An Introduction to MS Access

MS Access is a Database Management system which was launched by Microsoft. It is a part of the Microsoft Office suite and stores data in its own format.

In this article, we bring to you an overview of MS Access, along with its features and uses. Since this is also a suitable topic from which questions may be asked in various competitive exams, one can also find some sample MS Access questions and answers further below in this article.

Since no software or program becomes an instant success, given below are a few details regarding the history and development of MS Access:

  • On November 13, 1992, the first version on MS Access was released by Microsoft
  • Before Access was introduced, Borland and Fox were the two Database Management systems which were dominating the market
  • It was Windows’ first mass-market database program
  • Multiple changes were made in the program and gradually Microsoft started releasing different versions of MS Access. Each new version came in with a modified RAM and storage requirement
  • The current version of MS Access which is being used requires 2 GB RAM and this memory requirement has been constant since the version released in the year 2000

Moving forward we will know more about the advancements that MS Access brought in, with regard to the Database Management system. 

Microsoft Access – An Overview

Let us first answer a few questions based on MS Access which will help understand the working and purpose of the program in a better manner.

Q 1. What is the definition of MS Access?

Answer: Microsoft Access is a database management system (DBMS) that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. 

Q 2. What are the uses of MS Access?

Answer: MS Access can be used to develop application software and is generally used by data architects, software developers and power users. Following are the major uses of MS Access:

  • Manage accounts and bills
  • Store data in the form of tables and edit or customise them later as per the requirement of the user
  • It can be used to make our websites
  • Comparing data or finding a relationship between the existing data can be done using Access

Q 3. What are the major components of MS Access?

Answer: The major components of MS Access are as follows:

  • Tables
  • Queries
  • Relationships
  • Macros
  • Forms
  • Reports
  • Module

Q 4. How many types of databases are there in MS Access?

Answer: There are two types of database in MS Access:

  • Flat File Database: When the data is stored in the form of a plain text file and cannot incorporate multiple tables. 
  • Relational Database: When the data is stored in a form that the data items are related to one another. It supports multiple tables which organise the text in rows and columns.

The above-mentioned details will help one understand the basics of Microsoft Access. One must know that generally, it is not pre-installed in the computer, however, the option to download it from Microsoft website is always available.

Also, there are various computer terms and programs which have either been considered the same or the difference between them has not been studied by one. Thus, given below are a few difference between articles for reference:

Components of MS Access

The main usage of MS Access is for accounting. Since it is Microsoft’s primary accounting database, it can be used to manage invoice/bills, manage accounts, keep an eye on credit and debit, etc. 

When we create a document of Access, data can be stored and accessed easily through multiple components. There are seven major components of MS Access database. Discuss below are the same in brief:

  • Tables: A table in Access is similar to any other tabulated data in the form of rows and columns. However, when adding data to a program to create a table, all the information entered must be correct as if any incorrect data is entered the processing may become slow or may not give the correct answer. The appearance of the table may look similar to the one formed in Excel with column heading and titles
  • Queries: Once a table is created and the user or programmer is looking for a calculated output, then it is called queries. This may include filtering, calculating, sorting, updating, etc.
  • Relationships: As the name suggests, when more than one table is added, the relation or connection between them can be achieved. There three ways in which the connection between the tables can be determined:
      1. One to one
      2. One to Many
      3. Many to Many
  • Macros: The tool using which predefined actions which can automate tasks on an Access report is called macros. Multiple tasks can be assigned and they will function whenever the macros option is selected on a report
  • Forms: A user interface for a database application can be created using forms. Forms can further be divided into two: bound and unbound forms
  • Report: Once all the information is entered into the database, it can be reviewed or analysed using a report. A report can then be customised or modified as per the user’s requirement
  • Module: This allows a set of pre-defined instructions to be created by a programmer in the database. They can be used throughout the database

Given below are links to the other programs which are included in the Microsoft Office suite. You can review the functions and overview the aspects of the following:

Benefits and Limitations of using MS Access

It was Microsoft’s first database software, and came along with a lot of advantages and convenience for its users. At the same time, there were limitations to it. Discussed below are the benefits and limitations which came along with MS Access usage.

Benefits:

  • Easy to create database within lesser time duration
  • Used a very comprehensive programming language which made it user friendly
  • With each revised version, new options and features were made available to the users for their convenience
  • It is easy to install and then easy to understand its working
  • Importing data was easy
  • Graphical user interface made it easy to use

Limitations:

  • Not too many people can use the same database at a single time. This may affect its speed and efficiency
  • The same database was tough to use with different Operating systems
  • Better database systems can be used for confidential data 

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Sample MS Access Question and Answers

Major competitive exams conducted in the country include Computer as a subject in the exam syllabus. This is why understanding MS Access from the exam perspective is also a must. Given below are a few sample questions based on Microsoft Access database management system which will help them prepare for the Computer Knowledge section. 

Q 1. Which of the following is not a component of MS Access?

  1. Tables
  2. Forms
  3. Module
  4. Worksheet
  5. Report

Answer: (4) Worksheet

Q 2. ______ is another name for columns in Microsoft Access tables.

  1. Records
  2. Fields
  3. Datafields
  4. Cells
  5. None of the above

Answer: (2) Fields

Q 3. What is the size of yes/no fields?

  1. 1 KB
  2. 1 Byte
  3. 1 Bit
  4. 1 MB
  5. 1 GB

Answer: (3) 1 Bit

Q 4. The tool using which predefined actions which can automate tasks on an Access report is called _________

  1. Form
  2. Fields
  3. Macros
  4. Tables
  5. Module

Answer: (3) Macros

Q 5. The first version of MS Access database management system launched by Microsoft was released in the year _______

  1. 1991
  2. 1992
  3. 1993
  4. 1994
  5. 1995

Answer: (2) 1992

Questions similar to the pattern given above may be asked in Government exams in the computer section. Candidates must thus keep themselves well prepared.

To get the best Preparation Strategy for Competitive exams, aspirants can visit the linked article and start their preparation accordingly.

For any further assistance with latest exam updates, syllabus, study material or preparation tips, visit BYJU’S.

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