Microsoft Office Access 2007 Inside Out
By John Viescas and Jeff Conrad
John Viescas is the author of numerous books including Microsoft Office Access 2003 Inside Out and Building Microsoft Access Applications. He is also the coauthor of SQL Queries for Mere Mortals. John has written numerous articles for technical publications and has lectured at conferences and user group meetings around the world. He has been recognized as a Most Valuable Professional every year since 1993 by Microsoft Product Support Services for his assistance on public support forums.
Jeff Conrad has written and assisted with technical articles on Access and created several Access add-ins given freely to the Access community. Jeff maintains a Web site with a wealth of information and resource links for those needing guidance with Access. He has been awarded Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional award for his continual involvement with the online Access community. He is very active in the Microsoft-sponsored Access public newsgroups and several other online forums where he is best known as the Access Junkie. In addition to his full time work, Jeff also creates Access database solutions for small businesses.
To learn more about other books on the 2007 Microsoft Office system, visit Microsoft Press.
Just for fun, this article explores a built-in Microsoft Office Access 2007 database template.
Using a database template
If you're a beginner, you can use the templates included with Access 2007 to create one of several common applications without needing to know anything about designing database software. You might find that one of these applications meets most of your needs right off the bat. As you learn more about Access 2007, you can build on and customize the basic application design and add new features.
Even if you're an experienced developer, you might find that the application templates save you lots of time in setting up the basic tables, queries, forms, and reports for your application. If the application you need to build is covered by one of the templates, the wizard that builds an application with one of the templates can take care of many of the simpler design tasks.
Figure 1 When you first start Access 2007, you see the Getting Started screen.
On the Getting Started screen, you can access the built-in local templates by clicking Local Templates under Template Categories on the left. You can also choose to download a template from Microsoft's Web site by clicking one of the options under From Microsoft Office Online. When you click one of the options under Template Categories or From Microsoft Office Online, the center section of the Getting Started screen changes to show graphics representing of each of the database templates available in that category. Click the Business category under Template Categories to see the list of business template options, as shown in Figure 2.
When you click on one of the template graphics in the center of the Getting Started screen, Access 2007 displays additional information about the purpose of the database in the right task pane. Click the Contacts template in the middle of the screen to see detailed information about the local Contacts database template, as shown in Figure 3. You can work with all templates from the Getting Started screen in the same way. This example will show you the steps that are needed to build a Contacts database.
Figure 2 You access templates from Microsoft Office Online by selecting one of the categories to see a list of database templates for that category.
Access 2007 displays a larger graphic in the right task pane along with a brief description of the template's purpose. When you have selected an online template, Access 2007 also shows you the template size, the approximate download time, and the rating given this template by other users. Access 2007 suggests a name for your new database in the File Name text box and a location to save the file beneath the File Name text box. You can select the optional check box to instruct Access 2007 to link this new database to a Windows SharePoint Services site. For now, do not select this check box. When you begin working with a Windows SharePoint Services site, you'll learn more about connecting an Access database to this product. You can modify the name of this database by typing in the File Name text box. If you want to change the suggested save location, click the Browse button to open the File New Database dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 3 Choosing one of the database templates in the center of the screen shows you more information in the right task pane.
You can select the drive and folder you want by clicking the links on the left and browsing to your destination folder. After you select the specific folder to which you want to save this new database, click OK to return to the Getting Started screen. Your new folder location is shown beneath the File Name text box. If you decide at this point not to create the database, click the Cancel button to stop the process. Click the Download button when working with an online template or the Create button when working with a local template, and Access 2007 begins the process of creating this new database.
The first time you choose to download an online template, Access 2007 displays the Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage confirmation dialog box as shown in Figure 5. Each time you download a template, Access 2007 confirms that you have a valid and registered copy of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. If you do not want to see this dialog box again, select the Do Not Show This Message Again check box. Click Continue to proceed with the download and creation of your sample database.
Figure 4 Use the File New Database dialog box to select a folder for saving the new database.
Figure 5 When you ask to download a template, Access verifies that you have a genuine copy of the 2007 Office release.
A progress bar appears on the screen informing you to please wait while Access 2007 creates the database. After a few seconds of preparation, Access opens the new Contacts database and displays the Contact List form, as shown in Figure 6. Close this new database for now by clicking the Microsoft Office Button and then clicking Close Database to return to the Getting Started screen.
Figure 6 After you create the Contacts database from a template, Access opens the database and displays the Contact List form.