Access Database Design

What is Access?

Access is one of the utilities of the Microsoft Office Suite and is an information management tool that helps you store information for reporting and analysis. Access allows you to analyze large amounts of information and manage related pieces of data more proficiently than using spreadsheet applications.

What Is a Database?

A database is a data structure that stores organized information, data. Most databases will have multiple tables, each including several different fields. Access database design determines how the data is managed within Access.


How Does an Access Database Work?

Access allows you to create a database which stores related information together, and create relationships between different pieces of information, which may be very simple, e.g. the contact for a customer and the customer, or complex.

The data is stored in Access tables and a table can have many fields. Each field can be designed to allow, or prevent, users from entering certain information. Once your Access tables, fields, and relationships have been set up, you create data entry forms to enter the data into the tables which store the information, then produce reports. The Access database design, determining the structure of the database, is integral to achieving the results from its use.

Access Database Design

Access forms are easy to design using a wysiwyg form design tool. And you can then use the Access forms to make data entry easy for users simply by grouping related fields together and hiding others. The Microsoft Access Command Button Wizard also aids in creating simple buttons for your forms.

Properly designed databases provide access to up-to-date and accurate information, simply. But, you will get out what you put in, a good Access database design is vital to achieving the desired results from the database. With a properly designed database you are more likely to have a database that meets your needs and can be easily changed, if required.

The Access database design process consists of several steps as follows:

  1. Determine the purpose of yourdatabase; what will it be used for? What are the desired results?
  2. What is the information required? Locate and organize the information required.
  3. Divide the required information into tables.
  4. Organize the information items into columns.
  5. Identify and specify the primary keys.
  6. Set up the table relationships between the information.
  7. Refine yourdesign, if necessary.
  8. Apply the normalization rules.

Ensure to pay attention to the design phase of creating your database using Access.