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Dashboard Builder for Microsoft Access
Need to see key data from your Access database in a single dashboard? Tired of creating query after query to really understand your Access data? Dashboard Builder for Microsoft Access is an easy to use tool to create powerful dashboards in minutes…without being a SQL wizard. Free trial available

Microsoft Access Query Types

Select, Action, Parameter and Aggregate:

Queries are very useful tools when it comes to databases and they are often called by the user through a form. They can be used to search for and grab data from one or more of your tables, perform certain actions on the database and even carryout a variety of calculations depending on your needs.

Luckily for us, Microsoft Access allows for many types of queries, some of the main ones being select, action, parameter and aggregate queries. They can be thought of as just another part of your database – essentially an object like a table or a macro.

When it comes time to build a query for your database, you have two ways to go about creating it.

  1. Either use the Query Wizard that Microsoft Access provides for you, or
  2. Create your own queries from scratch.

Now for a closer look at the query types:

Select Query

The select query is the simplest type of query and because of that, it is also the most commonly used one in Microsoft Access databases. It can be used to select and display data from either one table or a series of them depending on what is needed.

In the end, it is the user-determined criteria that tells the database what the selection is to be based on. After the select query is called, it creates a "virtual" table where the data can be changed, but at no more than one record at a time.

Action Query

When the action query is called, the database undergoes a specific action depending on what was specified in the query itself. This can include such things as creating new tables, deleting rows from existing ones and updating records or creating entirely new ones.

Action queries are very popular in data management because they allow for many records to be changed at one time instead of only single records like in a select query.

Four kinds of action queries are:

  1. Append Query – takes the set results of a query and "appends" (or adds) them to an existing table.
  2. Delete Query – deletes all records in an underlying table from the set results of a query.
  3. Make Table Query – as the name suggests, it creates a table based on the set results of a query.
  4. Update Query – allows for one or more field in your table to be updated.

Parameter Query

In Microsoft Access, a parameter query works with other types of queries to get whatever results you are after. This is because, when using this type of query, you are able to pass a parameter to a different query, such as an action or a select query. It can either be a value or a condition and will essentially tell the other query specifically what you want it to do.

It is often chosen because it allows for a dialog box where the end user can enter whatever parameter value they wish each time the query is run. The parameter query is just a modified select query.

Aggregate Query

A special type of query is known as an aggregate query. It can work on other queries (such as selection, action or parameter) just like the parameter query does, but instead of passing a parameter to another query it totals up the items by selected groups.

It essentially creates a summation of any selected attribute in your table. This can be further generated into statistical amounts such as averages and standard deviation, just to name a couple.

The SQL aggregate functions available to Microsoft Access are:

  • Sum
  • Avg
  • Min
  • Max
  • First
  • Last
  • Group By
  • Count
  • StDev
  • Var
  • Expression
  • Where

Note - Queries don’t actually run while you are in datasheet mode, because it is essentially a preview of the application.