How to Create a Basic 'TEST' Database in Access

Create a basic test database in access 2010:
This tutorial covers how to create a ‘test’ database in Access 2010. You might say, why create a test database? Well, the answer is that sometimes it is much easier to start with a simple database with only a few tables and forms to see how your project will work when it is scaled to a much larger level. The main reason is simplicity and testing. Testing and coding is always much easier when working on a smaller scale. If you are familiar with programming then you know that it is easier to code one small module (or function, or method) at a time instead of trying to write the whole program line by line. It is the same principle here. So if you have a project to do in access, whether large or small, hard or easy, for work or school, then this tutorial will show you how to quickly set up a test database in Access 2010.

Let’s say, just for an example, that your project involves a large amount of data and data sets, but you are currently stuck on a certain relationship between two tables or a design problem between two tables or a programming issue between two tables. Then instead of working with a large set of data and tables (and queries, relationships, modules, ect.) it may be easier to just create two example tables that are at least similar to the ones that you are currently stuck on, and then add a little bit of test data just to work with. This should be easier than working within your complex project and then when you have the problem solved or have a worked out solution, it will be much easier to just import that solution into your project.
So for this lets assume that you are stuck on some problem that exists between one table which contains customer data and another table which contains data for a business. In this scenario, I would create a simple access test database with only two tables. The tables will be called ‘customer’ and ‘business’ to keep it pretty simple. And the tables will have the expected data fields to go with them as well. So the first step is to open access and create the two tables:

And add all the necessary fields, but remember that this is just a test so there is no need to add each and every field, we just want some example data to work with and we still want to keep it pretty simple to make it easier to work with.

Then, once you have the two tables and the data fields that correspond to those tables, now it is time to add some ‘test’ data. Just make up a few customers and a few businesses, in this case. Now we have our test database set up and we are ready to solve our problem.
Is it a relationship problem?

Is it a design problem?

Is it a module/coding problem?

As you can see it is sometimes easier and beneficial to just create a simple test database to solve a problem that would be more difficult to solve on a larger scale, then import the solution into the more complex project. So I hope that this advice will help with your next access database project or assignment.

Thanks for reading this post!

Shane Zentz