Database Applications Using Access

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CAB 140

       Course Name: Database Applications Using Access

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 1 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Comprehensive course covers the tools used in Microsoft Access to create and maintain relational databases.  Content includes database design, creating and modifying tables, queries, forms, and reports.  Macros, Visual Basic for Applications, and interface design and development will be introduced. Recommended: Hands-on experience using one of the Microsoft Office software applications (e.g. MS-Word, MS-Excel) and Windows software.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • explain relational database concepts including types of relationships, referential integrity, cascading updates, and primary, foreign, and composite keys
  • create and manage fields, records, and tables within a relational database
  • update (add, edit, delete) data stored in tables
  • create, maintain, and execute basic and advanced queries
  • create, maintain, and execute basic and custom forms
  • create, maintain, and execute basic and custom reports
  • organize data in ascending or descending order and sort on multiple fields
  • import external data and export data from Access
  • demonstrate the use of  different join types and  its impact on what data is displayed
  • create simple macros that automate basic tasks
  • design and develop basic program code using Visual Basic for Applications
  • demonstrate how to secure a database
  • demonstrate how to display data in a database as a web page

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Create a Database
    1. Introduction to Database Concepts
    2. Table Design
    3. Datasheet view vs. Design view
    4. Import data from Excel, Access, or a text file
  2. Build a Database and Defining Table Relationships
    1. Database design
    2. Field Properties
    3. Field Datatypes
    4. Format Data
    5. Modify the table structure
    6. Relational database relationships
      1. 1:1, 1:M, M:N
      2. Relationship properties
      3. Join type
    7. Update (add, edit, delete) data
    8. Database standards (e.g. object names, field names)
  3. Maintain and query data
    1. Update data
    2. Sort data
    3. Filter data
    4. Define selection criteria for all data types
    5. Multiple Selection Criteria (And, Or)
    6. Create a calculated field
    7. Concatenation
    8. Between function
    9. List of Values
    10. Use aggregate functions
    11. Use Group By to group data
  4. Forms
    1. Design and create a Form using the Form Wizard
    2. Design and create a Form using Autoformat
    3. Design and create a Form using the Split Form tool
    4. Modify a form
    5. Create a Main Form and a Subform
    6. Concatenation
    7. Calculated controls
    8. Conditional formatting
    9. Design and create custom forms
    10. Use controls to build custom forms (e.g. subform, combo box)
  5. Navigation Forms
  6. Advanced Queries and Enhancing Data Entry
    1. Create a Parameter Query
    2. Create a Crosstab Query
    3. Create a Find Duplicates Query
    4. Create a Find Unmatched Query
    5. Create a Top Values Query
    6. Create a Lookup Field
    7. Use the Input Mask Wizard
    8. Identify Object Dependencies
    9. Define Data Validation Rules
  7. Reports
    1. Design and create a Report using the Report Wizard
    2. Modify a report
    3. Design, create, and enhance a custom reports
    4. Create a query for a custom report
    5. Use controls to build custom reports
    6. Concatenation
    7. Use calculations in text boxes
    8. Conditional formatting
  8. Sharing, Integrating, and Analyzing Data
    1. Access Data in a Database From a Web Page
    2. Import a CSV file
    3. Use XML
    4. Integrate Access with Other Programs
  9. Action Queries (append, make-table, update, delete)
  10. Automating Tasks with Macros
    1. Macro definition
    2. Macro commands
  11. Structure Query Language (SQL)
  12. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Basics
    1. Events, procedures, and modules
    2. Variables
    3. Create functions
    4. Create an event procedure
  13. Manage and Secure a Database
    1. Secure a database
    2. Startup options

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, class discussion, hands-on activities, demonstrations, lab projects

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will complete at least one project in which they will create a database structure, input data, update data, query the data, generate a form with an embedded macro, create reports, create a switchboard (interface), and write VBA code

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

A minimum of five (5) hands-on assignments using DBMS and one project.  Exams and quizzes at the instructor’s discretion.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.