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Good Microsoft Access design examples

Posted on 2015-02-19
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Last Modified: 2015-02-20
Most of my current Access projects are several years old and my design has become somewhat dated. I have some new Access projects to tackle and I'd like to have a fresh look.

Are there some good examples online (or even in Microsoft's templates) of fresh, clean Access databases that I can get some tips from?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:jrmcanada2
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7 Comments
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 40619252
Depending on how sophisticated you want to make your DB, you might be best to follow the rules of "NORMALIZATION".  The general idea of this is to remove all opportunity to redundancy.  For example, if you have an Address table with a field called City as Text, every time you insert, for example, San Francisco, you are duplicating something (this can be different from putting in Springfield which is part of Missouri and Springfield that is part of Massachusetts, but that becomes a separate issue.)
Anyway, the way to "normalize" this situation is to create a lookup table where San Francisco becomes a lookup item with a key and you use the key in your Address table (typically replacing the Text field with a Number field to match the Autonumber field that you will probably use in the new City table.)

If you do a web search on Database Normalization, it will give you all the details you need to follow this.

Other than that, although I don't have any web links for you, I've found that the focus of your Access app (if you are creating it for others) should be how to make things as easy as possible for your users, even if it means building extra components to improve the user experience (UX). ... hmmm so maybe looking up Access UX would get you some good links.
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Author Comment

by:jrmcanada2
ID: 40619257
Sorry ... I gave you the wrong idea.

I'm quite familiar with database design as for as the tables, structure, joins, etc.

I'm looking for some attractive, fresh examples of forms so that I can update the look of my database.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 40619264
Ah, so form design rather than table/DB design...
Not sure if this will give you ideas. I'm sure others will have additional links.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/office2010/archive/2009/11/16/ux-design-tools-techniques.aspx
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
ID: 40620452
What version of Access are you using.  A2010 has more themes than A2013.  My users hate A2013 due to the glare.  It is very washed out and "white".  A2010 has a better look if you have an option of sticking with an older version.

Themes are useful because you can change the theme and immediately every form and report will be changed.  When using themes, be very careful to not hard code font and color properties because hard-coded values will not change from theme to theme so you may find that a color that looked fine with one theme stands out like a sore thumb if you change themes.  Buttons now have shape and other properties that make them look very different from the old Access buttons.

Be careful when changing themes though because the font sizes vary so if you formatted your form to work with theme A and theme B has a bigger font, everything will need reformatting.Themes.docx
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Author Comment

by:jrmcanada2
ID: 40620483
Thankfully, I'm using Access 2010. That's very good to know about themes. I have probably hard-coded a few colours so I'll go back and undo that.

Do you know of any online samples of A2010 forms that are particularly attractive? Or any of the templates?

Thanks again!
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LVL 39

Accepted Solution

by:
PatHartman earned 2000 total points
ID: 40621351
I couldn't recommend any of the templates.  Every one that I have looked at has been bland and "spacey" like a web page.  I guess it's "cool" to look like a web page.  Here's a few images from two of my current apps.  I am using A2013 and so am using the Office theme which is basic MS blue.  The other A2013 themes are awful.  Notice that I make extensive use of tabs.Client formSwitchboardSwitchboard2Manage listsReportsclient Search
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Author Comment

by:jrmcanada2
ID: 40621538
Thank you! This is excellent!
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