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500 posts from: Erik Rucker

Streamline collaboration across teams: Add notifications to your Access 2013 web apps

(Indexed 2013-02-19):

[Image]Access 2013 web apps are great for collaborating around a common set of data. When people work together in this way, the changes that one person makes to the data often require the attention of someone else. In this article, we'll describe a technique to build e-mail notifications into your Access 2013 web app using the power of SQL Server and a third-party service called Zapier. You can use this technique in your apps to make sure that the right people are informed when your shared data ...(truncated)...

Visualize your Access 2013 web app data in Excel

(Indexed 2013-01-23):

[Image]After you start organizing yourdata with Access 2013 web apps, you may find yourself wishing to visualize orsummarize it. For example, imagine you are tracking your deal pipeline in Access, including when you expect to get paid and how much. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make a visual graph of these projections to help you make decisions? Read more to learn how you can do just that by connecting Excel directly to the SQL Server that stores your Access 2013 web app data. ...(read...(truncated)...

Filter Your Data with Access 2013

(Indexed 2012-11-26):

[Image]As you manage your business in an Access 2013 web app, the amount of information it holds will naturally grow over time. The default views and navigation are great for getting started quickly, but eventually, wading through all of that information by scrolling through lists may not be the most efficient setup. Is there an easier way to create a different view of the data? In Access 2013 web apps you can create a customized filtered view in just a couple of minutes....(read more)[Image]

Join us for Tuesdays webinar: What is Access (and preview Access 2013)

(Indexed 2012-11-05):

[Image]Access helps you store and track just about any kind of information--inventory, contacts, business processes, and more. In this week's webinar, you'll learn how to organize and manage your data, plus we'll preview the latest version of Access, including a big new feature. We start our Office 15-Minute Webinar on Tuesday at 9:15 am Pacific Time, with a Q&A to follow. Click the link below or go to for more information on how to join the series. Join online meetinghttps:...(truncated)...

Webinar: What is Access (and preview Access 2013)

(Indexed 2012-11-05):

[Image]Access helps you store and track just about any kind of information--inventory, contacts, business processes, and more. In this week's webinar, you'll learn how to organize and manage your data, plus we'll preview the latest version of Access, including a big new feature. A video of the webinar will be posted shortly after the webinar.What you will learn at Tuesday's webinar:No software development knowledge needed A look at the changes for Access 2013 Access Web......(read more)[Image]

Moving and backing up your Access 2013 web apps

(Indexed 2012-09-27):

[Image]When files live on your computer's hard drive, there's a risk that they could be damaged, lost, corrupted or deleted. To protect against this, most savvy businesses make copies of important files in separate locations. In a similar way, Microsoft takes many precautions to make sure your Access 2013 Web Apps on Office 365 are backed up and always available. However, making your own backups is still a good idea. How can you make a copy of your apps that can be restored to a different locati...(truncated)...

Moving data forward into Access 2013

(Indexed 2012-09-25):

[Image]Access 2013 is all about enabling you to build data-centric business apps on the web. Frequently, the data you care about—a customer list, a product spreadsheet, or a legacy Access database—already exists somewhere else. How can you get this data into your Access web app? Obviously, copying each record would take a long time. That's where data import can be a huge time saver. Doug Taylor, a Program Manager on the Access Team, explains in a video....(read more)[Image]

3 awesome Access 2013 web apps you can build right now

(Indexed 2012-09-14):

[Image]Juan Soto and Ben Clothier, Access MVPs, share some of their ideas on how Access 2013 web apps can be used to solve real-world business problems. They outline how Access 2013 can be used to create mobile dashboards, track inspection reports, or manage work crew scheduling on the road. Take a look for some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing....(read more)[Image]

Connect your Access 2013 Web Apps to SharePoint Lists

(Indexed 2012-08-30):

[Image]Access 2013 web apps are great places to centralize your data. You can easily combine data from different external sources with the things that your app unique tracks. Lois Wang, a Program Manager on the Access team explains how your Access apps can connect to and display real-time data from SharePoint lists....(read more)[Image]

Feral Cats: Managing Access databases in your organization

(Indexed 2012-08-23):

[Image]It's every IT manager's worst nightmare: thousands of Access databases are running wild in your organization and you don't know how to manage them. One CTO described compared the situation to feral cats wreaking havoc. Fortunately, Access 2013 features some great improvements that will increase the manageability of your desktop databases. Plus, moving forward, you'll be able to take advantage of Access 2013 Web Apps, which take manageability to a whole new level by leveraging SharePoint, ...(truncated)...

4 Ways to Create Business Apps with Access 2013

(Indexed 2012-08-21):

[Image]There are many ways to build useful apps to run your business with Access 2013. You can download an app via the Office Store, build an app using a Web App Template, or create a Custom Web App. You also have the ability to make a desktop database, just like you always have in Access. Each method offers a fast and easy way to get started. Several members of the Access team explain more in a video....(read more)[Image]

Data Entry Made Easy

(Indexed 2012-08-14):

[Image]In Access 2013, we've made a lot of changes so that you can quickly make a great user interface for your web databases. First, Access 2013 will automatically generate useful views based on your data. Second, you'll be able to use special controls for dealing with related data—the related items control and the autocomplete control. With this interface, the people who use your app will have easy time entering data. Erik Kennedy, a Program Manager on Access explains in a video....(read...(truncated)...

Access 2013 and SQL Server

(Indexed 2012-08-08):

[Image]Access 2013 web apps feature a new, deep integration with SQL Server and SQL Azure. In Access 2010, when you created a web application on SharePoint, the tables in your database were stored as SharePoint lists on the site that housed the application. When you use Access 2013 to create a web app on SharePoint, Access Services will create a SQL Server or SQL Azure database that houses all of your Access objects. This new architecture increases performance and scalability; it also opens up n...(truncated)...

Automatically Relink Microsoft Access Tables

(Indexed 2012-08-03):

[Image]Automating the relinking of tables just makes good sense. This is especially true if you are distributing your database to others. It can save you a lot of headaches, trouble, travel, and time. You do not have to be physically present, nor do you need to remotely access another computer. Additionally, you do not have to enter the names of your back end database(s) or your linked tables. In this post, guest blogger Patrick Wood shows you how you can call a single procedure using just a lit...(truncated)...

Get started with Access 2013 Web Apps

(Indexed 2012-07-31):

[Image]You can use Access 2013 and the Office 365 Preview to build a web app almost immediately and start using it to track the things you care about. There's no need to set up expensive or complicated servers, but you can still take advantage of the speed, security and simplicity that comes with server-based apps. Follow these steps to get started in minutes....(read more)[Image]

Introducing Access 2013

(Indexed 2012-07-20):

[Image]The Access team is proud to introduce the Access 2013 public preview, which will make it easier than ever for everyday people to organize the data in their lives and businesses using Access apps. This release focuses on bringing Access databases to the web through Office 365. We've made lots of improvements to help you build professional apps more quickly than ever. In addition, your data is now stored in a full-fledged SQL Server database for speed, reliability, and extensibility....(rea...(truncated)...

5 tips to make your Access database super-fast

(Indexed 2012-07-10):

You fire up Access and load your favorite app only to see its performance drag like molasses in winter. Access MVP Juan Soto and founder of IT Impact, Inc. shares five performance tips that will tune up your database. ...(read more)[Image]

Using crosstab queries in reports

(Indexed 2012-05-23):

A well designed database stores data in a normalized format with dates defined in a field so that new data is simply added as additional records. However, people want to see data with dates grouped by columns. This can be done by using a crosstab query. However, when creating reports based on crosstab queries, we need to control the specific column names that are returned by the query. Otherwise, the report cannot refer to the query's fields....(read more)[Image]

Q&A with Access developer Juan Soto

(Indexed 2012-02-17):

[Image]Working in an ice cream factory in Chicago led Juan Soto to found IT Impact, Inc., an Access development consulting firm. The ice cream factory's large Enterprise Resource Planning system required that he spend hours manually calculating whether a final batch of ice cream really made the company money. He had to factor the waste for every step of the manufacturing process and soon realized that he could automate the analysis with Access. He built a complex Access system which was soon us...(truncated)...

Five Common Pitfalls When Upgrading Access to SQL Server

(Indexed 2012-02-17):

Guest blogger Juan Soto, an Access MVP and founder of IT Impact, Inc., shares five tips on upgrading Access to SQL, including information about using the SQL Server Migration Assistant, adding tables, bit fields, and foreign keys. You can also read more about Juan and his knowledge of Access in our Q&A with him. ...(read more)[Image]

How to save your Access SharePoint password

(Indexed 2012-01-26):

Recently, someone posted a comment on IT Impact Inc.'s blog asking how to get SharePoint to remember his password when he logged in via Access. He wanted to avoid having to log in every time. Ben Clothier, a Senior Access Developer at IT Impact, knew the answer. He wrote a detailed blog post (with plenty of screenshots) that we'd like to share with you. ITImpact has been building custom databases with Microsoft Access since 1994, serving customers around the world. Ben Clothier has been Microsof...(truncated)...

An Updated Data Model Has a Choral Arts Group Singing

(Indexed 2011-11-21):

When Donna took on the role of Director at Choral Arts (a non-profit singing ensemble) she inherited a disorganized database with redundant, unreliable data. We helped Donna devise a data model and import her data into a new set of normalized tables. ...(read more)[Image]

Full-featured Access Services solution at

(Indexed 2011-11-14):

Our good friends at are offering 30-day trials of two Access "cloud" solutions. Curious? Here's the deal......(read more)[Image]

Ways to use Access data in Excel

(Indexed 2011-10-06):

When you need to use Excel to analyze data in an Access database, you have several options: you can copy and paste the data, create a data connection from Excel, or export the data to an Excel file. Your best choice depends on what you want to do. Copy/Paste If you just need some values from Access one time -- and you don't care whether the data changes in Access later on -- copy/paste is a quick and dirty way to get the job done. Export If you don't care whether the data changes but expect to g...(truncated)...

Date functions part 1: some common scenarios

(Indexed 2011-09-15):

Many of you search for help using date functions in Access. Perhaps you want to select some portion of a date (e.g., the year). Maybe you want to format the display of date/time data, or find the difference between dates. In this post we'll consider each of those scenarios and see how a date function can do the job....(read more)[Image]

Reader Poll: what would you like to see on the Access Blog?

(Indexed 2011-09-08):

I created an online poll to find out what you think this blog should feature....(read more)[Image]

Query Criteria Part 3: prompting for input by using a parameter

(Indexed 2011-09-01):

In part 2 of this series, we considered using LIKE and wildcards in query criteria to find inexact matches. Good stuff - but what if you could get the query to apply criteria that are supplied when it is run? What if you could make a query ask for input? Good news! You can make a query ask for input, and it's actually very easy. ...(read more)[Image]

Query Criteria Part 2: Like what?

(Indexed 2011-08-18):

Access has powerful tools that you can use in query criteria to retrieve inexact matches: wildcard characters, and the LIKE operator. ...(read more)[Image]

Query Criteria, Part 1: Be specific!

(Indexed 2011-08-11):

Queries are a fundamental part of any database: among other things, they are the way you ask questions about your data. If you think of a query as a question, query criteria are your way of making the question as specific as possible. So a question like "What are my contacts' birthdays?" can be more like "Whose birthdays are coming up next month?"...(read more)[Image]

Access and SharePoint: a look at integration points from 2003 to 2010

(Indexed 2011-07-31):

Ben Clothier at has a two-part review of the evolution of Access working with SharePoint. Part one is an overview of the Access/SharePoint integration. Part 2 is an in-depth look at Access data storage in SharePoint. ...(read more)[Image]

Using 64-bit Access 2010? You may want to wait on SP1

(Indexed 2011-07-09):

A customer's post on TechNet brought one of my colleague's attention to an error folks are seeing after applying SP1 to 64-bit Access installations and then trying to use a wizard: The database cannot be opened because the VBA project contained in it cannot be read. ... To open the database and delete the VBA project without creating a backup copy, click OK....(read more)[Image]

UPDATE: Using 64-bit Access 2010? You may want to wait on SP1

(Indexed 2011-07-09):

A customer's post on TechNet brought one of my colleague's attention to an error folks are seeing after applying SP1 to 64-bit Access installations and then trying to use a wizard: The database cannot be opened because the VBA project contained in it cannot be read. ... To open the database and delete the VBA project without creating a backup copy, click OK....(read more)[Image]

Free preview of Total Visual CodeTools 2010

(Indexed 2011-07-07):

The good folks at FMS, Inc. have kindly made the latest version of their Access/VBA development tools freely available for use until August . Whether you're writing new code, updating old projects, or taking over someone else's work, Total Visual CodeTools helps you deliver better, standardized solutions. The latest version is enhanced for MS Office/Access 2010 and has many new features . Thanks to Luke Chung for the tip! --Steven Thomas...(read more)[Image]

Social media done easy

(Indexed 2011-06-13):

[Image]If you think back to around Valentine's Day of this year, you might remember our post about AccessLove, a social-media-type Access web database that became very popular with Microsoft employees. As a result of that response, the creators of AccessLove decided to present a "how we did it" session to show how easily anyone could build a similar system from scratch. We recorded that session, and now you can watch the videos and follow along with the procedures on! ...(read more)[I...(truncated)...

Access is underrated

(Indexed 2011-06-07):

Luke Chung of FMS, Inc. has published an interesting article on the Enterprise Features site that discusses some of the negative perceptions about Access, especially within enterprise settings. Luke argues that Access can be a big productivity booster for individuals and teams in the enterprise, and that IT departments should not put restrictions on the use of Access. Here's an excerpt: "Organizations should recognize end users and line of business managers can create a lot of solutions on their...(truncated)...

UtterAccess Wiki adds libraries for class modules and APIs

(Indexed 2011-05-27):

[Image]The folks at UtterAccess have added two new libraries to their Wiki Main Page: The Class Library has sample class modules and demonstration applications that illustrate how to use the classes, while the API Library lists possible declaration(s) for various Windows API (Application Programming Interface) procedures in VBA7 compatible syntax....(read more)[Image]

Access Services and IT pros: Impressions from TechEd 2011

(Indexed 2011-05-26):

[Image]Today's post is contributed by Lois Wang from the Access team.J.R. Arredondo and I had the opportunity to be at TechEd 2011 in Atlanta last week. We had two talks: a small interactive session called ”Empowering information workers with Access” and a big-room presentation called “Managing Access databases in your organization with SharePoint” that gathered around 120 people. I wanted to share with you some of our takeaways from discussions with the attendees. ...(re...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Use the Form property when referencing subforms in your code

(Indexed 2011-05-23):

[Image]Guest blogger Juan Soto explains how form variables can help improve the speed and usability of your Access forms, and shows how the same technique also works with subforms....(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Managing Access Add-ins with a SurfaceController

(Indexed 2011-05-20):

Extending Microsoft Access solutions with managed code has traditionally been a challenge. Visual Studio Shared Add-ins have been available for some time; however, managing the details of releasing Access.exe after closing an Access application can be tricky.Read on to see how Access developer Derrick VanArnam addresses the challenge by using a SurfaceController....(read more)[Image]

Office 2010 SP1 on track for late June

(Indexed 2011-05-17):

We're on track to deliver Office 2010 SP1 by the end of June 2011 (here's yesterday's official announcement). We definitely recommend this update for all Office 2010 users. There has been great work put into this service pack that further enhances the performance and security of Access. Here are a couple of highlights: Fixed issue in export to Excel to make sure it always export the data based on the current view. Improved the performance of publishing client forms from Access with embedded imag...(truncated)...

Office 365 helps you take care of your data

(Indexed 2011-05-12):

[Image]If your organization has important data stored in an older, unsupported database program, and other people in your organization need to work with that data on a regular basis, Access 2010 and Office 365 can help. By migrating your data into Access 2010, and then publishing the database to your Office 365 site, you can provide your colleagues with continuous access to the data they need, and also ensure that the data is safely stored and backed up in the cloud.Want to learn more? Keep read...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Automate an update query

(Indexed 2011-05-02):

[Image]Power Tipster Justin Farrell has posted a new tip on his blog, showing how to create and execute an update query by using a form and a small amount of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code. After following his tip, you'll be able to update a large number of records just by opening a form, typing or selecting a couple of values, and then clicking Update!...(read more)[Image]

Not all equals signs are created equal

(Indexed 2011-05-02):

[Image]If you've ever played the guessing game about where to put (or where not to put) an equals sign in an Access macro, this post is for you. The choice depends on whether you're dealing with an expression or a string, and getting it right is especially important if you plan to publish your database to Access Services on SharePoint. ...(read more)[Image]

SQL Server Migration Assistant adds Access features

(Indexed 2011-04-30):

Microsoft has announced the release of SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) v5.0, a family of products to further simplify the user experience in automating the migration of Oracle, Sybase, MySQL and Microsoft Access databases to SQL server or SQL Azure. Access users will be happy to learn that SSMA now includes support for international versions of Access and SQL Server, and it also gives you the ability to upsize Access databases to SQL Server "Denali"....(read more)[Image]

Streamline reporting on recurring data imports

(Indexed 2011-04-26):

Do you often have to summarize large data sets that have been extracted from your corporate database? Access can be very helpful when you need to work with a huge stream of data. We've published a new article that shows you how to make the data easier to import, analyze and summarize in reports, even if you don't consider yourself an Access expert....(read more)[Image]

Deploy Access applications with the help of Terminal Services and RemoteApp

(Indexed 2011-04-20):

[Image]One of the great things about Access is the variety of ways in which you can deploy a database application to a group of users. For example, if you're using Access 2010, you can publish a database to Access Services on a SharePoint server, enabling anyone with access to that server to use the database. However, if that kind of deployment isn't an option for you, John Litchfield and Luke Chung of FMS, Inc., have published an article that shows you how to deploy an Access application by usi...(truncated)...

Wrap text in Access

(Indexed 2011-04-15):

[Image]How do you wrap text in Access? It's a question we hear quite frequently on It may surprise you to learn that in most places where text is displayed in Access, text wrapping is on by default. The key is making sure there is enough room for the text to wrap....(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Improve the security of database connections

(Indexed 2011-04-08):

[Image]When linking to external tables using Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), Access offers to set up a Data Source Name (DSN). The DSN is quite convenient, giving us a graphic method to quickly build and specify an ODBC connection string without having to remember all of the syntax and parameters. Unfortunately, when the time comes for deployment, using a DSN can introduce some security issues. In this post, Access MVP Ben Clothier explores some methods for improving the security of your ODBC...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Supercharge conditional formatting by using a bit of code

(Indexed 2011-04-06):

[Image]Over the past few versions of Access, the product team has steadily added more conditional formatting functionality for forms and reports. For example, in Access 2010, you can add up to 50 conditional formatting rules for each object without having to write any Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code. However, if you're working in an earlier version, or if you just prefer to use VBA to perform formatting tasks on your forms and reports, Juan Soto of has blogged about so...(truncated)...

Does your Access database have a disaster recovery plan?

(Indexed 2011-04-04):

[Image]Once you get to know Access, it doesn't take long before you start putting all your important data into Access databases. These databases are likely to become indispensable, especially in business setting. At that point, it's important to have a plan in place to recover the databases in case something bad happens, such as an accident or natural disaster....(read more)[Image]

Back to the basics in Access: Reporting rapidly

(Indexed 2011-03-31):

[Image]In the previous post, we gave many examples of how Access can really help you create a database fast and with ease. We mentioned data validation, querying, reporting, and viewing data in Excel as areas where Access is rapid and flexible. In this post I will focus on reporting....(read more)[Image]

Back to the basics: No-code application development with Access

(Indexed 2011-03-29):

[Image]One of the great things about Microsoft Access is how it helps people easily create applications that would otherwise require the expertise of a professional developer. While Microsoft Access allows users to create solutions that involve code with, for example, VBA or SQL, today we would like to talk to you, the non-professional, about a few of the features that allow you to create applications without having to write code....(read more)[Image]

Valentine's Day app brings out the love for Access

(Indexed 2011-03-25):

[Image]In the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day 2011, three Access team members got together and created an Access web database that allowed users to post their plans and/or wishes for themselves and their loved ones on Valentine's Day. The team published the database to Access Services and then promoted it on the Microsoft intranet. Employees flocked to the site to add their ideas and then vote for their favorites. The ideas that got the most votes garnered prizes for their authors, and the w...(truncated)...

Manage business contacts and target marketing with Contacts web database template (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-15):

[Image]On our relaunched Access product page on, we focus on how Access can help you run your small business. To address an important business need, we've added articles and videos to help you get started using the Contacts web database template to organize and manage your business contacts....(read more)[Image]

Free preview of Total Access Emailer 2010 available

(Indexed 2011-03-11):

[Image]Luke Chung at FMS, Inc. has let us know that the preview version of their Total Access Emailer program for Microsoft Access 2010 is available for free! Total Access Emailer lets you send personalized emails to a lists of contacts within Access. Messages can be sent for any list of email addresses from a table or query. Each email can be personalized with field values from the data source....(read more)[Image]

New Access templates for your business

(Indexed 2011-03-08):

As part of the recent re-launch of the Access product page on, we've been showing off how Access can help you run your small business. We've published some new free database templates that you can use to organize your business, and we've also provided articles and videos to help you get started using them....(read more)[Image]

New Access templates for your business (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-08):

As part of the recent re-launch of the Access product page on, we've been showing off how Access can help you run your small business. We've published some new free database templates that you can use to organize your business, and we've also provided articles and videos to help you get started using them....(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Integrate Silverlight into an Access database (Part III)

(Indexed 2011-03-06):

Software developer Derrick VanArnam and DBA Russell Fox continue to experiment with using Silverlight in conjunction with the Web Browser Control that is included with Access 2010. Many of you have been following along on their blog, and they have recently added a new post showing how to use Windows Workflow 4.0 to create a simple HTML editor....(read more)[Image]

The Access product site got a makeover!

(Indexed 2011-02-24):

[Image]We’ve simplified the Access product site and added some new areas, including more content for new users and business owners. ...(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Search as you type in an Access form

(Indexed 2011-02-21):

[Image]"Search-as-you-type" has become a pervasive feature of any modern user interface. For example, the major search engines try to predict what you are searching for as you type in the search box. Access does a version of this when you type into a dropdown box; if one of the items in the list begins with the characters you are entering, the list skips down to that item. However, Brandon's solution acts more like a filter, limiting the list to only those items that contain the characters you h...(truncated)...

Register for the Access Database Designer Conference in Portland

(Indexed 2011-02-14):

[Image]The Portland Access User Group (PAUG) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2011 Database Designer Conference held from Saturday, May 14, to Monday, May 16. This year's lineup of speakers includes industry expert Luke Chung from FMS, author Alison Balter from InfoTech Services Group Inc., Access MVP Armen Stein from J Street Technology, and Kevin Bell from the Microsoft Access team. A tentative schedule has been posted....(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Add Sparkline-like graphs to Access reports

(Indexed 2011-02-10):

[Image]Today's Power Tip is contributed by Phillippe Bonnardell, an Access developer and contributor to the French Access forum He was inspired by the new Sparkline feature of Microsoft Excel, which enables you to create tiny graphs that summarize data across many cells. Phillippe worked up some relatively simple VBA functions that let you add Sparkline-like graphs in Access reports. ...(read more)[Image]

Use code to "undo" things in Access

(Indexed 2011-01-31):

[Image]One of the more common tasks on a computer is to undo something you just did by mistake. At least, it's one of my more common tasks. CTRL+Z is my friend. But not everyone uses keyboard shortcuts - that's why there's an Undo button in the Microsoft Office user interface. Trouble is, sometimes folks just don't see it. Moreover, in Access it's possible that they can't use the toolbar because they are working on a modal form. Fortunately, you can create an "undo" button for any form in Access...(truncated)...

New products and papers from FMS, Inc. and OpenGate Software

(Indexed 2011-01-24):

[Image]Our friends at FMS, Inc. and OpenGate Software have been busy releasing new products and papers to help you get the most out of Access. Check out these links for more information and free trials!...(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Experiment with dynamic event callbacks

(Indexed 2011-01-17):

[Image]Access Power Tipster Joel Graff has been refining his Composite Control Object Model, which he first blogged about last August. Joel has now created a CodePlex site where you can download and experiment with his demo. Curious about the seat belt graphic? Read on......(read more)[Image]

Go ahead, click the button!

(Indexed 2011-01-15):

[Image]Most of you are already aware that Access 2010 lets you create "web-enabled" databases that can be published to a SharePoint server that is running Access Services. Of course, many of you don't have such a server just sitting around, so that's where hosting services such as come in. They have their own blog where you can learn more about the service....(read more)[Image]

Evaluating database needs across SQL Server, SQL Azure, SharePoint and Access

(Indexed 2011-01-10):

Every now and then we hear from customers who want some cheat sheet or Excel-based "calculator" to help them decide what technology to base their application on: SQL Server, SharePoint, Access, etc. While in some cases (especially in the extremes) the decision is relatively easy to make, it is very common for the decision to be more complex than what can be obtained from such "calculators." There are many issues to consider: from technical requirements of the application in terms of performance,...(truncated)...

