Introduction to Microsoft Access

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What is Microsoft Office Access 2007? Simply put, it's the newest version of Access, a well-known and widely used relational database management system (RDBMS) for Microsoft Windows designed for building small- to medium-scale database applications. Access 2007 provides a rich set of features and tools for designing, creating, storing, analyzing, and viewing data, as well as the capability to connect to a large variety of other data sources. Access combines ease-of-use features with software development capabilities to support a wide range of user skill sets. Access also provides a Primary Interop Assembly (PIA) to allow other development platforms, such as Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2005, to manage data using an Access database or even incorporate Access functionality into an external application.

If you're reading this book, you probably already know a good deal about Microsoft Office Access 2007 or a previous version. While this book presents the various aspects of programming Access applications using VBA code, this chapter provides an overview of Access and discusses some of the basics. Although it's possible to create and administer a database application using only code, there are also many tools for creating, designing, and editing database objects. Some of the more common tools are briefly covered in this chapter. If you've used Access before and are familiar with the visual designers and other Access tools, you can easily skip ahead to Chapter 3 to learn about the new features included in Access 2007.

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