Product Spotlight: Access 2007
Have you ever seen Microsoft Access while browsing through your Office programs, and wondered to yourself, “What the heck does this program even do?” Or maybe you’ve been told by your superiors that you need to do something in Access, only to discover that merely opening the program makes you want to hide under your desk? Maybe none of these statements apply to you, and you’re just someone who needs to learn more about a program you already use. Whatever category you fit in to, you could probably benefit from more knowledge about Access, but before you start learning all about it, you have to know why you might want to use Access in the first place.
Access 2007 is a great database product. If you’re wondering about whether Access is for you, there are a few important points to understand about this product. First, once you use Access and understand how and why to use it, you’ll never make another Excel spreadsheet that is neither appropriate nor non-useful. Why? Because Access is not Excel and Excel is not Access. When you are clear what functions are best preformed in Access verses Excel, Excel will still be a primary spreadsheet and numeric analyst tool. Access will be the tool you use to store and access data, sometimes numbers as well, but you will clearly understand why not to make gigantic spreadsheets. Access brings many important processes for business workflow directly to the user’s domain. An Access user who is proficient with database technologies can support both input forms and reports that can be rather easy to build and modify. Many of the built in features and functions can make even a novice user capable of creating database views that are seemly robust and complex. Microsoft has done a nice job with built in functions and features. The build aspects are sometimes a bit trying but with a little practice and know-how most common data retrieval is actually simple. The nice part with Access is it can connect to almost any database with a little work, and a nice looking form or report is literally a few keystrokes away. Should you want to create shared data and create validation rules, you’ll again find that Access is really an easy tool to use. No longer is the database technology kept in the IT department. Access database building and maintenance does not really demand high level database knowledge. Yes, some is definitely required, but for many a database need this tool can solve the problem, quickly, and effectively.
It is important that an Access user be trained in Access - it’s not just a glorified Excel product. Database building takes some skill and forethought. Some of the most frustrated individuals out there are untrained Access users. The second level of frustrated users is of course, because of Excel. If you want to use database technology at the Access level, invest in training. I highly suggest a Database Specialist Design course followed with Access 200X training. By the way, Access 2003 is not the same as Access 2007. There are so many new ways to work around the database that without the training time spent, the changes will make you a little crazy. Take the training - it’s literally 12 to 15 hours of well spent time to catch up with the changes and functions Microsoft has added to Access 2007. If you need someone in your organization who can really work your data around, but you don’t have a big SQL database, or maybe you do and you just need someone to be able to access the data and create input forms or run reports who’s not a full fledged database programmer, get them Access 2007 and of course the LearnKey Training to go along with it. Hint…. for those of you looking for job security, it’s not a bad bet either!
If your Office skills are a bit behind, as a prerequisite we suggest Learning Office 2007, as well as having a general understanding of Excel as far as how the columns and rows work. You can visit the Access 2007 product page for more information about LearnKey’s course, and as always you can find our entire product library on our website for any other training needs you might have.