Access 15 Developer Kitchen: Call for Participation

(Indexed 2011-01-06):

[Image]The Access sessions of the Office 15 Developer Kitchen are being held March 28-31 on the Redmond campus, and we are looking for Access developers who want to get an early look at Access 15. This lab experience gives us great feedback and helps guide the next release of Access....(read more)[Image]

Submit an Access template to

(Indexed 2011-01-05):

[Image]Templates provide a great way to get started with Access more quickly and get to the solution you need a lot faster. If you are a developer, templates help you make yourself known across the world by virtue of your community contributions. This post shows you how to create and share a community template....(read more)[Image]

Power Tip: Integrate Silverlight into an Access database (Part II)

(Indexed 2010-12-17):

As you may remember from their previous post, software developer Derrick VanArnam and DBA Russell Fox have developed a way to integrate Silverlight into an Access database by using the Web Browser Control that is included with Access 2010. Since that first post, they have been working on ways to improve the coding experience to make the Silverlight/Access integration faster and easier, and they now have a new version of their free sample database available for download. Check out their post here...(truncated)...

Using OMPM to scan Access databases

(Indexed 2010-12-10):

The Office IT Pro Blog has posted a good workaround for a couple of problems that sometimes occur when using the Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) to scan Access databases for migration to Office 2010. The trick is to make a couple of changes to the OMPM configuration file (offscan.ini). Read the full post here.[Image]

Mailings without the "merge"

(Indexed 2010-12-07):

[Image]When you think of printing address labels in Office (as many of us do around this time of year), your first thought might be to set up a "mail merge" operation in which you store your data in Excel or Access, and then merge it into Word or Publisher for the final printing. However, you may not realize that you can eliminate some of those moving parts by using Access for the entire operation--storing your data and printing the labels. Store the data The first step is to get your address...(truncated)...

ACCDEs are not supported in Access Services on SharePoint 2010

(Indexed 2010-12-06):

An .accde file is a "locked-down" version of the original .accdb file. If the .accdb file contains any VBA code, only the compiled code is included in the .accde file. As a result, the VBA code cannot be viewed or modified by the user. Also, users working with .accde files cannot make design changes to forms or reports. Publishing any compiled database (.accde, .ade and .mde) is not supported. Default SharePoint Permission Levels and Access Services Actions SharePoint includes five permissi...(truncated)...

Holiday contact management made easy with Access

(Indexed 2010-11-17):

[Image] Got a friend who's curious about Access but hasn't taken the leap yet? Office Casual host Doug Thomas has posted a new video on the Microsoft Office Blog that explains database templates in general, and shows you how you can use (and customize) the Contacts database template for your specific needs. Check out the post on the Microsoft Office Blog![Image]

Power Tip: Integrate Silverlight into an Access database

(Indexed 2010-11-17):

Derrick VanArnam and Russell Fox have developed a sample Access database that shows how to integrate Silverlight into an Access database. The sample demonstrates interoperability between Access and a Silverlight Treeview control, but you can also use other Silverlight controls, such as the Treeview, DataGrid, Video, and charts. The basic method is to place an Access Web Browser Control onto a form, and then load an HTML page containing the Silverlight control. Read the full post and download th...(truncated)...

New Access 2010 resource center for IT professionals on TechNet!

(Indexed 2010-11-15):

TechNet has just published a new Access 2010 Resources page full of information about migrating, deploying and securing Access 2010 databases. Learn how to plan and implement an Access Services site, and get links to developer resources, training, videos, and how-to articles. Definitely a good one to add to your Favorites! [Image][Image]

The Office Resource Kit needs you!

(Indexed 2010-11-02):

If your job includes IT-related tasks, such as deploying shared databases or administering servers, you might be interested in chiming in on this post from the Office IT Pro Blog. In short, they're looking for your ideas on what kinds of documentation IT people need for Access 2010. It's a great opportunity to contribute your ideas for the next round of Access 2010 IT Pro documentation. While you're there, check out the list of online resources for Accessthere might be a link or two that you h...(truncated)...

Ask the Community : Deploying Databases

(Indexed 2010-10-20):

This is a new segment we are going to do to get feedback from the blog readers about how you use the product. Today we are interested in how databases are deployed. An Access developer wants to test or preview changes to an app before they are seen by users. An Access developer wants to move an application from one location to another location. An Access developer wants to take an application offline while changes are made. How do you accomplish these things? Before joined the A...(truncated)...

Office 365 and Access web databases

(Indexed 2010-10-19):

If you've been hearing about the Office 365 Beta that was announced today, Channel 9 has posted an interview with Business Online Services Director John Betz (recorded back on the 11th) in which he demonstrates the new offering. If you click on the video timeline at about 15:20, there's a short demo of how Access Services and Access 2010 web databases figure into the mix. Office 365 (formerly known as BPOS or Union) brings Office desktop software, Office Web Apps, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Leveraging data macros in Access 2010

(Indexed 2010-10-15):

Danny Lesandrini, IT Director at Pharmatech Oncology Inc., has a great article on the Database Journal site that shows a real-world example of using an Access 2010 data macro to solve a common data entry problem. He also includes a downloadable database for your reference. Here's an excerpt: "During beta testing, I was most excited about the new Data Macros (table triggers) in Access 2010. At the time I had trouble getting them to work but I attributed that to my lack of understanding. Now ...(truncated)...

Chat About Microsoft Office and Windows with the MVP Experts

(Indexed 2010-10-11):

Do you have questions about Office 2010? Want to learn more about Windows 7? For the first time ever MVPs from both Windows and Office have come together as a collaborative group for a special live chat. MVPs will be on hand to take questions about Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2007 products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project, and OneNote, as well as Windows 7 and earlier versions. This event is a great opportunity to tap into the vast knowledge of these industry profess...(truncated)...

Video introduction to hybrid web applications

(Indexed 2010-10-08):

Larry Strange and the folks at have released a new video showing you how to get started with "hybrid" web databases in Access 2010. A hybrid database leverages the strengths of both web-compatible objects and client-only objects in a single .accdb file, and is a great deployment method for those of you using Access Services (or a hosting service such as Watch to the end to see a nifty trick for setting up new users quickly! Thanks Larry![Image]

Enhance the quality of your VBA code

(Indexed 2010-09-30):

Todays guest blogger is Access MVP Thomas Mller, an Access MVP since 2007, and an avid developer of Add-Ins to enhance Access and the VBA Editor. Check out his website at When coding, it's easy to make small mistakes. Usually these types of mistakes have no direct effect; the code runs and everything appears to be OK. That makes this situation so dangerous. Over the years, you collect a lot of experience when coding. If you later review the code you wrote years ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Maximize the use of TempVars in Access 2007 and 2010

(Indexed 2010-09-27):

Todays tip is provided by Juan Soto, Senior Access Developer at His blog is at and you can subscribe to it by clicking here. Juan is a frequent speaker at Access user groups nationwide and was a participant in the last Access developers kitchen for Access 2010. He can be reached through his website or his blog. The TempVars collection has the ability to save you time, improve the reliability of your programming and provide you with new ways to share in...(truncated)...

Learn more about Access web databases at

(Indexed 2010-09-24):

The folks at have been posting new Access 2010 tips to their blog for the past month or two. Larry Strange, President and Founder of, says that many of the blog posts and tutorial video topics are designed to answer FAQs from the users of their service. Because many of those users are just getting their feet wet with Access 2010 web databases, the posts are helpful for anyone who is just getting started. provides hosting services for Access ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Speed Up Microsoft Access and Visual SourceSafe Integration

(Indexed 2010-09-20):

Luke Chung of FMS, Inc. has written an article about how to avoid performance slowdowns when adding lots of Access objects to Visual SourceSafe. Heres an excerpt: Using Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (VSS) with Microsoft Access for system development is great for tracking old versions, maintaining a professional Access development platform, and multi-developer environments. Being able to quickly see old versions of individual objects, differences over time, and check-in and check-out objects to...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Use explicit objects when referring to Excel in code

(Indexed 2010-09-16):

Todays Power Tip comes from Bob Larson of BTAB Development. Bob is a former Access MVP (2008-2009, 2009-2010), and offers a host of tips and code snippets on his site. When you use code to refer to Excel (and other programs as well) you need to be careful not to use any code that does not refer back to the instantiated application object. If you do so then you will find that Access instantiates another Excel (or other program) object which is not visible to you, nor is it able to be referenced ...(truncated)...

Building a Soundex Search for Access Web services

(Indexed 2010-09-15):

Access MVP Albert D. Kallal has published a new article on his website showing how implement a soundex search in Access. For the uninitiated, a soundex search returns not only exact matches, but also any near matches that sound like the search term. For example, searching for Cindy also returns Cyndi, Cynthia, or Cinda. Heres an excerpt: While for many, the idea of an intelligent search form in Access that allows fuzzy name matching sounds like real magic. To us folks who been around a lon...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Pin Access applications to the Windows 7 taskbar

(Indexed 2010-09-13):

Todays guest blogger is Edwin Blancovitch. Edwin is president of Advanced, creators of Easy Payroll, a software package to manage your human resources, payroll, scheduling, time and attendance needs. I like to be innovative and use new features from programs. Recently I updated my apps to Office 2010; the process was very easy. However, at the same time I also updated my developer machine to Windows 7 and I saw something very unusual/new for me: there was no Quick Launch. Instead...(truncated)...

Download the free Access 2010 Migration Guide

(Indexed 2010-09-07):

If youre considering migrating from Access 2003 to Access 2010 (or perhaps youre already in the process of doing so), theres a new resource on that gives you a high-level overview of the changes in the new version: the Access 2010 Migration Guide. [Image] The guide walks you through new features such as the ribbon interface, the Navigation Pane, where to find Access Options, and so on. See the other Office 2010 Migration Guides, and collect all six![Image]

Follow-up paper from FMS, Inc. on a popular topic: SQL Azure and Access

(Indexed 2010-09-01):

Two recent papers written by Luke Chung of FMS, Inc. about SQL Azure and Access have created a lot of interest on his blog, as well as a few linked forum discussions. In response, Luke has written a follow-up paper about deploying an Access database once its linked to SQL Azure. He has also revised his original paper about linking to SQL Azure to clarify that you only need to install the SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Services program (SSMS) and not SQL Server itself. Thanks again, Luke! Luke ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Scale Access Chart objects at runtime

(Indexed 2010-08-26):

Todays guest blogger is Peter De Baets of Peters Software, providing Microsoft Access tools to developers for over a decade including ShrinkerStretcher, KeyedAccess and many other products and free downloads. I've recently discovered an easy way to scale Access Chart objects at runtime to fit the form window, and I'd like to share it with you. Scaling an Access Chart means that when the end-user resizes the chart form window, the chart resizes to fit the new window size. It also means that when...(truncated)...

Going beyond Web Macros: Using Event Receivers & .NET with Access Services

(Indexed 2010-08-24):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Ben Clothier. Ben is an independent contractor working with J Street Technology and Advisicon and was Technical Editor for the Access 2010 Programmer's Reference. One challenge in Access Services is ensuring that the logic behind various objects will be portable between Access itself and the SharePoint site hosting the Access web database. To that end, the Access team has used macros to support the goal of portability. In practical terms, this means we cannot...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Update front-end database files that have been pinned to the taskbar

(Indexed 2010-08-23):

Todays guest blogger is Tony Toews, a Microsoft Access MVP since 1999. Tony is owner of Tony's Main Microsoft Access pages, Tony's Microsoft Access Blog, and developer of Auto FE Updater and Granite Fleet Manager. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have some very interesting UI features including the ability to pin files, such as Word .docx, Excel .xlsx, Access .accdb or even Notepad .txt files to the taskbar. Fellow Access MVP Glenn Lloyd wrote an excellent article describing this feature a...(truncated)...

Two new white papers about Access and SQL Azure from FMS, Inc.

(Indexed 2010-08-20):

Luke Chung has published a couple of white papers about Access and SQL Azure. You can read Lukes blog post here, or link to the papers directly here: Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing...What it Means to Me and Information Workers Microsoft Access and Cloud Computing with SQL Azure Databases (Linking to SQL Server Tables in the Cloud). Heres an excerpt from the second paper: Cloud computing will be a huge benefit to the information worker and Access community. Instead...(truncated)...

Easily migrate Access data to SQL Azure

(Indexed 2010-08-12):

A couple of months ago, we posted a blog entry on how to useAccess2010 with SQL Azure.At that time, the easiest way to migrate your Access data to SQL Azure was to first migrate the tables and data to a non-Azure SQL Server then to use SQL Server tools to migrate these items to a SQL Azure database.Today, we are pleased to let you know that the SQL Server team has released a new version of the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for Access that will allow you to migrate your data and schema di...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Use dynamic event callbacks to simplify complicated applications

(Indexed 2010-08-10):

Todays guest blogger is Joel Graff, Operations Field Engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Many of the Access projects Ive developed have used VBA extensively, and the more I became involved in developing user interfaces, the more I saw a need to customize the behavior of the controls that Access provides. Developing this sort of solution gave me the architecture to be able to develop much more complicated control interactions and aesthetics without getting lost in a mess of ...(truncated)...

Web Database Conversion Service

(Indexed 2010-07-26):

SmithBridge(the guys behind have a new offering that will take the work out of converting your existing Access databases to Web databases that can run on SharePoint. They will check your database to see if it conforms to meet the SharePoint requirements, analyze the data and update the tables to conform to the Compatibility Checkers rules. The result is a database that is fully compatible with Access Services and ready to be run on SharePoint. The offering really makes getting...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Exclude data from a query by using a table

(Indexed 2010-07-22):

Todays Power Tip comes from Bob Larson of BTAB Development. Bob is a former Access MVP (2008-2009, 2009-2010), and offers a host of tips and code snippets on his site. If you have a long list of items to exclude from a query, and you dont want to type a big IN statement in the query to exclude them, you can use a table to do the exclusions instead. I have posted a short screenshot-based Quick Tutorial on my site that shows you how: Enjoy! Bob ...(truncated)...

The Access Show: Developing Access 2010 Hybrid Apps with Dick Moffat

(Indexed 2010-07-21):

Dick Moffat is a professional Access developer who has been using Access 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 to build databases that run on Windows but live in SharePoint. We have a chat about how you can leverage your existing Access skills and bring your current databases into SharePoint to make sharing databases and working with users in remote locations fast & easy.If you are building something cool with Access/Access Services we would love to feature you on The Access Show.[Image]

Access Junkie has 70+ tips for Access 2010

(Indexed 2010-07-21):

[Image]Jeff Conrad, our resident Access Junkie on the test team, has updated his website to include lots of information concerning Access 2010 and Access Services. He has added new MSDN article links, Access blog links, Access online forum links, and a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on Access 2010. You can find Jeffs website at the following location: Jeffs new Access 2010 FAQ page has answers to over 70 common questions concerning Access 2010. Many of th...(truncated)...

Get to Access Services tables with OData

(Indexed 2010-07-20):

OData is a Web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today. There are already several OData producers like: IBM WebSphere, Microsoft SQL Azure, SQL Server Reporting Services; and live services like: Netflix or DBpedia among others. SharePoint 2010, is an OData provider as well and this enables Access Services as an OData provider as well. The following walkthrough shows how to extract data using OData fro...(truncated)...

Northwind 2010 Web Database is now available

(Indexed 2010-07-19):

Were excited to announce that a longstanding Access tradition continues. A new version of the Northwind sample database has just been released. The best way to get to the template is to start up Access 2010, under Templates, click on Sample Templates, and then click on Northwind Web Database. You can also get the template here: Northwind Web Database. As before, Northwind shows you what an Inventory/Orders system might look like for a mail order dry goods company. For this version,...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Navigate around a Save as roadblock

(Indexed 2010-07-16):

Today's guest blogger is Luke Chung, President and Founder of FMS, Inc. Luke has written and presented a wide range of topics related to Access over the years. In addition to their many Access related products, FMS offers a wealth of great Access papers, tips, and videos on their site. It seems so simple and you've done it many times before. You have a Microsoft Access ACCDB database (from Access 2007 or 2010) and want to save it (convert it) to a Microsoft Access MDB format database so it can ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Take advantage of Rich Text textboxes in Access

(Indexed 2010-07-07):

Todays Power Tip comes from Philippe Riondel of text2texte. Philippe is an English to French certified translator based in Qubec. I am currently developing a terminology managing database for my main occupation, which is translation. The interface is mainly made of 2 parts, one for the search and one for the display of the found information. That second pane can typically include one or several of entries, plus one or several topics, links to Web pages, etc., like in the image below : [Image] ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Password protect your VBA project

(Indexed 2010-06-28):

A question came in recently regarding whether you can password protect just the VBA code for an Access database, but not the rest of the database. The answer is yes! Heres how to do it: In Access, press ALT+F11 to open the VBA editor. On the Tools menu, select Properties On the Protection tab, select the Lock project for viewing check box. Enter and confirm a password. Click OK, and then close and reopen the database. Next time you go to view the VBA code, youll be prompte...(truncated)...

Access 2010 is now available!

(Indexed 2010-06-16):

We are thrilled to announce that Access 2010 is available in retail stores and online. The team has worked very hard to make it easier to track and report on your information, build your databases faster and easier than before, and access your data in new ways. Over the last few months, we have shared our excitement about the new features of Access 2010, including Web databases, data macros, calculated columns, improved layouts, intellisense, themes, an updated navigation model, BCS(Business Con...(truncated)...

FIFA Tournament Brackets Template

(Indexed 2010-06-12):

Today’s guest writer is Barath Balasubramanian —a Design Engineer in the Access test team.As the excitement about the 2010 world cup in South Africa intensified, I set out to build an application to gather predictions on the results of the tournament from my team mates. Since all of my team mates have access to a SharePoint server, I decided to build the application using Access 2010. In less than two hours I was able to create a cool looking application that can not only track the 2...(truncated)...

Access 2010 New Features Demo

(Indexed 2010-06-09):

Last week I had the opportunity to film a video for Channel 9 all about some of the new features of Access 2010. Hope you enjoy it. [Image] [Image]

Access 2010 and SQL Azure

(Indexed 2010-06-07):

This post comes from Russell Sinclair who is in New Orleans showing off the newest Access 2010 features at TechEd. Microsoft SQL Azure is a new cloud-based relational database built on SQL Server that provides highly available, scalable, multi-tenant database services hosted by Microsoft in the cloud. It eliminates the need to install, setup and manage SQL Server, freeing IT to handle day-to-day operations rather than having to manage and maintain an on-premise server. It also enables access to...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Simplify development, testing, and troubleshooting multiple versions of Access with Windows 7 Virtual PC

(Indexed 2010-06-04):

Todays guest blogger is Brandon with OpenGate Software, offering Microsoft Access tools and Access templates for users of every experience level. While wed all like our customers stay up to date with their software releases, inevitably you may find yourself supporting users on Access 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and now, 2010. How best to manage the number of Access versions without breaking the bank buying PCs for each version, or dealing with the headaches of installing several versions on a sin...(truncated)... launches Developer Sandbox

(Indexed 2010-06-01):

Larry and the folks over at have launched a new plan for developers to us Access Services and prototype solutions for customers beyond the 30 day trial. You can learn more about it here.[Image]

Power Tip: Distinguish between a saved and an unsaved record

(Indexed 2010-05-19):

When you are in the process of entering a new record in an Access database, you can press the Escape key to cancel the entry of the record. However, some events, such as clicking or tabbing into a subform on the main form, can save the record on the main form. At that point, you can't press Escape to cancel the entryyou must use the Delete command to delete it. The end-users of your database might not understand the difference, and would probably want a single button or keyboard shortcut that ju...(truncated)...

Access 2010 Intro on Office Backstage Site

(Indexed 2010-05-12):

Abigail one of our amazing software engineers on the Access team was featured in an Intro to Access 2010 Video. Learn more about all the new Office 2010 applications at[Image]

Office 2010 launch!

(Indexed 2010-05-12):

Today, we are thrilled to announce that Office 2010 is available to our business customers. Check out the virtual launch events and read more about the launch on the Office 2010 Engineering blog here. We are very excited about getting the work weve been doing on Access 2010 into your hands. Check out the 2010 Intro Series and Top 10 Benefits to learn more about Access 2010. Office 2010 will be available online and in retail outlets on June 15.[Image]

Download Access 2010 Runtime, Database Engine Redistributable and Source Code Control

(Indexed 2010-05-10):

Download Access 2010 Runtime, Access Database Engine Redistributable (office connectivity components) 2010 and Source Code Control Add-in for Access 2010 today! Access Runtime 2010 Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit, you can download the Runtime here It is currently offered in 13 languages and more languages will be offered at a later time. Read this post on features in Access Runtime. Access Database Engine R...(truncated)...

Channel 9 video demo of Access Services restaurant application

(Indexed 2010-05-04):

Jeff Conrad is the co-author of Access 2007 Inside Out and a tester on the Access team. In the following Channel 9 episode, he demos a restaurant management Access Services database on Channel 9. It is a great sample Access Services application and showcases Access 2010 functionality including data macros, customized reports, filtering and client functionality. The application is available with purchase of his Access 2010 Inside Out book available this summer. [Image] [Image]

Feedback Wanted for Wizards

(Indexed 2010-04-23):

Wanted to reach out to the community and find out more on how you use (or dont use) a couple of our wizards in Access. [Image] Database Documenter The Database Documenter creates a report that contains detailed data for each selected object, and then opens the report in Print Preview. For example, if you run the Database Documenter against a data entry form, the report created by the Documenter lists the properties for the form as a whole, the properties for each of the sections in the form,...(truncated)...

Macros search form

(Indexed 2010-04-21):

Todays guest writer is Kerry Westphalour resident macro expert. A common feature in well-designed applications is giving users the ability to quickly focus on the data they care about. A search or filter form allows users to specify criteria to limit the records returned. This also enhances performance because the entire recordset is not brought in. A typical filter form provides unbound text boxes, combo boxes, and other controls where users can build and refine requirements for records to me...(truncated)...

FMS Inc. announces updated products for Access 2010

(Indexed 2010-04-20):

Over the next year or so, FMS Inc. will be releasing Access 2010 versions of their Access products. For many of them, FMS will be offering free beta versions to the general public. Total Access Admin 2010 Preview Version Total Access Admin is a cool program that lets you point to a database on your network and see people going in and out of it in real time. You can see the connections start and end. You can also prevent new people from coming in, and perform database tasks like compact & repa...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Count the number of rows in a subform

(Indexed 2010-04-15):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Garry Robinson, who offers the Smart Access collection of articles at Here's a great tip from the Smart Access collection that I used recently. I needed the count of rows in a subform to display on the main form. It's surprisingly easy--all you need to do is assign the RecordCount property for a subform's recordset to the TextBox on the main form. There's no need to loop through the rows in a recordset for a subform. First, the proc...(truncated)...

History of Access on UtterAccess Wiki

(Indexed 2010-04-12):

We wanted to get your help filling out this page on the UtterAccess wiki. Access History What were your favorite new features in each version, what got removed/changed along the way. Thanks, Ryan[Image]

Access Usability Study Opportunity

(Indexed 2010-04-09):

The Access team is looking for usability feedback. We are looking for 5-7 individuals to give us feedback during the week of 19th or 26th May. Rewards: 1. You will receive a free copy of Microsoft Office 2010 (when it is available) 2. Chance to make a difference to our product Study Details: 1. Length: 45-60 minutes approx. 2. Venue: Microsoft Redmond Office 3. Time: Flexible between 9am -5pm Eligibility and pre requisites: 1. Development experience in Microsoft Access esp. with large d...(truncated)...

Check out this tool for visualizing your Access database

(Indexed 2010-04-06):

Today's guest blogger is Chris Schmidt, creator of the GraphicalAccess add-in for Visio. Visual Programming, Dataflow Programming, or Flow-based Programming are powerful methods for the rapid development of applications big and small. Visualizing a database and the flow of data from it's origin through many process steps into a final report, form, or table, can help us quickly understand the relation and flow of data in an application, and help us to more quickly modify, repair, or improve our ...(truncated)...

Access on the Office Blog

(Indexed 2010-04-02):

Check out the Office blog for a couple great features on Access MVPs Arvin Meyer of Data Strategies and Teresa Hennig of Data Dynamics Northwest. Fall in love with your data the Access way Data on steroids: Microsoft Access feeds your need for speed[Image]

Power Tip: Create an AutoNumber field that starts with a number greater than 1

(Indexed 2010-04-02):

Today's guest blogger is Luke Chung, President and Founder of FMS, Inc. Luke has written and presented a wide range of topics related to Access over the years. In addition to their many Access related products, FMS offers a wealth of great Access papers, tips, and video on their site. In Microsoft Access tables, the AutoNumber field type allows you to assign a unique sequential number to each row in a table. AutoNumber fields are often used as the Primary Key, since they are unique and permanen...(truncated)...

Access 2010: Application Parts and Data Type Parts

(Indexed 2010-03-31):

One of our goals with Access 2010 was to make it easier to reuse your database design work. In the Access 2007 Developer Extensions, we allow you to save a database as a template, making it available for others to use either as a starting point or a ready-to-use application. In Access 2010, you now can also save the database or a collections of fields as a new kind of template a part.Application PartsAn application part is an Access template that you can add to an existing database, to extend it...(truncated)...

Access Developer Contest Results

(Indexed 2010-03-29):

Thank you to everyone for entering in the Access developer contest! The two winners did an amazing job on their Access Services sites by integrating the navigation form and using web browser controls and data macros to build two really cool apps. Albert takes home the grand prize of the Xbox 360 Elite for his Room Booking app. George wins the copy of Win7 Ultimate for his Singing Cowboys app. You can check them out below to see two great Access apps running in the browser! Alberts room booking ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Change the default behavior of controls

(Indexed 2010-03-25):

Todays guest blogger is Nadia Szucs, president of N-Soft, a provider of IT consulting services to businesses of various sizes in the Greater Toronto Area (Canada). N-Soft specializes in custom Microsoft Office product solutions centered around Microsoft Access implementations. I would like to share a method that would speed up your development efforts. Take a Text Box control, for example. While designing a form or report and placing a Text Box, the Label control is attached to the Text Box. ...(truncated)...

