MS-Access / Getting Started

Query Basics

When the data is in Access and the relationships between the tables have been established, you are ready to start analyzing the data. In this section, you are going to focus on what is perhaps the most common type of query: the select query. You will see the concept behind the query and a few examples that illustrate just how easy it is to create queries in Access.

What Is a Query?

By definition, a query is a question. For your purposes, it is a question about the data that is stored in tables. Queries can be exceedingly simple, like asking what all of the data in a table is. Queries can also be quite complex, testing for different criteria, sorting in certain orders, and performing calculations. In Access, there are two main types of queries: select and action. The select query is perhaps the most common type. This query simply asks a question of the data and returns the results. No changes are made to the data whatsoever. You can always run select queries and never worry that the actual data is being altered. The action query actually manipulates and changes the data in a table. The action query can add records, delete records, or change (update) information in existing records.

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