The Access Screen (or GUI)
Before we learn how to create a new access database, let take a quick tour around the Access Screen, sometimes referred to as the Access GUI.
As you can see the default layout of the access screen is divided into three main sections. At the top, there is the Access Ribbon containing all the icons for creating and operating the database application. In the left-hand sidebar we have the Access Navigation Pane containing a list of all the database objects created in the current database. The large section below the ribbon and to the right of the navigation pane is where we create those database objects and/or work with data through them.
The Access Ribbon
The Access Ribbon is a Microsoft innovation which has replaced traditional menu bar’s used in other software applications. It works in a similar way to a menu bar but is designed to be more intuitive and user friendly by virtue of its visual nature.
The Access Ribbon consists of a row of tabs with headings such as HOME, CREATE, EXTERNAL DATA, and DATABASE TOOLS etc. Clicking on each tab will present you with its own individual ribbon with its own specific icons. Each icon on a ribbon is contained within a group of other icons that perform similar tasks. So, for example, the CREATE ribbon has groups for TEMPLATES, TABLES, QUERIES, FORMS, REPORTS and MACROS & CODE.
The Access Navigation Pane
An access database consists of objects created by us, the database developers. Database objects are Tables, Forms, Queries and Code Modules. These appear in the Access Navigation Pane once they have been created.
The screenshot above shows a database containing a table called “tblEmployees”, a query called “qryEmployeesOver35”, a form called “frmEmployees”, and a report called “rptEmployeesOver35”. If we wanted to open one of the objects to work with data, we just need to double click the respective icon in the navigation pane. Alternatively, if we wanted to change the design of the object, we could right click the respective icon and select DESIGN VIEW from the context menu that drops down (see screenshot below).
For example, if we right-click the table called “tblEmployees”, and select DESIGN VIEW from the context menu, the table will appear in the main Access Window ready for us, the developers, to make changes to the tables design (see screenshot below).
Creating an Access Database
Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the Access Screen, we are ready to create our first Access Database. Click the link below to start lesson 1.