Feedback request: tell us about your latest database project

(Indexed 2010-03-24):

This blog provides the team with useful information from the community. Thank you for your feedback about SQL Server and faster and more efficient! This is a vital source of input in our planning process. Next, wed like to better understand how you use Access to solve real problems. Tell us about your latest Access project, and include the following: Short description of the business problem the project solves. How many users use the application? How long have you been using it? ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Become an early Business Intelligence adopter or fall behind

(Indexed 2010-03-22):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Garry Robinson, who offers the Smart Access collection of articles at Excel 2010 is coming and your boss and peers might soon start asking questions about Business Intelligence and Data Mining. This leaves the Access professional looking a little behind the times unless you adapt to this new area. In this article I show you how you can use Microsoft Access 2007 (and 2003) to provide business intelligence and to mine your data. For th...(truncated)...

Access 2010: ReturnVars in data macros

(Indexed 2010-03-19):

[Image] Barath Balasubramanian is a test design engineer in our team, working on server query processor, session management, and other areas. During his free time, he likes to play tennis. We got a lot of good feedback from the public beta release. One of the things we heard loud and clear was how much more powerful data macros would be if you could return values to UI macros. So we recently added this feature post beta 2. ReturnVars in Data Macro are similar to values returned by function/me...(truncated)...

Give us feedback How can we help you work faster and more efficient?

(Indexed 2010-03-13):

[Image]Todays guest writer is Neha Monga, Program Manager on the Access team. She works on compatibility checker, the runtime, Access developer extensions, and the future of the Access user experience. Im starting to think about ways to improve the Access user experience to make YOU faster, more efficient and smoothly connect to what comes before and after. I would love to get feedback from you on the following areas: Are there any scenarios where you need to follow a lengthy series of st...(truncated)...

Data Macro Aliases and the Where Condition Demystified

(Indexed 2010-03-12):

Whenever I debug a data macro, one of the most common mistakes I find is misusing aliases, especially in the Where Condition of a ForEachRecord or LookupRecord data block. This blog post is an attempt to demystify this area. Hopefully, by the time you are done reading this you will have a firm grasp of how to use aliases in data macros. Key points 1. What is the default data context? 2. When does the default data context change? 3. What else is in the data context? 4. What is the default da...(truncated)...

Access 2010 release date

(Indexed 2010-03-12):

There is a post on the Office 2010 Engineering blog about our ship date. The magic day is May 12th. Wahoo! We look forward to your feedback. :-)[Image]

Develop Advanced Access 2010 Web Databases and Publish to SharePoint 2010

(Indexed 2010-03-11):

Ryans great talk from the SharePoint Developer conference is now online. [Image][Image] About this Video Microsoft Access 2010 has a new engine and designer for creating declarative macro logic and table-based events to build useful codeless applications that run on both the client and server. Come learn how this new functionality changes the way you and your organization create Web databases. Presented by Ryan McMinn Length: 1 hour 6 minutes 23 seconds John Durant has posted a good post...(truncated)...

The Access Show: How the Microsoft Legal Department uses Access 2010 web databases

(Indexed 2010-03-08):

Meet Malori! Malori is a paralegal in Microsoft's legal department. She manages patent applications and assigns them out to attorneys and portfolio managers as well as other paralegals. Malori was looking for a way to make her team more efficient by presenting all of the information they needed in a single web page or application. Our team jumped in and made an Access Services solution, which allows her to manage all the data and provide custom views to her teammates. Today this web database is ...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Estimate the complexity of an Access development project

(Indexed 2010-03-05):

Todays Power Tip comes from Brandon with OpenGate Software, offering Microsoft Access products for Access users of every experience level, including UI Builder, Designer, and Dashboard Builder for Microsoft Access. As we all know, it's never easy to estimate how much work will be involved when creating a new Access database. To help with that, OpenGate Software has produced a white paper designed to help Access users (particularly newer users) figure out how complex their prospective Access dat...(truncated)...

Access 2010: data macros to create aggregates

(Indexed 2010-03-02):

Access aggregate queries provide a popular and powerful way to keep track of totals and summarize all the data in a table. Data Macros introduce a new way to keep track of these types of totals traditionally done in aggregate queries or populated in reports. Using the calc and store model, you can store the de-normalized total in a field on their table and update it with After Event data macros every time a related record is inserted, updated or deleted. Depending on the needs of the database, i...(truncated)...

Power Tips: become a guest blogger!

(Indexed 2010-03-02):

The Power Tips feature of this blog has been underway for about a year now, and we'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to those of you who have sent in tips. However lately our queue of posts has emptied out, so especially if you've never done it before, now is the time to become a guest blogger and submit your tip. We depend on the blog community to keep the feature going. A Power Tip can be a code sample, some SQL, an expression, a series of property settings, or some ot...(truncated)...

This Week in Access

(Indexed 2010-02-28):

Thought it would be nice to share some of the Access related links I come across with all of you. Using Access with Apple OSX. Cool little article about how Access can be used on a mac. IT Career coach has been running a series on career paths for database professionals. Part 8 is all about Access. Forrester has a great podcast on iTunes called...(truncated)...

The Access Show developer contest reminder

(Indexed 2010-02-26):

This is just a quick reminderThere are only 8 more days to submit your entry in The Access Show developer contest. The contest ends March 5th. Now is the time to polish your Access 2010 Web database and get your entry ready to win. [Image] We look forward to your submissions![Image]

Tutorials: Access 2010 Macro Designer

(Indexed 2010-02-26):

In this episode, Kerry Westphal gives a quick tour of the macro designer and how to write logic for Access Services/SharePoint databases. The macro designer is a revamped editor that allows you to automate repetitive tasks; wire together forms and reports to create productive UI; and implement business logic in Access databases. For web databases UI macros are translated into JavaScript in the browser and data macros are translated to workflows in SharePoint. [Image] Enjoy![Image]

The secret decoder ring for Access Services URLs

(Indexed 2010-02-26):

[Image]Todays guest writer is Steve Greenberg, a Lead Program Manager on the team. Steve is responsible for form rendering and the new templates in Access 2010. One of the recurring topics on this blog has been the methods used to navigate a database. A few months ago, we introduced you to the Access 2010 navigation control. We also just recently introduced the BrowseTo macro action. With Access Services, there is another method of navigating your application, and the good news is that you do...(truncated)...

Access 2010 BrowseTo DoCmd and macro action

(Indexed 2010-02-24):

[Image]Todays guest writer is Steve Greenberg, a Lead Program Manager on the team. Steve is responsible for form rendering and the new templates in Access 2010. Last week the team was privileged to host our MVPs at a conference here in Redmond. During our in-depth talks about Access 2010, some of these MVPs asked me about the new DoCmd and macro action called BrowseTo that weve introduced with Access 2010. Ive written this post to demystify this strange new action. In short, BrowseTo allows yo...(truncated)...

UtterAccess extreme makeover with Access Wiki

(Indexed 2010-02-22):

The extreme makeover of UtterAccess is underway! Access MVP and owner of UtterAccess, Gord Hubbell, has released a significant upgrade that improves the social tools available to the Access community. UtterAccess is known for its friendly community that strives to give people great answers to questions. The site offers a forum for many Access experts that openly help people do amazing things. The community of quality people have even better help tools. Im personally excited about the long-term ...(truncated)...

Tips to migrate legacy databases to SharePoint and the Web

(Indexed 2010-02-20):

[Image] Todays guest writer is Ela Yildizer Genc, a developer on the team who recently worked on Web Services, Backstage and Ribbon. I have been recently migrated some legacy applications to the Web. I expect many Access users will want to migrate their existing applications to the Web, I thought it would be helpful share my experience and give you some useful resources. There are some schema restrictions on web databases and if you want to bring your existing application to the Web, first y...(truncated)...

Composite keys in Web databases through data macros

(Indexed 2010-02-18):

A composite key consists of more than one field in an index. They are often used to ensure uniqueness across fields in a record. You can use unique multiple field indexes to define a set of columns that uniquely identify a row so as to prevent users from entering in the same record twice. Composite keys (multiple field indexes) are not supported on Access Services; however you can use Data Macros to get the same behavior. Lets look at a common example for a school registration systems.We have a ...(truncated)...

White paper: Compatibility Between the 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Office 2010

(Indexed 2010-02-17):

There is a good white paper available that gives you invaluable information about 64-bit Office. Here are the download link, description, and table of contents. Compatibility Between the 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Office 2010 Summary: For customers working with large amounts of data, Microsoft Office 2010 is now available in a 64-bit version. This article discusses issues around the compatibility of the 32-bit version with the new 64-bit version and legacy 32-bit Office applications and the...(truncated)...

Data Platform Improvements in SharePoint 2010

(Indexed 2010-02-15):

Database Relationships, Unique Columns and validation rules make it easy to validate your data. This creates much more maintainable applications and helps users to do the right thing the first time. Some of the feedback we received from blog readers and developers for Access/SharePoint integration was to have better data platform features to ensure the data integrity they expect from a relational database. In SharePoint 2007 validation such as required fields and min/max values are only enforc...(truncated)...

Valentines wish list demo

(Indexed 2010-02-13):

We just wanted to remind you that the developer contest deadline is quickly approaching. The last day to submit your Access Web databases is March 5th. This is your chance to show the Access community the apps youve been working on and win an Xbox, Zune or copy of Windows 7. Heres a teaser Barath Balasubramanian, a member of the test team built to track your dream Valentines day plans :-) [Image] The simple Tell a Friend feature caused this app to spread like wild fire through out the comp...(truncated)...

Access 2010 white paper about manageability and migration

(Indexed 2010-02-11):

We recently published a white paper about Access 2010 and Access Services. Here are the download link, description, and table of contents. Improving the Reach and Manageability of Microsoft Access 2010 Database Applications with Microsoft Access Services Access Services is a new feature of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition that supports close integration with Microsoft Access 2010. This integration enables users to extend the ease of Access application development to the crea...(truncated)...

Access 2010: Shared images

(Indexed 2010-02-10):

Todays guest writer is Ric Lewis--PM in charge of publishing to SharePoint, Web Services, and Shared Resources. Traditionally in Access, images have been bound to individual objects on a form or report. Then, if you wanted to change the image for a group of controls across multiple forms and reports, youd have to go through each control, one by one, and change the image. Some people figured out you could use sub-forms for logos but this wasnt helpful for images on buttons and background resourc...(truncated)...

Access 2010 hands-on-lab is available on Channel 9

(Indexed 2010-02-09):

For all those that want to experience development with Access 2010, a new Access 2010 unit has been added to the Channel 9 Learning Center for Office 2010. [Image] The new Building Solutions with Access 2010 Lab consists of 5 exercises highlighting the new web database feature and touches on the new Macro Designer and Data Macros. The new Macro Designer provides developers with a much easier and efficient environment to work in and Data Macros are similar to triggers in SQL Server. Rather tha...(truncated)...

Access 2010: Performance improvements against SharePoint lists

(Indexed 2010-02-05):

Todays guest writer is DJ Cole from the Access development team. DJ is the architect and primary developer of SharePoint connectivity performance improvements. The Access Show Overview [Image] Our goal for Access 2010 was to make connections to SharePoint lists nearly as fast as local tables. We had to ensure requests didnt swamp the server, bottleneck over the network, or cause the client machines CPU or RAM to thrash. We found caching data in local tables provided the best user e...(truncated)...

Spend the day with an Access engineer

(Indexed 2010-02-03):

Attention Puget Sound readers! We are polishing Access 2010 for RTM and need your feedback. Next week a handful of Access engineers will be available to visit on-site to help customers upgrade their Access applications to Access 2010. This is your opportunity to verify your app works great with Access 2010 and to provide early feedback for our planning process. If you are in the Puget Sound area and are interested in spending a day or two with an Access engineer, send us email. Tell us about y...(truncated)...

Access blog goes to China

(Indexed 2010-02-02):

Lois Wang, a program manager on the team responsible for reports, has started the Access China blog. Lois will blog about Access and open a broader dialog with Access developers in China. If you read Chinesecheck it out.[Image]Friends in Chinaenjoy![Image]

The Access Show: Classified ads demo

(Indexed 2010-02-01):

Microsoft has an internal classified ads Web site that allows employees to buy and sell stuffthink of it as a company Craigslist. Barath Balasubramanian a tester on the Access team decided to recreate the app using Access 2010. I asked Barath to join us on The Access Show for a short demo. He plans to share it on Office Online once we ship Access 2010 (it will automatically show up inside the Access BackStage New page). In the meantime Barath has shared a beta copy on UtterAccess. [Image] ...(truncated)...

Access 2010: How to write expressions for Web queries, forms, and reports

(Indexed 2010-01-27):

Todays guest author is Russell Sinclair, the Program Manager for expressions, ACE, along with other features. Access has traditionally supported a wide variety of expressions in different areas of the application. Tables and fields, queries, form and report properties, controls, and macros can all use expressions to evaluate data or logic to drive the behavior of an application. In the past, each of these contexts in which an expression is used have shared a single, common expression evaluatio...(truncated)...

Power Tip: Making forms easier to use and maintain

(Indexed 2010-01-25):

Reader tefan Masi provides today's Power Tip. In todays post I would like to share with you some tips about form design that Im using consistently in all applications I develop. Maybe you can get some benefit from my approach to form design. As we all know, analysis and preparation of user needs are essential in building all elements of an application. This approach results in forms that are easy to use, are uniform throughout the whole application, and are easy to maintain. Here are some des...(truncated)...

Access 2010: Design more maintainable apps with calculated columns

(Indexed 2010-01-23):

When I talk to developers about why they love Access, the most frequent response is always about fast they can build applications that track data. This saves time and money. Calculated columns are a new feature in Access 2010 that is designed to help end users and developers build applications faster, and are easier to maintain. Let me start with a couple scenarios from the Access 2007 templates. In the Contacts database, there are two fairly complicated expressions that conditionally show eit...(truncated)...

March Madness schema

(Indexed 2010-01-22):

Someone on the team wants to build a March Madness database. Anyone have a schema/database they wouldnt mind sharing with the team? If we get something that works wellwe might be able to share it with the community. Send us email if you have something and wouldnt mind sharing it. Thanks![Image]

Use the IsClient() expression to conditionally run VBA from Web forms

(Indexed 2010-01-18):

Todays guest writer is Kerry Westphal the PM for the macro designer and browser logic. Here is Kerrys introduction on The Access Show on Channel 9: [Image] We expect many advanced Access Services applications will have client and web objectswe call these hybrid applications. Hybrid applications are interesting because you can create client forms that leverage the full power of link tables, advanced queries, rich forms/reports, and VBA. See this previous post for more background on Web a...(truncated)...

Access MVP recognition

(Indexed 2010-01-15):

Todays guest writer is Ric Lewis from the Access PM team. Here at the beginning of the year we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight our MVPs. These are folks whose tireless efforts produce the vibrant Access community, which is a large part of what makes this such a great product. Many of them have answered thousands upon thousands of questions in newsgroups and on forums. Many of them have been involved in Access for more than 15 years. As a product team, were particularly grateful for ...(truncated)...

Power Tip Link: Delete records by using a delete query

(Indexed 2010-01-14):

Today's guest author is Luke Chung, President and Founder of FMS, Inc.DELETE queries are a fundamental part of relational databases since you can remove multiple records at one time, and can specify which records to delete by linking to data in another table.[Image] Delete query option in query Design ViewDelete queries let you:Empty a table (delete all its records) Delete all records with a particular value in a field Delete all records with a range of values in a field Delete records based on ...(truncated)...

Ping Access 2010 book authors

(Indexed 2010-01-14):

Are you writing a book about Microsoft Access 2010? If sowe would like to help you write a great, accurate book. Please email us your contact information and a bit about your project so that we can follow up.[Image]

Cross version compatibility between Access 2010 and Access 2007

(Indexed 2010-01-13):

Todays guest writer is Lois WangPM for reports and version-to-version compatibility. I saw a question on the Access TechNet Forum the other day that Id like to share with the community:I can't open accdb files in Access 2007 after they've been opened in 2010.Access 2010 brings you many new features (Data Macros, Calculated Columns, etc.) that Access 2007 does not understand. If Access 2007 goes ahead and open a Database created/modified in 2010, it will ignore these new features and might even c...(truncated)...

Access in Washington, DC

(Indexed 2010-01-12):

This Thursday, January 14th I will have the distinct pleasure of speaking to the Washington DC SharePoint User Group. Ill be giving a talk on Access 2010, Access Services, and our much improved database manageability story.I currently have some time free from 10am to 4pm on Friday, January 15th, and Im actively looking for someone in the greater DC area who would like to talk about their experiences with Access. Id be excited to visit you at your place of work, whether you work alone, in a compa...(truncated)...

The Access Show: Publish a Access 2007 database to SharePoint with Access 2010

(Indexed 2010-01-12):

The latest episode of The Access Show is a short tutorial by Ryan McMinn that shows you how to check web compatibility, publish to an Access Services enabled server (such as, and create a simple web experience. [Image] Here is a help article that explains how to Build a database to share on the Web. Enjoy![Image]

Access 2010 template videos available on the Office Beta site

(Indexed 2010-01-11):

Access 2010 ships with 5 Web database templates, each of which does a great job of showing off the new features. Weve created videos about how to use each template, as well as a sixth video showing you how to modify a template by adding a field. Check them out at the links below! Use the Assets Web Database template Use the Charitable Donations Web Database template Use the Contacts Web Database template Use the Issues Web Database template Use the Projects Web Database tem...(truncated)...

Access 2010 deprecated features and components

(Indexed 2010-01-10):

This post provides an overview of features and components that will be deprecated in the upcoming release of Access 2010. A decision to remove a feature or component from the product is never a trivial one; we therefore have put a lot of thought when deciding to remove functionality. We believe it will benefit the majority of our customers by helping us to make forward progress. Microsoft recommends that when you develop new Access applications, upgrade or modify existing applications, avoid u...(truncated)...

Dashboard graphics in forms and reports

(Indexed 2010-01-09):

Mike Alexander, Excel MVP recently sent us a pointer to a blog post with some cool ideas to spice up your application with data visualizations. Here is a quick sample: [Image] Mike didnt mention attachments in his post but the attachment control works really well for storing images. I have a similar technique for a ratings controlwill try to get around to posting it.[Image]

Last chance to make sure your Access 2010 app just works

(Indexed 2010-01-09):

One of our key goals for Access 2010 is that existing databases continue to just work. Weve done a lot of work to make this happen, but as part of delivering on that commitment, we need youour usersto download the Access 2010 beta and try out your old Access databases. Throw an MDB at it, or maybe an ADP. Toss in a switchboard for good measure, and maybe some pivots. We want to hear your feedback. If you experience any backwards compatibility issues that would keep you from deploying your exist...(truncated)...

The Access Show developer contest: win an Xbox 360, Zune, or Windows 7

(Indexed 2010-01-05):

Weve released the Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Betas and are excited to see what cool apps you will create. This is your chance to win an Xbox, 32GB Zune or a copy of Windows 7 and show the Access community your Access Services application. [Image] The Access Show Introduction coming soon Contest Prizes The 1st place prize is an Xbox 360 Elite. The 2nd place prize is a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. The 3rd place prize is a 32GB Zune. The 4th-8th place prizes are a copy of Win...(truncated)...

Manage large groups of controls by using the Tag property

(Indexed 2010-01-05):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Garry Robinson, who offers the Smart Access collection of articles at In Smart Access Answers, Doug Steele was asked What if I have a number of different controlssay, text boxes, labels, and check boxes and I want to make them invisible or visible when a form is being used? In this section of code, you will see how to loop through all the controls on a form and manipulate them using VBA. Each control in Access has a Tag propert...(truncated)...

Free Access Services hosting trial for early adopters

(Indexed 2010-01-04):

We have received feedback from developers and blog readers that they want to try out Access Services but dont have the resources to setup a full machine running SharePoint Beta. Part of our strategy for small to medium sized business has always been secure, reliable hosting in the cloud for Access apps through Microsoft Online Services as well as third party providers. Today, we wanted to announce that the first 3rd party provider SmithBridge has a service up and running for early adopters to...(truncated)...

Access 2010 Web compatibly checker

(Indexed 2009-12-21):

Todays guest writer is Neha Mongathe PM owner for the web compatibility checker. The Web Compatibility checker is a tool that allows users to check web compatibility of the tables and web objects. Access Server doesnt support all the rich controls and properties that the Access client supports. It is possible to create apps in Access client that are not compatible with the web and will not work at all. Users can run web compat checker to make sure their application design is compatible with th...(truncated)...

Access 2010 Web compatibility checker

(Indexed 2009-12-21):

Todays guest writer is Neha Mongathe PM owner for the web compatibility checker. The Web Compatibility checker is a tool that allows users to check web compatibility of the tables and web objects. Access Server doesnt support all the rich controls and properties that the Access client supports. It is possible to create apps in Access client that are not compatible with the web and will not work at all. Users can run web compat checker to make sure their application design is compatible with th...(truncated)...

Resize forms with ShrinkerStretcher v11.0

(Indexed 2009-12-11):

Peter asked me to pass this along to our readers. Los Angeles, CA - For immediate release: Celebrating thirteen years of helping developers create better Microsoft Access applications, Peter's Software announces the release of ShrinkerStretcher v11.0 for Microsoft Access. ShrinkerStretcher is an add-on module for Access that will dynamically resize/rescale Microsoft Access forms, fonts, and controls to fit any screen resolution, desktop scheme, font setting, or form window size. Using Shrinke...(truncated)...

Use late binding to improve the performance of tabbed forms

(Indexed 2009-12-09):

Luke Chung, President and Founder of FMS, Inc., has written and presented a wide range of topics related to Access over the years. In addition to their many Access related products, FMS offers a wealth of great Access papers, tips, and video on their site. If you use the Tab Control to pack a lot of controls onto a form, here is a great tip to make the form load more quickly. The secret is in keeping most of the controls unbound until you need them. For example, on the form shown below, you cou...(truncated)...

Access 15 and SQL Server

(Indexed 2009-12-04):

Todays guest writer is Greg Lindhorst the person looking into how to improve Access and SQL Server for Access 15. Hello everyone! As Office 2010 nears shipping, we are starting to plan Office 15. One area that we are considering improving is our SQL Server support. Based on what I've heard from the community, that would be most welcome. Note that we are very early in planning, and considering many possible areas of investment, I unfortunately can't commit to any actual improvements at this t...(truncated)...

Office 2010 newsgroups

(Indexed 2009-12-04):

Here is a link to Office 2010 newsgroups. The team will try to monitor and provide answers to questions in the Access newsgroup.[Image]

The Access Show: Managing Access Databases with SharePoint

(Indexed 2009-12-03):

This is the third episode of The Access Show. Steve Greenberg recently gave a great talk (rated in the top 7 of all sessions) at the SharePoint Developers Conference about how Access 2010 and Access Services enable organizations to provide better oversight of Access development while empowering users. In episode three Steve and Clint walks you through the key points of this hit session. [Image] Subscribe to The Access Show: RSS, iPod/MP4, WMV (high quality), Zune, MP3[Image]

Publish to SharePoint (part 2)

(Indexed 2009-12-02):

Todays guest writer is Ric Lewisthe PM in charge of publishing to SharePoint. In our last post about publish, we covered the basics of how to publish your Access database to a SharePoint server. In this post, well look at how to troubleshoot publish issues and maintain your published database. Errors When you try to publish, there are a few things that may go wrong. There are three places where you may be notified of these errors: Compatibility Checker Move to SharePoint Applicati...(truncated)...

The Cartesian product: a feature, not a bug

(Indexed 2009-11-30):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Garry Robinson, who offers up another gem from the Smart Access collection of articles at In this article written by Peter Vogel, you will be given an overview about what it means to write queries where tables are not joined. This is a good thing to know because SQL queries written this way can help you now in exactly the same way as it did for Peter and I working on projects in the last century. Article by Peter Vogel from 1997 Wh...(truncated)...

Install Access Services on Vista or Windows 7 x64 OS

(Indexed 2009-11-25):

I expect there are a number of folks that would love take Access Services for a spin and give us feedback. It is possible to create a dev install of SharePoint 2010 Beta 2 on Vista x64 or Windows x64. This is only intended for developers to develop custom solutions and isnt a supported live scenarios. The document should list in step 2 to install Reporting Services and here is the download. There was a glitch publishing the RS MSI where some users were getting a 1 byte filethat has been fixed....(truncated)...

Publish to SharePoint (part 1)

(Indexed 2009-11-23):

Todays guest writer is Ric Lewisthe PM in charge of publishing to SharePoint. A common question in the Access community is how do I get my app on the web? Here is the most recent example: My wife and I have just started our own Recruitment business and I started an Access DB to basically be a contact manager and to track our jobs, candidates, clients and placements we make. I got to a certain point and realized I was out of my depth, so I enlisted the help of an Access Developer to finish i...(truncated)...

Access Services overview and install information

(Indexed 2009-11-19):

Recently on The Access Show Ryan and I introduced Access Services and created a donations application that ran in the browser. I thought it would be helpful to provide some background to the vision and direction. Years ago I came across a post on UtterAccess that articulately described what we hope to accomplish with Access 2010. Stormin on UtterAccess says he is: looking for clues to how I could create an Access application that would run from within an Access database, as well as from the web ...(truncated)...

