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Microsoft Access is one of the applications in Microsoft Office. Almost everyone uses Office applications on their computer, especially those based on Windows, for example Word for typing, Excel for calculating or creating worksheets, and PowerPoint for making presentations. Access is used to store and manage data in a database.
But maybe only a few use Access because there are special skill requirements that not everyone has, namely an understanding of databases.
The database has rules
The database has its own rules because it must store data efficiently and its management involves large amounts of data. When you run Access, you must first create a database file and a table object to store data. This is different when you run Word or Excel, where you don’t need to create a file first and can directly type or enter numbers in an empty file without having to save it first.
Access is a database system and application programming tool
For those who want to store and manage data in a database, Access is the most convenient tool. Access can be used to store data (has its own database system), and can be used to manage data even from other database systems. Access can be used to create application programs because it already provides application objects (such as queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules).
Advantages of Access compared to other programming tools
Many applications are made with Access, and are not inferior to applications created with other programming tools.
Access even has several advantages compared to other programming tools, including:
- Access has its own database system, so it can directly store data, and can use other database systems.
- Access is very instantaneous, very easy to create the necessary database objects and application objects.
- Access applications can be run immediately (to try it out, or even to be used in work) without having to complete all the application objects first.
- Access is a Microsoft product, so it is very elegant and easy for users to use because they are familiar with other Microsoft products.
As previously mentioned, Access is one of the applications within Office. However, maybe your edition of Office doesn’t include Access, or when installing Office, you didn’t include Access.
You need to install the full version of Access so you can use it to create databases or create application programs.
If your Office doesn’t have Access, you can purchase Access separately.
Access can only be installed on the Windows operating system, it cannot be installed on other operating systems such as Android, Linux, iOS, and others.
Access is available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions. You can only install the same bit version of Office already installed on your computer.
Currently Access is available in version 2021. The other versions are 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and 365 (cloud Office). The newer the version, of course, the better, but you can still use the old version even though there are slight differences.
Create apps with Access
Making an application certainly requires knowledge of the application you want to make and the methods. In Access installations, a template database is usually provided that can be used to start creating applications, for example to create a Contact Management application, so you can use a template called “Contacts”.
An application needs table objects to store data, query objects to retrieve data from the database, form objects to display data on the screen or as a user interface, and report objects to format printouts. You can use macro objects to issue commands without writing program code, and module objects to write program code.
You don’t have to compile the program into an executable to run it, but you can run each object directly in Access.
Run an Access application
If you get an application created with Access, you can immediately double-click the file in Windows Explorer (just like running any other application program). The application file will automatically run Access.
If you don’t have the full-version of Access, you can download the free and legal Access Runtime from the Microsoft site. This Access Runtime is only used to run Access applications, but cannot be used to create or edit application objects.
Data and application security
Maybe you’ve heard people say that Access databases are insecure or something like that. Here I inform you that an Access database is a file, just like a Word or Excel file. The file is in your own hands, and its security is of course your responsibility too.
You can set passwords on Access files, as well as Word and Excel files too. It’s all up to you.
But for Access application developers, they already have procedures for how to secure database files so that they cannot be opened directly, and how to secure application files so that they are not modified by other people.
Access database for small scale
Access databases are classified as desktop databases, as opposed to database servers which are designed to manage large-scale databases.
The maximum Access file size is 2 GB per file, but we can access multiple files at once in an application. A 2GB file is enough to store transactions in a private store for 5-10 years.
Based on experience, if our database files reach a size of 1 GB, then the database is large enough and we should use a database server.
But Access applications can manage larger data, because Access applications can take advantage of database servers so that the size of the database is not too much of an issue.
The Access application can
not go online
Generally, office work is done through a local area network (LAN). This is because all the necessary resources are in the network so it does not require a connection via the internet.
Placing a database on the Internet is quite risky because it may be accessed by other people from all over the world. We must be able to maintain the database on the server so that it is not hacked by other people.
But if needed, we can still place the database on the server while the application is using Access. Remember, Access can take advantage of database server systems, regardless of where the database server is located.
If this online issue is intended to run applications through a web browser, so that it does not require installing Access on a client computer (and Access applications can run on non-Windows computers), then that can be done. We can install an Access application on a server connected to the Internet, then give users access rights to the server via a web browser.
Why should Access?
Of course, we can create applications with a variety of existing tools, but Access makes it easy to develop these applications. Thus, application development costs become cheaper with quality that is not inferior to applications made with other tools.
Another thing to consider is the ease with which Access applications can be modified if circumstances change, or there are changes in systems and procedures. Our world is changing very fast now, so why do we make something great but difficult to adapt to change?
Last but not least, Access is still being developed by Microsoft so that it is always up to date with the latest technological developments. Apps built with Access can automatically follow developments from Access, with minimal effort to adapt.
Hopefully this article is useful and provides inspiration for you.
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