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Creating a New Database

If you have experience with relational database management systems, you might want to start building your own database as you progress through this book. In this case, you need to create a new database file at this point. If database management systems are new to you, however, you should instead explore the sample databases supplied with Access as you progress through the chapters of this book and design your first database by using the principles outlined in Chapter 22, "Exploring Relational Database Design and Implementation." Then return to this section and create your new database file.

To create a new database, follow these steps:

If you aren't already running Access, launch it and skip to step 3.

If Access is running and the Database window is visible, click its title bar to make it active. If the Database window is not visible, click the Show Database Window button of the toolbar, choose Window, 1 Database, or press the F11 key.

Click the New Database button of the toolbar, or choose File, New Database. For the Database toolbar to be visible and the New Database and other database file options to be present when you open the File menu, the Access application window must be empty or the Database window must be active. The New dialog appears as shown in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2. The New dialog, in which you select the type of database to create.

The General page of the New dialog enables you to choose to create a blank database, and the Database page lets you use any one of 22 new database templates. Access 97 comes with database templates for asset tracking, book and video collections, contact management, and many other typical business and personal database uses. You choose a template that suits the purpose for which you want to create the database.

For this example, click the General tab, select Blank Database, and then click OK to display the File New Database dialog shown in Figure 4.3.

Access supplies the default file name, db1.mdb, for new databases. (If you have previously saved a database file as db1.mdb in the current folder, Access proposes db2.mdb as the default.)

Figure 4.3. The File New Database dialog, in which you enter the new database's name.

In the File Name text box, enter a file name for the new database. Use conventional Windows 95 file-naming rules (you can use spaces and punctuation in the name). Don't include an extension in the file name; Access automatically supplies the .mdb extension.

Click Create or press Enter to create the new database.

If a database was open when you created the new database, Access closes any windows associated with the database and the Database window. During the process of creating the database, the following message appears in the status bar:

Verifying system objects

Whenever you open a new or existing database, Access checks whether all the database's elements are intact. Access's main window and the Database window for the new database (named new.mdb for this example) appear as shown in Figure 4.4.

Figure 4.4. The Database window for a newly created database.



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