Download Access 2010 Public Beta today

(Indexed 2009-11-18):

Today, we are thrilled to announce the release of the public beta of Access 2010, Access 2010 Runtime, and SharePoint 2010. You can download Office and SharePoint at My July post Access 2010--The 10,000 ft. View outlined the following advancements: Get started faster Better design and customization tools Centralized business logic Landing pad for data SharePoint performance and offline Browser apps Last month Ryan and I gave the first public ...(truncated)...

Access 2010 Create ribbon

(Indexed 2009-11-18):

Web databases introduced a few ribbon design challenges, particularly how to present client and web create options? We wanted to make sure that people creating client objects are just as successful as web objects. When you create a new database from scratch, you have two options: either to open a blank database or a blank Web database. [Image] Creating a new blank Web database opens a new database that allows you to create both Web and Client objects. Client objects have the full designers...(truncated)...

Add color formatting to columns in Combo Boxes and List Boxes

(Indexed 2009-11-17):

Today's guest blogger is Pavlo Pedan of ARGO Business Corp. He has 15 years of experience with Access and has a great site of tips at As we all know, a List Box control has a Fore Color property. It sets the fore color for column values and headers simultaneously. Also, we know that table and query fields have a Format property, where color formatting can be set. For example, you can format a number field as 0.00[Green]. As stated in Access 97, 2003 ...(truncated)...

Build navigation UI with Access 2010

(Indexed 2009-11-14):

Todays guest writer is Wouter Steenbergen, a PM on the Access team responsible for Access form and report designers. If you want to build an easy to use application it always starts with a good navigation model that allows users to quickly perform the most common tasks and easily find the less common tasks. Years ago, Access introduced the concept of a switchboard manager which has become a mainstay for many applications in the late 90s. The hierarchical model and ease of adding new objects in...(truncated)...

Sorting a Listbox Using Command Buttons

(Indexed 2009-11-13):

Todays guest blogger is Daniel Lamarche. Daniel is the Training Director at ComboProjects, which specializes in providing custom training solutions in Microsoft Office products. I always thought it was cool to be able to sort a list by clicking the column heading once, for ascending order then once more for descending order. A while ago I decided to tackle this feature in an Access form. [Image] The buttons above the field names are used to sort the list. The triangle pointing down ...(truncated)...

Why Access works for Blue Link

(Indexed 2009-11-13):

[Image]Todays guest blogger is Darren Myher. Darren is the VP Operations of Blue Link Associates Limited, a Gold Certified Microsoft ISV Partner. Blue Links flagship product: Blue Link Elite is a fully integrated accounting and inventory management system built using Microsoft Access and SQL Server. Darren has attended several of our developer kitchen events over the last couple of years. I liked his perspective about Access and asked him if he would share his experience with our audience. --...(truncated)...

The Access Show: Recap of SharePoint Developer Conference

(Indexed 2009-11-12):

This is the second episode of The Access Show with Steve Greenberg & Ryan McMinn. They just came back from the sold-out SharePoint conference in Las Vegas where they launched Access Services and wanted to give you an update as well as introduce some customers that have been using the technical preview and building web databases. Robert Hogg - Black Marble Consulting Michael Matloub Connolly, Inc [Image] Subscribe to The Access Show: RSS, iPod/MP4, WMV (high quality), Zune, ...(truncated)...

Running a Command as Administrator in VBA

(Indexed 2009-11-11):

We received a question the other day from someone who was using the Shell function in VBA to run a command in a command prompt. The command in question was netsh dhcp, but this could apply to any number of commands. The original code was as follows: Shell "c:windowssystem32cmd.exe /k netsh c dhcp" This code had worked for a while, but on Windows Server 2008 (and presumably Windows Vista and Windows 7), this command requires elevated permissions. There are likely a few ways to do this, but wel...(truncated)...

Access in the news

(Indexed 2009-11-11):

John Durant from Office marketing is on The Knowledge Chamber with Robert Hess. He is talking about new features in Office that help developers. He starts his Access plug about 3 minutes into the talk. Good stuff. Dick Moffat who has attended several of our developer kitchens recently wrote a blog post about Access 2010 and hybrid apps. He really likes the deployment features of rich client apps and SharePoint. In the end Access 2010 allows the traditional client-side Access developer to st...(truncated)...

Access 2010 in the news

(Indexed 2009-11-11):

John Durant from Office marketing is on The Knowledge Chamber with Robert Hess. He is talking about new features in Office that help developers. He starts his Access plug about 3 minutes into the talk. Good stuff. Dick Moffat who has attended several of our developer kitchens recently wrote a blog post about Access 2010 and hybrid apps. He really likes the deployment features of rich client apps and SharePoint. In the end Access 2010 allows the traditional client-side Access developer to st...(truncated)...

A better way to reference tab control pages

(Indexed 2009-11-06):

In VBA, a common way to refer to the pages of a tab control is to use the Value property. However, Luke Chung, President of FMS Inc., recommends using the PageIndex property instead. Click here to find out why! [Image] Send your Power Tips to Mike and Chris at[Image]

Displaying Data From Related Tables on a Form

(Indexed 2009-11-06):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Scott Diamond. Scott is the principal of Diamond Computing Associates and the author of Microsoft Office Access 2007 VBA. This is a very frequently discussed issue. But before I get into the methods, you need to understand one of the principles of relational databases. That principle is that data should exist in one place only. Having the same data in multiple tables is a violation of normalization. Related records are indicated by a Foreign Key within the r...(truncated)...

Access featured on MSNZ Podcast

(Indexed 2009-11-04):

[Image] Johanna and I were invited to do an interview for the MSNZ podcast at the SharePoint Conference. It just got posted, hope you enjoy it :)[Image]

Demo of Access 2010 room bookings database

(Indexed 2009-11-03):

Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP) has published a great video demo of an application that he build for tracking meetings rooms. He even has built a fancy calendar control that renders in the web using data macros and bound controls. it is a good example of the types of things you can do in the browser with Access + Access Services. [Image] Here is my favorite quote from the video: I find this new table level programming model encourages designs that allow you to quickly react to your changin...(truncated)...

Why VBA still makes sense

(Indexed 2009-10-29):

John Durant from the Office Developer marketing team is blogging about why VBA still makes sense. I expect our Access community is interested in what he has to say. Here is a little taste of the article: Not infrequently I am asked, So, should I use VBA? Is it going to be around in Office 2010? Is it supported? Should I migrate away from VBA now? Can I count on this technology? (Here I go with a response!) These are fair questions, because customers need to know that the software systems ...(truncated)...

Running an Access Parameter Query from Excel

(Indexed 2009-10-23):

Excel MVP Michael Alexander wanted to share this tip about running an Access parameter query from Excel. He describes the problem thusly: An Access parameter query is a kind of interactive query that prompts you for criteria before the query is run. Parameter queries are useful when you need to ask the query different questions using different criteria each time you run it. Now we all know you can pull data from Access into Excel using MS Query. The problem is that MS Query doesn't let yo...(truncated)...

.Net developer blogs about Access 2010

(Indexed 2009-10-21):

Todays guest writer is Richard Fennell from Black Marble. Richard is engineering director for Black Marble, hard core .NET developer, and MVP for Team Systems. Black Marble does a lot of custom SharePoint development and sell few accelerator kits. Black Marble is active in the community sponsoring regular .Net developer and SharePoint conferences and workshops. They have worked closely with our team over the last couple months as part of the Office 2010 Technical Adoption Program. Richard is not...(truncated)...

Expand only the subdatasheets you want

(Indexed 2009-10-21):

Today's guest blogger is Pavlo Pedan of ARGO Business Corp. He has 15 years of experience with Access and has a great site of tips at If you have a form that contains subdatasheets, you can use the following VBA command to expand all of them: Forms![FormName]![SubFormName].Form.SubdatasheetExpanded = True However, we often want only some of the subdatasheets to be expanded, based on some criteria (for example - expand only if subdatasheets conta...(truncated)...

Access Web Databases and The Access Show

(Indexed 2009-10-20):

There are a couple big announcements happening today for the Access community. In partnership with Channel 9 we are launching a new show called The Access Show. It will feature Ryan McMinn, myself and others from the team. We will talk in-depth about what is new in Access 2010 and share feedback from the community. Additionally, at the SharePoint Developers Conference we are disclosing more details about Access Services. Access Services is a new SharePoint 2010 feature that allows users to creat...(truncated)...

Mary Jo Foley writes about SharePoint

(Indexed 2009-10-17):

There is a good article by Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley about SharePoint from a Microsofts business perspective. Some key points worth highlighting: SharePoint is the fastest growing server product at Microsoft contributing over $1 billion in revenue. There are approximately 40 teams and thousands of people that contribute to the product. The SharePoint conference in Las Vegas next week is sold out with more than 7,000 attendees. Elop talks about SharePoint as a developer platfor...(truncated)...

Using the ShowToolbar Method to Hide the Ribbon

(Indexed 2009-10-16):

Todays guest blogger is Edwin Blancovitch. Edwin is president of Advanced, creators of Easy Payroll, a software package to manage your human resources, payroll, scheduling, time and attendance needs. I have been using the ribbon for the last two years and I like it so much, however there was a situation where I wanted to hide the ribbon. I used the Minimize the Ribbon command to hide it, but there was still some space being used by the Office button and the ribbon tabs. [Image]...(truncated)...

Nulls vs. zero-length strings: a Power Tip from the past

(Indexed 2009-10-14):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Garry Robinson, who offers the Smart Access collection of articles at A few months ago I purchased the rights to publish the Smart Access magazine online and it is from that collection that I offer this tip from Paul Litwin, the first editor of Smart Access. At the end of that I provide a link to an editorial on Null Values written by the second editor Peter Vogel. It never hurts to get a refresher course on Null values, a necessary ...(truncated)...

New Access fan page on Facebook

(Indexed 2009-10-12):

In our never-ending quest to spread the word about Microsoft Access, we now have an official fan page on Facebook! Our news feed includes links to articles on MSDN, TechNet, and Office Online, as well as posts on this blog. You can choose to see our posts in your Facebook news feed automatically, or read them only when you want to. Similarly, if you post something on the fan page, you can choose to be notified whenever someone responds to you. Heres a quick walkthrough of how the Microsoft Acce...(truncated)...

Identifying the Record Selected on a Continuous Form

(Indexed 2009-10-06):

Todays guest blogger is Edwin Blancovitch. Edwin is president of Advanced, creators of Easy Payroll, a software package to manage your human resources, payroll, scheduling, time and attendance needs. Regularly when we create databases for our customers we use continuous forms for data entry. The problem is, its often difficult for users to identify the record theyre working on a big continuous form with tons of records. Ive found a way to overcome this in just a few just quick s...(truncated)...

Access 2007 link table to SharePoint list performance

(Indexed 2009-10-06):

Todays guest writer is Aaron Hafele from the Access Product Support team. In previous editions of this blog, Clint has pointed out a couple of things that, as a support engineer, I believe bear repeating. One in particular has to do with performance when working with linked SharePoint lists in Access 2007. Way back in December of 2007, Clint had this to say about SharePoint performance: The team spent a bunch of time improving SharePoint performance but it still is influenced by the speed...(truncated)...

Using Access for disaster response

(Indexed 2009-10-05):

This request came in from Gisli one of our Technical Advisors at MSFT. Ive been asked by a collection of UN organizations that handle disaster response around the world if we would be able to provide training material (including recorded webcasts, on-line training, etc.) that could be used to train information management people in a number of disaster areas around the world. One of the key areas they have identified as a need is to increase the knowledge of these people in the area of ad...(truncated)...

3 new articles available on MSDN

(Indexed 2009-10-05):

MSDN writer Sal Ricciardi alerted us to the availability of 3 new articles on MSDN, two written by Luke Chung of FMS Inc., and one co-written by Luke Chung and Dan Haught. Title Author(s) Performance Tips To Speed Up Your Access 2007 Database Luke Chung and Dan Haught Error Handling and Debugging Tips for Access 2007, VB, and VBA Luke Chung Tips and Techniques for Queries in Access 2007 Luke Chung ...(truncated)...

Access 2010 improved layouts

(Indexed 2009-10-01):

Access 2007 introduced a new concept called Layouts. The most useful scenario for the feature was tabular reports. It makes it very easy to resize and rearrange columns compared to the pre-Access 2007 days with absolute position. Layouts in Access 2010 are much more flexibleallowing you to split columns and cells similar to tables. In many ways, this makes it easier to keep controls aligned. I could tell you all about it but this is one of those features that is much easier to show than descri...(truncated)...

Access 2010 trusted documents (or databases)

(Indexed 2009-10-01):

the Office 2010 Engineering blog has a good post from Maithili about trusted documents. We implemented this security feature in Access as well. What it means is that you can now trust an individual database without having to put it into a trusted folder. It is pretty simple, you go to the BackStage and choose the Enable Content dropdown. Choose Enable All Content. [Image] You can read more about how the feature works across Office here. Enjoy![Image]

Dynamically Resize a Subform Based on the Record Count

(Indexed 2009-09-30):

Todays guest blogger is Vinny Malanga. Vinny is the CTO of IMI Software, Inc. , which specializes in software development for the real estate and property management industries. Many Access developers implement subforms to display data. Most often, at design time, the developer sets the subform to a specific size. In many cases this is fine, but there are some instances where it would be preferable to dynamically resize the subform at runtime, based on the number of records that it contains, up...(truncated)...

Access 2010 Custom Themes

(Indexed 2009-09-25):

Todays guest writer is Steve Greenberg. The recent Access 2010 Themes post introduced you to the new Office themes inside Access. Now lets show you some of the advanced things you can do with themes. The controls we are about to use can all be found to the left of the Design tab once youre designing a form or report in design or layout view. [Image] In addition to using the out-of-the-box themes, you can also create your own themes. On the Design tab, choose Fonts | Create New Theme Fonts or...(truncated)...

Tracing Function Calls in VBA

(Indexed 2009-09-24):

Todays guest blogger is Joel Graff. Joel is a field engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Often, I find when looking for the source of an error in VBA code, a function call trace which returns the path of function calls preceding the error to be invaluable. While more complete compilers provide this feature as a part of the IDE, it is, unfortunately, absent in VBA. To accommodate this, Ive written my own function call stack classes to help me trace errors. This implem...(truncated)...

Access 2010 Themes

(Indexed 2009-09-23):

Todays guest writers are Steve Greenberg and Viki Selca. The PMs that have lead the effort to make it easier to create great looking apps. People say Dont judge a book by its cover but everyone who develops software knows that applications are judged by their look and feel every day, and for good reason. Its critical to keep the user interface clean so that end users of the application can get their work done without fuss. If you depend on Access as a key part of your business, the difference b...(truncated)...

Switch the Property Sheet on and off from VBA

(Indexed 2009-09-23):

Today's guest blogger is Pavlo Pedan of ARGO Business Corp. He has 15 years of experience with Access and has a great site of tips at When you open a form or report in Design View, the Property Sheet is either displayed or hidden based on its state the last time you left Design view. However, you might want to ensure that the Property Sheet is always displayed (or hidden) when you switch to Design view. You might think to use the following command: D...(truncated)...

SharePoint in Plain English

(Indexed 2009-09-21):

I thought this was a great way to communicate what is SharePoint: SharePoint in Plain English[Image]

Using VBA to Send Data to a Table from an Unbound Form Control

(Indexed 2009-09-16):

Todays guest author is Justin Farrell, author of the Access 2007 tutorial This is a useful trick which gives the Access Developer additional flexibility when working with forms and data. It uses Access VBA and DAO. Once the user enters data into the unbound textbox (txtBox) and clicks the Send Data To Table button, Access opens a recordset based on the tblTest table. The txtBox data is then stored in a variable called varTextData and then added to the rst reco...(truncated)...

"Convert" a TextBox to a ComboBox at a run-time

(Indexed 2009-09-14):

Today's guest blogger is Pavlo Pedan of ARGO Business Corp. He has 15 years of experience with Access and has a great site of tips at Some people do not like having ComboBoxes on a form because of drop-down buttons. Microsoft offers a solution here, but this approach does not work for a datasheet view the drop-down button shows up when the ComboBox gets the focus. Some people do not like ComboBoxes because the control requires some time to be popul...(truncated)...

Access 2007 hotfix package now available

(Indexed 2009-09-10):

Here are the list of issues fixed in this download package. In Microsoft Office Access 2007, you have a report that includes a form reference in the criteria of the record source. When you enter a letter at the first parameter prompt, a numeric value is displayed on the report. For example, if you enter the letter "a" at the first parameter prompt, the value "97" is displayed on the report. In Access 2007, you have a form or a report that is bound to a SQL Server stored procedure. T...(truncated)...

Use a validation rule instead of the Required property

(Indexed 2009-09-09):

Reader tefan Masi provides today's Power Tip. When you want to require users to enter a value in a field, a common technique is to set the Required property for that field to Yes (for example, tabPerson.Name.Required = Yes). However, when the user is then adding records to the table and neglects to insert value in that field, the built-in error message that appears is not very helpful: "The field . cannot contain Null value because the Required property is set to True. Enter a value in this fi...(truncated)...

Jump start new Access databases with a custom blank database template

(Indexed 2009-09-04):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Glenn Lloyd of Argee Services. Check out his Office help blog and Access Help and Tutorial Blog. There are certain features that virtually every Access database application includes. Certain tables like peoples names and addresses, certain forms for managing lookup lists and many to many relationships, custom splash screens, and on and on. Particular developers may prefer off-standard property settings for forms and reports and for the database itself. Depend...(truncated)...

Calculating Week Numbers is Easier Than He First Thought

(Indexed 2009-09-03):

Excel MVP Michael Alexander wrote in with a tip on calculating week numbers. It's always a little embarrassing when you roll your own Function to achieve some functionality that already exists in Excel or Access. Recently, I stumbled across a user-defined function designed to find a week number in Access. I asked the owner of this code why he wrote a function to do this when Access has one. He gave me the 'thousand-yard stare', then he went on to explain that he couldn't find the WEEKNUM...(truncated)...

Use a crosstab query to create monthly summary reports

(Indexed 2009-08-31):

After you've built a few Access database applications, you inevitably come up against this problem: the arrangement of your data in tables is not the arrangement you want on reports. Frequently, values appear vertically in a table, but you want them to appear horizontally on the report. Luckily, crosstab queries provide a quick way to "pivot" the data to the way you want it. Luke Chung of FMS, Inc. provides a great tutorial on crosstabs in this article on the FMS site. Check out more Access pap...(truncated)...

SageKey special offer

(Indexed 2009-08-27):

Steve Bailey recently emailed us about changes to the SageKey product line and a special discount they are offering: SageKey Software has been busy building new products to provide the right solution to the common installation issues. As usual wed like to offer a discount to readers of this Blog. Not only have we added more functionality to our installation wizards as per customer requests but weve broken our products out into functional versions. One request we get a lot is to creat...(truncated)...

Create flexible Excel exports with on-the-fly SQL

(Indexed 2009-08-26):

Kingsway Financial Assessments provides independent financial assessment reports and credit reports to support decision making when awarding contracts and tenders. Kingsway uses an Access database built by Hockley Computer Services using Goldsoft. Ken Hockley is today's guest blogger. Ive been using SQL statements in temporary Access tables to extract data to Excel for some time now (simple data dump). The client has a form which shows a selection of the tables and fields in their system. In t...(truncated)...

OpenGate releases new version of Designer

(Indexed 2009-08-25):

Brandon from OpenGate recently sent email about a special offer for blog readers for the latest version of Designer for Microsoft Access. Check it out. OpenGate Software is offering 50% off their new version 3.0 of Designer for Microsoft Access. Designer creates a normalized Access database after users follow a simple Q&A format wizard to define what they want to track in their database. The newest release automatically generates complex data entry forms with all related information displaye...(truncated)...

Cool Tool Tips: A Better Control Tip

(Indexed 2009-08-24):

Tony D'Ambra of, maker of Access add-ins and switchboards, wanted to share his method for providing help to users when and where they need it. In Access, the functionality of tool tips has not changed since they were introduced in Access 95 ten years ago. In a free sample Access 2000 database Cool Tool Tips, which you can download here, I have implemented a more functional and controllable paradigm, which also looks great. If you have an application that is to any degree...(truncated)...

Access 2010 developer kitchen

(Indexed 2009-08-20):

Want to ensure your application runs seamlessly in Access 2010 and hang out with the Access team? We have a 3 day developer kitchen on the Redmond Campus from September 14-16th. You will hear the product vision, run your applications in the latest builds, interact with the product team and network with other members of the Access community. Time spent will concentrate on upgrading existing Access applications to Access 2010 and building Access 2010 applications. Who should come? Space is limi...(truncated)...

Coping with non-updateable queries

(Indexed 2009-08-20):

Today's guest blogger is Luke Chung, President and Founder of FMS, Inc. Luke has written and presented a wide range of topics related to Access over the years. In addition to their many Access related products, FMS offers a wealth of great Access papers, tips, and video on their site. So you've built the perfect query, but then when you try to edit the data it returns, Access displays the following message in the status bar: [Image] What to do? Luke describes a workaround for non-updateable ...(truncated)...

Use a Cartesian product to create a list of all dates

(Indexed 2009-08-17):

Today's guest blogger is Access MVP Glenn Lloyd of Argee Services. Check out his Office help blog and Access Help and Tutorial Blog. In working with applications that require scheduling, I often find a need for a list of all calendar dates within a specified time frame. Using Cartesian Product makes generating this list quite straightforward. The technique requires three tables. The first two for days and months are static once created and populated. The days table has a single field with 31 re...(truncated)...

Access 2010 data macros (similar to triggers)

(Indexed 2009-08-13):

Last week we outlined improvements to the Access 2010 macro designer, parameter support, and IntelliSense. These improvements build upon Access 2007 macro improvements of macro sandbox, embedded macros, TempVars, debugging, and support for error handling. The natural next step in macros is to provide a model for business rules. Data macros allow developers to attach logic to record/table events (similar to SQL triggers). This means you write logic in one place and all forms and code that updat...(truncated)...

Using Access to Combine Excel Files: Method 1

(Indexed 2009-08-12):

Excel MVP Michael Alexander wanted to share one VBA-free method that he uses to combine multiple Excel worksheets into one data set. Ahh, the classic story. Boy gets job. Boy becomes the department data collector. Boy meets 25 Admins who send him a spreadsheet every week. Boy copies and pastes into one workbook. Boy lights himself on fire. Combining multiple Excel worksheets into one data table is such a common task, I would bet a pound of bacon that most of us have been through that orde...(truncated)...

Write expressions faster with fewer errors

(Indexed 2009-08-11):

The Expression Builder sports new features and simpler UI in Access 2010. You will spend less effort thinking about syntax and available functions/properties because IntelliSense features provide all the information you need as you type. Clutter be gone The first thing youll notice about the dialog is that there is a lot less show in it. We removed the clutter of buttons in the dialog to make room for a larger edit surface. We only show the expressions that are allowed in a given conte...(truncated)...

Put IIF statements in a table to use in a query

(Indexed 2009-08-11):

Readers Trey Smith and Brandon Kessler from HealthTrans, LLC suggested the following Power Tip for streamlining Access queries. I ran into an issue at my job where I had so many IIF statements for a field in a query that the query wouldnt run. We deal with many clients that all have different criteria for getting billed, but I wanted to create one query that dealt with all of them. After searching online for inspiration of how to get around this problem, I had just about given up when no result...(truncated)...

(Indexed 2009-08-10):

A couple folks from Microsoft created a website where you can submit ideas for Office + vote and comment. There are only a couple listed for Access, I am sure you all have some great ideas :) [Image][Image]

A pair of tips for working with queries

(Indexed 2009-08-06):

Todays Power Tip comes from Brandon with OpenGate Software, offering Microsoft Access products for Access users of ever experience level, including UI Builder, Designer, and Dashboard Builder for Microsoft Access. Here are two tricks in Access to make SQL easier. The background context is that often it makes more sense to put queries in code rather than save them as query objects, particularly if you dont want users to have access to them, or dont want to manage hundreds of queries. Tip #1: U...(truncated)...

Set query parameters with macros

(Indexed 2009-08-05):

Last week we blogged about changes to the new macro designer. I promised to write about IntelliSense but the first draft was lost in an unfortunate hard drive crash. I thought this is a good time to tell you about changes to the macro designer that encourage good design through better support of parameters. A good database design requires developers to think performance and scalability upfront. Query parameters are often used to improve database performance because it forces application develo...(truncated)...

Creating partition queries

(Indexed 2009-07-29):

Raymond Starkey, Director of ACCESSible IT Ltd., provided us with an example that he has used to teach Access users about using the Partition function to create a frequency distribution. As he says, no one ever mentions these but they are so powerful they need a mention. Note:Raymonds example uses the Northwind sample database that was provided with Access 2000-2003. See below for an example that uses data from the Northwind 2007 database. [Image] Example from Northwind 2007 Query Design...(truncated)...

Create partition queries

(Indexed 2009-07-29):

Raymond Starkey, Director of ACCESSible IT Ltd., provided us with an example that he has used to teach Access users about using the Partition function to create a frequency distribution. As he says, no one ever mentions these but they are so powerful they need a mention. Note:Raymonds example uses the Northwind sample database that was provided with Access 2000-2003. See below for an example that uses data from the Northwind 2007 database. [Image] Example from Northwind 2007 Query Desig...(truncated)...

