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What Is a Microsoft Access Application?

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What Is a Microsoft Access Application? People use a database to perform data management tasks, such as storing, retrieving, and analyzing data about orders and customers. A Microsoft Access application is made up of the same objects as a Microsoft Access database i.e. tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules. The objects are stored in one or more Microsoft Access database (.MDB) files. What makes an application different from a database is how you, the application developer, tie the objects together into a coherent system. An application organizes related tasks so that the user can focus on the job at hand, not on the application or the program used to develop the application. When you build a Microsoft Access application, you work almost entirely with objects, their properties, and the events that occur on forms. Here's how it works: An application consists of objects Your application is made up of objects that users see and use directly (forms and reports) and supporting objects that control how the forms and reports work (tables, queries, macros, and modules). You build the forms and other objects in their respective Design views. Objects have properties you can set You set objects' properties to make them look and behave the way you want. For example, all forms have a DefaultEditing property that specifies whether users can edit data on the form or only view it. Once you set the property, the form opens automatically in the correct mode. By setting properties, you make your objects behave more intelligently. Forms respond automatically to events While people use the forms in your application, their actions e.g. changing data in a field, clicking a command button, moving the mouse e.g. are recognized by Microsoft Access as events. Microsoft Access responds to these events automatically. For example, when a user changes the data in a text box, Microsoft Access checks to make sure that the data is the right data type. ...read more.


Step Five: Test your form Does the form store and display data the way you want it to? Work out its bugs before you create the next form. Step Six: Add other forms and reports When the first form stores and displays data the way you want, start adding other forms and reports. Work on one object at a time, testing its features until you know it works correctly before going on to the next object. Tip When you name the tables, fields, and other objects in your database, keep in mind that you'll use these names to refer to the objects elsewhere in your application. Although descriptive names for objects with spaces are easier to recognize than more compact names and preferable for most cases, they can be difficult to use in expressions, SQL statements, and Access Basic code. If you are creating a database that uses these advanced features, you may want to use short, consistent names that are easier to remember and type, for example, field names such as LName and HPhone. When you take the preceding approach to creating the objects in your application, you'll find yourself working with a variety of things 3/4 queries, macros, event procedures attached to the form or report, and procedures in other modules 3/4 to get a form or report to do what you want. The Central Role of Forms In a Microsoft Access application, forms aren't just screens for entering and editing data, they make up most of your application's interface. To your users, forms are the application. And by building your application around forms, you can control the flow of your application through the events that occur on the form. Forms have an additional behind-the-scenes benefit to you when you use macros to tie your objects together. In addition to using forms as your application's interface, you can use fields on hidden forms to store and pass values in macros from form to form or from operation to operation. ...read more.


You can implement security on all the objects in this application, including both the tables in the data database and the objects in the application database. When you separate the application's data from its forms and other objects, you can easily distribute upgraded versions of your application. You can distribute upgraded queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules without disturbing the application's data. And if your data is located on a server, you can reduce the network load by having users run the application from their workstations rather than from the server. If you know from the beginning that you intend to split your application into two database files, you can develop the application with this in mind. Or, you can keep tables and objects together in the same file and split them only when you're finished and ready to distribute the application. To split an application after creating its objects 1. Create and open a second database file. You can make this new database either the application database or the data database. 2. To make the new database the application database, import all the objects except your tables, and then attach the tables from the original database to the new database. - Or - To make the new database the data database, import all the tables, create the relationships between the tables in the new database, delete the tables from the original database, and create attachments from the tables in the new database. Once you split your application, you can distribute it to your users. They open and use the application database. Note The attachments used by attached tables in the application database rely on the path of the data database. If users put the database on a different path, the attachments will fail. You can automate the process of attaching tables for your users by prompting them for the path to the data database when they start your application. Then you can use the Access Basic RefreshLink method to refresh your application's attachments. ...read more.

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