Create an Access database

Before you create a database

Before you create an Access database, you must answer the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this database and who will use it?
  • What tables (data) will this database contain?
  • What queries and reports do the users of this database need?
  • What forms do you need to create?

Answering the above questions will lead you to a good database design, and help you create a database that is useful and usable.

For more information on how to design a database, see the following sources:

Help topic: About designing a database

Knowledge Base article: Database Normalization Basics, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;283878

Knowledge Base article: Understanding Relational Database Design, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;283698

Knowledge Base article: Where to find information about designing a database in Access, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;289533

Importing data from another source, such as an Excel spreadsheet

If your data exists in a different format, such as an Excel spreadsheet, you still need to create a database using Access. After you create a database, you can import or link the spreadsheet to a table in the newly-created database.

Create a database

Microsoft Access provides three methods to create an Access database (Microsoft Access database: A collection of data and objects (such as tables, queries, or forms) that is related to a particular topic or purpose.).

  • You can create a database by using the Database wizard. The wizard lets you choose from one of the built-in templates, and customize it to some extent. Then it creates a set of tables, queries, forms, and reports, and also a switchboard for the database. The tables do not have any data in them. Use this method if one of the built-in templates closely match your requirements.

ShowCreate a database by using a Database Wizard

You can use a Database Wizard to create in one operation the required tables, forms, and reports for the type of database you choose — this is the easiest way to start creating your database. The wizard offers limited options to customize the database.

  1. Click New Button image on the toolbar.
  2. In the New File task pane, under Templates, click On my computer.
  3. On the Databases tab, click the icon for the kind of database you want to create, and then click OK.
  4. In the File New Database dialog box, specify a name and location for the database, and then click Create.
  5. Follow the instructions in the Database Wizard.

ShowIf the wizard doesn't start

This could be due to the fact that Access is running in sandbox mode but Microsoft Jet 4.0 SP8 or later is not installed on your computer. Jet 4.0 SP8 or later is required for Access to be fully functional when sandbox mode is enabled.

For more information about installing the Jet upgrade, see the Office Online article About Microsoft Jet 4.0 SP8 or later.

For more information about sandbox mode, see the Office Online article About Microsoft Jet Expression Service sandbox mode.

 Note   You can't use the Database Wizard to add new tables, forms, or reports to an existing database.

  • If you are using Access 2003, you can search <Office Online> for Access templates. Downloading a template is the quickest way to create a database. If you find a template that closely matches your requirements, follow this method. A template is an Access database file (*.mdb) and includes tables, queries, forms, and reports. The tables do not have any data in them. After opening the database, you can customize the database and the objects.

 Tip   Try Office 2010 Access 2010 features 5 web database templates that you can publish to a SharePoint server that is running Access Services, and then use in a browser.
Read an article or try Office 2010!

ShowCreate a database by using a template

This is the quickest way to create a database. This method works best if you can find and use a template that very closely matches your requirements.

  1. Click New Button image on the toolbar.
  2. In the New File task pane, under Templates, either search for a specific template or click Templates on Office Online to browse for a suitable template.
  3. Locate the Access template you want, and click Download.
  • If you want to start creating a database based on your design, create a blank database, then add the tables, forms, reports, and other objects individually — this is the most flexible method, but it requires you to define each database element separately.

ShowCreate an empty database without using a Database Wizard

Next steps

After creating your database, you might want to do one or more of the following tasks:

  • Add data to your database.

For more information on adding data, see the topic Add, edit, and delete data.

  • Import or link to a data source, such as an Excel spreadsheet or another Access database.

For more information on importing and linking, see the following Help topics:

Import, export, and link data between Access and Excel

Import from a Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services list

Link a table to a Windows SharePoint Services list

  • Create a database object, such as a form or a query.

For more information, see the following Help topics:

Create a select or crosstab query (MDB)

Create a form

  • Customize a database object, such as add a field to table.

For more information, see the following Help topics:

About customizing a table (MDB)

About designing a query (MDB)

Ways to customize a form

Ways to customize a report

 
 
Applies to:
Access 2003