Want to find out the key changes in Access 2010? This article brings you details of the top ten changes to help you to get to grips with what's new in Access 2010.

Change One: Web database features (but only for SharePoint 2010 users)

If you use Access 2010 with SharePoint 2010, for example a user in a larger organisation, then you can create and edit web databases from Access 2010. Users with permission can then access the databases via a web browser to view data, forms and reports, but database design changes can only be made using Access 2010.

However If you do not use SharePoint, then unfortunately you cannot use the new web databases features or web templates.

Access 2010 offers a range of database templates similar to Access 2007, and an additional five new web database templates covering complete databases for Assets, Contacts, Tasks, Non-profit and Projects databases, and a new blank web database template.

Each new web template includes a training video which shows the user how to start using the template. Web databases have a reduced set of Access features but cover most database functions such as creating, editing, formatting, querying and displaying data.

Existing databases can be converted to a web database with reduced functions. The new web compatibility checker can be used to check the file prior to conversion to indicate any reduced functions.

Change Two: The Backstage View

Access 2010 has the same new Ribbon navigator introduced with Access 2007 but enhanced with the new Backstage View accessed by the new File Tab which replaces the Office Button in Access 2007. The Backstage View is used for database file management such as Compact and Repair, and actions such as print and save, and for setting database options.

Change Three: New Macro Builder

Access 2010 has a new macro builder screen with IntelliSense, so you can either click a macro action from a list or start typing a macro command and a pop down appears showing you all the commands starting with the letter or letters you typed. If you add a particular macro action then more actions appear in the builder so macro creation becomes much easier.

Change Four: New Data Macro for use in Tables

Access 2010 introduces a new type of macro called a data macro used and stored only in a table. A data macro acts like a trigger when a record is added, deleted or edited. For example you use a data macro to validate data entry before a record is saved, or send an email if a value in a table field reaches a certain value. The benefit of data macros is that the trigger occurs from the table directly, and any form based on the table will also generate the trigger.

Change Five: Calculated Fields in Tables

You can create a table field which displays the results of a calculation based on other fields in the same table. This could only be achieved in previous versions by using a query. The calculation can only refer to other fields in the same table.

Change Six: Table validation rules enhanced

An Access user can now create a table validation rule which depends on validation results from more than one table field, allowing the user to create more complex validation rules.

Change Seven: Enhanced Expression Builder

The Expression Builder in Access 2010 has been enhanced and now contains IntelliSense within an easier to use panel with auto prompts for names and syntax.

Change Eight: New Application parts template

Access 2010 lets you save and reuse parts of a database such as a table, form and report as an Applications Part template which can be added to another database. For example you could create a Contacts Application Part template with a Contacts table, and linked formatted Forms and Reports.

Change Nine: Conditional Formatting and Data Bars in Forms and Reports

You can add conditional formatting to data in a Form or Report provided the data is derived from numerical data in a table or query. Within the Conditional Formatting panel you can also set the data to show a background data bar similar to conditional formatting bars in Excel.

Change Ten: Access Security Improvements

Using Access 2010 with SharePoint 2010 server also allows for data tracking and data recovery provided SharePoint permissions have been set.

A really effective way to get to grips with all the changes in Access 2010 would be to attend one of the many excellent training courses available.