Create an Access database

Before you create a database

Before you create an Access database, you must answer the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this database and who will use it?

  • What tables (data) will this database contain?

  • What queries and reports do the users of this database need?

  • What forms do you need to create?

Answering the above questions will lead you to a good database design, and help you create a database that is useful and usable.

For more information on how to design a database, see the following sources:

Help topic: About designing a database

Knowledge Base article: Database Normalization Basics, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;283878

Knowledge Base article: Understanding Relational Database Design, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;283698

Knowledge Base article: Where to find information about designing a database in Access, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;289533

Importing data from another source, such as an Excel spreadsheet

If your data exists in a different format, such as an Excel spreadsheet, you still need to create a database using Access. After you create a database, you can import or link the spreadsheet to a table in the newly-created database.

Create a database

Microsoft Access provides three methods to create an Access database.

  • You can create a database by using the Database wizard. The wizard lets you choose from one of the built-in templates, and customize it to some extent. Then it creates a set of tables, queries, forms, and reports, and also a switchboard for the database. The tables do not have any data in them. Use this method if one of the built-in templates closely match your requirements.

    Create a database by using a Database Wizard

    You can use a Database Wizard to create in one operation the required tables, forms, and reports for the type of database you choose — this is the easiest way to start creating your database. The wizard offers limited options to customize the database.

    1. Click New Button image on the toolbar.

    2. In the New File task pane, under Templates, click On my computer.

    3. On the Databases tab, click the icon for the kind of database you want to create, and then click OK.

    4. In the File New Database dialog box, specify a name and location for the database, and then click Create.

    5. Follow the instructions in the Database Wizard.

      If the wizard doesn't start

      This could be due to the fact that Access is running in sandbox mode but Microsoft Jet 4.0 SP8 or later is not installed on your computer. Jet 4.0 SP8 or later is required for Access to be fully functional when sandbox mode is enabled.

      For more information about installing the Jet upgrade, see the Office Online article About Microsoft Jet 4.0 SP8 or later.

      For more information about sandbox mode, see the Office Online article About Microsoft Jet Expression Service sandbox mode.

      Note: You can't use the Database Wizard to add new tables, forms, or reports to an existing database.

  • If you are using Access 2003, you can search <Office Online> for Access templates. Downloading a template is the quickest way to create a database. If you find a template that closely matches your requirements, follow this method. A template is an Access database file (*.mdb) and includes tables, queries, forms, and reports. The tables do not have any data in them. After opening the database, you can customize the database and the objects.

    Tip: Try Office 2010 Access 2010 features 5 web database templates that you can publish to a SharePoint server that is running Access Services, and then use in a browser.
    Read an article or try Office 2010!

    Create a database by using a template

    This is the quickest way to create a database. This method works best if you can find and use a template that very closely matches your requirements.

    1. Click New Button image on the toolbar.

    2. In the New File task pane, under Templates, either search for a specific template or click Templates on Office Online to browse for a suitable template.

    3. Locate the Access template you want, and click Download.

  • If you want to start creating a database based on your design, create a blank database, then add the tables, forms, reports, and other objects individually — this is the most flexible method, but it requires you to define each database element separately.

Create an empty database without using a Database Wizard

  1. Click New Button image on the toolbar.

  2. In the New File task pane, under New, click Blank Database.

  3. In the File New Database dialog box, specify a name and location for the database, and then click Create.

    The TE000126605 appears, and you can create the objects that you want in your database.

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