Access Database Templates

New to Access 2007, database templates are a great starting point for a simple database solution. Several different types of business and personal database templates are installed with Access and more are available from Office Online. Some of the different types of database applications you can create include:

□ Assets: For tracking tangible items.

□ Contacts: For tracking people or organizations.

□ Events: For tracking important dates.

□ Issues: For tracking assignable issues or problems.

□ Tasks: For tracking groups of work tasks.

To create a new database using a template, click on one of the categories on the left side of Getting Started. Then click on a template in that category to select it. The template preview pane opens on the right side of the Getting Started window. If the template is from Office Online, you will see a Download button; otherwise, you see the Create button. Go ahead, choose the Business category and click on the Issues template, as shown in Figure 1-1.

Access Database Issue Tracking

Clicking the Download or Create button creates the new database from the template—the Issues template, in this example. Once you start the database creation process, you briefly see the Preparing Template dialog box and then the new database solution opens in the Access client window, as shown in Figure 1-2.

Figure 1-2

Many new Access features can be used in the Issues application just created. Among them is the Navigation pane, which replaces the Database Container window and is the primary interface for accessing database objects in Access. In the Issues database, by default, the Navigation pane is collapsed on the left side of the Access client window.

Click on the Navigation pane to expand it and see the database objects contained in the database application. Notice that the default grouping of objects is much different than in previous versions of Access. The Navigation Pane is a highly flexible and customizable feature that provides a number of methods for grouping and filtering database objects based on various properties of the particular object. In the case of the Issues database, a custom Navigation pane grouping named Issues Navigation is defined;

it's shown at the top of the Navigation pane. Clicking the top of the pane displays the various object grouping options available in the database. Click the text that says Issues Navigation at the top of the Navigation pane and choose the Object Type option. The Navigation pane grouping now shows all of the database objects grouped by their object types, as shown in Figure 1-3.

Figure 1-3

The Issues template is the perfect example of a highly flexible, fully functional database application complete with forms, reports, charts, and queries to easily manage data. The beauty of this application is that all of the functionality has been created without your writing a single line of code in the entire application. Moreover, all of the functionality in this application can run without trusting the database itself because of the use of safe macro actions (see Chapter 22 for more information about macro security). Notice the Security Warning between the Navigation pane and the Ribbon denoting that the application has disabled some content, such as unsafe macro actions and VBA code. By default, Access 2007 opens all databases with unsafe macro actions and VBA code disabled, unless the database resides in a user-defined trusted location. Fortunately, the Issues database application leverages known safe macro actions and built-in Access features to support its functionality and is completely usable even with code disabled.

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