An advantage to operating virtual databases is that they can be updated at the touch of a button, and there are different techniques you're able to use to make sure that the documents are current.

Databases are used to hold data regarding any kind of venture, such as most popular items sold by your company, for example. As well as proving useful in the workplace, they are also helpful when it comes to domestic-based tasks, such as organising family events, or keeping an eye on your outgoings. Whichever role they hold, it's likely that you'll want to add or change data they contain, so they reflect the present state of tasks. These changes may vary depending on the type of updates you wish to make.

Simple updates

If you'd simply like to change a few figures within the tables then you ought to use an Update Query. Queries can be described as calculations or actions that allow you to edit, compare and contrast data across tables. This is where Access differs from Excel, in that Access allows you to create relationships between information, such as creating links between customers, their orders and their contact details.

In this example, where simple updates are required then queries can also prove useful. The Update kind will do exactly that, but if you need to add extra information or remove entire tables you'll need a different type of action. Rather than going through each record and changing them individually, like the Find and Replace tool, the Update Query function sees you being able to change lots of records in different tables at the same time.

Adding more information

Your business circumstances are likely to change day-to-day, some days you'll provide more services than others, while trading may be busier depending on the time of year and promotions you run. If there is a significant change, such as an influx in new clients, it might prove time consuming to add them to your customer database on an individual basis. Access has further tools that see you being able to attach new information via its Append Query.

For example, you might want to combine the data held in two tables, which could be named 'customers' and 'newly acquired customers'. Using this tool it's possible to add these multiple records in a few simple steps. In addition, if you wish to add graphics and other attachments then there is a specific tool to upload these kinds of files.

Using data from external sources

When you do not have the information you need, but are waiting to receive it via email, you're still able to add this content to your Access database. Many important documents are sent via the web instead of through the post, as it's convenient and quick. However, it's not always been easy to collate the documents and 'blend' them together. If you're using Outlook, you have the opportunity to download relevant data and move it to your Access database.

The application sees you creating a data entry form that is sent out to the appropriate colleagues and once the necessary values have been added and returned, figures are uploaded to your files. This is particularly useful if you wish to carry out surveys and need the opinions of others or if you're setting up workplace events and need numbers and contact details of those interested.