Exploring an Access Database

Learn about navigating the parts of an Access database, including navigating the Access window and understanding common tasks.

Parts of a database

A database is made up of several components, or objects. These objects include:

We'll look at each of these objects in more detail in later lessons, but you can access them from the navigation pane like you can with tables.


A table is the database object that contains the basic information you want to store. A blue and white icon represents the table in the navigation pane.

Table IconTable Icon

In the Customer Info table below, there are columns—or fields—of information, including title and author. Each row is a record containing the information specific to the fields listed.



Another database object is called a query. A query allows you to retrieve information from one or more tables based on a set of search conditions you define using the table fields.

For example, if you want to know the name of the books that have sold in Colorado and Kansas, you could create a query that would retrieve information from multiple tables to determine the answer. In this example, you would retrieve information from the Order Info table and Books table. Queries are covered in more detail in later lessons.


A third database object is the form. Forms are an Access tool you can create to make data entry in database tables easier.

Entering data directly into a table can be difficult if there's a lot of information to enter. Similar to an Excel spreadsheet, an Access table is essentially a screen filled with blank rows where you enter records. Forms, however, give you an easy-to-read interface where you can enter table data. Forms are especially useful for Access users who aren't comfortable working with databases.


The final database object is the report. A report is an effective way to analyze and present data using a specific layout. The text can be formatted in an Access report, just like it can be in Word documents.

To close an object:

Close ObjectClose Object