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Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office Access 2003 in 24 Hours! This book is composed of 24 one-hour lessons designed to teach you the basics of working with the very powerful database product Access.

This book is divided into five parts. Part I is “Introduction to Relational Databases and Access 2003.” As its name implies, this part is an overview to both relational databases and Access. In this part you'll learn the types of tasks you can perform in Access. You'll also get a preview of Microsoft Access, and of the various database components.

The hours in Part II, “Working with Existing Databases and Objects,” are designed to provide you with all the skills necessary to work with existing databases, tables, queries, forms, and reports. Many people who use Access are not responsible for designing databases or the objects within them. They are simply responsible for entering new data, modifying or viewing existing data, and running queries and reports. Part II provides all the necessary skills to perform these important tasks.

Part III, “Creating Your Own Database and Objects,” is for those of you who are ready to roll up your sleeves and get involved in the design of database objects. Part III teaches you how to create databases with and without the use of wizards. You'll learn how to create tables and establish relationships. Then you'll learn the basic skills necessary to build queries, forms, and reports. Finally, you'll learn how to automate databases by using macros.

Part IV, “Power Access Techniques,” is for those of you who are power users or wish to get started as developers. In Part IV you'll learn power table techniques, power query techniques, power form techniques, and power report techniques. Armed with these power techniques, you will be ready to take full advantage of all the features that tables, queries, forms, and reports have to offer.

Part V, “Advanced Topics,” includes several important additional topics. This part begins by showing you how you can share Access data with other applications, such as Microsoft Excel. You'll then learn how Access integrates with the Internet. Part V then covers special topics such as database administration, database documentation, and database security. If you are interested in application development, you should take a look at Hour 23, “Modules Introduced,” which provides an introduction to modules and application development with Access 2003. The final hour covers the process of adding important finishing touches to the databases that you build.

Access is a very fun and exciting database tool to work with. With the keys to deliver all that it offers, you can produce databases that provide much satisfaction and solve important business problems. After you complete this hands-on guide, you, too, can become masterful at this very powerful database tool. This book is dedicated to demonstrating how you can fulfill the promise of making Access 2003 perform up to its lofty capabilities. As you will see, you have the ability to really make Access 2003 shine in the everyday world!

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