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INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

In this introduction

Who Should Read This Book

How This Book Is Organized

How This Book Is Designed

Typographic Conventions Used in This Book

System Requirements for Access 2002

Other Sources of Information for Access

Access 2002 (version 10.0) is a powerful and robust 32-bit relational database management system (RDBMS) for creating desktop and client/server database applications that run under Windows 98, Me, and XP, and Windows NT 4.0/2000+. As a component of the Professional, Premium, and Developer editions of the Microsoft Office XP suite, Access 2002 has an upgraded user interface that's consistent with the other members of the Office XP suite.

Access has vanquished its desktop relational database management system (RDBMS) rivals. A primary reason for Access's success is that it duplicates on the PC desktop the features of client/server relational database systems, also called SQL databases. Client/server RDBMSs have led the way in transferring database applications from costly minicomputers and mainframes to modestly priced networked PCs. Despite Access's power, this desktop RDBMS is easy for nonprogrammers to use.

Like all members of Office XP, Access 2002 offers a variety of Internet-related features for creating HTML and XML documents for use on intranets and the Internet. The most important feature of Access 2002 is the upgraded version 2.0 of Data Access Pages (DAP), which is now ready for full deployment on your intranet and—with a few reservations—the Internet. Intranet and Internet users no longer need Office licenses to use the most important DAP features. You can redistribute the runtime version of the Office Web Components (OWC) 10.0, which enables full use of the Data Source Control and its navigation bar, plus view-only PivotTable and PivotChart pages. Internet users can automatically download OWC 10.0 from the Microsoft Web site.

Next in line on the upgraded feature list is the inclusion of SQL Server 2000 Desktop Edition (MSDE 2000). New graphic table and query designers make creating and modifying SQL Server tables, views, functions, and stored procedures almost as easy as working with Jet tables and queries. Extended properties add lookup fields, subdatasheets, input masks, and other Access accouterments to SQL Server databases.

Microsoft's rallying cry for Windows 2000/XP and Office XP is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Ease of use is one of the primary requisites for reducing TCO; Access 2002 includes several new or improved wizards and other aids designed for first-time database users. If you're still using Access 97, Access 2002 and MSDE alone justify the cost of upgrading to Office XP. If your goal is to use DAP for viewing and updating data in Internet Explorer 5+, make upgrading from Access 2000 your first priority.

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