Designing a Query

When designing an Access query it can be simple or more complex. In Access simple query guidelines let you pull important data.

Designing a multi-table query

Video: Multi-Table Queries in Access 2010 Part 1

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Queries can be difficult to understand and build if you don't have a good idea of what you're trying to find and how to find it. A one-table query can be simple enough to make up as you go along, but to build anything more powerful you'll need to plan the query in advance.

Video: Multi-Table Queries in Access 2010 Part 2

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Planning a query

When planning a query that uses more than one table, take these four steps:

  1. Pinpoint exactly what you want to know. If you could ask your database any question, what would it be? Building a query is more complicated than just asking a question, but knowing precisely what question you want to answer is essential to building a useful query.
  2. Identify every type of information you want included in your query results. Which fields contain this information?
  3. Locate the fields you want to include in your query. Which tables are they contained in?
  4. Determine the criteria the information in each field needs to meet. Think about the question you asked in the first step. Which fields do you need to search for specific information? What information are you looking for? How will you search for it?

This process might seem abstract at first, but as we go through the process of planning our own multi-table query you should start to understand how planning your queries can make building them a lot easier.