Microsoft Access is a desktop database that is a fully functional RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). RDBMS refers to all the data definition, data manipulation, and data control features you need to manage large numbers of data. In Access, RDBMS provides ways to work with your data by, for example, searching a single table for information or request a complex search across several related tables. Also, you can update a single field or many records with a single command. Another way, you can write program that use RDBMS commands to fetch data you look for and want to display and allow other users to update.
Nearly all modern database management systems store and handle information using the relational database management model. Relational database model is a type of database that stores information in the form of logically related two-dimensional tables. The term relational stems from the fact that each table in the database contains information related to a single subject and only that subject.
Click here for more information about relational database management system or RDBMS from Wikipedia.org website.
To simplify the purpose of relational database is to imagine storing a large volume of data and place the data into several tables instead of a large table of data. According to tech-faq.com website, the relational database system allows database system to define the relationship among the tables. Then, the relationships will enable relational database system to combine those tables for querying and reporting purposes.
In Microsoft Access, the task to combine the data from several tables for querying and reporting is accomplished through the keys or database fields “used to uniquely identify specific records in a table.” As a result, the relational database system will allow the database to be larger in volume, to be faster in speed, and to be more efficient in quality.
The relational database concept was originally created by Dr. Edger F. Codd in 1970.
The tech-faq.com website also highlights Dr. Codd’s thirteen concepts or standards to treat a database as a relational database. Please click here for a complete list of the concepts.
Some Relational Database Management System Terminology:
Relation: Information about a single subject such as customers, orders, employees, products, or companies. A relation is usually stored as a table in a relational database management system.
Attribute: A specific piece of information about a subject, such as the address for a customer or the dollar amount of an order. An attribute is normally stored as a data column, or field, in a table.
Instance: A particular member of a relation - an individual customer or product. An instance is usually stored in a table as a record, or row.
Join: The process of linking tables or queries on tables via their related data values. For example, customers might be joined to orders by matching customer ID in a customers table and an orders table.