A database is a collection of related data. It can be any type of data, such as invoices sent to customers or inventory from your product line. There are many database software programs to choose from, and Microsoft Access is one of them. Access is a database, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a relational database management system or RDBMS. As an integrated system of related data, Access has the tools to store, organize and manipulate this information.
Let’s talk more about what a relational database is and why you can expect more from MS Access.
Overview of a Relational Database
A relational database presents information in tables with rows and columns. Data in a table may be related by common concepts or keys, and you’re able to retrieve data that is related so that you can make comparisons.
The standard user and application program that a relational database uses is the structured query language (SQL). Although it’s not required, virtually all RDBMSs use SQL. This standardized programming language lets users perform various operations within the data, such as modifying table and index structures; adding, updating and deleting rows of data and fetching subsets of information.
Finally, relational databases are easy to create and extend. Once a database is created, new data categories can be added without having to modify the current applications. The data can also be accessed and reassembled in many different ways without having to reorganize the information.
Benefits of RDBMS
For many organizations, relational databases fulfill their needs. Others need to keep looking for another solution. If it turns out that your organization can benefit from an RDBMS, Microsoft Access may be an excellent fit. The benefits of working in a database like Access are:
- Simple structure. Relational databases use the table format, which is easy for most users to understand. This natural organization and structure of data allows for quick learning and enhanced productivity. For additional time-saving tips, read our post 10 Time-Saving Tips for MS Access Users.
- Multi-user access. RDBMSs let multiple users access the database at a single time. You don’t have to worry about users changing data entries thanks to the built-in locking and transactions management functionality. This functionality also prevents two users from colliding when updating data and blocks access to partially updated records.
- Speed. Though relational databases aren’t the fastest data structure, they do perform fast enough for most tasks. If needed, optimizations can be built into the database to enhance performance and speed.
- Privilege control. Administrators have plenty of control when it comes to who can access the database. Some users can be restricted, while others can be granted privileges based on the work they need to do.
Relational databases allow many organizations to organize and manage data quickly and efficiently. If you have questions about Microsoft Access or any relational databases, give Arkware a call. We’re happy to set you up with the best database solution for your needs.