79, 123, 133
Print dialog box, 123–124, 134
Print Preview view, 128, 186
properties, 172, 176
Allow Nulls, 257
Default Value, 256
Field Size, 255
fields, 90, 166
Format, 255
Identity, 257
input masks, 256
joins, 164
Length, 255
lookup, 256
name, 176
Precision, 257
queries, 104, 165–166
report, 188–189, 196
Scale, 257
sheet, 176
SQL Server fields, 257
tables, 140, 168
Properties button, 108
Properties command (View menu)
fields, 105
fields in queries, 166
queries , 99
tables, 83, 140–141
Property sheet, report Design view, 186
Publish It with MS Word command (Office Links menu), 331
PWS (Personal Web Server), 356, 358
Q
QBE (Query by Example), 101
criteria, 161
Design Grid, 102
Design view, 101
grid, 158, 166
sort order, 159
queries, 13, 36
action, 103, 265
add fields, 157, 300, 302
add tables, 158
append query, 265
Apply/Remove Filter button, 109
Build button, 108
calculated fields, 275
case in, 272
closing, 110
create, 215, 265–269
criteria, 103, 161, 271, 302
Criteria edit boxes, 161
Crosstab, 97, 266
Crosstab Query Wizard, 222, 266
Database Window button, 108–109
Datasheet view, 98–99, 109
defined, 95
delete field, 159
delete query, 265
Delete Record button, 109
Description column, 98
Description property, 105, 165
Design Grid, 13, 101, 103, 157, 267, 269
Design view, 13, 98, 100, 106, 156–162, 266–267, 271
export to Excel, 332
Expression Builder, 161, 271
Field List, 156, 58
field properties, 105–106
fields, 102, 269
Filter by Form button, 109
Filter by Selection button, 109
filter data, 100
Filter property, 105, 166
filtering results, 277
Find button, 109
Find Duplicates Query Wizard, 222, 266
Find Unmatched Query Wizard, 222, 267
for reports, 296, 298–299, 303
grouping, 277–278
hide field in output, 272
Input Mask, 106
Insert Hyperlink button, 109
link to report, 303
mail merge with, 328
make-table query, 265
modify, 267
move field, 159
multiple table, 162
New Object button, 108–109
New Record button, 109
Office Assistant button, 108–109
opening, 96
operators, 274
or operator, 280
Order By property, 105, 166
Output All Fields property, 105, 166
parameters, 274
primary key, 157
properties, 104, 165
Properties button, 108
QBE (Query by Example) grid, 158–161, 166, 266–267, 270–271
relationships in, 299
remove field, 159
Remove Table command, 157
rename field, 300
Run button, 107
saving, 168
Select, 97, 265–266
shortcut menu, 98
Show row checkboxes, 160, 272
Show Table button, 107
Simple Query Wizard, 221, 266
Sort Ascending button, 109
sort order, 270
sorting, 100, 103, 159
SQL Server, 96
SQL View, 13, 102, 266
Subdatasheet Properties, 166
summary data, 278
toolbars, 106
Top n, 97
Top Values button, 107
Totals button, 107
Totals toolbar button, 278
Type button, 107
types, 96
Union, 97, 101, 110, 169
Unique Records property, 105, 166
Unique Values property, 105, 166, 280
update query, 265
updating, 100
view (SQL Server), 96
wildcard characters, 273, 280
wizards, 221
Word 2000 document from, 331
Query builder, 300
Query by Example. See QBE, 101
Query menu commands, Show Table, 157
Query Properties dialog box, 165
Query Shortcut Menu, 98
Query Type button, 107
Query Wizards, 221
quit Access, 40
R
radio buttons, 175
records
adding, 87
defined, 232
orphan, 222
selecting, 87
source property, 192
widow, 222
Records menu commands
Remove Filter/Sort , 69
Sort, 69
recordset navigators, 367
referential integrity, 62, 153, 236
relational database, 9
defined, 8
model, 148
qualities, 230
relationships, 39, 42, 64, 152
create, 260–261
database model of, 203
defined, 233
edit, 152
joining tables, 164
many-to-many, 238
master table, 152
one-to-many, 238
one-to-one, 237
orphan records, 222
queries, in, 299
referential integrity, 236
saving, 153
SQL Server, 261
subforms, 183
Table Relationship dialog box, 208
Table Wizard, 208, 217
viewing, 61
widow records, 222
Relationships command (Tools menu), 152, 236, 260
Relationships dialog box, 153, 209
Relationships window, 152, 261
reliability, SQL Server, 242
Remove Filter/Sort command (Records menu), 69
Remove Table command, 157
Removing User-Level Security, 60
Rename command
queries , 99
tables, 83
repair, 344
Replicable option, 92
replicated database, 141, 351, 350
Replication ID fields, 91
Report Displays dialog box, 205
Report Header/Footer command (View menu), 304
Report Wizards, 222
reports, 16, 37, 127–130, 132–135, 295
all properties, 190
AutoReport, 223