Meet the Access 2010 macro designer

(Indexed 2009-07-28):

Todays guest contributors are Kerry Westphal, Krunal Sheth, James Rivera, and Michael Tuckerfrom the macro designer feature crew. The Macro Designer is a revamped editor that allows you to automate repetitive tasks; wire together forms and reports to create productive UI; and implement business logic in Access databases. We will talk more about business logic next week when we start the conversation about data macros. Probably the best way to introduce this feature is a demo: [Image] The go...(truncated)...

Submit your Power Tips!

(Indexed 2009-07-28):

The Power Tips feature of the Access Team Blog has been running for about 3.5 months now, so we thought itd be a good time to remind everyone how the feature works. Whats a Power Tip? A Power Tip can be a code sample, some SQL, an expression, a series of property settings, or some other Access trick that you have learned along the way, and that you think might be useful to others. They can be old favorites or new discoveries. Who can submit Power Tips? Anyone! Can I see some examples? Sur...(truncated)...

Office 2010 vision posts

(Indexed 2009-07-24):

There are some great posts written about different investments across the suite of Office client products. Here is a quick guide to the groups announcement: Access 2010The 10,000 ft. View (my favorite)Excel 2010The 10,000 ft. View Whats up with my Inbox in Outlook 2010? Office Web Apps: the Three Tenets Word 2010Framing the Release Whats New in InfoPath 2010? Business Contact Manager for Microsoft Outlook 2010 Technical Preview Released Introducing PowerPoint 2010 Publisher...(truncated)...

Send-a-smile really does work

(Indexed 2009-07-24):

The Office 2010 blog has a great post about send a smile (or some times a frown). Basically, you click on the Send-a-Smile (or frown) to send feedback directly to the team @ Microsoft. [Image] These actions can have an immediate impact on the product. Several weeks ago the team was debating changes to BackStage. Some members felt that Save As doesnt clearly communicate whether you are saving the object or database. All Office apps save the document but Access is different as it has objects w...(truncated)...

Send-a-smile works

(Indexed 2009-07-24):

The Office 2010 blog has a great post about send a smile (or some times a frown). Basically, you click on the Send-a-Smile (or frown) to send feedback directly to the team @ Microsoft. [Image]These actions can have an immediate impact on the product. Several weeks ago the team was debating changes to BackStage. Some members felt that Save As doesnt clearly communicate whether you are saving the object or database. All Office apps save the document but Access is different as it has objects within...(truncated)...

Access 2010The 10,000 ft. View

(Indexed 2009-07-23):

Last week I wrote about the Office 2010 Technical Preview bevy of announcements. This post kicks-off a series of conversations about what is new in Microsoft Access 2010. As a team, our passion is to help people quickly and easily create databases tailored to their needs with tools that are affordable, fast and efficient. Access 2010 is the next iteration in this quest. Here is a peek at some of the many changes you will see: Get started faster. One thing we have learned from the Access 200...(truncated)...

Returning a Limited Number of Rows on a Criteria Form

(Indexed 2009-07-15):

Todays guest blogger is Alison Balter. Alison is the founder of InfoTech Services Group, Inc. and has authored 14 Access books since 1995. When working in a client/server environment, it is imperative that you limit the number of rows that the user brings over the network wire. It is therefore necessary that you supply a criteria form that allows the user to specify the rows that they want to return. The problem is that the user often designates criteria that is way too broad. In that situation...(truncated)...

Office 14 Beta1 Ships

(Indexed 2009-07-13):

Undoubtedly, you have seen a flood of announcements coming from the Office organization today. Some of the highlights include: Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 have reached the technical preview engineering milestone. A limited number of invitation-only participants, including many nominations from the Access blog, can download Access 2010 and the other Office bits from Microsoft Connect. Office Web Applications will be available to nea...(truncated)...

Office 2010 Technical Preview Ships

(Indexed 2009-07-13):

Undoubtedly, you have seen a flood of announcements coming from the Office organization today. Some of the highlights include: Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 have reached the technical preview engineering milestone. A limited number of invitation-only participants, including many nominations from the Access blog, can download Access 2010 and the other Office bits from Microsoft Connect. Office Web Applications will be available to ne...(truncated)...

How do you track customer relationships?

(Indexed 2009-07-07):

This is guest post from Allie Rutherford a summer college intern on the Access team. Do you own your own business or are you in a position where you have to keep track of your customer relationships and sales leads? Have you ever wished your CRM or sales software was a little bit different or easier to use? Today, I am posting to ask the users what they expect and desire from Customer Relationship Management software. We are currently doing research into how businesses and small companies tra...(truncated)...

Free report wizard offer from Gladstone

(Indexed 2009-07-06):

Mike Hnatt has generously extended to the Access blog readers a FREE version of Gladstones Access Report Writer. Traditionally, he has sold the developer version of the wizard for $995. The offer includes unlimited computer licenses, ability to change report header and page footers, source code, and royalty-free distribution for your application. One of the best things about the wizard is it is re-entrant. You can learn more about the report wizard here. Here are a few screen shots: [Image] ...(truncated)...

Group numbers into custom ranges

(Indexed 2009-07-03):

I was looking at SQM data about file size last week and ran into an interesting question. We capture the size of the file every time Access opens the file in SQM. It is interesting data as it provides insights into the size of a typical existing app. I wanted to bucket the ranges into something more readable with smaller buckets at the low end and wider buckets at the top end. Something like: [Image] (The actual numbers have been changed.) First, I created a table called FileSizeRanges that ...(truncated)...

Dealing with the ambiguous outer joins message

(Indexed 2009-07-02):

Todays guest blogger is Colin Wilcox, writer for Access Training on Office Online. When you query multiple tables for data, you sometimes see a message about ambiguous outer joins. The message tells you to create a separate query that performs one of the joins, and then include that first query in your SQL statement. You're seeing that message because of the join structure in your query. Whenever an outer join points to a table, and that table also participates in another join of any kind, yo...(truncated)...

Access Team blog redesign

(Indexed 2009-07-02):

I want to give a big shout out to Ron Disandro for the redesign of the Access Team blog. He worked on Access 14 templates for the last 9 months and recently updated our bland previous design. We wanted to come up with a more modern and fresh design that reflects the efforts in Office 14. I hope you all enjoy the new face lift.[Image]

Access and Terminal Services

(Indexed 2009-06-30):

A question came in today from Michael about terminal services scale: I have been using the Access 2003 runtime in conjunction with the sagekey scripts for a couple of years. My deployments have had pretty light concurrent user counts, 10-20 is typical. I have a client that would need it to scale to at least 100 concurrent users, possible 200-300. I know the scalability of an app would be impacted by what the front end is doing and so forth. The hardware side can be whatever it needs to be, s...(truncated)...

Case-Sensitive string comparisons

(Indexed 2009-06-26):

Todays guest blogger is Michael Groh, co-author of the popular Access 2007 Bible. The VBA language is not, by default, case-sensitive. A statement such as CBool("XYZ" = "xyz") will always return True. You might come across this issue in cases such as the following: If strOne = strTwo Then ' Perform some operation here End If Consider what happens if it's important to know that the strings differ only by case. By default, VBA will never report a difference in the strings based only on ...(truncated)...

Smart Access has a new home

(Indexed 2009-06-22):

Todays guest writer is Garry Robinson, Access MVP and proud new owner of past Smart Access journals. I asked him to tell the community about the new home for Smart Access.[Image] Hello Clint and Microsoft Access lovers, I am happy to announce that my company has purchased the exclusive rights to Smart Access. A great magazine that was put together by over a 100 Access professionals for more than 10 years. Purchasing all these articles (300+) realizes an ambition that I have had for years to r...(truncated)...

Beginners guide to ODBC

(Indexed 2009-06-19):

The folks @ UtterAccess have produced an useful article titled The Beginners guide to ODBC. This is an attempt to equip the developers who want to use Access as a front-end client to any RDBMS (Relational DataBase Management System) backend (ie, SQL Server, DB/2, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL) with the right questions to explore and ask during design and development. As we cannot cover every special case or all the nuisances that each developers must deal with, it is hoped that,by reading over t...(truncated)...

Create custom menus and shortcut menus by using macros

(Indexed 2009-06-18):

About a month ago, we posted a Power Tip from Edwin Blancovitch about creating shortcut menus by using VBA. However, if for some reason youre not interested in cracking open the Visual Basic Editor, there is a way to create shortcut menus (the menus that appear when you right-click an object) just using macros. See this article on Office Online to see how to get started. Have an Access Power Tip that you want to share? Send it to Mike and Chris at [Image]

Creating Web 2.0 Visual Effects in Access

(Indexed 2009-06-17):

Once of the most interesting trends in the web application space has been a refocus on user experience improvements. Often times Access gets a bad reputation for not keeping up with the times from a look and feel perspective. Our good friend Brandon from OpenGate Software created a great white paper (with sample database) on how to bring these improvements to your existing Access databases. Here are some highlights: Fade-In/Out [Image] Dynamically Expand/Contract Form Elements [Image] Hov...(truncated)...

How to make TempVars work with OpenRecordset

(Indexed 2009-06-12):

Recently Maarten a blog reader asks: TempVars (introduced with Access 2007) are great! But I have some problems in using them. I created a query with a TempVar as criteria. When I run the query it shows the correct data. But when I open the query in VBA using OpenRecordset, I get the message: Run-time error 3061: Too few parameters. Expected 1. This is the expected behavior. TempVars are defined in the scope of the Access Application object. When you use the CurrentDB.OpenRecordset me...(truncated)...

Handling the SQL Server bigint data type in Access 2007 using ADO

(Indexed 2009-06-10):

Todays guest blogger is Vinny Malanga. Vinny is the CTO of IMI Software, Inc., which specializes in software development for the property management industry. I recently received a call from a client asking for help on how to use the SQL Server bigint data type in a disconnected Access .accdb file. Heres the scenario: Theres a SQL Server table that is using the bigint data type as an identity column. In this scenario, the Access database is completely disconnected from the SQL Server 2008 data...(truncated)...

Counting the days

(Indexed 2009-06-10):

Sal Ricciardi of the Access Developer Documentation team has produced a couple of articles for MSDN that address two commonly-asked date-related questions about Access: Using Excel Date Functions in Access 2007 shows how to use Excels NETWORKDAYS function from within Access. Counting the Number of Working Days in Access 2007 describes how you can create the Weekdays and Workdays user-defined functions to count the number of working days between two dates. Thanks Sal![Image]

Use OMPM to Prepare for Migration to Access 2007

(Indexed 2009-06-10):

Todays guest writer is Shawn Sullivan from the Office Shared team. I have asked him to talk about the work he has done to help organizations move to newer versions of Office. In March, we made a post about Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM), which is a suite of tools to help analyze your environment for migration to Office 2007. Its primary function is to scan Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access files in the Office 97-2003 binary file format, and provide analysis of any issues those files...(truncated)...

Sample Class Eases Creation of Similar Forms

(Indexed 2009-06-05):

Last week Joel Graff shared his story on how he used Access to track salt usage for the Illinois Department of Transportation. Some of you wanted to know more about the custom class that he uses to ease the creation of similar forms. Joel has agreed to share a sample implementation of his custom class. It basically uses three interrelated lookup tables to demonstrate the class with varying degrees of complexity (three different examples). I made use of the nifty article on writing help usi...(truncated)...

New Access training courses on Office Online

(Indexed 2009-06-03):

Access Training writer Colin Wilcox has just finished up a series of query courses, available for free on the Access 2007 training courses page on Office Online. Heres the whole set: Find answers with queries Course What you'll learn Queries I: Get started with queries An overview of what queries are, what goes into them, and how to use them. ...(truncated)...

Fast-Fast-Fast Compact and Repair of Large Databases!

(Indexed 2009-06-01):

Todays guest blogger is Michael Groh, co-author of the popular Access 2007 Bible. I think it's safe to say that anyone who's worked with really large Access databases (like, in excess of 50 or 100 megabytes) has encountered slow compact and repair cycles. My favorite anecdote in this regard is a very large database managed by an old buddy of mine. His database has several large tables containing more than 20 million rows each. When it's time to compact and repair, he starts it up on Friday befo...(truncated)...

Now accepting nominations for Access 2010 Technical Beta program

(Indexed 2009-05-28):

Im pleased to announce the Access team is taking nominations to participate in the Office 2010 Technical Beta program. We expect availability of our first beta release, known as Technical Preview, in the month of July. The team is excited to get feedback from our community that will help us make this a great release. Here is your opportunity to nominate yourself to participate in the program (space is limited). If you are interested in beta testing Access 14 please complete the following nominat...(truncated)...

Access Proves worth its salt for IDOT

(Indexed 2009-05-28):

Todays guest blogger is Joel Graff. Joel is a field engineer with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Hes sharing how he utilized Access to prove the efficiency of their drivers and equipment in managing winter road conditions. This last year salt prices skyrocketed on us (increasing threefold in some cases). As a result, upper management in IDOT insisted on using more "salt conservative" spreading policies when we apply salt to our roads during snowstorms. New policies were devel...(truncated)...

Check out Gladstone's Report Writer for Microsoft Access

(Indexed 2009-05-27):

Mike Hnatt at Gladstone Solutions has a nifty Report Writer utility, available at The utility lets you create reports and mailing labels quickly and easily, just by stepping through a few wizard-like screens. [Image] Whats more, Mike is offering a 25% discount through August 31, 2009 for blog readers. When ordering, just type Access Team Blog in the Please tell us how you found out about us box on the order form.[Image]

VBA values for Office theme colors

(Indexed 2009-05-26):

Recently, there was a thread on UtterAccess that I thought might be helpful to more people. The poster radish asks: I'd like to change the color of a control then be able to change it back to its original color. If I wanted to use the theme's highlight color, e.g., how would I do that in code? It's listed in the property sheet as "Highlight". Sure, I could grab the values of that color but is it possible to reference "Highlight", "Access Theme 5" or "Dark Blue 3" in vba code? Access 2007 h...(truncated)...

Synchronize with SharePoint under the hood

(Indexed 2009-05-26):

Recently I was asked the following question: I am looking to get an understanding of the internal operations during an Access 2007 synchronize execution. I have just been exposed to a SharePoint MOSS and Access 2007 environment where at times the normal sync time goes from 7-minutes to around an hour. I am taking the side of network bandwidth as the reason and not the side of data quantity as the root cause for the increased time. Each user has their own copy of the SharePoint Lists (tabl...(truncated)...

I love good old county fairs (customer case study)

(Indexed 2009-05-22):

As a young teenager I use to show goats at the Utah County and Utah State fairs. My parents would park our family trailer at the fair grounds and let my brother and me spend the week taking caring for the animals and hanging around the fairgroundsit was almost like living on our own. I fondly remember one year the excitement of taking home $56 in prize winnings and several best of show ribbons. Im pretty sure running fairs in the 80s involved lots of paper and few computers to make the job easi...(truncated)...

How to: Create a Shortcut Menu for a Form, Form Control, or Report

(Indexed 2009-05-21):

Todays guest blogger is Edwin Blancovitch. Edwin is president of Advanced, creators of Easy Payroll, a software package to manage your human resources, payroll, scheduling, time and attendance needs. When you're designing a form or report, you may want to provide a method for a user to easily use a command that applies only to the correct context. One way to do this is to create a custom shortcut menu and apply it to a form report, or control. The shortcut menu appears when the u...(truncated)...

Three great looking Access applications

(Indexed 2009-05-21):

I grew up on a farm and have a soft spot in my heart for people that work with animals. I recently came across great looking apps for managing horses and cattle. People that raise animals know that good record keeping is fundamental to a successful operation. Here are a couple quotes Terrell Miller sent me about their business: We put a lot of time into the interface as we've seen it really help sell the software for us. Many of our customers are in the 50+ age range and are often intimida...(truncated)...

SimplyVBA Global Error Handler special offer

(Indexed 2009-05-21):

Wayne Phillips from EverythingAccess recently sent us mail announcing a special for our blog readers: The product, SimplyVBA Global Error Handler, offers a revolutionary way of catching VBA errors on a global scale throughout your project without having to make any changes to your existing code. Once initialized, the product routes all errors that occur in your project to your defined VBA subroutine where you can then determine how to handle the error (e.g. continue on to a local handler, ig...(truncated)...

Fill a list with date values that update automatically

(Indexed 2009-05-20):

Say you need a combo box that is always populated with the last day of the current month, as well as the last days next five months. For example, in May, you want it to look like this: [Image] Then, in June, you want the choices to automatically roll over so that the first date is 6/30/2009, and the last one is 11/30/2009. How do you do this without manually updating the combo boxs data source? Try a callback function. A callback function lets you use VBA code to fill the list with the appropr...(truncated)...

Creating Combo Boxes in Access 2007 that Allow Users to Select N/A

(Indexed 2009-05-13):

Ken Getz has authored another Visual How-to adapted from the Access Cookbook. This ones about creating combo boxes that allow the user to specify a null, or not applicable value. Heres the overview: Sometimes Access developers must create applications that require users to specify a value from a long, restricted list of data in a combo box. While that is a standard problem and has a standard solution, it is a more difficult undertaking to include a option in your combo box that users can s...(truncated)...

Showing hidden controls during development

(Indexed 2009-05-07):

Todays guest blogger is Access MVP Michael Groh. I often use hidden controls on Access forms and reports to hold intermediate values, temporary "flag" values, and the like. Because these controls are invisible at runtime, it's useful to set their colors to garish combinations (like red fore color over a yellow back color) so that, in design view, it's immediately apparent they're not meant to be viewed by users.[Image] I also use hidden controls as a way of leaving 'comments' about the form or...(truncated)...

Shout out to user groups

(Indexed 2009-05-06):

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking to a great group of people from the Portland Access User Group (PAUG) at their annual conference. The conference brings together people from different backgrounds using Access in various capacities. Its always fun to hear from our customers about how Access is being used, but doing so in such a nice setting and with good people was truly an added bonus. User groups provide a great opportunity to connect with people using the products that you use...(truncated)...

TechEd 2009 and Microsoft Access

(Indexed 2009-05-04):

There are a few good sessions that Access developers might find interesting at TechEd 2009 this year (May 11-15). I always enjoy hearing Mary, Stephen, Adam, and Lukegreat speakers with good content. DAT312: Solve Problems without Spending Money: Microsoft Office Access and Microsoft SQL Server Tue 5/12 | 2:45 PM-4:00 PM | Room 403A Your budget has been cut. You've been told to do more with less. But the need for new data applications continues. Your line-of-business users need to get at your...(truncated)...

Running other applications from Access 2007

(Indexed 2009-05-02):

I just noticed a new article from Ken Getz about running applications from Access on MSDN. This was adapted from his Access Cookbook. Here is the intro: Sometimes, from within your Microsoft Office Access 2007 application, you need to run another application or batch file that requires some time to do its job. As a result, you need a way to pause your Office Access 2007 application until this secondary program completes its task. This article demonstrates how to use a Windows API function to...(truncated)...

A simple debugging tip

(Indexed 2009-05-01):

Todays guest blogger is Access MVP Michael Groh. Most of us, when faced with a failure in a large procedure, resort to the usual techniques for discovering the cause of the bug. The scenario here is that you've got some good VBA error handling in the procedure, and it's bombing out with a hard-to-find divide by zero error. Here's an example of such a procedure. Just pretend it contains several hundred lines of code and not just the few you see here: Public Function MyBrokenFunction(sng1 As Sin...(truncated)...

Access 2007 and Runtime SP2 now available

(Indexed 2009-04-30):

Highlights The ability to export reports to Excel has been added. Fixes for issues with the import data wizards, report printing and previewing, macros, Excel integration, and date filters. Updates to Access Developer Extensions and Access Runtime are updated for SP2 and are available in all supported languages. The ADE is patched with the full Office Suite patch, while the Access Runtime is in a separate patch. More Access Runtime info This version of the Access 2007 Runtime...(truncated)...

Free Tool to Clear Test Data From Your Database

(Indexed 2009-04-29):

Access MVP Bob Larson has released a utility that you can use to clear test data from your database. Ill let Bob tell you about it: It is a database reset tool which is for anyone who has been developing a database and theyve got test data in it and want to get it prepped for release. It allows you to browse to the database file, and automatically opens a form with a list of the tables that are in the database (not system tables), then you can delete any of the tables from the list that you ...(truncated)...

Excel and Access Integration workshop.

(Indexed 2009-04-28):

Mike Alexander (Excel MVP) is putting on an Excel and Access Integration workshop in Dallas May 18/19th 2009. The goal of this workshop is to help users explore all the functionality that exists when Excel and Access are brought together. We go through a comprehensive review of the wide range of integration techniques that can be performed using Excel and Access. Mention you came from this blog and get at 30% discount. Do you do a lot of Excel/Access integration? We would love to hear mo...(truncated)...

Simplifying Ribbon Modification at Runtime

(Indexed 2009-04-27):

Access MVP Albert Kallal has developed a Ribbon class object that you can use to simplify modifying Ribbon commands at runtime. The office ribbon is an amazing new interface. The problem with the ribbon is that takes a lot of code to change the ribbon at runtime. Solution: With my ribbon class you can enable, hide, change label text, or pictures of a button with great ease and very little code. This ribbon class allows you to use the simple "old style" syntax to enable, hide, or cha...(truncated)...

Access 2007 SP2 due to ship April 28th

(Indexed 2009-04-25):

The Office Sustained Engineering team has announced the official ship date. Highlights for Access include: The ability to export reports to Excel has been added. Fixes for issues with the import data wizards, report printing and previewing, macros, Excel integration, and date filters. Updates to Access Developer Extensions and runtime (including as a patch) are now included in SP2. We will have a complete list of fixes available on the 28th.[Image]

Write your own Help

(Indexed 2009-04-23):

Sure, that sounds like the frustrated outburst of an overworked technical writer, but when you build Access applications for others to use, you're pretty much on the hook to write the Help for them. Last month, we featured the How to synchronize combo boxes" template, and commenter Shairal was interested to know how the "Click to see details" reports were done. [Image] I think this is a pretty clever way to add Help to your Access applications.To summarize the system, the links (actually c...(truncated)...

Roll-your-own traffic light icon set

(Indexed 2009-04-16):

Posted by Chris Downs, writer, Access IW Content Team Heres a great tip suggested by Clint Covington. Using an expression and a Rich Text text box, you can create a traffic light indicator in an Access form or report, as in the following illustrations: [Image] [Image] First, add a text box to the form or report, and set the following properties: ...(truncated)...

Changes coming to the Access blog

(Indexed 2009-04-14):

Id like to take this opportunity to announce a new feature of the blog, which some of you might have noticed already. Our Content Publishing team has begun collecting Power Tips from members of the Access community, including the product team, Access MVPs, user group members, and other Access enthusiasts. Power Tips are intermediate-level How-to tips that you can use to enhance your Access applications, without having to dive too deep into programming. We hope theyll be valuable to those of you ...(truncated)...

Ensuring uniform control width Free utility

(Indexed 2009-04-14):

Tony Toews (Access MVP) recently released a helpful utility that helps you ensure that all controls in your database are the same width. This is helpful when you find a bug that clips data in a control and want to fix it in all instances where that control exists through out your app. Enjoy and thanks Tony![Image]

Make your voice heard

(Indexed 2009-04-10):

The last couple of months we have been refining the Access 14 ribbons and working hard to polish features. One invaluable tool we have for making decisions is the Customer Experience Improvement Program. This database provides us anonymous statistics about stability problems and features you use most frequently. There are countless times through our release that product decisions are made based on the number of hits we have seen in a particular feature. The data gives us a pretty good idea what ...(truncated)...

Template demonstrates how to synchronize combo boxes

(Indexed 2009-04-03):

You can download a template for Access 2007 that demonstrates how to synchronize two combo boxes. For example, say you choose a category from one combo box, and you want a second combo box to only display products within that category. The template shows you how to make it happen. On the Getting Started page of Access, click Sample in the left pane, and then click How to synchronize combo boxes. [Image] Click Download, and Access launches the template. The template contains all the instructio...(truncated)...

Accessing external data using the IN clause

(Indexed 2009-03-27):

Someone sent us a question the other day about one of my favorite dark corners in Access and we thought it might be interesting to dive into this area a little.Microsoft Access SQL supports two uses of the IN keyword. The most commonly used case is as part of the WHERE clause of a SQL statement to provide a list of values used as criteria. Using the Customers table in the Northwind 2007 sample database as an example, this might look something like:SELECT [First Name], [Last Name], [State/Provinc...(truncated)...

Review of ribbon design tool

(Indexed 2009-03-27):

Access MVP Garry Robinson and editor of recently wrote a nice review article on IBDE Ribbon Creator. You all should find it enlightening.

Constructing Readable Time Elapsed Strings MSDN article

(Indexed 2009-03-25):

There is a new article on MSDN that has some useful code samples. This was based off a post by Kerry Westphal on the Access blog a while back. Here is the intro: Many Web 2.0 applications are designed to make it easy to visualize complex data. I found myself recently challenged with this task while working on a project where I wanted to display on a report to show the time elapsed between the current date and another date. Some example scenarios could include how much time has elapsed since a u...(truncated)...

How to discover what Access files are in your org

(Indexed 2009-03-21):

I got this request from a customer who is trying to analyze their environment as it pertains to Access and Excel files: Can we use WSH and VBScript to get this type of basic information out of files in an automated fashion? Both MS Access and Excel have a well defined object model i.e. it should be easy to write a script that opens the file, queries the various collection objects, and dumps the contents (e.g. Table Names in Access, Pivot Table objects in excel, Data source names in either et...(truncated)...

Interested in making money consulting on Access jobs? Get started today for FREE.

