Creating relational databases was once a major pain, but Microsoft Access makes creating simple databases a breeze. More complicated database builds will most likely require an Access course, but a simple customer contact log database can be setup in minutes. Microsoft has several pre-made databases for common tasks such as customer contact data, inventory control, time and billing, expenses, etc. that you can build without ever taking an Access course.

In this Quick Access Course, we're going to review how to build a database so that you can create and maintain a record of your customer contacts that will keep track of who called when, who they spoke with, what they ordered, and any other type of information that can help you to improve your sales and customer relationships.

Once you've learned how to create this simple database in this Quick Access Course, you'll be able to easily set up any of the template databases that Microsoft offers in its template wizard showcase.

1. Open Access and click the "new file" icon

2. Choose the "templates on my computer" and click the "databases" tab and click the "contact management" database template.

3. After clicking the "contact management" template, a File New Database dialogue box will appear, allowing you to name and file your new database. Choose your folder, name your file, and click "create."

4. Click "next" on the first frame of the wizard that appears. The second screen shows the three tables that will be included in your contacts database: contact information, call information, and contact types. Take a few moments to click each the table title on the right, and scroll through the list of fields on the left to familiarize yourself with the available data fields.

5. For this exercise, we will be including all of these three tables in our contact database. Click "next" to move along to move along to the third step.

6. The third frame of the wizard displays a list of predefined styles that determine what the elements of the database will look like. Click through each one to familiarize yourself with the various styles. Choose your favourite, and click "next."

7. The fourth frame of the wizard allows you to customize the look of your reports. Choose your favourite and click "next."

8. On the fifth and final frame, you will give your database a name such as "Contacts." For this exercise, leave the "Yes, I'd like to include a picture" box cleared. And click "finish."

You've just created a Microsoft Access database! In a few moments, a switchboard will open allowing you to input your contact information for simple management and information retrieval of your valuable customer information.