Microsoft Access is a database management system from Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. It is a member of the Microsoft Office suit of application, including the professional and higher editions or sold separately. Microsoft Access stores its data in its own format, based on the Access Jet Database Engine. It can also import or link directly to data stored in other applications and databases. Software Development and data architects can use Microsoft Access to develop application software , and “power users” can use it to build software applications. Like other Office applications Access is supported by Visual Basic of Application, an object-oriented programming language that can reference a variety of objects including DAO (Data Access Objects), ActiveX Data Objects, and many other ActiveX components. Visual objects used in forms and reports expose their methods and properties in the VBA programming environment, and VBA code modules may declare and call Windows operating-system functions. What kind of program is it? Well, technically, it looks like Microsoft Excel. Let’s see further! You may be wondering what the benefits of using Access are compared with using an Excel spreadsheet. Well, it really depends on what you want to do with the data that you’re storing and how much data you intend to store. Excel may be fine if you’ve only got a small amount of data, and if you don’t have many attributes against each piece of data. It may be fine if you don’t have much in the way of relational data across multiple worksheets. Once you start storing many attributes against each piece of data, and perhaps you find yourself repeating information across multiple worksheets, then it’s time to start using Access (or another database system if you prefer). Another important reason for using Access over Excel is, if you need to generate a lot of queries and reports. Access is much better suited for doing this compared to Excel. When you create (and save) a database in Microsoft Access, the database is saved with a .mdb extension. This is the file extension you will use the most, when developing Access databases. Once you’ve established your database, you also have the option of saving it as an MDE file, which gives you some benefits over the MDB file. An MDE file uses a .mde extension. So, which one do you prefer?