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Published on 26 Sep 2014 | over 2 years ago

This tutorial will explain how to use Microsoft Access to create a working stock control database with some basic features. All you need to get started is a copy of Access and a beginner's knowledge of how it works.

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Music by Kevin MacLeod

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To follow this tutorial you will need a full copy of Microsoft Access. The video was made using Access 2010, however the process is very similar in Access 2007 and Access 2013.

We'll be going as far as setting up the database tables, which traditionally would be stored in a so-called 'back end' database file, while forms, queries and report, which are not covered in any details by this tutorial, would be stored in a separate 'front end' database file. The tables from the back end are then 'linked' to the front end, so that it behaved as if all the objects were in one file.

In some places we have made the design deliberately simple in order to keep our relationships clean and the number of tables low. This helps those new to Access to get their heads around how to create the database, but for actual use, might cause problems. We recommend that you learn more about database design from other sources before beginning your project if you intend to use it for a real business.

Key topics to consider are: database normalisation theory; Inner, Left, Right and Outer Joins; Basic SQL (structured query language) use; Software Development Methodologies; UX (user experience) enhancement techniques; and of course, the very specific needs of your business, project or client.

All together, a broad knowledge of these topics will allow you to design your tables with enough foresight to make the setting up of the queries, forms and reports you'll need later as easy as possible. Plus it should make the system easy to use and less likely to be corrupted or crash.

Keep in mind that even if your stock database needs don't fit very well with our example parts database, or if you need an entirely different kind of system like an accounts database or CRM database, the lessons in this tutorial can still apply.

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