Lu Norton

Access Tutorial

19 posts in this topic

I am reaching out to anyone living in Portland, Oregon, who can teach me to be proficient with Microsoft Access. I will be available in the weekends for private lessons. I can manage to arrange any weekday schedule if necessary.

Access skill is very vital at my work. If you can provide any reference, please send me a private message. Also, please post any tips on how to learn Microsoft Access for beginners like me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Access skill is very vital at my work. If you can provide any reference, please send me a private message. Also, please post any tips on how to learn Microsoft Access for beginners like me.

I learned using on of the wonderful free step-by-step tutorials available for Access. Just Google "MS Access Tutorial" and take a look at what you get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have any specific questions feel free to send me a message; I just graduated with a Masters in Information Systems so I can field most.

-Taylor

I am reaching out to anyone living in Portland, Oregon, who can teach me to be proficient with Microsoft Access. I will be available in the weekends for private lessons. I can manage to arrange any weekday schedule if necessary.

Access skill is very vital at my work. If you can provide any reference, please send me a private message. Also, please post any tips on how to learn Microsoft Access for beginners like me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Feel free to ask me as well. I have used MS Access for many many years. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Access skill is very vital at my work. If you can provide any reference, please send me a private message. Also, please post any tips on how to learn Microsoft Access for beginners like me.

One often overlooked feature of Access is its ability to easily connect to, and act as a very powerful GUI for, SQL Server databases. If your organization uses SQL Server (Microsoft's best product, in my opinion), you might want to tinker with that capability after you gain general proficiency in Access. Also, you can learn some real programming by tinkering with VBA and the .NET languages, both of which integrate with Access to let you do fancier things than the "stock" program, if that appeals to you.

Also, try the new Office 2007 system. I haven't had time personally to play much with it, but there are some pretty powerful enhancements over the previous (and for most organizations, current) version. There are bound to be important differences/capabilities in Access 2007 - learning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One often overlooked feature of Access is its ability to easily connect to, and act as a very powerful GUI for, SQL Server databases. If your organization uses SQL Server (Microsoft's best product, in my opinion), you might want to tinker with that capability after you gain general proficiency in Access. Also, you can learn some real programming by tinkering with VBA and the .NET languages, both of which integrate with Access to let you do fancier things than the "stock" program, if that appeals to you.

Also, try the new Office 2007 system. I haven't had time personally to play much with it, but there are some pretty powerful enhancements over the previous (and for most organizations, current) version. There are bound to be important differences/capabilities in Access 2007 - learning

oops - meant to add:

learning them could give you an edge over others there who are only familiar with the older versions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also a longtime Access user and database programmer. I started using it back in the early 90s with the very first release. God I feel old now! :)

Feel free to ask me questions, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I have used it since the first release too. I am only 23, but now I feel old hearing other people describe themselves as old for the same experiences as me! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried using a self-teach book but it is difficult for me to set a permanent schedule to learn the program. I think I need to set a specific day each week just to learn the program. Will that work?

For those who have been proficient with Access, how did you learn the program? What learning method will you recommend to learn the program quickly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I have used it since the first release too. I am only 23, but now I feel old hearing other people describe themselves as old for the same experiences as me! :)

Perhaps it's the superior education in Australia that has produced your genius abilities at such a tender age. :)

BTW, I couldn't have had a more splendid time in Australia if I'd asked for it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried using a self-teach book but it is difficult for me to set a permanent schedule to learn the program. I think I need to set a specific day each week just to learn the program. Will that work?

For those who have been proficient with Access, how did you learn the program? What learning method will you recommend to learn the program quickly?

From the information you've provided, it doesn't seem like you'll be required to know a lot about programming or databases. I get the impression that you're using Access for basic-to-intermediate data mining. Am I correct?

Still, you may need to know some basic concepts of database design: the role of primary and foreign keys, and referential integrity, for instance. If you do not already know about these, there is no need to panic - learning Access can be quite easy. It is the most layman-accessible of the database implementations, in my opinion.

For the quickest results, I suggest you get a copy of MS Access on your desktop/laptop and a copy of one of the "Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 200X in 21 Days" books. [The X in the title depends on the version of Access you're able to lay your hands on.] That way, your pace is built into the course. Don't feel guilty if you don't complete a chapter a day, so long as you get through the book.

Once you feel the slightest approach of boredom, just "play" with the buttons and menu items on the screen, just to see first-hand what they do. The idea is to familiarize yourself with the software so that your grasp of it becomes "intuitive," by which I mean automatized in the subconscious. Even if your playing around isn't very purposeful, you'll come to find your observations useful.

Are you good at using MS Word and Excel, or at driving cars? Whatever it is you're good at, think of learning Access in the same way and you'll remain motivated.

Best wishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those who have been proficient with Access, how did you learn the program? What learning method will you recommend to learn the program quickly?

