A relational database such as Microsoft Access is a powerful way of organizing and querying a large amount of information. Users new to Access often have trouble grasping the basic concepts. Even experienced Office users, website designers and computer programmers find the information hard to process and need extra help.

What Is A Relational Database?

Computer databases used to be flat databases. Data was separated in lines called records and the record contained data in fields. A simple example is a mailing list. Fields would be last name, first name, street address and so on. A record would be one entry on the list such as John Smith at 123 Main St. Many simple databases still use this format.

Consider using this format for sales orders. Every item sold is a record and each record contains redundant data such as customer information. If a customer buys 10 items, his name and address is repeated 10 times.

In 1970, E. F. Codd outlined a set of rules for a new way to store data, the relational database. Data is stored in tables and the tables connect through relations. A retail chain could have a table of customers, a table of stores, a table of inventory items and so on. Then an order would show customer #234 bought item #98 at store #3 - just three items of data. Each of these pieces of data connects to more information such as customer #234's name, item #98's color, and store #3's location.

Microsoft Access Courses Help Make It Clear

Confused yet?

The above example is a very, very simple one and yet someone new to databases would have trouble following it. Any Access course starts off by getting students familiar with the concepts of relational databases, concepts that are the same regardless of the database application being used.

Microsoft-certified instructors then show the student how these concepts relate to Access itself. They illustrate how to set up the database, how to enter and search the data, and best practices for organizing information.

Instructor-led courses are more effective ways to learn than self-instruction for most people. This is especially true when trying to grasp a foreign concept like relational databases. However group instruction has its limits.

One-On-One Instruction Is The Best Way To Learn

By opting for a one-on-one course, you get the sole attention of the instructor who ensures you understand each concept before proceeding to the next. The class moves at your pace rather than the pace of the other students.

Some students are intimidated by the idea of asking questions in a group for fear of looking foolish. It is much easier to ask questions when the only other person in the room is the instructor and that means you will never fall behind.

One-on-one Access courses give you the full database experience and are the single best way to learn the software.