(Indexed 2009-03-20):

The team recently eclipsed 10 million downloads of Access 2007 templates. Quite frequently I hear from template users about the need to change the application to match their business process. Additionally, I hear from people about the need to build a new database to solve a emerging business problem. Here is the most recent example: I'm looking to create a database where my inventory can be tracked via a scanner. I want each model to have its own specific barcode that can be scanned in upon ...(truncated)...

Paste from Excel hotfix available

(Indexed 2009-03-18):

in mid December an Excel security fix (MS08-074) broke paste from Excel inside Access. Users would get the following error message: The data on the Clipboard is damaged, so Microsoft Office Access can't paste it. There may be an error in the Clipboard, or there may not be enough free memory. Try the operation again. There is a hot fix now available that will fix the issue. Luke Chung has written about how you can work around the issue if you dont have permissions to install the hot fix.[Im...(truncated)...

Channel 9 video about Access and SQL Server Migration

(Indexed 2009-03-18):

[Image] Luke Chung from FMS recently talked on Channel 9 about his view of Access solutions -- where they fit well, what challenges users and developers often face in creating and maintaining them, and how they have evolved from standalone desktop solutions to having the capability to be integrated with web-based and SharePoint centric solutions. He further explains primary reasons why some Access database solutions are migrated to SQL Server database based solutions, what different approaches a...(truncated)...

Data bars in an Access query

(Indexed 2009-03-18):

Mike Alexander (Excel MVP) recently sent me a very cool trick that I hadnt seen before. He uses some simple hackery and trickery to get data bars in a query. This is the first installment of a long series about how Access can be used to create cool dashboards. [Image] You can see more free training videos from Mike at his web site. Thanks for sharing Mike.[Image]

Microsoft wants Office 14 to get along Cnet article

(Indexed 2009-03-06):

There is an interesting article on about Office 14 on Cnet. It doesnt have anything specific about Access but there is a good interview with Antoine Leblond, who leads the Office client engineering efforts. [Image]

Automate data collection forms using VBA

(Indexed 2009-02-10):

Access 2007 has a nifty feature that allows you to collect data via email. Recently, I got the following question from a user: Is there any way to automate the creation, sending and receiving of Emails through the Data Collection capability of A07 using VBA? The wizard is too complex for the users I am working with. Here is the reply we got from the developerit isnt for the faint at heart There isnt a straight-forward way to do this and it isnt officially supported. Its possible if you d...(truncated)...

What self-taught users do with Access

(Indexed 2009-02-09):

I love to hear what problems you solve or opportunities you exploit with Accessit is amazing what self-taught users are able to accomplish. There is a interesting thread What do you use Microsoft Access for? on UtterAccess. Here is an interesting Wordle tag cloud of the thread (Microsoft and Access are filtered out because they were so dominate in the cloud): [Image] Access touches peoples lives in so many ways Here are a few of my favorite quotes from self-taught users, highlighting their sc...(truncated)...

Early bird special for SharePoint Conference 2008

(Indexed 2009-02-04):

We recently announced details about the SharePoint Conference 2009. It will be held in Las Vegas, NV on October 19-22. The conference is deeply centered on the SharePoint 14. I expect we will have some good sessions that include Access 14 content as well. I knowthe conference out many, many months but I love helping our readers save money as there is a 25% discount (save $300 USD) for the first 500 attendees. [Image] See you there![Image]

Code to refresh SharePoint Link Tables

(Indexed 2009-02-04):

We have an internal Access Discussion alias that is used for by MS employees to get answers to their questions. Recently I saw a good question about how to refresh SharePoint lists. Here is the problem SharePoint lists that are linked to Access 2007 database files will not reflect structural changes to the lists in SharePoint. Once someone changes list schema, you can continue to use the linked lists in Access for read-only purposes without even knowing that the list structure has changed. Y...(truncated)...

Access dev kitchen recap

(Indexed 2009-02-04):

Few months ago went fishing for people to come to Microsoft and participate in the Access 14 developers kitchen. The event was a great hitwe had people come from all over including Germany, United Kingdom, South Africa, Puerto Rico, and US. People spent 4 days with us learning about our 14 plans and providing feedbacksome has already made it into the latest builds. Steven Thomas recently conducted a short interview with me about the event. [Image] Thanks Steven.[Image]

Assets, Students, Tasks templates now have videos

(Indexed 2009-01-30):

Todays guest writer is Wouter Steenbergen, one of the newest members of the Access Program Management team. Several months ago we updated the contacts template. Because of the overwhelming positive feedback it generated we updated the Assets, Student and Task management Access templates. Some of the modifications include: Updated color schemes, New getting started screen, Videos to demonstrate how to use the database and modify the database, Improved some of the database function...(truncated)...

Using SQL Server 2008 Table-Valued Parameters (TVPs) from Access

(Indexed 2009-01-28):

Todays guest writer is Mary Chipman. Mary is a programmer-writer for the Data Programmability team at Microsoft and co-author of the classic Microsoft Access Developer's Guide to SQL Server. Table-valued parameters (TVPs) in SQL Server 2008 provide an easy way to marshal multiple rows of data from a client application to SQL Server without requiring multiple round trips or special server-side logic for processing the data. TVPs come in handy when you want to code explicit transactions inside of ...(truncated)... make and share lookup lists

(Indexed 2009-01-26): is a usefully little site where users are making and sharing lists of data. Everything from US State Names to Most Commonly Used Passwords. If you have some favorite sites for getting data, leave a comment.[Image]

ADPs and SQL Server 2008

(Indexed 2009-01-21):

We have been getting a bunch of email from customers about using ADP’s with SQL Server 2008 and wanted to give everyone and update and some guidance. Access 2007 ADP’s will run against SQL Server 2008 but do not support designing server objects (tables, views, stored procedures, functions and relationships). SQL Server 2008 shipped after Office 2007 SP1 and after we had locked down all the fixes for Office 2007 SP2 (coming out in a few months). If you rely on the design features ...(truncated)...

Free Access 14 IW Workshop @ Microsoft

(Indexed 2009-01-21):

Recently, over 30 professional Access developers had a sneak peak at Access 14 during Access 14 Developer Kitchen. The event provided valuable insight to the Access team and resulted in some useful changes. Next is to gather feedback from Access business users who are not professional/expert developers. The team is holding an Access IW (Information Worker) Workshop on the Redmond, WA campus in February (exact date TBD). This two-day conference and usability study is for Information Workers (es...(truncated)...

Access Developer Extensions 2007 Updates

(Indexed 2009-01-20):

Access Developer Extensions 2007 has been updated and now live on Here is a link - Highlights of the updates: Package Solution Wizard A wizard that creates a Windows Installer Package (MSI) to install your database and any supporting files and optionally includes the Access 2007 Runtime, or prompts the user to download the Access 2007 Runtime. Updated for packaging databases with intern...(truncated)...

OpenGate releases UI Builder for Access

(Indexed 2009-01-16):

We are always proud of the tools customers make and sell around Access. Our friend Brandon send this update in along with a special offer for the blog readers. OpenGate Software launched a new tool to help Access users create their database schema using a simple Q&A interface. The product, Designer for Microsoft Access, takes a users input and then creates the tables, fields, and all the necessary relationships and keys automatically. They are offering a free license of their Starter edition ...(truncated)...

OpenGate releases Designer for Microsoft Access

(Indexed 2009-01-16):

We are always proud of the tools customers make and sell around Access. Our friend Brandon send this update in along with a special offer for the blog readers. OpenGate Software launched a new tool to help Access users create their database schema using a simple Q&A interface. The product, Designer for Microsoft Access, takes a users input and then creates the tables, fields, and all the necessary relationships and keys automatically. They are offering a free license of their Starter edition ...(truncated)...

Free Bugs application available for download

(Indexed 2009-01-15):

A few months ago we solicited feedback about a new bug tracking template that was in development. We got lots of great feedback and Im happy to announce the template is available in the Access Getting Started screen in the business category and on Office Online. [Image] There are several videos available that help you get started using it: Configure the Bugs template Use the Bugs template Ben Hodes (the template author) has a real knack for narration. We expect him to get a new job o...(truncated)...

Access Runtime support for SharePoint Offline

(Indexed 2009-01-15):

The last few days I have pinged by several people asking about the SharePoint Offline functionality in the runtime. It seems like more and more people are starting to discover the new SharePoint link table and offline functionality. The short answer isthis isnt supported. IOW - DoCmd.RunCommand acCmdToggleOffline is not intended to work in the runtime. If you have a need for offline functionality then the users of your application must have a full version of Access. I heard of people rolling co...(truncated)...

Feedback about Access 2007 Performance

(Indexed 2009-01-10):

I want to thank everyone who participated in our last thread on backwards compatibility. There is lots of great discussion about how the decisions we make will impact your business. Folks are reading it and digesting the feedback. Again, thanks. Recently, I came across a great article that compares Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 performance by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes on ZDNet. He put the three operating systems through a series of real-world tests to find out which one was fastest. Adrian pick...(truncated)...

Feedback about cross version compatibility

(Indexed 2009-01-07):

Greg Lindhorst (Program Manager on the team) is looking for customer feedback on the impact of some new features on cross version scenarios. Love to get some feedback from the community about a few questions we have: How important is it that previous versions of Access can RUN applications (launch forms, change data values) written in a newer version of Access? How important is it that previous versions of Access can EDIT applications (modify forms, change data schema) written in a...(truncated)...

A new hot fix for Access 2007 is now available

(Indexed 2008-12-30):

Issues fixed include: You experience slower performance than you did in previous versions when you share a database file over a network. You may notice your database file increase in increments of 4 KB without any user interaction when the database is open. You may see a sub-form become blank after you set the main forms recordset. You may also receive the following error: Run-time error 2467 The expression you entered does not exist. When you make a change in a code module in an ...(truncated)...

Built-in Tab Names in Access Ribbons

(Indexed 2008-12-10):

If you've tried to create a Ribbon customization that included one of the built-in controls in Access you've probably seen that you can use the Customize page in the Access Options dialog to get the names of groups and controls. You can also download the entire list of controls from the Microsoft web site. Unfortunately, the dialog does not include the list of built-in tabs. For simplicity, here is the list of built-in tabs taken from this list: TabPrintPreviewAccess TabHomeAccess TabCreate ...(truncated)...

Dashboard Builder for Access

(Indexed 2008-12-02):

[Image] Opengate has a new Professional Edition of Dashboard Builder. The new edition includes the ability to create graphing dashboards and saved graph definitions native to MS Access (as well as all the features of the standard edition). They are currently offering 20% off until December 15th. You can grab a free trial and see what you think! [Image]

Access Podcasts

(Indexed 2008-11-17):

[Image] Ric Lewis one of the Access Program Managers sent this my way and I thought I would share it. Our User Assistance folks have created some great podcasts for Access. Like all podcasts, you can subscribe via RSS and watch on your mobile device. Check it out[Image]

Previewing a Temporary SELECT Query

(Indexed 2008-11-14):

Last night I was working on a database where I wanted to run a temporary query from a linked table that I had. The query was temporary because it's being used in a tool that I'll only run a handful of times. Nevertheless, the data from the query is going to end up in a production database, so I wanted to view the results of the query before clicking the button that said, "Yes, go ahead and make this data live." The query is written using SQL text in a text box on a form because I'm going to pass...(truncated)...

FMS releases Total Access Analyzer and Total Access Speller

(Indexed 2008-11-07):

I received this email from FMS today: This month, we're pleased to announce the release of two more products for Microsoft Access 2007 including our much awaited Total Access Analyzer. Total Access Speller is also available along with updates for Access 2003 and earlier versions. Over the years, I have heard nothing but good feedback about Total Access Analyzer. These are definitely useful tools for developers.[Image]

Video demo: Mail and email merge with Word

(Indexed 2008-11-05):

Demo: Merge Access data with Word is now live on Office Online. I think this is a great short overview of a some what complicated process. Enjoy![Image]

New Access 2007 hotfix package out now

(Indexed 2008-11-04):

A new hotfix for Access 2007 is now available at Issues fixed: -------------------------- When you open a form by using a macro, the form opens in a small reduced mode. You will see this behavior when you create a form by: 1. Specifying the following property values on the form: Property Value Modal Yes ...(truncated)...

Public announcement: Access User Group National Seminar 13th November 2008 Microsoft Offices, Reading

(Indexed 2008-11-03):

Years ago I spoke at the AUG National Seminar in the UK. The folks out there do a great job putting on a conference with really good sessions. The next conference will be on the 13th November 2008 at Microsoft's Office in Reading, UK with the following presentations: Visual Studio 2008, LINQ and the Implications for Access Developers Adding Business Intelligence to your Access/SQL Server Projects SQL Server Reporting Services for Access Developers What's New for Access Developers in...(truncated)...

Video demos of Huron - Access and the SQL Server Data Services

(Indexed 2008-10-31):

Response to project Huron has been really positive--we have quite a few people signed up for the beta. It seems people have an interest in storing data in the cloud. Here are some additional video demos and resources: Liam's PDC talk Huron – Access Desktop Database Sharing Huron – Making changes in SQL Data Services data hub and synchronizing to Access shared desktops Huron – Enabling custom database support The early adopter program is aimed to begin in the next...(truncated)...

Runtime survey - let your voice be heard

(Indexed 2008-10-31):

Today's guest writer is Neha Monga, Access PM in charge of the runtime. The Access runtime is a valuable part of Access - Developers can distribute their rich Access solutions to users without requiring a full installation of Access. In the Office 2007 release, we offered the runtime available for free and we have seen tremendous download volume. We are excited that many of you are using it and want to better understand your experience with it from both feature and distribution perspective. Thi...(truncated)...

Storing Access apps and data in the cloud

(Indexed 2008-10-28):

Today’s guest writer is Liam Cavanagh from the Sync Framework and SQL Services team. They are doing some cool stuff that allows Access developers to store their app and data in the cloud using SQL Server Data Services. Liam is looking for people that want to beta test an upcoming release early next year. --Clint Today at PDC we are announcing Codename “Huron”, a set of synchronization experiences built on top of the sync functionality in SQL Data Services’ cloud database...(truncated)...

Announcement: Storing Access apps and data in the cloud

(Indexed 2008-10-28):

Today’s guest writer is Liam Cavanagh from the Sync Framework and SQL Services team. They are doing some cool stuff that allows Access developers to store their app and data in the cloud using SQL Server Data Services. Liam is looking for people that want to beta test an upcoming release early next year. --Clint Today at PDC we are announcing Codename “Huron”, a set of synchronization experiences built on top of the sync functionality in SQL Data Services’ cloud database...(truncated)...

Your first Access fix

(Indexed 2008-10-21):

Last week some super smart ladies on the Access Program Management team wanted to learn more about Access users and what fuels their passion for the product. The discussion reminded me about a marketing class I attended on value propositions. The instructor presented the underlying foundation for any value proposition -- functional, economic and emotional messages. A functional value proposition is good: Access makes it easy to create databases with forms and reports. A economic value pr...(truncated)...

Label saver utility

(Indexed 2008-10-18):

Peter's Software has recently released a free utility for printing labels. Here is how they describe it: Label Saver is a freeware MS Access module that will allow your users to specify a label printing start position and a number of copies of each label to print. Using Label Saver means you don't have to throw out that half-used sheet of labels. Just continue printing from the next available label![Image]

Take the Access survey

(Indexed 2008-10-15):

The Access team wants to learn more about who reads our blog, perceptions of Access in your organization, and what new features people would find valuable. We would appreciate it if you help us out by taking this short 12 question survey.Thanks[Image]

Access 2007 SP2 Beta is on the way

(Indexed 2008-10-03):

We are planning the release of Office 2007 SP2 in the first half of calendar year 2009. The beta is expected to be available in the October/November 2008 timeframe. We have the opportunity to give a select group of customers access to the Beta once its ready. If you use Access 2007 heavily this is your chance to get involved early and help us find bugs that may affect your applications. Click here to contact us and make sure you include the following information. Name, Email, Company, City, St...(truncated)...

Access 14 developer kitchen

(Indexed 2008-10-03):

Interested in a sneak peak at our next version of Access? We are holding a developer kitchen on the Redmond Campus, November 10-13, 2008. This conference will focus on building Access 14 applications using our latest builds. We are looking for Access developers to share with us early feedback on the product before the Beta release. What is a dev kitchen? This conference is designed for a small number of invited guests to spend four days with our Redmond team. On Day 1, Program Management will ...(truncated)...

Help make Access 14 better - Send us your most used forms!

(Indexed 2008-10-01):

The Access team is looking to make improvements to the form design experience by helping users get started building powerful and interesting forms. Most Access professionals have a set of forms that they re-use quite a bit. What we are interested in specifically is how these common forms are laid out. There are obviously re-used patterns that you are using in terms of how you layout controls to provide your customers with a compelling experience; wed love to see examples of them. Ask yoursel...(truncated)...

Bug database template beta available for free download

(Indexed 2008-09-25):

Around two months ago clintc made a post asking if anyone would be interested in a light-weight bug tracking template, and the response was overwhelming. Well, I am happy to announce that we have taken the time to put together just such a template, and better still, that were releasing a beta version to get your feedback.Bug tracking means a lot of things to a lot of people, and part of our previous blog post was to elicit feedback to help us scope the application and its features to provide the...(truncated)...

Public announcement: Copy Protect Microsoft Access Database Applications

(Indexed 2008-09-19):

I havent used it bug Peters Software recently announced an update to KeyedAccess. For immediate release: Los Angeles, CA - Fortifying defenses against software piracy, Peter's Software launches KeyedAccess v4.1 for Microsoft Access. KeyedAccess is an add-on module for Microsoft Access that handles product key/unlock code validation, giving developers the ability to copy protect Access database applications. Only a key provided by the application developer will fit the unique lock that Key...(truncated)...

Access 2003 and 2007 hot fixes are available

(Indexed 2008-09-16):

My friends in support just sent me an email about some hot fixes the community might find useful. Hot fixes are now available for the following Microsoft Office Access issues: Access 2003 An Access 2003 project (.adp) stops responding when in table Datasheet view, you delete all child rows from a parent row and then delete the parent row. This issue applies only to an Access 2003 project. A database in .mdb format in Access 2003 SP3 stops responding when you try to delete a parent recor...(truncated)...

Sagekey Access runtime installations discount offer

(Indexed 2008-09-04):

Steve Bailey from Sagekey asked me if I would be willing to mention their product for building Access runtimes. Here is Steves description of their product with a special discount for our readers: SageKey Software has a track record of removing the time and frustration out of building reliable installs that work on all supported platforms and maintain co-existence with other versions of Access. Having been in the business since Access 97, SageKey provides installation tools for all versi...(truncated)...

Total Access Analyzer 2007 Preview

(Indexed 2008-08-28):

One thing about being on the Access team that I enjoy is seeing some of the great work being done in the Access community. Among the forefront of this community is FMS, who is the leading developer of Access add-ins. FMS recently announced a preview version of Total Access Analyzer 2007 which is a tool that helps you create better Access databases. There are too many new features to list here, but here is a small subset that might be interesting to note: Support for the .ACCDB file format ad...(truncated)...

New Access 2007 Technical Article

(Indexed 2008-08-20):

Aleksandar Jakši, who is one of the testers on our team, has written an article that shows you how you can use the Access Database Engine from native applications written in C/C++. The article shows you how to to the Access Database Engine using C or C++, but has a great discussion of the data stack used by Access and some of the different components of the engine. He also breaks down the different methods for accessing data using native technologies such as DAO, ADO, OLE DB, and ODBC. The...(truncated)...

Data Points: UI tools, top reasons to use Access and real world stories.

(Indexed 2008-08-19):

Crosoft releases Access Object NavigatorThis tool is not only for Microsoft Access 2007, but also supports versions 2000, 2002 and 2003. Once installed, Navigator provides a method to develop software applications without creating additional switchboards. They have a free trial if you want to check it out.Long Island Power Authority uses a custom Access application to crunch dataThe program HDR developed for the Neptune project proved to be effective in meeting permit requirements for TSS monito...(truncated)...

The Contacts Template Redesign: Listen, Iterate, and Educate

(Indexed 2008-08-15):

Todays guest writer is Josh Meisels, our intern this summer. He is heading back to school next week but wanted to share information about one of his summer projects. Access 2007 made a huge push to create useful, ready-to-use database templates that users could download from Office Online and get started with Access. The number of downloads exceeded our expectations (the Access 2007 contacts database is downloaded about 60,000 times a month). We thought the templates were pretty good; however, i...(truncated)...

Customer feedback to improve product design

(Indexed 2008-08-15):

Access 2007 in many ways is a different product for end users. In previous releases it was very difficult to be successful creating a new application without using help, taking a class, reading a book, or asking the communityinformation workers that wanted to use the product had to really dive into the product. Sure we had some templates but there werent discoverable and the team hadnt made big investments in that area. Internally, we referred the Access 2003 boot screen as the gray screen of de...(truncated)...

Two new Allen Browne (MVP) articles

(Indexed 2008-08-11):

The famous Allen Browne has published two new articles on Office Online. Validation rules Want to ensure that users enter valid data? Validation rules might be the answer. This article describes when validation rules are appropriate, and provides examples of commonly-used validation rules. Relationships between tables Once you learn how to design tables and create relationships between them, you can take advantage of the most powerful data storage and retrieval features of Microsoft Offi...(truncated)...

Access Power User Workshop (Dallas, TX)

(Indexed 2008-08-08):

Mike Alexander an Microsoft MVP in Dallas is putting on an Access Power User Workshop October 23-24, 2008. The cost is $600 but Mike will offer a 30% discount for anyone that mentions they found it through the Access blog. Some of the topics that will be covered during the two-day workshop: Advanced Query Tips and Techniques Advanced UserForm Controls and Technique Enhancing your Application GUI Working with Recordsets Doing some Cool Things with Windows APIs Creating Das...(truncated)...

The Access team blog

(Indexed 2008-08-08):

There is a flattering blog post Microsoft Gets Blogging by Thomas Hawk. Some interesting quotes include:I'm not sure when exactly or if it's ever been an official sort of thing, but it seems like Microsoft of all of the companies that I've seen out there interacting with bloggers consistently gets it right.And I read random stories and blog posts like the one above where it just seems like some Microsoft employee is hanging out reading some blog at random and takes the initiative to interact ver...(truncated)...

Customer case study: moving from Excel to Access

(Indexed 2008-08-07):

We love Excel (as-a-matter-a-fact, both teams report up to the same VP) but there are times where it isnt the best tool for a database :-). Steven Thomas recently did an interview with Cancer Lifeline about how they moved from Excel to Access. Here is the article intro: Sometimes a business solution is created by using Excel when Access is more appropriate. Or, perhaps Excel was originally a good idea, but the data has outgrown an Excel solution and it is time to use a database progra...(truncated)...

Message box replacement sample code

(Indexed 2008-08-05):

Renaud has released a cool replacement for message box. Here is how he describes the code sample: This project provides a custom and enhanced message box replacement for the default MsgBoxfound in Access. A Test database for Access 2007 is available at the bottom of this post. Here is a screen shot to pique your interest: [Image][Image]

Adding multiple attachments from a folder

(Indexed 2008-07-31):

Rob Cooper recently made a post, Adding Attachments from a Folder, which shows how to add a single attachment file per row. But what if you wanted to add more than one file? One (highly contrived) scenario would be to add all of the files in a folder to one row, and do so recursively if requested, similar to Rob's example. What follows is some VBA code to do this, which borrows a bit from Rob's post and a bit from one of my earlier posts. However, I should point out this (again, highly contrive...(truncated)...

Focus on Popular Objects to Speed up an Access 2007 Database

(Indexed 2008-07-28):

Garry Robinson’s latest article for Database Journal is great look at some of the new 2007 features as well as being helpful is addressing a key user need, performance. He shows how you can use macros, TempVar’s and some VBA to profile your application. [Image]

10+ reasons why IT pros hate Access (but really shouldnt)

(Indexed 2008-07-25):

Susan Harkins has a great post on Tech Republic 10+ reasons why IT pros hate Microsoft Access (but really shouldn’t). Before joining MSFT I spent 6 years building Access applications professionally so many of the items ring true for me. No other software has so effectively found the niche between end user and full fledged developer. I never cared much about the cool factor, being thought of as "professional" or my applications being "ready for the enterprise". Instead Access allowed me to...(truncated)...

Article: Learn to think relationally

(Indexed 2008-07-25):

Learn to think relationally by Allen Browne is now available. Great advice for our non-developer audience. As your database application grows, do you find yourself adding multiple Yes/No columns to existing tables? If so, you might not be using the relational features of Access to their fullest. This article describes a better way of storing related data: creating a many-to-many relationship.[Image]

GNC Review of Access 2007

(Indexed 2008-07-24):

Found this nice review about Access 2007 the other day GCN Lab review: The options are endless and the learning curve is, too but with Access, you get more bang for the buck than with any other program of its kind. Access has a reputation for being, well, inaccessible. But with the 2007 version, this seems true only if youre working on an advanced schema or using advanced features. [Image] One of the best ways to get started with the program quickly is to use one of the includ...(truncated)...

Community post: Peters Software releases VelociForm

(Indexed 2008-07-24):

I got the following email from Peters Software: Los Angeles, CA For Release July 28, 2008 - Adding to its growing suite of Microsoft Access developer tools, Peter's Software announces the release of VelociForm v1.0. VelociForm is an add-on for Microsoft Access that provides the ability to instantly and dynamically display an add/change/delete/search form based on any table or query definition, or SQL statement. Intended as an alternative to creating a separate form for each miscel...(truncated)...

