How do you recreate a database

Create a database in no time with Microsoft Access

Thomas Joos

With Microsoft Access 2016 you can create your own database in no time, which is completely sufficient for many purposes. For example, you can use it to conveniently manage your business contacts or your DVD collection. We'll show you how to do it.

EnlargeCreate a database in no time with Microsoft Access

With Microsoft Access 2016 you can create your own database in no time, which is completely sufficient for many purposes. For example, you can use it to conveniently manage your business contacts. We'll show you how to do it.

A database is complicated to create and even more difficult to use. But that does not apply to Access 2016. With the software, Microsoft has made it much easier for you to collect your own data. The program offers a large number of templates and enables the creation of clear forms with input and output fields as well as graphic elements. The best thing is that practically no programming knowledge is required for this.

We'll show you how to create your own database for your DVD collection. All you need is Access 2016 from Microsoft. The software is part of Office 2016 Professional or Office 365. or is also available separately. It runs on Windows 7/8 / 8.1 and of course Windows 10. A test version of Access 2016 is available at

This is how Access 2016 works

Any data can be collected, processed, managed and evaluated with a database. This not only includes text information, but also photos, music, videos, etc. The great advantage of a self-made database: You can adapt it to your needs and save or see only the information that is really of interest to you.

In Access 2016, a database consists of the following four basic components:

* a table for collecting data
* Forms for entering data
* Queries to search for specific data
* Reports for visual representation

How to create your own database

The first thing to do is to plan the database. Then you create a table in which the data is recorded. A form makes it easier to expand the data. With the help of the queries, you can filter out data and present it clearly in reports.

Step 1: plan the database

Planning is the be-all and end-all for databases. Think carefully about what information you want to collect or display and how it is related. Once the database is in place, it is much more difficult to change it again.
It is therefore worthwhile to sketch the basic structure of the database on a piece of paper. In our example we are creating a database for a DVD collection. It includes information such as "Film Title", "Actor / Speaking Role", "Release Year", "Genre", "Age Rating" and "Rating". In addition, every film should be shown with a DVD cover. In addition, we would like to be able to search specifically for categories such as the age rating.

Step 2: create a table

As soon as the database is planned, you can start building it. To do this, you create your own table.
Here's how: Go to Access 2016. Select "Empty database" in the start window. In the following dialog, enter “DVD Collection” as the file name and click “Create”. This opens an empty table, which you can add column names to - just like in Excel.

EnlargeIn Access 2016, you create a new database using a wizard

Important: You must not change the first column named “ID”; it is the so-called primary key that Access needs to uniquely identify the data. Jump to the second column. After double-clicking on the column title, enter "Movie title". For the other columns, select Actors / Speaking Roles, Length of Feature, Year of Release, Genre, Rating, Languages, Age Rating, Director, Cover and Selection_Age Rating.

Click on the diskette symbol at the top left and save the table as "Table_DVDSammlung". Then switch from table view to design view. To do this, right-click on "Table_DVD Collection" in the "Tables" column on the left-hand side of the program. Go to Design View and define the "Field data type" for the column names ("Field name") - see the following screenshot.

For the "field name" cover, use "system" as the "field data type". It enables an image file in JPG format to be assigned to a table field. Save everything and switch back to the table view. This can be done, for example, by double-clicking.

EnlargeHere you define column names and data types

Next, let's fill in the empty table. To assign its cover to a film, right-click in the corresponding column and select "Manage system". Then a new window opens in which you enter the storage location of the image. Finally confirm with OK.

EnlargeYou add the cover of DVDs as an attachment

Tip: At you will find a suitable cover for almost every DVD film, which you can save locally on your hard drive. Please remember that you save regularly when entering new data.

Step 3: create the form

Build a form based on the table data. The advantage: The DVD information can be processed more beautifully and better viewed. You can also use the form to expand your database quickly and easily.

Here's how it works: Click the Create tab and then click Form Design. An empty, rasterized sheet opens on which you can place buttons and input fields for the defined columns (film title, film duration, genre, etc.). To do this, select Add Existing Fields. This opens the "field list" on the right-hand side of the program window, which shows all previously defined categories. Double-click the entries from top to bottom. Leave out the entry "Selection_ Age Rating". Save everything as "Form_DVD_Collection".