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Opening and Working with Databases

Which window appears after you open a database?Celeste Stewart

Database Views

Gosh. That depends. There are hundreds of different database products on the market, many of which are configurable. That is you can change the view. For example, I used to create Microsoft Access databases for the customer service representatives to use to track their phone calls back when I worked in the corporate world. I designed the database to open with a splash screen that acted as a menu. The CSRs simply had to click the menu item (such as Lookup Inventory, Find Quote, View Report, etc.). On the other hand, my view of this same database was more complex. I had my view set to open directly to the underlying database objects. That way, I could go directly into the inventory list, run a query, or perform other tasks not generally available to the group as a whole.

Design View vs. Database View

In addition to the opening screen, when inside a database such as Microsoft Access, different views are available. The Design view is the view used when actually designing a component such as a form, query, or report whereas the Datasheet view is used to enter actual data or view a report's results.

Help for Working with Microsoft Access

I don't know which database you are working with so I'm using Microsoft Access as an example. This program is complex and not the easiest to master. It took me years and a huge 1000+ word book to finally become proficient at using it to design databases. I found a brief tutorial for those just starting out with Access that may be helpful.

Working with Microsoft Works Database

Let me also discuss the database found in the Microsoft Works suite since many computers have Works preinstalled. When you launch Works and choose Works Database for the first time, you are prompted with a screen asking you to create a database. Once you create and open a database, the initial window is based on the database's design, usually opening to a form where you can begin entering data.

However, you can easily change the view at any time by going to the menu bar and choosing View. Under View, you'll have several choices including: List, Form, Form Design, and Report.

Databases are amazingly powerful, but often difficult to master. Depending on how the database was designed by the designer, you may not be able to change the opening window.

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