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In Access 2010 Essential Training, Alicia Katz Pollock gives a comprehensive overview of creating databases in Access 2010, whether using predefined database templates or building from scratch. This course covers each step of constructing and modifying databases for custom purposes, as well as working with tables, forms, queries, macros, and reports and charts for record keeping and analysis. Exercise files are included with the course.
If you have many users of your database, consider converting to a Split Database Architecture. Your database can be divided into a front-end database that contains all the application objects, queries, forms, reports, macros and models, and is linked to tables stored in the Back-end Share Database containing the data. The back-end database can be stored in the location shared by many users, such as a File Server. The front-end database is distributed to each user's desktop and linked to the shared database. Using this design, each user has a copy of Microsoft Access installed on their machine along with their Application database.
This reduces network traffic, because the application is not retrieved for each use, and it allows the front-end database to contain tables with data that are private to each user for storing settings or temporary data. The Split database design also allows development of the application independent of the data. When a new version is ready, the front- end database is replaced without impacting the data. Microsoft Access has two built-in utilities: the Database Splitter and Linked Table Manager to facilitate this architecture.
To create the Split Architecture, click on the Database Tools Ribbon, and then on the Access Database button. Tell it to Split the database, and in the Save Dialog box, your database will be named with the BE on the end, short for back-end. Click Split. Click OK. Your database is now the front-end. Notice all the tables have a blue arrow on them. This indicates that they're now linked tables, meaning that the data is not stored here, but in another file on your computer or network.
If you hold your cursor over each one, you can see the absolute path to your database back-end File. In a Split database all the changes to your data are synchronized instantly, but changes you make to the structure of the tables are not. To update your tables in the back-end, click on External Data, and there's a button for a Linked Table Manager. When you click it, it'll ask which tables you want to update. I'll click on Select All, and OK. Once it's been refreshed, you'll have the latest structure, and so will everyone else.
Splitting your database is an ideal way to share it among multiple users without having to spend precious hours synchronizing each desktop. In a Split database with a back-end stored on the server, all your users will have automatic access to the most recent data.
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