What is Microsoft Access?

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What is MS Access? Microsoft Office Access or MS Access definition tells that is a database developed by Microsoft, a part of Microsoft Office software. By its principal purpose, MS Access is the so-called relational database (organizing data in a form of tables linked with cross-related fields).

Why MS Access is Popular?

MS Access is one of the most flexible and easy-to-use databases. It is possible to create many applications without writing a single line of the code (that’s great!). For something very complex MS Access provides a powerful programming language - Visual Basic for Application (VBA).

Principal Advantages of MS Access

  • Relieved requirements for user skills. Any office-level employee can use a database with just a minimal training and learning required: no need for a bunch of world-class specialists!
  • Availability of visual development tools. We all know that a book with pictures is much more pleasant to read. You can say the same thing about MS Access database.
  • Translation into many languages. It’s very comfortable to use your native language in computer programs. You will never mix up the “ban” with the “bank” again!
  • Effective help system and the presence of “masters” development tools. Do you remember the situation when your mother-in-law is in your home and you have no help notes? MS Access has a lot of tools to help novice users.

What Is MS Access Database: Explain Its Components

Components of MS Access have divide to six main groups:

  • Tables - for storing the structure and data of the MS Access database. It is the main component of the system. Data is stored in the two-dimensional table (array analog).
  • Requests - QBE and SQL queries to the database to find information. In simple words, query is a special phrase like this: “Select all the blondes from the sales department”
  • Shape - for easy entry, viewing, and editing.
  • Reports - for the preparation and good-view presentation of document data to print.
  • Page - to provide access to the MS Access database with the Web - page. Today it’s important to have Internet connection even for computer program. MS Access is no exception.
  • Macros - to automate repeatable tasks or other complex tasks (macro is basically an inner VBA program for MS Access). Marcos’s significantly expand the capabilities of Microsoft Access.
  • Modules - to automate routine operations and establish new procedures.

You must purchase a license to use MS Access. Microsoft Corporation distributes full version of Access alone or with the other applications (Word, Excel, etc.) as part of the Microsoft Office package.

Note: Runtime Access versions are distributed freely (to run ready apps created in MS Access).

MS Access Database Formats and Extensions

MS Access Database Formats and Extensions

All components of the MS Access database, such as tables, reports, queries, forms and objects in Access are stored in a single disk file that has the extension .mdb (In newer versions of MS Access file format is different, and has an extension .accdb — see below about MS Access definition by versions).

MS Access Definition by Versions

MS Access Definition by Versions

The current latest version of MS Access is Access 2019, but many applications and users still use MS Access 2016, 2012 and earlier versions without many problems. A MS Access database engine is also a part of Microsoft Office 365+ package. In this case, it always utilizes the latest version

A Short Note on MS Access Use Cases

A Short Note on MS Access Use Cases

Is it necessary to choose MS Access database for your task? We don’t give recommendations here because the purpose of the article was to answer the question “What is MS Access”, rather than “what should I do?” We can only say that at one time MS Access was the most popular database in the world

Bonus for you!

Bonus for you!

In addition, if you want to secure your MS Access database from any perils, you definitely must read other our article: How to backup database in Access! Good surfing throughout our website!


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