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This chapter is from the book

Why Automatic Access?

Microsoft has put a lot of time and thought into making Access more accessible to non-professional database users. The result is a somewhat mixed bag of success. Most users get into trouble by not understanding how to structure their data, but creating some sort of wizard process to help users in this area hasn't been easy or even done to any extent.

Most users haven't had much trouble creating Access objects such as tables, forms, or reports, but Microsoft has had a great deal of success in automating the process of making these objects. It also has created wizard processes for making whole database applications.

So you might wonder why Microsoft has applied itself to automating processes that users weren't having much trouble with while not addressing the major block people have with Access. The reason is simple: It did what it could.

There is good reason to learn and use the automatic wizards to create Access objects even when you learn how to do the work manually. The reason is that these wizards save a lot of effort and time. At least some wizards do. It is, for example, a lot easier to create a report using a wizard and modify it to suit your specific needs than to create the same report from scratch. In some cases, the wizard's output is so far from where you want it to be that it won't help, but in many cases, wizards save you a lot of time and effort.

In some cases, like the Mailing Label Wizard in Reports, the wizard will save you vast amounts of effort and misery. In other areas, like the Table Wizard, unless you need a table that the wizard provides, the time savings just isn't there.

I recommend you follow through the next section step by step in any area that interests you. Failing to use wizards at all when you get to know Access well, is similar to not using power tools when building a house. Sure, you can do terrific work using hand tools only, but it will take you a lot longer. Still, there are some workers out there still using hand saws and, for all I know, sharp rocks to do carpentry. Likewise there are some Access programmers who will never use a wizard. It's your life and your time. Spend it like you wish.

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