MS-Access / Getting Started

Creating Web forms and reports

One reason people love to create applications in Access is the form/report designer, which lets you create a form or report however you want. You can place controls anywhere on the form or report, and it displays your data exactly how you want. If you want to indent a field underneath another field, you simply drag the field to its new location. If you want to create a form that looks like a baseball diamond and use it to pick players who will start in those positions, you're limited only by your artistic skills.

With Web forms and reports, you can be Vincent van Gogh and still have trouble getting a form to look exactly how you want. But for straightforward, datadriven applications, you can get the results you want with a little bit of practice.

Creating Web forms

When creating a form based on a table, you're limited by the form's layout as to where you can place controls - text boxes, labels, check boxes, and so forth. When creating a multiple items form, this isn't an issue, as the table's data displays in the row and column format.

To create a multiple items form, click a table name in the Navigation pane, select the Ribbon's Create tab, and then click the Multiple Items command in the Forms group. Because you're using a Web database, the icon for this command contains a globe. A multiple items form based on tblBirthdays, which was created in the previous section.

Not all controls supported by client forms are available when you're building a Web form. When you're adding controls to a Web form, the following controls which you can use on client forms - aren't available:

  • Navigation
  • Option Group and Option Buttons
  • Insert Page Break
  • Chart
  • Toggle Button
  • Line and Rectangle
  • Bound and Unbound Object Frame
  • Subform/Subreport
  • Image

If you're used to performing a certain task or setting a certain property of a client form, keep in mind that it might not be available in a Web form.

Tip: Set the Caption property for all your forms so that the Web pages in SharePoint have a user-friendly title. To view the properties in Layout view, click the Ribbon's (Form Layout Tools) Design tab, and then click the Property Sheet command in the Tools group.

Creating Web reports

Just like client reports, Web reports are used for getting data out of your application - and usually onto a piece of paper that goes on somebody's desk. And just like Web forms, Web reports lack a Design view, so you're stuck using Layout view. Luckily, the skills needed to work in a report's Layout view are similar to those for a form, so you don't have to retrain yourself twice.

Not all controls supported by client reports are available when building Web reports. The list of controls that you can't use is longer than the list of available controls. When adding controls to a Web report, you can use the following:

  • Text Box
  • Label
  • Hyperlink
  • Checkbox

You can also use the Ribbon commands to insert images and logos into your report.

Creating a navigation form

To tie everything together, we recommend creating some type of form that displays when you run your application. Access introduces the navigation form in Access 2010, which provides a sleek interface for navigating through your forms and reports.

To build one: After building your Web tables, forms, reports, queries, and macros, click the Ribbon's Create tab, and then click the Navigation command in the Forms group. Select the type of Navigation you'd like from the list of available formats, and then start dragging forms and reports from the Navigation pane onto the form. A navigation form, with a form and a report added to the navigation portion - the left side of the form.

Remember In the Navigation pane, all the icons next to the table, form, and report names contain a globe, indicating they're Web objects.

Now that you have a navigation form, it's time to set that form as your startup form. Click File → Options to display the Access Options dialog box. Select the Current Database option on the left side of the screen, and then set the Display Form under Application Options to the form you want to open when you first open the database.

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