MS-Access / Getting Started

Designing Web Databases

As discussed in the previous section, Web objects do not fully represent all the functionality of client objects. Because of these limitations, Microsoft restricted the design functionality for Web objects in a Web database. When working with Web objects, you'll see changes such as these:

  • Web tables do not support Design view. To compensate, you can modify the table and field properties from the Ribbon.
  • Web queries can't be opened in SQL view, and the query designer restricts you to settings that are valid on the Web.
  • Web forms and reports cannot be opened in Design view, and there are some formatting restrictions that don't allow you to place controls wherever you want. The layout designers have expanded tools for changing the layout and a Property sheet that shows only the properties available on the Web.
  • The Macro designer is filtered to expose the macros that will function correctly on the server.

Because a Web database's primary purpose is to show information on the Web via SharePoint, the Ribbon's Create tab - changes for a Web database. The icons for the commands to create forms, reports, queries, and macros have a small globe in them indicating that you're creating a Web object.

You can still create client forms, reports, queries, macros, and modules in a Web database, but these objects will work only when the database is opened in Access. When you publish the database to the SharePoint server, these objects will not appear there. Use these commands on the Ribbon's Create tab to create client objects:

  • In the Queries group, click the drop-down for Client Queries and choose either Query Wizard or Query Design.
  • In the Forms group, click the drop-down for Client Forms and choose a type of form from the list.
  • In the Reports group, click the drop-down for Client Reports and choose a type of report from the list.
  • In the Macros & Code group, click the drop-down for Client Objects and choose the appropriate option to create a query, macro, or module.
You might consider using client objects in your database primarily for users who need to perform tasks on the data that the Web object forbids them to do. For instance, you can create a form that runs some VBA code against the data to perform some calculations that a macro just doesn't allow. In order to run these client objects, users must have a copy of the ACCDB file and have Access installed on their computers.

Creating a Web table

If you're used to building a table through the Table designer, you can rid yourself of that habit real quick when building a Web table. In a Web table, you add and remove fields to and from the table and modify field properties in the table's Datasheet view. Remember, there is no Design view for a Web table.

Utilizing the commands on the Ribbon's (Table Tools) Fields tab, we created a simple table with three fields: FirstName, LastName, and Birthday. We saved the table as tblBirthdays and populated it with some data.

Other than the table's icon with a globe, it's difficult to see any difference between this Web table and a client table when looking at it in Datasheet view. Data is as data does, in both types of tables. Using the commands provided on the table-specific tabs on the Ribbon, you can create many tables with many fields to house all the data you want to put out there on the Web.

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