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Chapter 4. Working with Access Databases... > Using Access Database Files and Tabl...

Using Access Database Files and Tables

Access has its own database file structure, similar to that used by client/server RDBMSs, and uses the .mdb extension. As discussed in this chapter's introduction, Access differs from traditional PC databases in that a single file contains all the related tables, indexes, forms, and report definitions. The .mdb file even includes the programming code that you write in Access VBA. You don't need to be concerned with the intricacies of the .mdb file structure because Access handles all the details of file management for you.

All the field data types familiar to xBase and Paradox users are available in Access, as well as some new and useful field data types, such as Currency for monetary transactions. dBASE users need to learn to use the term table for file and database to indicate a group of related tables or files, the equivalent of dBASE's CATALOG. Records commonly are called rows, and fields often are called columns. This book uses the terms records and fields when referring to database tables, rows, and columns for sets of records returned by queries. Users with Paradox, Excel, or 1-2-3 experience should find the terminology of Access quite familiar. Paradox and FoxPro users will appreciate dealing with only one .mdb file rather than the myriad of files that make up a multitable Paradox or FoxPro database.


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