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Part 2: Designing Queries > Understanding Operators and Expressions in Access

Chapter 9. Understanding Operators and Expressions in Access

Chapter 5, "Entering, Editing, and Validating Data in Tables," briefly introduced you to operators and the expressions that use them when you added validation rules to table fields. Chapter 8, "Using Query by Example," touched on expressions again when you devised selection criteria for the query that you created. You must use expressions with the forms (Chapters 12 and 13), reports (Chapters 14 and 15), and queries (Chapters 8 and 10) that you combine when creating custom Access applications; furthermore, you use expressions extensively when programming with Access VBA (Chapter 26 through Chapter 29). To work effectively with Access, therefore, you must know how to create simple expressions that use Access's group of functions and operators.

If you use spreadsheet applications, such as Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-2-3, you might be familiar with using operators to create expressions. In spreadsheet applications, expressions are called formulas. As discussed in Chapter 4, "Working with Access Databases and Tables," the syntax for expressions that create default values, such as =Date + 28, is similar to formula entries in Excel. Conditional expressions that use the =IIF function in Excel use the IIf function in Access.

Much of this chapter is devoted to describing the functions available in Access for manipulating data of the Numeric and Text field data type. Functions play important roles in every element of Access, from validation rules for tables and fields of tables, to the control of program flow in Access VBA. You use functions when creating queries, forms, reports, and when writing Access VBA code. To use Access effectively, you must know what functions are available to you.


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