What naming conventions do you use?

(Indexed 2008-07-24):

We are looking at ways to make our templates better starting points for developers. Some common developer feedback we get about the templates and Northwind in general has been to use naming conventions. For forms and code there seems to be three good options: RVBA Naming Conventions Leszynski naming convention Microsoft Consulting Services Naming Conventions for Visual Basic Object Hungarian Notation Naming Conventions for VB There was a less information about conventions for ...(truncated)...

How do you track bugs?

(Indexed 2008-07-24):

We are thinking about building a light weight bug tracking database to give away as a free template. Im curiouswhat systems do you use in your application development to track bugs and upcoming work items? If you currently dont have a systememail us if you would be interested in beta testing our template.[Image]

Do you reuse expressions, forms and reports?

(Indexed 2008-07-20):

We are looking at ways to make developers more productive in the next release. Tell me about how you create expressions. Do you keep a library of common expressions or look through previous work for examples? Are you super smart and always create them from memory/scratch? What about forms and report templates? Do you always end up starting from scratch or are there common patterns you find yourself reusing commonly? Do you have a database of common forms and reports that acts as a repository...(truncated)...

New Articles: AddMenu action, custom menus, shortcut menus, calculated fields

(Indexed 2008-07-15):

The revised topic AddMenu Macro Action and the new topic Create custom menus and shortcut menus by using macros are now live on Office Online. Also, MVP Allen Browne is joining in the publishing fun with Calculated Fields. This is the first of four Allen Browne articles that we will be publishing over the next few months.[Image]

Calling all Access user groups

(Indexed 2008-07-11):

Im looking to put together a page listing information about active Access user groups. Can you help? One of the things I love about working on Access is the community. It is chuck full with people who are passionate about the product and the changes it enables in everything from business efficiency to tracking hobbies. It is always fun to watch people who enjoy the product get together and share learns in local user groups. Here is what I need from you If you are involved in a Access use...(truncated)...

Runtime deployment questions

(Indexed 2008-07-09):

Todays guest writer is Neha Monga, the Access PM responsible for the runtime. she was recently asked a few questions that are likely worth sharing more broadly. Question: Is it in the design of Access 2007 runtime to be able to run in the SAME PC as one where there is already another Access License installed? [Neha] Yes. Access 2007 runtime should be able to run with concurrent installations of other versions of full blown Access. Question: Can the RunTime2007 application xxxx.accdr run on t...(truncated)...

Article: Top 10 reasons to use Access with Excel

(Indexed 2008-07-09):

Mark Gillis, who has written extensively for Access and Excel, recently published, Top 10 reasons to use Access with Excel. In this article, there are also five sudden demos that work together to build a Customer database solution based originally on an Excel workbook. Heres the table of contents and a summary of the five demos. Dont forget to provide feedback. Enjoy! Table of Contents Excel and Access, better together, here's why Reason 1: Copying an Excel worksheet to an Access datash...(truncated)...

Access 2007 ribbon examples

(Indexed 2008-06-27):

A while back I asked for examples of ribbon apps that developers have created. My hope is that we can stimulate different ideas and help people think about how to build apps using the new paradigm. Here are some of the examples sent in by the community... Instant Quote Professional 2007 by Instant Quote Professional (Our Professional Quoting Package) is a feature rich software application designed for any business that requires quotes and invoices. Instant Quote Pro allows you...(truncated)...

Community Clips about Access from Office Labs

(Indexed 2008-06-26):

This is your chance to become famous! The Office Labs folks have released a cool site for help video. They have a free video recorder that makes the process really simple. [Image] There are already 15 Access videos available. Go make a quick demo and share it with the community![Image]

Designing Applications

(Indexed 2008-06-23):

So while most people spend their free time with family, sports or relaxing; I like to make Access Databases. One of things I heard over and over during my years building apps for customers at M7 was; Access database are so ugly!!!! They look like windows 3.1 Design is an art and for myself I know function interests me much more than form. So as I put this database together I have been thinking about the tools I use to make Access apps look great and though I should share. Picking a colo...(truncated)...

Tech Talk: Using Access with SQL Server Panel Discussion from Tech*Ed 2008

(Indexed 2008-06-19):

There is a good talk available called Are we there yet? Successfully navigating the bumpy road from Access to SQL Server. Here is the description: Use SQL Server, not Access, is advice commonly handed out when the Jet database engine outgrows its usefulness. However, thats often easier said than done. Each database application is unique; some may have salvageable components, whereas others may need to be redesigned and rebuilt from scratch. In addition, there are substantial differences ...(truncated)...

Tech Talk: Using Access with SQL Server Panel Discussion from TechEd 2008

(Indexed 2008-06-19):

There is a good talk available called Are we there yet? Successfully navigating the bumpy road from Access to SQL Server.Here is the description:Use SQL Server, not Access, is advice commonly handed out when the Jet database engine outgrows its usefulness. However, thats often easier said than done. Each database application is unique; some may have salvageable components, whereas others may need to be redesigned and rebuilt from scratch. In addition, there are substantial differences between t...(truncated)...

Demo: Set the relationship between 2 tables

(Indexed 2008-06-06):

The video demo, Demo: Set the relationship between 2 tables, is live on Office Online. This seven minute video gives enough information so that the user can intelligently select these options: [Image] I think this video is a great resource for anyone new to Access. [Image]

New Access Community Site

(Indexed 2008-06-03):

Tony Hine created a great community site for MS Access Hints and Tutorials, check it out. It's has 507 members so far and a bunch of great tutorials and videos. Visit MS Access Hints and Tips[Image]

Free training courses for Access 2007 and Access 2003

(Indexed 2008-06-03):

Todays guest writer is Colin Wilcox from the Access content team. Hi, all: Im Colin, and I write online training courses for Access. These are self-paced courses that you take in your browser. You can start or stop them at any time, and most courses have hands-on practice sessions. Even better, theyre free. We currently have 9 courses for Access 2007 and 18 courses for Access 2003. We group them (roughly) for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users. Heres the current lists of courses and...(truncated)...

Dot or Bang?

(Indexed 2008-05-31):

Here's a question that comes up from time to time. The other day, someone internally asked about the difference between using a dot "." vs. a bang "!" for control references in a form in VBA. In other words, given a form - Form1, with a control - Control1, what are the differences between: Form1.Control1 ' Control reference using a dot - and - Form1!Control1 ' Control reference using a bang Michael Kaplan was kind enough to respond with the following: The dot gives you early bind...(truncated)...

Three new video demos on Office Online

(Indexed 2008-05-29):

People seem to really like the Access 2007 demos we have been doing. The team has recently published three more on Office Online: Watch this: Add or remove controls from a layout Watch this: Create a form that contains a subdatasheet Watch this: Create a subform by dragging one form onto another form Enjoy![Image]

KB article 950812: Compact and repair might delete your database (Access 2007)

(Indexed 2008-05-29):

KB article 950812 provide more information about a scenario where some people have reported that a compact and repair deletes their database. You cant download the fix directly but can get it by calling CSS. This fix will be included in SP2 when that ships (I dont have an ETA). Here is the most relevant part of the article: In Office Access 2007, when you try to compact an .accdb database, you may receive the following error message: Microsoft Office Access can't delete database name.accdb...(truncated)...

Access talks at TechEd 2008

(Indexed 2008-05-29):

FYI - There is a good panel and talk at TechEd 2008 about Access and SQL Server.TechEd Online Panel _05: Are we there yet? Successfully navigating the bumpy road from Access to SQL Server - 6/3/2008 1:00PM-2:00PMCome get your SQL server migration questions answered by real-world experts Armen Stein (J Street Technology), Luke Chung (FMS), Stephen Forte (Telerik), and Paul Sheriff (PDSA). Learn from their experiences over many years in helping their customers migrate from Access/Jet to SQL Serve...(truncated)...

Help article: Make controls stretch, shrink, or move as you resize a form

(Indexed 2008-05-23):

There is a new article with video about the new anchoring functionality in Access 2007. Enjoy![Image]

Encryption vs. Encoding

(Indexed 2008-05-19):

Every now and again we get the question of "what is the difference between encryption and encoding?" This came up again today so we wanted to try to answer it more broadly. In short, the feature that we call "encryption" is a feature that was introduced for ACCDB files in Access 2007. This feature was an improvement over the feature known as "encoding" in Access 2003. "Encoding" uses a proprietary algorithm for scrambling the data in a database and was first introduced in Access 2.0. "Encryptio...(truncated)...

Access Source Code Control and Team Foundation Server

(Indexed 2008-05-15):

Today's guest writer is Mike Sullivan - a tester on the Access team With the release of Visual Studio Team System 2008, we've recently received questions from several customers regarding whether or not Team Foundation Server (TFS) can act as a source code control provider for the Access source code control (SCC) component. The answer is yes! Although many folks refer to Access’ source code control component as “SourceSafe integration,” that only tells part of the story. SCC i...(truncated)...

Follow up to Transparency Forms

(Indexed 2008-05-06):

Renaud posted some comments to the previous post about transparency forms and made some really cool enhancements to the code, along with a note about using a class module to make it easier to use. This is how I use transparency forms in my own implementations so let's update the post to show how you can do this with a class. I've incorporated Renaud's changes to the API code which adds the following functionality: Disable transparency when Access is running under Remote Desktop Cover the...(truncated)...

Modal Dialogs with Transparent Backgrounds

(Indexed 2008-04-29):

If you've taken a look at some web sites recently, you may have noticed an effect where items (usually images or videos) are brought to the foreground using an effect called a lightbox. The effect is used to dim (or sometimes lighten) the background of the active window while bringing another window to the foreground. The window in the foreground appears to have more prominence because the windows in the background have been dimmed or made transparent. Our friend Tim uses this on his site to dis...(truncated)...

Kiosk Forms

(Indexed 2008-04-28):

One of my favorite tricks with forms in Access has always been what I call a kiosk form. A kiosk form is a form that takes up the entire screen and is one that you might find in a store or shopping center displaying information. For example, a real estate kiosk might display homes for sale in the area. These screens often take up the entire screen so your attention is drawn to the content on the screen. Interesting scenarios for a kiosk form include: Real estate information Dashboards ...(truncated)...

More Access Video Tutorials

(Indexed 2008-04-22):

The folks over at My Access Program have posted 21 free video tutorials with topics ranging from data validation to VBA. 11 of the tutorials are Access 2007 specific covering anchoring, alternate row color and data collection via email. Watch the Videos[Image]

Data Points: Web Services & Country Codes

(Indexed 2008-04-15):

“In the clouds” ~ Using Microsoft Access to query and update Web sites Garry Robinson shows off integrating web 2.0 into Access through REST and VBA. Tip: How to create automatic input masks for Us/Canada Postal Codes Doug Klippert posted a little sample about how to create automatic inputs masks for postal codes[Image]

How to uninstall the RTM runtime when you install SP1

(Indexed 2008-04-15):

Peter Mullen is today's guest writer. I don't anticipate this workaround will be required when SP2 is released but we won't know for sure as that work isn't defined at this point. Those who have deployed the runtime RTM version know that you have to remove it before installing the SP1 runtime. This post describes how to chain that action as part of your normal runtime install. Technique Use a chained install to call Msiexec and pass in the product code to uninstall the Access Runtime before...(truncated)...

Avoiding security prompts for runtime applications

(Indexed 2008-04-08):

One of the consistent feedback we got on this blog was that people expected to have runtime applications run as trusted applications. We wanted to make this happen for the RTM version of the runtime but some issues kept that from happening. A change was made to the Access 2007 SP1 runtime where it now automatically writes the location of the application as a trusted location. This means your SP1 runtime applications will just work without any security prompts. Enjoy![Image]

Hotfix to correct database is in an unrecognized format error with Access 2007 SP1 compiled databases

(Indexed 2008-04-08):

When you try to open a compiled database file (.accde or .mde) or a compiled project file (.ade) in the original release of Microsoft Office Access 2007, you may receive the following error message: This database is in an unrecognized format. The database may have been created with a later version of Microsoft Office Access than the one you are using. Upgrade your version of Microsoft Office Access to the current one, and then open this database. This error is also described in KB artic...(truncated)...

Video demo of how to include the XPS/PDF functionality in your runtime application

(Indexed 2008-04-01):

Mike Stowe has a great article and video demo of how to an add-in to a Access 2007 deployment package created from the Package Solution Wizard. He chains the XPS/PDF addin as the example but you can use the technique to install any addin package with your runtime application. On a side note--what do folks think about the video demos the team has been producing? Have they been useful?[Image]

2007 templates have been updated

(Indexed 2008-03-31):

Some of our customers have reported problems printing mailing labels on contacts, customers, employees tables in the 2007 templates. The contacts type Address field was defined as a Memo data type. Unfortunately, the report mailing label wizard filters our memo fields from the list of fields. This was a pain point with many users who couldn't figure out why the Address field didn't show up when using the report Label Wizard. Jeff Conrad even created a special FAQ page to explain to users why the...(truncated)...

Network World article - SharePoint taking business by storm

(Indexed 2008-03-28):

There is a good article about SharePoint on Network World. Here are some of the more interesting quotes: "Microsoft's SharePoint Server is on a billion dollar juggernaut to potentially become the next must-have technology, offering companies tools for building everything from collaborative applications to Internet sites..." "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 is the fastest growing product in the company's history and seems to have as many uses as a Swiss Army knife. Its six f...(truncated)...

Access 2007 Runtime SP1 is now available

(Indexed 2008-03-28):

I know lots of you are very anxious to get your hands on this build. You can go download the SP1 runtime. version of the Access 2007 Runtime contains files whose versions are slightly higher than the level of the same files that are updated by Office 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1). For additional information about Office 2007 Service Pack 1 and the Access 2007 issues fixed by Office 2007 Service Pack 1, click the following ...(truncated)...

New update for Ribbon Creator

(Indexed 2008-03-27):

Avenius Gunter's Ribbon Creator just got better. Earlier this month he released version 1.1016 with a number of changes: New Features: Callback "getVisible" integrated in Ribbon XML. Callback "getEnabled" integrated in Ribbon XML. Tab Finish: Option to disable the Help Button on the ribbon. Tab Finish: Open the selected Database. Tab Finish: Option to replace an existing modul "basCallbacks" in a database. ButtonGroups ButtonGroup Editor for ...(truncated)...

PC World's review of Office Live Workspaces mentions Access

(Indexed 2008-03-26):

There is a good review of Office Live Workspace just published by PCWorld. They mention our favorite Office application, Microsoft Access...Office Live Workspace supports Excel files, too, though none of the templates available when we reviewed the site were Excel files. On the other hand, the service doesn't support Microsoft's Access database format, which is too bad--Access users looking to delegate data entry and to simplify reporting tasks might benefit greatly from an online database-shar...(truncated)...

Tell Us: How do you validate data?

(Indexed 2008-03-24):

We build a lot of sample applications on the team to test stuff. Jeff Conrad is putting together a database to track the NFL season and needed a way to make it impossible to create multiple records of the same teams playing each other in the same week and same year. He created a compound index on the table. [Image]You supply a name for the index in the Index Name column. You then list all the fields you want to use for this compound index in the Field Name column. It’s very important...(truncated)...

Data Points: Pivots, ThickToast and Researchers

(Indexed 2008-03-15):

The power of the pivot table Christine Harrell gives some tips on pivot tables in Access ThickToast get's some props Garry Robinson's Thicktoast Access based Basecamp product gets featured on the 37signals blog. Researchers use Access to make case for standardized analysis of cardiac imaging Lorenzo adapted the results into Microsoft Access. "It was very useful to use since I had to constantly analyze the data in many different ways," he said. "Having the data organized made my job much eas...(truncated)...

The story of the Office Ribbon

(Indexed 2008-03-13):

Some of you may have already seen this posted in Jensen’s blog. Jensen is the GPM of the Office User Experience team and was the lead for the implementation of the Ribbon in Office 2007. Last week at the MIX conference in Las Vegas, Jensen presented “The Story of the Ribbon”. It’s a chance to get a glimpse of how much design iteration was taking place and some of the good and bad ideas that led to what we have today. Links to the talk are posted here in Jensen’s...(truncated)...

Tell us how you organize code snippets

(Indexed 2008-03-13):

Many of the Access developers I have meet have a system for organizing code snippets. You know, the common fragments of code that are reuse for project after project. We are interested in learning more about readers of this blog organize code that is useful from one project to another. Do you store the fragments in text files, html files, database tables with meta data?Please tell us more![Image]

Pushing Access data to the web: Integrating with Office Live Small Business

(Indexed 2008-03-10):

Recently our friends over in Office Live have had major announcements about both the Office Live Workspace and Office Live Small Business products. Office Live Workspace announced global availability last Tuesday. It allows you to store your files and documents online and share them with others. In February, Office Live Small Business announced a major upgrade. It allows small businesses to build and maintain a web-site, market via e-mail and search engines and manage projects online. Here's a g...(truncated)...

SQL Server Data Services

(Indexed 2008-03-06):

Microsoft is now getting into the lightweight database game with SQL Server Data Services. It looks to follow a similar pattern to simpleDB and CouchDB with named, attribute pairs in a flat storage space and accessibility through REST. Some of the interesting things they are bringing to the game: Query data using LINQ Property support for simple data types (string, numeric, date, boolean) Paging management for data retrieval Rich client library in C# and VB with LINQ support SSL ...(truncated)...


(Indexed 2008-03-06):

Damien Katz showed off CouchDB. This is another example of a lightweight non-relational database that you can access through a REST API. The idea of Couch is to store self contained sets of information (like Business Cards which don't contain foreign keys) that they refer to as documents. The database stores your info in JSON (similar to XML) and you access everything over HTTP. Their approach to viewing, collating and aggregating data is novel. They pull the data out as a flat file and use a Ja...(truncated)...

Calling all Access book authors

(Indexed 2008-03-06):

One thing I have learned over the years of shipping Access is that book authors turn out to be some of the best sources of feedback on our future plans and a steady stream of bugs. Last release Jeff Conrad, John Viescas, Roger Jennings, and Martin Reid pelted me with constant feedback about things that needed to be fixed and/or changed. The economic incentive combined with the tight deadlines lead authors into the product much earlier than most other developers. As part of our internal effort to...(truncated)...

Creating Passionate Users

(Indexed 2008-03-05):

Kathy Sierra is a great speaker that talks about creating passionate users. Before MSFT I spend 6 years creating Access solutions for users and always found Kathy's ideas really useful, interesting and applicable to my applications. Her blog is a great resource and I often find myself re-reading her posts. She had a great talk today and it reminded me that I wanted to share her work with all of you. Here are some of my favorite posts: You can out-teach or out-spend Listening to users considere...(truncated)...

Video demo: use the expression builder

(Indexed 2008-03-05):

There is a new video demo introducing the expression builder to new users. Here is the topic description:"You can use expressions throughout Accessfor example, to calculate values, act as query criteria, or validate data. The Expression Builder helps you create expressions by providing easy access to the names of the fields and controls in your database, and to many of the built-in functions that are available to you when you write expressions. This demo shows you how to use the Expression Build...(truncated)...

How to automatically populate fields in a form specified in the List Items Edit Form with new data

(Indexed 2008-03-04):

Today's guest writer is Sue Schaefer from Support Training. She recently wrote a helpful article about how the List Item Edit form works with OpenArgs. The new-to-Access 2007 List Items Edit Form property of a Lookup field allows you to pass the value of new data into the form you enter as the property. Take a look at the Owner field in the Assets table in the Assets database template. The Allow Value List Edits property is set to Yes and the List Items Edit Form is set to Contact Details. Wh...(truncated)...

Amazon's simple DB

(Indexed 2008-03-04):

Mike Culver is showing off Amazon's newest web service call Simple DB that is a lightweight data store in the cloud accessed via a REST web service. The structure uses domains (like tables) that contain attribute and value pairs. You can do some cool stuff like have multiple values for attributes within an item as well as attributes that only apply to particular items. You won't find common element of relational databases such as validation, referential integrity or the ability to query across d...(truncated)...

Visualizing large data sets

(Indexed 2008-03-04):

I am down at Etech in San Diego this and thought I would share some of the things I found Interesting. Information Visualization is a Medium Eric Rodenbeck from Stamen Design did a great little talk about using visualizations to show large data sets in context. One note that stood out was showing everything (all data) and using filtering to allow users to explore the data. Allowing easy exploration of data through simple filtering or visuals can make large data much easier to use and understan...(truncated)...

Bill Gates talks about Access

(Indexed 2008-03-04):

Skip to minute 6 in this video Access, of course, has been phenomenally successful, but you think of it as just client forms and client data. Now [with Access] 2007, they did a great job where you could replicate from SharePoint down to Access lists back and forth, but that still didn't let you run your logic up on the server. So the next step is to take that base of Access users and literally let them write thi...(truncated)...

Zac Woodall moving on...

(Indexed 2008-03-01):

I'm sure you've all noticed that I've been less than active on the blog lately. I'm sorry for the lull, and the reason is that change is afoot. After 7.5 years working on the data team here in Office I've decided to make a change. Monday 3/3 I'm starting a new role with the Virtual Earth team. For those of you who aren't familiar, VE is an awesome (if you're a map geek like me) technology which allows you to see maps of the entire world complete with overlays of imagery taken from satellites...(truncated)...

If you are in San Diego or Austin let us know!

(Indexed 2008-02-29):

I am going to be in San Diego this coming week at Etech (March 3rd-6th) and then in Austin for SXSWi (March 7th-11th). If you are in the area I would love to try and arrange a time to talk, and get your feedback on Access. Just click here and drop us a line with your contact info. Ryan McMinn: Access Program Manager[Image]

Two new "how to" videos on anchoring and parameter dialogs

(Indexed 2008-02-12):

The sudden demo Watch this: Make a control move as you resize a form is now live on Office Online. This is a companion demo to Watch this: Make a text box grow or shrink as you resize a form, published earlier. We also just published a video demo for queries: Watch this: Make a query ask for input. [Image]

Calculating elapsed time is more than just numbers

(Indexed 2008-02-09):

Today's author: Kerry Westphal, a program manager who works on the Access team. I like how many web 2.0 applications make it very easy to visualize complex data quickly. I found myself recently challenged with this task while working on a project where I wanted to display on a report an easy way to show the time elapsed between the current date and another date. Example scenarios how long it’s been since a user profile has been updated, the time left until taxes are due or how long a li...(truncated)...

Code to make dates easier to read

(Indexed 2008-02-09):

Today's author: Kerry Westphal, a program manager who works on the Access team.I like how many web 2.0 applications make it very easy to visualize complex data quickly. I found myself recently challenged with this task while working on a project where I wanted to display on a report an easy way to show the time elapsed between the current date and another date. Example scenarios how long its been since a user profile has been updated, the time left until taxes are due or how long a library book...(truncated)...

modScaleForm to Scale for different Screen Resolutions

(Indexed 2008-01-30):

You can find modScaleForm here on SourceForge. It is an open source utility for scaling Access forms to fit different display resolutions. As we've seen in a prior post, anchoring provides this kind of support in 2007 automatically. If you're using 2003 or previous, this might be pretty helpful though. Thanks Markus for the pointer![Image]

Video demo: Bring your business data together in an Access database

(Indexed 2008-01-27):

We just released a polished video geared towards explaining the why someone should use Access. Here is the introduction: Tired of juggling your business contact data among an address book, lists of orders, file folders, and ledgers? An Access database can bring it all together for you. The result is consistency, greater accuracy, and exciting options for using your data. Starting with an Access database, you can create tables, queries, forms, and reports that enable you to present and analyz...(truncated)...

Updating the spotlight control inside Getting Started

(Indexed 2008-01-24):

As you know, the Access Getting Started experience went through some dramatic changes in 2007. This redesign has contributed significantly to the uptake on templates. What most people don't know is the screen also has dynamic content that is updated regularly from the team. The articles listed in the spotlight control and the featured templates will change if you enable "Automatic update of content from Office Online." To enable automatic updates simply click on the orange bar at the bottom of t...(truncated)...

Video demo: collect data into Access 2007 using email

(Indexed 2008-01-23):

There is a new video demo that shows off the new data collection feature. This one is a more formal and polished than the other demos. Enjoy![Image]

Video demo: make controls grow and shrink

(Indexed 2008-01-23):

Chris Downs from the Access user assistance team has just finished a nice video demo about making controls grow and shrink as the form is resized.[Image]

Microsoft Access Downloads in Silverlight

(Indexed 2008-01-21):

I ran across this new Silverlight version of the Microsoft download center this morning. If you haven't seen Silverlight yet, it is pretty cool stuff. It is Microsoft's engine for doing rich graphics composition in the web. Here are all the downloads Microsoft has in the download center which are Access related.[Image]

Seven strategies for resolving conflict

(Indexed 2008-01-21):

Recently, I was asked the following question:All of my Access work has always been my sole responsibility and I have been accustomed to making all the design and development decisions, and doing all the work myself. I am now attempting to work on a project with someone else. The person managing the project doesn't have a firm grasp on software or database design principles. The project is potentially good for me as it will provide an opportunity to learn about SharePoint and Access 2007. Today...(truncated)...

VBA in Office 14

(Indexed 2008-01-17):

A few readers have recently expressed concern and anxiety about an article published by The Register. Particularly, VBA will disappear completely when Office 2007 for Windows is replaced, sometime around 2009.As someone who is working everyday on Office 14, I can assure you that VBA is not disappearing in the next release of Office. VBA will continue to be a valuable option for developers to customize Office solutions to meet their business requirements. I cant talk more about Office 14 but we a...(truncated)...

