Introduction to MS Access - Grant and Research Development

Report
Introduction to MS Access
Steve Shapiro
Computer Services Manager
Office of Research Services and Administration
University of Oregon
Region VI/VII NCURA Conference
April, 2011
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What is a Database?
• a comprehensive collection of related data
organized for convenient access, generally in a
computer
dictionary.reference.com/browse/database
• This definition was found via a search of Google’s database
• Databases are all around us, and all of us interact with them
on a daily basis.
• Who said you can’t make your own?
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Where does MS Access fit?
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_relational_database_management_systems
lists history for about 50 database programs
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Popular Databases:
Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, FileMaker, Ingres, MySQL, Corel Paradox, Dbase III,
R:Base
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MS Access is a low-end to mid-tier database application
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It runs independently on workstations for single users
It runs on servers that can be accessed by multiple users at the same time on a network
It provides a user friendlier front end to more powerful database applications such as Oracle and MS SQL Server
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What is MS Access?
• MS Access is a relational database, meaning
that data is stored in multiple tables that are
related to each other.
– PI’s in one table, their awards in another table.
The database maintains a connection between the
tables using something called a ‘key’ – a number
that is the same in both tables.
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History
• Access is one of the few products originally developed
by Microsoft
• Development began in the mid 1980’s
• Combined with other databases that Microsoft
licensed such as R:Base and FoxPro
• Released in November 1992 as a single user application
for very small (<10mb) files
• Became dominant database for windows when
competitors failed to transition to Windows
successfully.
• Now a very stable and robust application, scaling from
1 to many users and up to 2g of data in each file
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Today’s Session
• Will cover < 1% of MS Access capability
• We won’t talk about
– Security
– Advanced anything
• Forms, queries, front/back ends, modules, macros
– Interfacing with other databases
– Advanced Data Validation
– Questions on these and other topics are welcome!
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Relational Database?
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Keys relate information
in different tables
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5 Major Components of Access
Access Database Objects
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Tables
Queries
Forms
Macros
Modules
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Tables
Tables hold the information, called data
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Tables - Data Types
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Text Use for text or combinations of text and numbers, such as addresses, or for numbers
that do not require calculations, such as phone numbers or postal codes (255 characters)
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Memo Use for lengthy text and numbers, such as notes. Stores up to 63,999 characters
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Number Use for data to be included in mathematical calculations, except money
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Date/Time Use for dates and times
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Currency Use for currency values and to prevent rounding off during calculations.
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AutoNumber Use for unique sequential that are automatically inserted with a new record
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Yes/No Use for data that can be only one of two possible values, such as Yes/No, True/False,
On/Off.
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OLE Object Use for OLE objects (such as Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel
spreadsheets, pictures, sounds,
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Hyperlink Use for hyperlinks (hyperlink: Colored and underlined text or a graphic that you
click to go to a file, a location in a file, a Web page on the World Wide Web, or a Web page on
an intranet. Stores up to 2048 characters.
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Lookup Wizard Use to create a field that allows you to choose a value from another table or
from a list of values using a combo box
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Table Encounter
• The prospect of creating multiple tables almost always
intimidates beginning database users. Most often, beginners
will want to create one huge table that contains all of the
information they need, similar to an Excel spreadsheet.
• When thinking about which fields to add to a table, a good
first guess is: What piece of information will only occur once?
– Such as
• A person will probably only have one first name, though it may change
– First_Name is a good candidate for the “PI” table
• A table needs at least on field that never duplicates in the same table
– Two or more people can have the same first, last and middle names
• A person may have more than one award (per name)
– The award title is not a good candidate for the PI table, since we don’t know how many awards a person
may have
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Queries
• Queries select and modify
specific data
• “Queries convert data to
information”
• They are used to populate forms
and reports
• MS Access uses a visual query
wizard to help novice (and
advanced!) users construct
queries
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Simple Queries From a Single Table
• Select Award_Title from
Awards where (Award_Title
Like “Exploring*”) and
(Closed = False) Order By
Award_Date;
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Simple Queries from Multiple Tables
• Set up relationships
(Access may make you do this and if it does, will help you with
a wizard)
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Simple Queries from Multiple Tables
• SELECT
PIs.[First Name],
Awards.Award_Title,
Awards.Award_Date,
Awards.Closed
• FROM
PIs
INNER JOIN Awards
ON
PIs.ID = Awards.PI_ID;
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Action Queries
• Queries can update, add or delete records
from a table
• DELETE * FROM Pis WHERE (PIs.[First Name])="No Research";
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Forms
• Forms let you enter and display specific data
in a customized format.