I learned Access in the process of solving particular problems at home and at work. I keep my personal "people" database -- names, addresses, phone numbers, etc -- in Access. At work I use it for accessing SQL, mainframe, and other files and databases, generating perfect SQL queries instantly, generating reports and user-friendly interactive PC applications, and more.

I just plunged right in and learned by doing. When I got stuck, I used the built-in help, looked it up in a reference book, or did a Google search. I usually had an answer in 5 minutes. Little by little I learned how to use Access for what I needed to do and after a while I was darned good at it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just plunged right in and learned by doing. When I got stuck, I used the built-in help, looked it up in a reference book, or did a Google search. I usually had an answer in 5 minutes. Little by little I learned how to use Access for what I needed to do and after a while I was darned good at it. :)
That's how I learned it, too. My first assignment in a new job several years ago was writing a natural gas trading partner tracking system, having never worked in that industry nor used Access before. A week later, nobody could have guessed that I'd never used Access before, and they were asking me, "Are you sure you've never worked in the gas industry?"

That's how I learn all new software. Took me less than a week once for a veteran Perl programmer to remark, seeing the first Perl code I'd ever done, "Excellent. Now let's..."

If it works for you, jumping right in and trying stuff can't be beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it works for you, jumping right in and trying stuff can't be beat.

I totally agree with you and Betsy. I am self taught myself. And in the age of the internet, the available help is just overwhelmingly huge, especially for anything related to computers. One should never be afraid to "play".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the information you've provided, it doesn't seem like you'll be required to know a lot about programming or databases. I get the impression that you're using Access for basic-to-intermediate data mining. Am I correct?

I would like to be at an expert level for career advancement.

For the quickest results, I suggest you get a copy of MS Access on your desktop/laptop and a copy of one of the "Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 200X in 21 Days" books.

The book I have is Access 2002 Bible by Cary Prague and Michael Irwin. Are you familiar with that book?

Are you good at using MS Word and Excel, or at driving cars? Whatever it is you're good at, think of learning Access in the same way and you'll remain motivated.

I would say that I'm at the intermediate level both in Word and Excel. Excel is the next skill that I would like to enhance. But I think that will be easier than Access. As to driving - I can't say if I'm a good driver. My mind wanders a lot sometimes. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The book I have is Access 2002 Bible by Cary Prague and Michael Irwin. Are you familiar with that book?

I'm not familiar with that particular book, but I am familiar with the Bible series. They're not what you need for quick learning. There is usually too much detail in the texts.

I suggest you visit your local Barnes & Noble bookstore and browse the "Sams Teach Yourself" guide for Access. I'll wager it is more attuned to your context. If you don't think so, please let me know your concerns.

Furthermore, if I recall correctly, you have a background in Accounting, which means you may have to adjust your learning methodology.

Software engineers (and the best software users) train themselves to oscillate rapidly between abstractions and concretes when picking up new skills, which is why "playing" with the software is very important. You read something (abstraction), you try something (concrete); when you get stuck, you read (abstraction), then you try what you just read (concrete); you get stuck, you read (abstraction), then try the new knowledge (concrete), and so on.

This is essentially the method Mrs. Speicher, Phil, and Piz have described. It has the great side-effect of killing boredom. And, in time, it becomes second nature to you.

As you proceed, you'll see that learning about Access (or Excel or any software for that matter) is best approached in this way. You'll become accustomed to using the Help feature in Access or Google to find information about how to accomplish the various tasks you undertake. If the Sams book (or the Bible, or the Help section) doesn't have information you need, you'll usually discover, when you Google your problem, that someone somewhere has come across the same issue before and published the solution on the Web.

As your knowledge accumulates, you'll achieve the mastery you desire. The guiding principle should be that old adage, "Experience is the best teacher."

If possible, get yourself assigned a minor role on an Access project in your office. That way, there's an immediate problem to deal with. A concrete purpose is a major motivator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to be at an expert level for career advancement.

The book I have is Access 2002 Bible by Cary Prague and Michael Irwin.

Lu I would like to recommend that you get the latest Access book, if books are what you find helpful. Outdated computer books are worse than worthless... Newer books for new program versions not only have the most current information for you about what menu to open and what options are available to click, but they improve their teaching techniques, and oftentimes have sample bits to demonstrate their lessons. There's nothing worse than going through a tutorial on a computer subject that's complicated to you, following along with babysteps, and finding that everything hinges on you finding a menu option that's not even there in your program :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[...] As to driving - I can't say if I'm a good driver. My mind wanders a lot sometimes. :)

:):):)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above comment about the Bible series not being spectacular for learning (it's more of a reference for later).

However, if you want "expert level" and don't have a strong computer background, you might consider taking a community college course (such as this one). I don't know your timeframe, but teachers and regular assignments might help you pick things up better than reading through a tutorial yourself.

If you are confident in your computer skills and think you can learn it yourself, that's the cheapest, fastest, and least demanding way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites