How to Determine Which Query to Use in Microsoft Access

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  • 1). Understand that a select query retrieves data and values from one or more tables. The results are displayed in a datasheet. For example, if you have one table for your CD collection and another table for your favorite performing artists, you could run a query that would display all CDs by your favorite artist.

  • 2). Realize that a parameter query prompts you for information when the query is run. For example, if you want a query that would show you how many sales you had generated in any given month, you could design a parameter query that would prompt you to supply the month that you wanted the query to cover.

  • 3). Know that a crosstab query calculates a sum, count or other data, then displays the information horizontally as well as vertically. Crosstab queries display the same type of information as a select query, but the display is easier to view.

  • 4). Realize that action queries make changes to many records all in one operation. Action queries can append, delete or update records, or make a new table of selected records. For example, with a delete action, you would run a query to delete the records for everyone in your address book that you had not contacted in a certain period of time.

  • 5). Understand that you create a SQL query using a SQL statement (such as Select, Delete, Where, Order By). SQL is a standard scripting language used to make requests from databases. Four examples of SQL queries are union, pass-through, data-definition and subquery. For example, a pass-through query sends requests to a Microsoft SQL server, such as may be found in a network (Internet, intranet, wide area network and so on). SQL queries can be complex; if you can't do what you want with other query types, you might be able to in SQL. To use SQL most effectively, consider buying a book on the subject.

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