There are many reasons to use Access templates. It may be that you are a novice user of Access and do not have the experience to design a database yourself. It may be that you do not have the time and need a simple generic database quickly. It may be that the templates simply do what you require so there is no point in spending lots of time designing and building your own database. Whatever the reason there is no shame in choosing to use a template instead of your own designed and built database. This article will explain why!

In Access 2010 the templates have been very carefully designed to be as useful as possible. Microsoft have really considered the main generic types of uses for database and created simple designs to appeal to a wide user base. The templates are arranged in several categories to make it easy for the user to find the one that is right for them. The categories are; Assets, Contacts, Education, Finance, Inventory, Issues and Tasks, Non-Profit, Personal, Projects, Sales and Marketing, Sample and Time and Billing.

In the samples category is the Northwind trading sample database. This is the only database that contains data, the rest are there as blank templates so that the user can immediately begin entering their own data. The Northwind database contains a variety of sample data, which the user can play with in order to learn more about how data is stored in Access and maybe experiment with creating their own queries and reports.

Other templates such as the Call Tracker database in the Contacts category would be useful for a customer support team. As issues come in they can be logged within this template database. There are tables such as Customers, Employees and Calls along with forms already containing the correct links and drop down boxes. The Customer form already contains all likely related fields along with a notes field and attachment capability. A simple form allows the user to see an employee record with all their open calls. This would be a wonderful way of organising a team's support calls quickly and efficiently, especially if there are current problems with the call logging. This database has obviously been designed by someone who has previously worked in support environment.

The good thing about the templates is that they can still be altered and redesigned. A user can go to the design view and add the company logo as an image on the forms for example. They could also delete some irrelevant fields or change the layout and colour scheme. With templates the basics are set up, but still allowing the user the freedom to personalise the database as required if they have the knowledge to do so. The designs are meant to be an immediate short term solution to a problem and a long term solution as changes can be made when required.

Another sample template is the time and billing database. This also contains Employee and Customer details along with the information on projects. There are automatic reports set up to allow creation of Invoices to companies for the amount of time employees have spent on their individual projects. Each Employee can have their own billing rate. A report can also be created to pull of all customer records.

The brilliance of the templates is that they allow advanced database solutions to be used with the minimum of advanced database knowledge. An immediate solution to a database problem is provided. If there is an employee nominated or being sought to take care of the database needs in greater depth, time is given for them to learn the data and even the package without the pressure of a company waiting for their solution and constantly harassing them. The need for experienced database designers and builders is not negated here, but can at least provide temporary, simple and generic resolutions to a pressing database requirement.