Microsoft Access

Microsoft Accessfor Windows

By Microsoft Corporation (Free to try)
Thomas Lucero
Thomas Lucero
Appsitory Reviewer

A classic DBMS

Microsoft Access for Windows is a database management system (DBMS) from Microsoft that combines the Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software development tools. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications included in professional and later releases. We will tell you more about this program.

What is this program?

Access is one of the primary Microsoft programs. This application allows you to quickly and efficiently manage databases, such as tables, text files, and other popular data formats. This database management system (DBMS) makes the process much easier. Due to this application, you can store large amounts of information and process it conveniently.

The program stores information called a database. To use MS Access, you need to follow these four steps:

  • Database creation: create a Microsoft Access database and specify the data you will store in it;

  • Data entry: once your database is created, each workday's data can be entered into the Access database;

  • Query: this unusual term is needed to describe the process of retrieving information from the database;

  • Report (optional): information from the database is organized into a convenient presentation that can be printed in an Access report.

Microsoft Access for Windows is a relational database. It allows you to work simultaneously with several databases to simplify the data structure and the work process.

The general points

  • Microsoft Access is only part of Microsoft's overall data management strategy;

  • It stores data in a proprietary format based on the Access Jet database core;

  • Like relational databases, Microsoft Access also makes it easy to link related information, such as customer and order data;

  • It can also import or link directly to data stored in other applications and databases;

  • Microsoft Access can work now with data from other sources, including many popular PC-based database programs, many SQL (Structured Query Language) databases on desktops, servers, minicomputers, or mainframes, and data stored on a web server;

  • Microsoft Access can also understand and use many other data formats, including other database file structures;

  • You can export and import data from word processing files, spreadsheets, or databases directly;

  • Access can work with most popular databases that support the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard, including SQL Server, Oracle, and DB2;

  • Software developers can use Microsoft Access to develop application software.

Structure and fields

The convenient structure of the database is an undoubted advantage of Microsoft Access. You can add existing databases to your applications. Fields are the basis of the database structure.

Their properties determine the operations you can perform. The filling of these databases is done by creating records. The most straightforward databases are the text ones and those made in Excel format.

Name, Signature, and Length are the properties of a field. They are used to set the necessary parameters. Fields also have different types, including:

  • Text;

  • Numeric;

  • Date/Time;

  • Logical;

  • Monetary;

  • Counter;

  • Long text.

Only text information is entered in the first case, while numeric details are entered in the second case. A monetary field stores a numeric value and the designation of some currency. The logical area allows you to store only two values, "yes" or "no." The Counter is primarily used for numbering records in the database. The long text allows you to store much more information than the ordinary numeric field, which stores no more than 256 characters. The Data/Time field can hold the appropriate information.

The creation of the database must begin with a detailed design of a table structure. It should be such that you have to enter less data when working. It would be best if you avoided the difficulties related to repeating fields of the same name. Good work with unique fields can be the way out of this situation. These are fields with values that cannot be repeated. You can configure them manually.


Microsoft Access for Windows works with 6 types of objects:

  • Tables;

  • Queries;

  • Forms;

  • Reports;

  • Macros;

  • Modules.

Tables with all the data are the main objects of any database. You can use Queries to organize the information, filter the necessary data, and perform editing.

The Forms allow you to enter the new data into the database and view the current information. Reports provide information as a form or invoice that can be printed out.

Macros become relevant when there is a need to repeat the same operations often. This is a unique set of commands used when working with the database. Modules are programs created using the Visual Basic language.

Operation modes

All work with the database can be divided into two modes: user and designer. The designer mode allows you to create new objects and change the database structure because it has the necessary authority. It can work with all the database elements.

The user has limited permissions. They can add new elements to the database but cannot solve more serious tasks related to the database structure.


There are several options for creating tables in Microsoft Access for Windows. The table mode allows you to use an existing template. The constructor mode is suitable for professionals.

You can use the "Table Wizard" program to speed up the process. "Table Import" is suitable for importing a ready base that works in another system.

You can link the tables when it is impossible to import the database completely, but connecting it to another database is necessary.

When working with tables, you can use the standard management methods applied to other Office applications. Word and Excel skills are suitable here.

Working in real-time

One important point should be noted: Microsoft Access makes real-time changes. Every action you take leads to the saving of information. You cannot do experiments here. However, the DBMS provides a high level of security and reliability.

  • It provides users with a variety of templates
  • Has a functional layout
  • Lets users run complex queries
  • It doesn't offer regular feature updates
  • No web app alternative
  • Not cross-platform

More info

Microsoft Corporation