blank areas, removing, 135
calculations, 309
color selection, 305
controls, 185, 297
convert from form, 21
create, 215, 222, 297, 303, 309
create query for, 296, 298–299
Database Documenters, 63
dates, 192, 304
design, 185
design appearance, 296
Design view, 132, 186
detail section, 188
export to Excel, 332
expressions, 192
Field list, 186
Field list box, 305
Footers, 188, 307
form saved as, 131
graphics, 135, 195, 297
group, 297, 306
Group footers, 188
Group headers, 188
header, 188, 304–305
label fields, 304–305
label tool, 305
labels, 130
Layout Preview, 186
link to query, 303
macros, 190
mail merge, 130
Mailing Label Report, 130
Microsoft Excel file, save as, 135
Microsoft Word file, save as, 135
modification, 185
Now function, 192
Open command, 128
page footer, 188
Page function, 193
page header, 188
page numbers, 193, 307
page orientation, 134
Page Preview view, 132
print, 134
Print Preview view, 128, 186, 307
printing, 133
properties, 185, 188–189
Allow Edits, 196
caption, 192
Control Source text, 193
data, 189
event, 190
format, 189, 192
Group Header, 188
Navigation Buttons, 196
other, 190
picture, 192
record source, 192
Views Allowed, 196
Property sheet, 186, 189
queries for, 303
save, 135
sort, 297, 306
steps in designing, 296
tabular, 129
text box , 305, 307
title, 188, 304–305
Toolbox, 186
wizards, 222
Word 2000 document from, 331
Required property, 91, 93, 146
restore back up, 346
Restore/Maximize button, 34
row height, 77
Row Height command (Format menu), 78
Row Level Tracking option, 92
rows, number of, 249
Rows command (Insert menu), 144
Run button, 107
Run menu commands, Single Step, 320
S
save
macros, 317
changes, 74
Save As command
queries, 98
tables, 83
Save command
File menu, 168
table design, 150
Scale property, 257
Screen Displays Style dialog box, 205
Screen tips, 49
searches, 10–11. See also queries
security, 349
ASP, 372
encrypted databases, 60
fields, by, 237
forms for, 184
groups, 350
password, 59, 349
permissions, 350
platform issues, 29
SQL Server, 241
user-level, 60, 350
Security menu commands, Encrypt/Decrypt Database, 60
security permissions, 80
Select Data Source dialog box, 337
Select Microsoft Word Document file open dialog box, 331
Select queries, 97
select query. See queries, select
select records by criteria, 160
self-join, 233
Send To command
queries, 98
tables, 83
server, Web. See Web server
setup SQL Server access, 58
setup. See installation
shortcut to queries, 99
shortcut keys
Add new record, 74
data entry, 74
Delete current record, 74
edit field, 87
field, next or prior, 87
Insert current date, 74
Insert current time, 74
Insert default value, 74
Insert new record, 74
Insert value from prior record, 74
Save changes, 74
Toggle between values, 74
Show Table button, queries, 107
Show Table command (Query menu), 157
Show Table dialog box, 157
Simple Query Wizard, 221, 266
single fields, 90
Single Step command (Run menu), 320
size, field, 146
Size command (Format menu), 181
Snap to Grid, 180
sort
datasheet view, 68
labels, 335
report data, 297
queries, 100, 103, 159
Sort Ascending button , 109
Sort Ascending command (datasheet view toolbar), 68–69
Sort command (Records menu), 69
Sort Descending button, 109
Sort Descending command (datasheet view toolbar), 68–69
Sorting and Grouping dialog box, 306
Source property, tables, 168
splash screen, 33, 56
split fields to new table, 212–213
spreadsheet. See Microsoft Excel, 332
SQL (Structured Query Language)
defined, 101
view, 102
SQL Server, 19
Access Project (ADP) files, 56
AutoNumber data type, 235
client access modules, 57
compatibility, 28
create table, 246, 248, 252
data types, 254–255
database design, 230
Database Diagram, 236, 261
Design view, 252
field properties, 257
identity column, 235
indexes, 259
installation, 28–30
Length property, 255
login, 57
Merge It with MS Word Office Link, 328
open database, 56–57
queries (views), 96, 266
query Design Grid, 268
security, 241
Service Manager, 30
Stored Procedures, export to Excel, 332
Test Connection button, 57
Views, export to Excel, 332
when to use, 241
SQL View, 13, 102
SQL View command, 102
start, 31
Start button, 31
Startup macro, 56, 64
static data, 359
statistics, 192
Status Bar Text property, 90
status line, 35
storage limit, 18
Stored Procedures, export to Excel, 332
Structured Query Language. See SQL, 101
subdatasheets, 19, 67, 75
