Where to find good training resources for Access 2003?
May 14, 2008 2:42 AM   Subscribe

What books / reference materials / training resources for Access 2003 can you recommend for a n00b?

I work for an independent tour operator coordinating both sales / bookings and delivery / operations for a wide range of active / outdoor holidays. Our permanent office team is only 4 people so I manage / maintain our bookings system on my own.

2 years ago 75% of our work was still off paper records. We now run a bookings / ops system on Excel, the first version of which I inherited and have since reworked over the course of the past year.

I'm an enthusiatic amateur in things IT - I've self taught / trained myself with Excel to the point where I can achieve some fairly complex operations through cobbling together bits and pieces of other people's VBA examples found on various discussion websites, without having any real understanding of the language / principles behind it.

The Excel system is becoming more and more of a Frankenstein's monster - a couple of friends who work in IT and have passed a casual eye over it agree that it's reaching the limit of what Excel is really appropriate for and have reccomended moving towards a database driven system.

Training courses or external development aren't viable options, so while the current system can still cope I need to start learning / experimenting myself to work towards this goal.

I've been working through Microsoft's online training courses, but they're painfully slow to wade through the dumbed down elements and hard to cross reference back to the bits that are useful.

Any and all reccomendations woudl be most appreciated.
posted by protorp to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mark Whitehorn's Accessible Access is an amazingly good book that really helped me learn to be a reasonably functional higher-end Access user. He is a database guy, rather than a Microsoft guy, so the book really helps you understand why things work the way they do rather than just giving you a recipe to follow.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:15 AM on May 14, 2008

I was an Access newbie once, and what worked for me (back when 97 was new) was to start with a visual book with lots of screenshots (such as Microsoft Office Access 2003 Step by Step or Microsoft Office Access 2003 for Windows (Visual QuickStart Guide)) and following the examples in the book, then planning my database structure and using the 97 version of Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Access 2003 for reference as I went along.

Also, the folks at UtterAccess and Tek-Tips.com are fantastic when you hit a bump in the road and need human help. Last, and most important, database normalization is your friend. It's the single biggest advantage of a database over a spreadsheet and it will be to your (and your company's) benefit if you understand what it's about and how it applies to your data before you commit to your design structure.
posted by notashroom at 10:29 AM on May 14, 2008

I have some training docs that I developed for Access 2003 that I don't use now that I'm training on Access 2007. Email/MeFiMail me with your email address and I'll send them to you.
posted by wheat at 11:28 AM on May 14, 2008

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