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Basic Types of Forms
• Single Record
• Datasheet
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Form Controls
• Bound Controls
– Are directly ‘attached’ to the data and will update
as you leave the field on the form
• UnBound Controls
– Have to be manipulated with program code
• Calculated Controls
– Do not exist in the data tables. They are derived
based on other controls or fields in the database
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Types of Controls
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Text Box: Displays and allows user to enter data
Label: Displays static text
Button: Does something by runnning macros or VBA Code
Combo Box: A drop down list of values
List Box: A list of values
SubForm: a form of related data within a form
Shapes: boxes, lines, images
Check Boxes: Yes/No or True/False
Option Groups: choose one option from a group
Toggle Buttons: enabled or not enabled
Tabs: for forms with lots of data, multiple tabbed pages
Charts: Display data in graphical format
More…
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Properties
What can a Control look like and how can it act?
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Events – Making Access Do Something
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Visual Basic Code in a Form
• Behind a button
Private Sub btn_Close_Click()
DoCmd.Close acForm, frm_PI_Awards
End Sub
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Data Validation and formatting
In the Table
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Data Validation
On the Form
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Macros
• Wizard driven tool to automate repetitive
tasks
• Can be very simple or very complex
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Reports
• Reports display and print formatted data
– Text
• Form Letters, columnar reports, grouped reports
– Graphics
– Sub Reports
– Export to other formats, such as spreadsheet,
word processing
– Wizard driven or drive yourself
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Designing a Report
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Modules
• Modules contain Visual Basic for Applications
program code as subroutines or functions
• Visible from anywhere in the Application:
– tables, queries, forms, macros and reports
• Subroutines typically do something
• Functions do something and return a result
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VBA Code
• Wizard and context assistants help write code
• Almost, but not quite understandable
Public Function Activate_Detail_Form(My_Form As Form)
Dim db As Database
Dim rec As Recordset
Set db = CurrentDb()
Set rec = db.OpenRecordset("tbl_sys_Color_Scheme", dbOpenSnapshot)
rec.MoveFirst
My_Form.FormHeader.BackColor = rec!Detail_Header_BackGround_Color
My_Form.Label1.ForeColor = rec!Detail_Header_Font_Color
rec.Close
Set rec = Nothing
Set db = Nothing
My_Form.Repaint
End Function
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Getting Started with Access
• Database development is quite unlike most other
programs used to create information in a computer,
such as word processing or spreadsheet.
• Database development requires prior knowledge
• A beginning user opening Access for the first time
likely has no idea where to start. Unlike Word or
Excel, you can’t just ‘start typing’
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Create Ribbon
• Starting point for all new objects in the
database
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Conventions
• Application developers like to label objects in their
applications in such a manner that when they go back to look
at it several years later, they can figure out what they’ve done.
• We use prefixes and suffixes when we name things:
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Tables: tbl_Awards
Forms: frm_Awards
Buttons on forms: btn_Form_Close
Reports: rpt_Reports
Text fields within a table: PI_Name_txt
Integer Fields within a table: Award_Number_txt
• Spaces in object names are allowed, but dangerous.
Use underscores “_” or enclose object names in brackets
[tbl Awards]
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Educational Materials
• Office.microsoft.com
– Templates  Databases
• My favorite Book:
– Microsoft Access 2010 Bible
• By Michael Groh
• Search Engine: [Access 2010 and your question]
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