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Available Courses. Free Webinar Schedule. Microsoft Office Training. Microsoft Access Training from New Horizons. What's New for Microsoft Access ? New themes and templates Larger show table dialog Query box to easily locate Access tools and features Ability to export linked data source information to Excel Looking for Microsoft Access Courses? Before you decide which program to use, you may want to compare the benefits of each program, learn when it is best to use one or the other, and find out how to work with both programs to achieve exactly the results that you want.
Choosing the right program is critical if you want to access and update your information with maximum performance and accuracy. To find out which program is best suited for the tasks that you want to accomplish, it may help to compare the benefits that each program has to offer regarding data storage, data analysis, multi-user collaboration, and security. Data that can be efficiently contained in a single table or worksheet is called flat or nonrelational data. For example, if you want to create a simple list of customers, with only one address and contact person for each customer, Excel might be the better choice.
However, if you want to store a more complex customer list that contains billing and shipping addresses for each customer, or multiple contact persons for each customer, Access is the better solution. In a relational database, you organize your information into multiple tables. In a well designed relational database, each table is flat and contains information about only one type of data. For example, if you create a customer database, the names of the customers should be stored in one table, whereas those customers' billing and shipping addresses should be stored in a separate table.
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Storing addresses separately from names is a good idea because each customer can have more than one address, and you want to be able to enter multiple addresses for each customer without having to re-enter the customer name for each address. However, you cannot edit the data to change the source data through the Excel user interface.
However, Excel provides just a read-only connection to SharePoint lists; whereas Access lets you read from and write data to SharePoint lists.
Unique identifiers also provide the quickest way to retrieve data when you search on or sort your data. In Access, you can use the AutoNumber data type to automatically generate a unique identifier for each record.
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You can then use these identifiers to relate records in one table to one or more records in another table. The structure that Access applies to your data helps ensure data integrity. Access can require that new records in one table have an existing corresponding value in a different table, so that you cannot create "orphan" records. For example, you would not want to have an order that did not include customer information. Access can require that every new record in your Orders table has a corresponding customer value in your Customers table.
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This required correspondence of values is called referential integrity. You can also impose your own constraints and rules to further ensure that data is entered correctly. Excel lets you enter data in a more free-form manner, but because Excel does not support relational data, it cannot support referential integrity. However, you can use the Data Validation command to control data entry in Excel. Access lets you use Structured Query Language SQL queries to quickly retrieve just the rows and columns of data that you want, whether the data is contained in one table or many tables.watch
Create Database Using Microsoft Access with 6 Amazing Steps
You can also use expressions in queries to create calculated fields. Using an expression in Access is similar to the process of using formulas in Excel to calculate values. You can also use Access queries to summarize data and to present aggregate values, such as sums, averages, and counts. What-if analysis allows you to run different scenarios on your data, such as best case and worst case scenarios, and compare the resulting data of several scenarios in a summary report.
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No similar feature is available in Access. However, Excel provides more advanced PivotTable reporting and charting features than Access does. If you plan to create extensive PivotTable reports or provide professional looking charts regularly, you should use PivotTable reporting or PivotTable charting in Excel instead of the same features in Access.
Both Access and Excel can be used in collaborative environments, such as Windows SharePoint Services and network file shares, but there are differences in the way the data can be accessed by multiple users.