Introduction to Objects

In Access objects include tables, queries, forms, and reports. These objects in Access help keep your database usable.

Forms, queries, and reports

Although tables store all of your data, the other three objects—forms, queries, and reports—offer you ways to work with it. Each of these objects interacts with the records stored in your database's tables.

Forms

Forms are used for entering, modifying, and viewing records. You likely have had to fill out forms on many occasions, like when visiting a doctor's office, applying for a job, or registering for school. The reason forms are used so often is that they're an easy way to guide people toward entering data correctly. When you enter information into a form in Access, the data goes exactly where the database designer wants it to go: in one or more related tables.

Screenshot of Access 2013A form

Forms make entering data easier. Working with extensive tables can be confusing, and when you have connected tables you might need to work with more than one at a time to enter a set of data. However, with forms it's possible to enter data into multiple tables at once, all in one place. Database designers can even set restrictions on individual form components to ensure all of the needed data is entered in the correct format. All in all, forms help keep data consistent and organized, which is essential for an accurate and powerful database.

Queries

Queries are a way of searching for and compiling data from one or more tables. Running a query is like asking a detailed question of your database. When you build a query in Access, you are defining specific search conditions to find exactly the data you want.

Queries are far more powerful than the simple searches you might carry out within a table. While a search would be able to help you find the name of one customer at your business, you could run a query to find the name and phone number of every customer who's made a purchase within the past week. A well-designed query can give information you might not be able to find just by looking through the data in your tables.

Screenshot of Access 2013Designing a query

Reports

Reports offer you the ability to present your data in print. If you've ever received a computer printout of a class schedule or a printed invoice of a purchase, you've seen a database report. Reports are useful because they allow you to present components of your database in an easy-to-read format. You can even customize a report's appearance to make it visually appealing. Access offers you the ability to create a report from any table or query.

Screenshot of Access 2013A report