Differences between forms, reports, and data access pages

Each Microsoft Access database object (database objects: An Access database contains objects such as tables, queries, forms, reports, pages, macros, and modules. An Access project contains objects such as forms, reports, pages, macros, and modules.) is designed for a particular purpose. In the following table, Yes identifies the objects that are best at performing a particular task, Possible identifies objects that can perform the task, though less optimally, and No identifies objects that don't perform the task at all.

Task/Purpose Form Report Data access page
Enter, edit, and interact with data within a Microsoft 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.) or Microsoft Access project (Microsoft Access project: An Access file that connects to a Microsoft SQL Server database and is used to create client/server applications. A project file doesn't contain any data or data-definition-based objects, such as tables and views.) Yes No Yes
Enter, edit, and interact with live data via the Internet or an intranet outside an Access database or Access project; users must have Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later No No Yes
Print data for distribution Possible Yes Possible
Distribute data by e-mail No No Yes (live or static data)

Data access pages have the following advantages over printed reports:

  • Pages bound to data display current data because they are connected to a database.
  • Pages are interactive. Users can filter, sort, and view just the records that they want.
  • Pages can be distributed electronically by using e-mail. Recipients will see current data each time they open the message.
Applies to:
Access 2003