Introduction to Databases

To understand Microsoft Access, you need to understand how an Access database works first. Get Access help with this free lesson.

Taking the Access 2013 tutorial

What to expect from this tutorial

This tutorial will not teach you how to build a database from scratch. It is designed for people who plan to use a pre-existing database, most likely in the workplace.

The tutorial begins with a basic introduction to Access. You will become familiar with the structure of an Access database and learn how to navigate its various windows and the objects contained in it. As the tutorial goes on, you will learn how to enter information in several ways. You will also learn how to sort, retrieve, and analyze this information by running queries. After you understand how to use your database, you’ll be introduced to tools that let you modify its structure and appearance.

By the time you've finished reading this tutorial, you will be able to use a database with confidence. You should also be able to alter it to best suit your needs.

Is this tutorial right for you?

If you’ve read the description and believe this tutorial fits your needs, then go ahead and jump in. As mentioned, it's primarily designed to teach people how to use an existing database. But no matter your eventual goal, it can provide you with a solid foundation.

If you’re planning to create a system to keep track of personal information, strongly consider whether you need the full functionality of Access in your database. While Access is an extremely useful tool, setting up a new database can be difficult and time consuming. If you don't necessarily need the full connectivity of a relational database, consider managing your information with Excel instead. If you do decide to create your own database, review our lesson on Designing Your Own Database for resources on database creation.