Where to find information about designing a database in Microsoft Access

Novice: Requires knowledge of the user interface on single-user computers.

This article applies to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb and .accdb) and to a Microsoft Access project (.adp).

For a Microsoft Access 2000 version of this article, see
288947 .
For a Microsoft Access 97 version of this article, see
288949 .


If you decide to store the data for your solution in an Access database or in another relational database, designing the database structure is likely to be the most challenging part of building the solution. Although it is fairly easy to modify the data model while you are developing the solution, it is much more difficult after you have started to build other database objects. Therefore, you should put as much effort as possible into designing the data model before you begin to create any objects in the database. Developing a solution that is based on a well-designed data model will make it much easier for you to develop the solution.

More Information

If you are new to relational database design, start by using the following resources:
  • For an overview of relational database design, see the following Knowledge Base article:
    283878 Description of the database normalization basics

  • View the
    Database Normalization Basics WebCast.
  • Download the "Understanding Relational Database Design" document. This document shows you how to plan and design a database from the ground up. To download this document, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    283698 "Understanding Relational Database Design" document is available in Download Center

  • Analyze your tables by using the Table Analyzer Wizard. For more information about the Table Analyzer Wizard, see the following Knowledge Base article:
    292799 How the Table Analyzer Wizard works

  • You can download database templates that may be used for many purposes from the following Microsoft Web site:
  • Read the following book: Hernandez, Michael. Database Design for Mere Mortals. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Developers Press, 1997.
  • For more information about free on-line training that is available for Office 2003 products, including Access 2003, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

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