I’m a big fan of the Missing Manual series – the books fill a niche that modern software developers seem to have seriously neglected – one for thorough, detailed manuals that actually let users get the most out of their software.
Like the other Missing Manual books I have used, Access 2010 The Missing Manual is organised by task, focusing on achieving specific goals within Microsoft Access. The book covers creating tables and relationships, manipulating data with queries, printing reports, building user interfaces with forms, and programming in Access. Each topic is further divided: the user interface section, for example, covers basic forms, customisation, sub-forms, and navigation forms (formerly Switchboards). This approach makes it easy for students to pick up the book and quickly find the help they need – a worthy attribute in a classroom!
Each chapter delves deeply into its topic, clearly answering questions that are frequently asked by students (such as “how do I create a query that counts records”) but are poorly covered in Microsoft’s documentation. These are topics a teacher could spend a long time explaining to a single student, simply because there are no other resources available to help them. The explanations in The Missing Manual are clear and concise, with example databases included to illustrate key points. The book’s web site also contains dozens of downloadable example databases to accompany each chapter.
The information in Access 2010: The Missing Manual should help ITGS students get the most out of Microsoft Access, going far beyond the basic results possible from using the wizards, and enabling them to create complex databases that easily satisfy the ITGS project requirements.