MS Access RDBMS - MS Access

What is MS Access RDMS?

Microsoft Access has a good look and feel than other Microsoft Office products as far as its layout and navigational aspects are concerned. But MS Access is a database and, more specifically, a relational database.

  • Before MS Access 2007, file extension was *.mdb, but in MS Access 2007 the extension has been changed to *.accdb.
  • Initial versions of Access could not read accdb extensions but MS Access 2007 and later versions can read and change earlier versions of Access.
  • An Access desktop database (.accdb or .mdb) is a fully functional RDBMS.
  • It provides all the data definition, data manipulation, and data control features for managing large amount of data.
  • Access desktop database (.accdb or .mdb) can be used either as a standalone RDBMS on a single workstation or in a shared client/server mode across a network.
  • A desktop database also acts as a data source for data which is displayed on webpages on the company intranet.
  • When an application is built using Access desktop database, Access will be the RDBMS.

Data Definition

What is Data Definition?

  • A document or a spreadsheet provides complete freedom for defining the contents of the document or each cell in the spreadsheet.
  • Paragraphs of text, a table, a chart, or multiple columns of data displayed can be added in a document with multiple fonts.
  • Spreadsheet has text data at the top to define a column header to print or display, and there are various numeric formats within the same column, depending on the function of the row.
  • RDBMS helps in defining the kind of data you have and how the data should be stored.
  • You can also define the rules that the RDBMS can use to ensure data integrity.
  • For example, a validation rule can ensure that the user cannot accidentally store alphabetic characters in a field which contains a number.

Data Manipulation

Working with data in RDBMS is different from working with data in a word processing or spreadsheet program.

  • In a word processing document, tabular data can be included and you can perform a limited set of functions on the data in the document.
  • You can also search for text strings in the original document and with ActiveX controls, you can include tables, charts, or pictures from other applications.
  • In a spreadsheet, some cells consist of functions which determine the result you want, and in other cells, you can enter data which provides the source information for the functions.

RDBMS offers many ways to work with your data. For example,

  • User can search a single table for information or they can request a complex search across several related tables.
  • User can update a single field or many records with a single command.
  • Programs which use RDBMS commands can be written to fetch data to be displayed and allow the user to update the data.

Access makes use of powerful SQL database language for processing data in your tables. Using SQL, a set of information can be defined which is required to solve a problem, including data from perhaps many tables.

Data Control

Spreadsheets and word processing documents are a great source for solving single-user problems, but at the same time they are difficult to use when more than one person has to share the data.

  • RDBMS gives you the flexibility to share the information with other and allows multiple users to read or update your data.
  • RDBMS is designed to allow data sharing and it also provides features to ensure that no two people can update data at the same time.
  • Best systems help you in grouping changes (which is also known as transaction) so that either all the changes or none of the changes appear in the data.
  • You may also want to ensure that no one else can view any part of the order until you have entered all of it.
  • As you can share your Access data with other users, you can set some restrictions on what other users can see or update.

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