displaying, 88
formatting, 76
properties, 166
subforms, 182, 294
System Menu button, 33
T
Table Analyzer Wizard, 209–213
dialog box, 210–213
Table Properties dialog box, 141
Table Relationship dialog box, 208
Table Wizard, 201, 207, 216–218, 246
dialog box, 207
Form creation with, 209
relationships, 208, 217
table/query pane, 102, 267
tables, 12, 36, 42, 81. See also fields
add new, 207
Add to Group, 83
Alias property, 168
copying, 83
create, 215, 241, 245–248, 262
create fields, 250
create in Design View, 250–252
Create Shortcut command, 83
cutting, 83
Datasheet view, 13, 85, 246, 248
defined, 231
define primary key, 250
Delete command, 83
design, 139–150, 240
Design view, 13, 84, 142, 246
Details button, 83
Export, 83
export to Excel, 332
field modification, 142–143, 145–147
fields, 142–144, 248
filtering, 141
hidden, 141
import, 246
indexes, 148–149
intermediary, 238
joined, 152
link, 246
list screen, 247
mail merge with, 328
master, 152
modify design, 140
name fields, 251
names, 168
New Table dialog box, 247
New Table Wizard, 247
opening, 82
primary key, 85, 217, 252
printing, 83
Properties, 83, 91, 140, 168
relationships, 152, 217
rename, 83
rename fields, 249
samples, 216
Save As, 83
save design, 252
Send To command, 83
sorting, 141
Source property, 168
SQL Server , 248
Table Wizard, 246
wizard, 207, 216, 218
Word 2000 document from, 331
templates
database, 223
HTML, 359, 361
Data Access Pages, 366
tokens, 360
new database, 204
table creation, 207
template selection dialog box, 204
Test Validation Rules command (Edit menu), 148
text boxes, 175
text data type, 89, 253
time expressions, 197
time, insert current, 121
title bar, 33
Toggle between values, 74
toggle buttons, 175
tokens, HTML template, 360
toolbars, 34
Datasheet view, 67
Folder Bar, 35
menu bar, 34
Office shortcut, 31
queries, 106
ToolTips, 49
Toolbars command (View menu), 35
toolboxes
controls, 178
forms, 283
report, design view, 186
Tools menu commands
Compact & Repair Database, 342, 344
Convert Database, 348
Hidden objects, 141
Options , 141
Relationships, 152, 236, 260
ToolTips, 49
Top n queries, 97
Top Values button, 107
Totals button, 107
Totals toolbar button, 278
troubleshooting macros, 319
U
Unicode, 30
Union queries, 97, 101, 110, 169
Unique Records property, 105, 166
Unique Values property, 105, 166
UNIX Web server, 372
updating data, not updatable, 73
updating records, 73
upgrade considerations, 349
user ID, 60
user interface, 19
user-level security, 350
users
limit of, 18
multiple, SQL Server, 241
number of, 29
V
Validation Rule, 146, 150
Validation Rule property, 91, 147
Validation Text, 146
VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), 18, 323
VBScript, 362
View menu commands, 35
Details, 83
Form Header/Footer, 290
Indexes, 149
Join Properties, 164
Macro Name, 315
Properties, 105, 140–141, 166
Report Header/Footer, 304
SQL View, 102
Toolbars, 35
View Merged Data button, 329
views, 13
export to Excel, 332
forms, 117
SQL Server, 96, 266
Views Allowed property, 196
Visual Basic for Applications, 18, 323
W-Z
Web browsers, 356
Data Access Page with, 367
Web folders, 20, 358–359
Web pages, 38, 355–356. See also ASP; Data Access Pages
determining location, 368
dynamic, creation, 361–367
linking to database, 17
links, 360
publishing to, 359
static, 359–360
Web Publishing Wizard, UNIX server, 372
Web server, 356, 358, 362, 372
What’s This command (Help menu), 50
widow records, 222
width, column, 77
wildcard characters, 273
Windows Explorer, 31, 358
Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack, 357
wizards, 12, 215, 217–218, 220, 222–225
Access Upsizing Wizard, 29
Answer Wizard, 46
Combo Box, 288–290
create new, 225
creating your own, 214
Crosstab Query, 222, 266
Data Access Page, 365–367
Database, 203, 223–224
Find Duplicates Query, 222, 266
Find Unmatched Query, 222, 267
form, 218, 220–221
Input Mask Wizard, 256
Label Wizard, 333, 335
Lookup Wizard, 256
Microsoft Word Mail Merge, 328
Microsoft SQL Server Database Wizard, 58
modify existing, 225
New Table Wizard, 247
report, 222
Simple Query, 221, 266
table, 216, 218
Table Wizard, 246
table. See Table Wizard, 207
Web Publishing, 372
Word 2000
create document from Access, 331
mail merge, 328
word wrap feature, 175
Workgroup Information file, 350
World Wide Web. See Web, 355
Yes/No data type, 89, 253
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