Access 2013: Designing Your Own Database

Lesson 18: Designing Your Own Database



Now that you know how to use and modify existing databases, you might be interested in designing your own. Database design can be very complicated—so complicated, in fact, that people take extensive courses just to learn how to plan them. For this reason, we haven't focused on creating a database from scratch. However, we can help you get started.

In this lesson, you will learn how to create a database from an existing template. You will also learn about other resources you can use to understand database design.

To create a database from a template:

Before deciding to build your own database, you may want to look at the templates included in Access to see if any of them match your needs. When you select a template, Access creates a new database based on that template. Once it's created, you can fill the database with your own information or modify it to suit your needs.

Note that many Access 2013 templates require you to save the database online with Microsoft SharePoint. Many businesses use SharePoint to share files at work.

  1. Select the File tab. This will take you to Backstage view.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Clicking the File tab to go to Backstage View
  2. Click New.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Clicking New
  3. Several templates will appear below the Blank desktop database option. You can also click a suggested search to find templates or use the search bar to find something more specific.
  4. Select a template to review it.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Selecting a template
  5. A preview of the template will appear, along with additional information on how the template can be used.
  6. Click Create to use the selected template.Screenshot of Access 2013Creating a new database from a template
  7. A new database will appear with the selected template.

It's important to note that not all templates are created by Microsoft. Many are created by third-party providers and even individual users, so some templates may work better than others.

More resources on database design

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find free, high-quality resources on database design. On this page, you'll find links to online resources that can help you get started. You can also contact your local library for instructional books and resources.

If you are willing to devote even more time and resources to learning database design, you can also search for Access 2013 Certification Classes online and in your community. However, as a rule, these classes are not free.

Free online resources

  • Create Your First Access 2013 Database
    This tutorial series from Microsoft offers basic guidance on database design and creation.

    Screenshot of Access 2013Microsoft's Access Basics Training
  • Building an Access Database from the Ground Up's tutorial guides you through the process of creating a database for a small business. This tutorial refers to an earlier version of Access, but a majority of the instructions are still relevant for Access 2013.'s Building an Access Database from the Ground's Building an Access Database from the Ground Up