Access 2010 offers a wide range of pre- built database templates. There are twelve installed locally on your computer with Access 2010 and there are twenty six more available to download from Microsoft under various subject headings. This article looks at how to create two of these, one for local use and the other for web use.

To view the templates, launch Access 2010, choose the File tab and select New to display the Available Templates in the right hand panel. This panel has its own toolbar to help you navigate between templates. The Home button takes you to the templates summary screen where you can see in the top row different kinds of templates and in the lower rows the templates available online for download.

To show local templates on your computer, click on Sample Templates in the top row. This will show you twelve templates. Seven of these can be created locally or on a network and all allow multi user access at the same time.

Five of these local templates are web templates for use only with Sharepoint 2010 server. Sharepoint is used in larger organisations to allow Access 2010 web databases to be uploaded to a Sharepoint web hosting service. By setting user permissions you can allow online multi user access at the same time. If you don't use Sharepoint you cannot upload these web templates, but you can build them locally as a learning exercise.

How to use an Access 2010 local database template

The Northwind template is very popular because it is a fully built database complete with example data. It's also very popular in many training courses because it also contains working examples of many Access 2010 features. We'll show you how to build a database from this template.

First click once on the Northwind template to select it. Then choose a filename and a location to save the file. To do this click in the filename box on the far right of the screen and change the filename if you wish, but leave the extension as .ACCDB. Then click on the yellow browse icon to the right of the filename box, navigate to a folder where you want to save the file and click OK. Back in the Templates screen click on the Create button on the far right to create the database. Note that in Access 2010 we create and save the database before we start using it.

Once the Northwind database has been created, Access 2010 opens it. Because of new security restrictions in Access 2010, some database functions which could potentially contain a virus or malicious code are blocked when the file is first opened. If you are sure the file is safe to use, which our new example is, click on the Enable Content button at the top of the screen.

A Northwind login screen appears - click on the Login button to open the database. Then on the left hand side on the upper part of the Navigation pane click on the right facing double arrow to fully open the Navigation Pane.

You can stop Access 2010 blocking databases by saving the created database files to a trusted folder, for example on your desktop. Then in the Access 2010 Trusted Zone settings add this folder. Once this is done, Access 2010 will open any database from this folder without blocking any features.

To return to the Available Templates screen just close your current database. Note that normally Access 2010 can only open one database at a time.

How to create an Access 2010 web database template

We'll build the Assets web database as an example. Once built, the database would be updated to a Sharepoint, but we'll only cover building the database in this article. To begin ensure you're in the Home screen of Available Templates, then choose Sample Templates. Now select Assets web database, and on the right change the filename if you wish, and set the save location again, then click on Create to build the database.

The database is created and opens with a Login screen, showing that the database has no users. All Access 2010 web databases need users, so we need to create a test user to open the database. Click the Create User link on the bottom of the Login panel and enter any name, for example Homer Simpson. Once added you can select Homer Simpson and login to the database.

The database opens with a Getting Started page which contains one or more tutorial videos and links to online help pages. To show the videos you will need to download and install Microsoft's free Silverlight utility (similar to Flash player). The online help pages and training videos are excellent sources of guidance in building Access 2010 databases in general, not just web databases.

The web databases have pre-built tables, forms and reports but no data, and no table relationship links. These links are added once the database is uploaded to Sharepoint.


Access 2010 has a wealth of database templates to choose from, either locally installed along with Access or available online. You can create regular Access databases or web based databases (which are used with Sharepoint server) following easy to follow prompts on the Available Templates screen. To learn much more about Access 2010 and explore its many features why not consider attending a training course. This can help you gain many key skills in a short time.