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Access5

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  • 1. Introduction to Microsoft Access Part 5 – From Database to Application If you want your database to be used in an office environment, you will want to take some steps to make your database user-friendly and secure. Youve already taken some steps in this direction by creating helpful data entry forms.1. Customise Toolbars and MenusThere are a lot of operations available from the menus and the toolbar in Access thatyou would not want to be available to most users. Hiding certain options is a goodidea, if you want to prevent users accidentally deleting records or otherwise changingyour database.Select View ► Toolbars ► Customise to customise toolbars and menus.Your Task1. Open your Music Database.2. Customise your menus and toolbars. Discuss which options need to be removedand which need to be retained.Page 1 of 7 7/4/2012
  • 2. 2. Custom Help1. You can create your own Help File with the Windows Help Compiler. Help filescan include hyperlinks and screenshots to provide easy-to-understand information forthe user.2. You can set Tool Tips that appear when the mouse is held over a particular buttonor control. To set a Tool Tip for a toolbar button, first select View ► Toolbars ►Customise and, with the Customise dialog box open, click the Right Mouse Buttonon a button. You should see this menu:Select Properties to see the properties for that button:Enter your Tool Tip.Page 2 of 7 7/4/2012
  • 3. 3. A Whats This tip appears when you select Whats This? from the Help menu or,alternatively, press SHIFT+F1. If you want to create your own Whats This Tip youhave to use the Windows Help Compiler to create the file and then assign the HelpFile to the toolbar buttons Properties (see previous page).4. You can create Control Tips for controls (e.g. combo or list boxes or just databoxes) on your forms. First, take the form to Design View and then select theProperties box for the control. In the ControlTipText property, you can type up to255 characters.Your Task1. Open your Music Database.2. Open a Form and add a ControlTip.3. Add Status Bar Text to the control. You enter this in the same way as for theControlTip. Add up to 255 characters to the Status Bar Text property.Page 3 of 7 7/4/2012
  • 4. 3. Setting Startup OptionsThis is where you actually turn your database file into an application. You willcontrol how the database looks when it starts and set a form to open when thedatabase starts up.1. Select Startup from the Tools menu to see the following dialog box:2. First of all, give your application a name. This will appear in the blue Title Bar atthe top of your application.3. Next, assign an Icon to your database. An icon file has a .ICO extension. Youwill find lots of icons already on your computer and others can be downloaded fromhttp://www.winfiles.com/apps/98/icons.html4. You can untick the boxes that allow the user access to menus, including ShortcutMenus (a shortcut menu is a menu that appears when the user clicks the right mousebutton).5. You can decide whether or not you want the user to be able to see the DatabaseWindow. The database window is the window that contains your tables, queries,reports and forms. You can set the Display Form to start a data entry form when theapplication is started.Your TaskGive your application a title, assign an icon to it, prevent the user from viewingtoolbars and shortcut menus and hide the database window. Set an form to open whenthe application is started.Close your database down and then open it once again. You have now run yourapplication for the first time! You should notice that the menus are much restrictedand only one form of the database should be accessible.To start your application normally, hold down the SHIFT key when it starts. Youshould then have full administrator access to the database.Page 4 of 7 7/4/2012
  • 5. 4. Create a Switchboard FormIf you set a form to display on start-up and also hide the Database Window, theproblem will be that the user can access only one form. If you want the user to beable to access several functions of your database and yet you still want to hide theDatabase Window, the solution is to create a Switchboard Form.1. Select Tools ► Add-ins ► Switchboard Manager. If Access asks you if youwant to create a switchboard form, select Yes. When the Switchboard Form hasbeen created, click Edit.2. Give your switchboard a name and then click New.Add a switchboard button for each of the items in your database (e.g. forms, reports,queries) that you want the user to have access to.3. Click Close when all the Switchboard Items have been added and yourSwitchboard Form will have been created. You will be able to see your new form inthe Forms tab of the Database Window and you can edit it like any other form.4. You will now need to change your Startup Options and make the SwitchboardForm open when the application starts.Your TaskCreate a Switchboard Form for your application and have it start when theapplication is started. Ensure that the Database Window is invisible.Page 5 of 7 7/4/2012
  • 6. 5. Adding Security to Your Application1. You can make any object in the Database Window invisible. Click the RightMouse Button and select Properties. Select Hidden and then click OK.2. Encrypting a database will compact the database file and make it indecipherable.Select Tools ► Security ► Encrypt/Decrypt Database. First you have to select thedatabase file that you want to encrypt and then you name the encrypted version.3. You can password-protect the database by selecting Tools ► Security ► SetDatabase Password.4. User-level security is the most flexible method of securing a database, if you havemultiple users. The operation is similar to setting access levels on a network. Bydefault, there are two categories of user (you can add more): Administrators (e.g.yourself, the network manager) and Users. The two categories of user have differentPermissions i.e. different access levels.The purpose of setting user-level security is to prevent data being damaged, to preventusers accidentally damaging the database and to protect sensitive information (youcan make certain tables and forms invisible to certain users.For DiscussionWhat sort of security would be appropriate for your database?When might encryption be useful?When might you want certain data to be invisible from certain users?What other security procedures could a business follow?What are the legal obligations on businesses regarding data security?Page 6 of 7 7/4/2012
  • 7. 6. Putting Your Application on the Web1. You can create Hyperlinks on forms, reports and datasheets. To make a hyperlinkthat changes with each record, set the Data Type of that field to Hyperlink. Thehyperlink must start with the recognised protocol of http://.2. Select Save As HTML from the FILE menu to launch the Web PublishingWizard:There is a difference between a Static and a Dynamic web page. A Static web pageis a document e.g. a report being published to the web. A dynamic web site is anonline application that interacts with the user. Dynamic web sites are powerful webapplications that could revolutionise commerce and many other aspects of society.Use Save As/Export from the File menu to save an Access object (e.g. a Report or aTable) in static HTML format. This file can then be uploaded to a web site.Use Save As HTML from the File menu to create a web application.3. You can add a web page to an Access Form. Select the Microsoft WebBrowserControl from the toolbox.Your Task1. Open the Artists Database and select the Artists table. Add a field calledWebSite. Then open the Artists form (if there isnt one, create one) and enter someURLs into the database. Clicking on a Hyperlink should jump to the appropriateweb site.2. Save the Artists Table as an HTML file.Page 7 of 7 7/4/2012

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