Database Management

Microsoft Access is a desktop based database, used for small scale data storage it's also not a true Relational Database since it does not require the use of primary key's.

Unlike most databases its niche is not the large company, but the small time user. Managing hundreds of entries is to small a job for programs like Oracle, but is ideally suited for the smaller and more user friendly Microsoft Access.

A Brief Background[]

The birth of Access[]

Since its inception the database has been something stored in a mainframe, or minicomputer, something that belonged to a large department or company. As the power of computers grew, and their prices shrank, these databases began to be purchased by more groups of people, leading to what is referred to as Islands of Information (phenomena where each department has its own database, and do not interact with the company’s database.)

As the price and functionality of desktop machines has grown, the distribution of these Islands of Information has continued to disperse. Modern databases fight this by using small client side views to interact with the main database. Even with this innovation Islands of Information continue to grow up like weeds, and subsequently is the bane of any database administrator.

Humankind’s almost innate desire to have physical control over things has led to a market for a personal database. This is the niche of Microsoft’s Access database.

Version History[]

Microsoft Access has come a long way, having been under many different names and slowly moving away from a standalone product to just another face in the Microsoft Office Suite. The following is a brief history of all the different releases of Microsoft Access.

  • Version 1 - Microsoft Access - Released in 1992
    The first version of Microsoft Access was compatible with Windows 3.1. This version was not packaged with the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Version 2 - Microsoft Access 2 - Released in 1993
    The second version of Microsoft Access, still compatible with Windows 3.1, was the first version of Access packaged and/or linked to a Micosoft Office suite (Microsoft Office 4.3 Professional in this case).
  • Version 7 - Microsoft Access for Windows 95 - Released in 1995
    The third version of Microsoft Access, called version 7 to indicate compatibility with Microsoft Word Version 7 and the first Access release to be packed within a Microsoft Office suite (Office 95 in this case).
  • Version 8 - Microsoft Access 97 - Released in 1997
    The fourth Access release and the second to be packed with a Microsoft Office Suite. This version was the first version to be compatible with non-Windows platforms.
  • Version 9 - Microsoft Access 2000 - Released in 1999
    The fifth Access release, continuing its partnership with Microsoft Office. However, the basic Office 2000 suite did not include Access. Office 2000 Pro and Premium included Access.
  • Version 10 - Microsoft Access 2002 - Released in 2001
    The sixth Access release and packaged with all versions of Microsoft Office XP.
  • Version 11 - Microsoft Access 2003 - Released in 2002
    The seventh Access release packaged with all Microsoft Office 2003 suites.
  • Version 12 - Microsoft Access 2007 - Released in 2007
    The eighth and current version of Microsoft Access. This version is packaged with all versions of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite.
  • Version 13 Microsoft Access 2010 - Release in 2009.
The ninth version of Microsoft Access. This version continues to be packed with the Microsot Office products this one is Microsoft Office 2010.

What makes it valuable[]

A lot of the beauty of behind Access stems from its ease of use, primarily marketed for laymen.

With no prior knowledge of SQL or databases a user can create tables, execute queries, generate forms, and build reports. Through using a wizard a user can create tables, then fill them out using an intuative interface. By coupling this wizard with a series of templates Access can generate forms that can be used to display the data in the database.

Lastly creating relationships is as simple as opening a picture and dragging fields from one table to the next. Queries are equally easy to use, generated by dragging the fields wanted from a generated image into a table.

--Chase Swearingen 05:24, October 19, 2009 (UTC)Chase Swearingen