Four new video demos about reports

(Indexed 2008-01-17):

The Office Online writers for Access have recently produced four cool video demos about designing reports. The effort should help the topic Modify a report become much easier for people to understand. [Image][Image]

Rich formatted text that includes data from fields

(Indexed 2008-01-16):

The other day I was working on a report where I wanted to build a sentence that included multiple fields from a record but I wanted to use rich text formatting to provide contrast. My scenario was pretty simple in that I wanted a bold title with a date trailing it. Some think like: This was a great book, reviewed on 1/12/2007 My problem was both fields were pulled from normal text fields and I wanted the data to trail immediately after the variable length title. Here is how I made it wor...(truncated)...

Easy Drill Through with Macros

(Indexed 2008-01-14):

This tip comes from Tim Getsch - from He wrote to me after seeing my recent post about Display As Hyperlink: There is the trick that I use for creating hyperlink navigation. Create an Access (not VBA) macro with a short name (e.g. dt for Drill Through) Add named macros for each of the things you commonly want to drill to Contact: OpenForm “Contacts”, WhereCondition: ="[ID]=" & Screen.ActiveControl Orders: OpenForm ...(truncated)...

Interactive chart/form filtering code sample

(Indexed 2008-01-14):

Here is another repost from my blog... Enjoy--Clint ----- One of the most enjoyable design challenges I have had over the last couple of years was redesigning how users can filter inside Access and Excel. The new filter dropdown menu and context menus were lots of fun to explore different designs and think creatively about how users interact with data. I wanted to make filtering simple for everyone to use but powerful enough to answer most hard questions. One of my key goals was to build a sys...(truncated)...

Interesting article on SharePoint adoption

(Indexed 2008-01-12):

There is an interesting article on cmswire about SharePoint adoption and applications. Choice quotes include:"The number of organizations that employ SharePoint for mission-critical applications is less than 20 percent, a figure expected to double over the next year. Meanwhile, the number of SharePoint applications will quadruple.""...most deployments are hosted by third-party hosting providers. Organizations for the most part dont have plans in place for hosting SharePoint applications."In Acce...(truncated)...

UI Builder for Access v.3.0 Released

(Indexed 2008-01-11):

Brandon Smith-Daigle has recently released the 3.0 update for his UI Builder tool that helps Access developers to build customized user experiences in Forms without coding the VBA themselves. This tool is compatible with older versions of Access as well as 2007. He's running a limited time 25% discount until the end of Jan. Thanks Brandon for the pointer![Image]

Access Dev @ Office DevCon

(Indexed 2008-01-11):

Abigail Short, one of the developers on the Access team who helped me to create Layout View and other new reporting features in Access 2007 is going to be presenting at the upcoming Office Developers Conference. Here's are a few words she wanted to share with you: "If you’ll be at the Office Dev Con in February, check out the session on the Access Developer Extensions — Free and Better Than Ever! I’ll be giving an overview of each extension (Save As Template, the Source Cod...(truncated)...

Goldsoft tools for Access Developers

(Indexed 2008-01-11):

Ken Hockley has recently released his Goldsoft suite. These tools aim to increase Access developer productivity by helping to reduce the amount of time spent building necessary application plumbing so that developers can focus their effort on producing business logic. More info is available at Ken's Goldsoft website. Thanks Ken for the pointer![Image]

Tips and tricks designing forms and reports

(Indexed 2008-01-11):

This is the final post of a three part series on Access Tips and Tricks provided by members of the Access team. It was originally posted on my blog but I'm reposting here for the benefit of the broader audience. Custom AutoFormats You can create a custom AutoFormat based on the current form. This was useful to me when I was customizing a template and didn’t want it to look exactly like the ones out of the box. With your form or report in Layout or Design views, under the Format contextua...(truncated)...

New Vehicle Maintenance and Expense Reports database available

(Indexed 2008-01-10):

We just published two new Access 2007 templates that are now available on Office Online. Expense Reports Create an expense reporting database for your business to track and approve expenses in addition to printing reports. [Image] Vehicle Maintenance Create a vehicle maintenance database to track multiple vehicles and their expenses and future repairs. [Image] There is also a new article Selecting and using the Access 2007 templatesthat is a rework of content from several longer ar...(truncated)...

My favorite keyboard commands

(Indexed 2008-01-10):

A while back I published this article on my personal blog. I'm republishing it hear for the benefit of the broader audience. _________ I have a confession to make… I started hacking around in computers with Windows 3.1—never learned how to really use the command line. I know—I have fallen from grace for many of you developers. The mouse has been my friend. I’m trying to change and use keyboard shortcuts more often. Here is a list of keyboard commands I’m trying to...(truncated)...

Using Hyperlinks in Access: Display As Hyperlink and Is Hyperlink

(Indexed 2008-01-09):

Those of you transitioning to Access 2007 from earlier versions of the product may notice the addition of a new property on the TextBox and ComboBox controls: Display As Hyperlink. You may wonder how this new property interacts with the existing Is Hyperlink property. I asked that question myself and found that the available documentation left some of my questions unanswered. So I’m writing this blog post to hopefully fill that void. First of all, if you’re happy with pre-Access 20...(truncated)...

Charitable Contributions Templated

(Indexed 2008-01-08):

For three months this fall we were fortunate to have Anshul Tandon working on our PM team as an intern. Anshul has now gone back to Louisiana State University where he's a member of the senior class. During his time with us one of his tasks was to create the new Charitable Contributions Template. Here's more in his own words: The new Access 2007 Charitable Contributions template is now ready. You can download it from Office Online or access it in the Featured Templates section of the Getting St...(truncated)...

Runtime Update in Progress

(Indexed 2008-01-08):

I've had a bunch of questions come in about this so I want to post here to give you all a quick update on the status of the Runtime issues for RTM. We're currently working on an update to the Runtime intended to address all the known issues which cause features that work in the full version of Access and which are supposed to work in the Runtime not to function correctly. Included in this list are export (HTML, PDF, etc...), a number of ADP issues, etc... This update will also bring the Runti...(truncated)...

Office Online Community Submitted Database Templates

(Indexed 2008-01-07):

Community submitted templates are now live on Office Online!! "Er?" You say, "what has this to do with me?" I'm so glad you asked!! For the first time ever, there is now a Microsoft hosted service through which you can publish and share database applications with the community at large. OfficeOnline is the template service that Microsoft uses to host its own document templates, and it is extremely popular, with 2.8 million Access 2007 template downloads for since Jan of 07. For 2007 it has been...(truncated)...

New Ribbon Reference: RibbonX for Dummies

(Indexed 2008-01-06):

[Image]Those of you out there building custom Ribbon UI for Access/Office might be interested to know that the Dummies folks have recently released a guide for building Ribbon UI titled (as you might expect) "RibbonX for Dummies". The book is a general guide to building Ribbon XML, and it does include a section specifically on Access 2007. [Image]

Access 2003 SP3 hotfix rollup now available

(Indexed 2007-12-28):

You can find details here...[Image]

Happy Holidays from the Access Team

(Indexed 2007-12-21):

[Image] The Access team wishes you and yours the best of all holiday seasons. May you spend it safe and warm with the ones you hold most dear. Have a great couple weeks; we'll return in the new year. We've got a ton of stuff going on in Redmond, and 2008 should prove to have some very exciting announcements, so stay tuned... [Image]

Access 2007 tips and tricks from the team

(Indexed 2007-12-19):

Months ago I posted a three part tips and tricks series on Access 2007 on my personal blog. I recently got feedback that the series should be posted on the Access team blog--makes sense as this blog gets about 3 million more hits a month than my personal effort.--------------I have been working on a three part series of non-obvious tips and tricks for using Access 2007. The other series will be on designing forms and reports and my favorite keyboard shortcuts. I put together a rough draft of thi...(truncated)...

Developer Reference Stats for Office

(Indexed 2007-12-13):

Mike Stowe over on the user assistance team put together an interesting analysis of how often various parts of the new Office 2007 help system are used with a drill down on Access in particular. As you might expect, topics for Access, VBA, and Excel are viewed the most... by a lot.[Image]

Interesting presentations about Access 2007

(Indexed 2007-12-11):

Our friends in the UK Access User Group always put on a great national Seminar. It looks like the sessions this year were packed with helpful content and insight from developers. I found the following decks interesting:Working with Access 2007 and SharePoint Servicespresented by Derek Goodridge, WorkerThread Limited Access 2007 Is Great No It Isnt Yes It Is No It Isnt presented by Alan Cossey Access 2007 Runtimepresented by Ken V Smith Props to Derek for his overview of SharePoint--lots of gr...(truncated)...

Access is Hiring!

(Indexed 2007-12-05):

The Access team is looking for great people to help us turn Access 14 into the best Access release of all time! If you're passionate about Access (and you probably are since you're reading this) and you know you've got what it takes to create world class software that is used daily by millions of people around the globe, then we want to hear from you! This link will show you the current openings on the Access team. Right now we've got four openings, but the link should stay up to date with th...(truncated)...

Access Ribbon Customizer

(Indexed 2007-12-05):

One of our Access support leads, Claton Hendricks, has put together a tool he calls Access Ribbon Customizer for Access developers who need to build custom ribbons. This tool is slightly reminiscent of (though not exactly the same as) the built-in command bar customization in Access 2003. It has a visual picker which allows you to see what commands are available and use them to build a ribbon on the fly, cool stuff. Thank you Claton for your contribution to the community!BTW: this is not to b...(truncated)...

Teaching users to fish--an online intro to queries

(Indexed 2007-12-04):

Does this sound familiar? Smart Access user builds a cool database to help co-workers do their jobs more efficiently. Co-workers sing praises and advocate a raise for the smart Access hero. A few weeks later, end users ask hero to help create a couple queries and reports to answer more complex business questions. Hero has three choices:Tell them to get lost and lose new-found hero status.Write the query for end users and thus, assume new roll as team Access developer.Teach end users how to fish....(truncated)...

Access in Chicago

(Indexed 2007-11-30):

One of my Access PM compatriots, Steve Greenberg, asked if I would share this with you folks:Hello, My name is Steven Greenberg and Im a Program Manager on the Microsoft Access team. Ive been at Microsoft for seven years, and I transitioned over to the Access team earlier this year. Ive spent this year learning everything I can about Access, and writing specifications for our next version. Im incredibly excited about the work were doing. I cant wait to be able to talk about it publicly on this b...(truncated)...

AccessJunkie's updated 2007 content

(Indexed 2007-11-29):

Our very own Access Junkie, Jeff Conrad, has updated his 2007 Help links and FAQ. These are great resources for 2007 info. Jeff is an engineer on our test team who is very active in the newsgroups, and he's tried to capture answers to the questions that he sees asked most commonly by the community at large. Here are some pointers:2007 Help Links: FAQ: those who are curious, Jeff is hosting this site on Offi...(truncated)...

Product Team Status Update

(Indexed 2007-11-27):

We're finally at a point in the project schedule where the bulk of work is shifting from PMs over to the engineers to get the actual work done, which means I'm going to have some free time to begin working on blog content again! On the subject of Access 14, overall I have to say that I'm very happy with the amount of new work we're doing. This is going to be a really tremendous release enabling hordes of new kinds of apps to be built. I can't wait until we can begin to talk in more detail abo...(truncated)...

Access : Admin tool for web apps

(Indexed 2007-10-31):

A common challenge with custom web applications has always been customer maintainability. In most cases the admin interface is left until the last min of development when budget is short and all resources are tied up fixing bugs and making the end user experience better. Once an application goes live it's very rare to see a large commitment made to the back end admin site since the pressure is always on to make the public face better. The net result is customers need to rely on external develope...(truncated)...

Access & Ruby on Rails: Software + Services

(Indexed 2007-10-25):

Prior to joining the team here this summer I was a partner in a couple app development shops in Toronto (M7 Database & Unspace) that specialized in a software + services approach to development. We blended Access with Ruby on Rails to create better experiences for both our customers and their customers through the web. Many people I have met think the web is the be all end all and that rich client software is going away. I disagree; the web does a lot of things well like democratize content and ...(truncated)...

Meet The Access Team at the 2008 Office DevCon in San Jose

(Indexed 2007-10-25):

Some members of the Access team are going to be attending the 2008 Office Developer Conference being held in San Jose, CA from Feb 10-13. It will still be pretty early for us to be talking about the next version so most of the content will be 2007 focused, but for those who like to walk the bleeding edge of tech, we definitely plan to talk some about our Access 14 plans as well. This is a great opportunity for you to meet up with members of the product team in an informal environment where you...(truncated)...

Do you sell and Access application?

(Indexed 2007-10-12):

The Microsoft Access team is evaluating opportunities to help application developers and consultants grow their businesses and enable an even broader distribution of custom Access applications. If you have an Access application that you sell, tell us about it. Please leave a comment or send email with the following information: What is the application scenario and why people use your application(s)? Application description (or URL). How do customers/clients find your application(s) to purchase?W...(truncated)...

A chance to influence the direction of Access

(Indexed 2007-10-11):

A great opportunity has just come up for you folks to get some feedback into the Access dev process. Dany Hoter, one of our product planners who is studying the Access business, is interested in talking to Access developers to understand better the kind of solutions they create. He would also love to discuss your thoughts on the competitive landscape of data tracking and application building, especially any insights you may have on the world of web applications and services. If you are interes...(truncated)...

Ribbon Customization - Repurposing Commands

(Indexed 2007-10-10):

Sue and I were talking the other day about Ribbon customizations with regard to some training materials that she is preparing for our support engineers. Along the way I mentioned command repurposing and how you could do some pretty cool stuff with it in Access applications. She suggested that this might make a good blog post and I think she's right.I've been working on an application to track the work that I do throughout the year, and thought I would add a database password to encrypt the datab...(truncated)...

UK Access User Group National Seminar

(Indexed 2007-10-06):

Here's the overview of what's on at the UK AUG National Conference on Friday 16th November - they have tried to keep the cost down to 99 as a thank you to support over the years. Follow the link below to book online or print out a paper booking form. Access User Group National Seminar Friday 16th November 2007 Microsoft Offices, Reading The next Access User Group seminar will be on 16th of November at Microsoft's Offices in Reading. Topics include: Office 2007 Client Developer Features Martin Pa...(truncated)...

Access 2003 --> Access 2007 UI Guide

(Indexed 2007-10-04):

The Access help team has just finished up our new interactive guide for users moving from 2003 to 2007. The guide is a flash based tutorial which allows you to select a command from the 2003 Access UI, and then see where it has moved to in the 2007 ribbon. [Image]

Sorting Nav Pane Objects by Description

(Indexed 2007-10-03):

I've recently had some questions from users who used to sort their DBC by the description field and wanted to be able to do the same thing in the 2007 navigation pane. If you use this scenario, and you've tried in 2007, you'll know that the navigation pane doesn't have a sort by the description field. One way to work around this is to create a query that does it for you. Here's a sample that lists the user Query objects in the database along with their descriptions. Note because the Descript...(truncated)...

Prompt before committing record update

(Indexed 2007-09-28):

I just ran across this little video from a how-to on MSDN in which Joel Krist shows how to get Access 2007 to prompt before committing a record update using VBA. [Image]

Ribbon Customization: Using a dynamicMenu to Show a List of Open Objects

(Indexed 2007-09-28):

This is the third post in my short three-part series on ribbon customizations in Access. In the previous post, I showed how you could fill a dropdown with a list of the open forms in the database. This time, we'll fill a dynamicMenu control in a ribbon customization with a list of open objects of any type. This might be useful to let users switch between open objects in an application.Again, we'll start with the XML for customization: ...(truncated)...

Ribbon Customization: Filling Dropdown Lists

(Indexed 2007-09-26):

In the previous post, I showed you how to create a simple customization to close the currently open object. Continuing along the lines of adding object helpers to an application, we'll add two dropdown lists to a customization to work with forms. The first will list all forms in a database and the second will list the open forms in an application. Start with the XML for the customization. For readability, I've left out the button created in the previous post. ...(truncated)...

Ribbon Customization - Closing the Currently Open Object

(Indexed 2007-09-24):

In a previous post, I talked about how much I enjoy developing solutions that use the new Office Fluent Ribbon UI. Along those lines, this post is the first of three upcoming posts on some specific customizations I've used in some applications recently.The general scenario is a ribbon customization to help users work with objects in an application. This first post is pretty straight-forward where we'll create a button to close the currently open object. Start with the XML for the customization: ...(truncated)...

Writing a Count(Distinct) Query in Access

(Indexed 2007-09-19):

We received a question from a reader named Eric week before last about how to write a Count(Distinct) query in Access. In other database applications such as SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL, the Count(Distinct) aggregate is used to count the number of unique items in a given rowset. For example, consider a table on SQL Server named tblColors, such as:ColorValueRed5Green2Blue8Orange1Red8Green6Blue2To get a count of the number of unique colors in the table, you could write a query such as:SELECT Cou...(truncated)...

Form Views and Subdatasheets

(Indexed 2007-09-18):

Subdatasheets were added to Access 2000 but here's a tip to both add functionality to them and make them look pretty cool. This works in Access 2000 as well but can be a little hard to find. (Read: I just found out you could do this.)A subdatasheet is a table, query, or form in datasheet view that can show child records in a nested datasheet for a given row. For example, consider the classic example of customers, orders and order details. A subdatasheet showing this data might look something lik...(truncated)...

Live Web Cast from the Access team

(Indexed 2007-09-12):

Mor Hezi, the Access product manager, is giving a web cast targeted an at new users Thursday September 13, @ 9:00 AM pacific time. This is a great opportunity to introduce Access to co-workers that want to learn more about how to track information. Microsoft Office System Webcast: Tracking Your Information Is Easier Than You Think with Access 2007 (Level 100)Discover how to easily put structure to your information and start tracking it more efficiently with Microsoft Office Access 2007. Whether ...(truncated)...

Color Support in Access 2007

(Indexed 2007-09-07):

This is the next installment in a series of posts about Access 2007 originally made by one of our developers on the Access team on his own blog that I'm moving here for the broader audience to enjoy. "I find color schemes that I just like and that just feel right" - Alan Bean[Image] Figure 1: Access 2007 Color Picker In Access 2007, we have changed the color picker control from that old 80s looking control to a 21st century color picker. This new color picker is now consistent across all of Acc...(truncated)...

Image Buttons

(Indexed 2007-09-04):

This is the first installment in a series of posts about Access 2007 originally made by one of our developers on the Access team on his own blog that I'm moving here for the broader audience to enjoy. Up until this point, Access has supported command buttons with text or a picture, but never both at the same time. This has been a long standing request from users: the capability of showing both the caption and the picture. In Access 2007, you will notice a new property off of the command button ...(truncated)...

Using VBA code to open a file stored in the new Access 2007 Attachment field

(Indexed 2007-08-30):

Someone asked me about using the Attachment data type in Access 2007 for a specific task. They wanted to use it as a simple data type where it would only be used to hold 1 file per record, and they wanted to be able to open the file in an external application using a button on a form instead of using the Attachment control on a form. Given these constraints, I was created a simple VBA function for doing just that: Public Function OpenFirstAttachmentAsTempFile(ByRef rstCurrent As DAO.Recordset, ...(truncated)...

Integrating Access Contacts with SharePoint and Outlook

(Indexed 2007-08-28):

There was a question on our post about getting Access to recognize tables as specific WSS table templates around what else you need to do to get the new Add From Outlook feature to work on a custom contacts table. This feature uses the same mechanism to determine that a table is a contact table, but more than that it needs to know how to map fields in your table to those in the Outlook contact store. There are a bunch of fields, so easier than building this out yourself, here's a quick snippet...(truncated)...

Adding, removing, and saving files from the new Attachment field in Access 2007

(Indexed 2007-08-24):

One of the coolest new features in Access 2007 is the new Attachments data type. There are some very helpful dialogs for working with this data type, but there are also some useful additions to DAO to make automating the process of adding and saving attachments easy, too. What follows is some VBA code I've written that I hope you will find useful in understanding how do to this. First, let's look at the code to get a file into a table using DAO:The AddAttachment sub takes a reference to a DAO....(truncated)...

Creating item templates for Ribbon customizations to use in Visual Studio

(Indexed 2007-08-23):

Despite my passion for all things related to code, I've always had a soft spot for UI that is exciting both in its "coolness" factor and visual appeal. Along those lines, one of my favorite new features in Access 2007 is Ribbon Extensibility. Writing the XML for a customization can be a bit of a bear, so here is a tip for making this easier.Before getting started with creating your own customizations, there are a few things you should have:customUI.xsd schema for Ribbon extensibilityVisual Studi...(truncated)...

PDF & XPS Now supported in Access Runtime!

(Indexed 2007-08-23):

Great news, you can now redistribute and use the PDF and XPS addin with your Runtime solution. Our download page has been updated to reflect this fact. Best of all, you don't need a new copy of the runtime to take advantage of this. The Runtime's code has not been changed. Your existing runtime solutions can now officially be distributed with the PDF and XPS addin by chaining the .msi for PDF and XPS into your install process for your app (after the Runtime). [Image]

Access 2007 Reports Demo

(Indexed 2007-08-23):

I can't resist doing a quick post to let you all know about the new report demo that just got published to OfficeOnline. This is a quick little video, just a few minutes long, which gives a great overview of some of our new reporting features in 2007. Big thanks to my engineers, Steve Lesser, Abigail Short, and Nishant Kumar for helping me to make these features a reality![Image]

Upcomming Access Advisor Conference

(Indexed 2007-08-21):

The semi-annual Access Advisor conference is running September 30 - October 4 in Miami. This is always a well run event, and a great place to meet with fellow members of the Access community. Having recently gone to the spring conference, and with us all very heads down on Office14, the Access team isn't going to be able to make it to this event, but I've found the speakers to be generally very knowledgeable and the session content is great. [Image]

Navigation pane tip of the day

(Indexed 2007-08-20):

I learned a new trick today from Michael the PM for the navigation pane. We have heard a few of you have missed the ALT D shortcut to open an object in design. As you know, ALT in ribbon apps now allows you to access ribbon shortcuts. Next time you want to open an object in design view, try Control Enter.On a related note, a while back Russell Sinclair posted the following comment to my blog about the nav pane:The default setup when you open a new database or a database that hasn't been opened i...(truncated)...

Set SharePoint List Template for Access Table

(Indexed 2007-08-16):

There was an interesting question in one of the other posts that I thought I'd answer here to reach the broader audience:Doug said:If I export Northwind 2007 to WSS 3.0, the tables, like Customer, that contain 'Contact' type information get exported to an WSS 'Contact' content type. Very cool! Now you can view them in Outlook as a contact list.However, if I craft a table from hand with the exact same name, and the exact same fields, and export it, it is exported as a 'Custom' content type and I ...(truncated)...

New Access 2007 Articles on Office Online

(Indexed 2007-08-13):

Thanks to Jeff Conrad on the Access test team for this: Office Online now has published four articles with material pulled from the Microsoft Office Access 2007 Inside Out book. This enormous book, published by Microsoft Press, is co-authored by Access MVP John L. Viescas and recent Microsoft hire Jeff Conrad. You can find these new articles at the following links:Exploring a desktop Access 2007 database: an Access 2007 database...(truncated)...

Access Database Engine Redistributable

(Indexed 2007-08-10):

I was looking for this in search results today and realized that it isn't showing up in the rankings (or maybe it does, but the name isn't very intuitive). The new Access 2007 database engine (which reads and writes .accdb files) is available in redistributable format for those who need to code against the file directly, bypassing Access/VBA.[Image]

Formatting numbers into hexadecimal

(Indexed 2007-08-09):

Even though class modules in VBA are not as powerful as their brethren in C++, C#, or VB.NET, I'm still a fan. Some time ago, I wrote an application which contained a class called ISearch and then subclasses which implemented this class using the Implements keyword. For debugging, I thought it would be cool to print the address of the ISearch implementation object using the ObjPtr function. The ObjPtr function returns a Long that represents the memory address of an object variable. These numbers...(truncated)...

New People Posting to the Access Blog

(Indexed 2007-08-07):

You've likely noticed that Zac is now posting to the blog and that posts are more frequent (thanks Zac!). Now that Access has been in the market for some time, it is time to broaden the scope of the blog from "new stuff in Access 12" to be more of a general Access community. To help do that, we've recruited 4 more folks who will post to the blog and answer comments. This will mean more frequent posts on a broader range of topics. At the same time, we'll change the tone a bit to hopefully be ...(truncated)...

Access 2007 Template (.accdt) Files

(Indexed 2007-08-06):

The new template work we did in 2007 is awesome, but I know it is not obvious how you can customize the template experience. There was at least one question in the newsgroups about this already, so I thought I would offer this up here as well. Template files in Access 2007 are a totally new file format based on the Open Packaging Convention which is also used by Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx extensions, respectively. Access's old template files used to be .mdb files...(truncated)...

MkTree Function - Make sure that directories exist

(Indexed 2007-08-01):

Recently, I wrote an application to manage files between directories and needed a function to make sure that the directory structure was the same between the source and destination files. VBA provides a function called MkDir which is used to create a directory, but it requires that the parent directory already exists. Here's a function called MkTree that will walk a path and create all of the directories in the tree for a given file/directory path.' ----------------------------------------------...(truncated)...

Access Communities

(Indexed 2007-07-31):

I was toolin' around the Internet the other day, and it occurred to me that there are really a bunch of different places that the Access community gathers to share and communicate online that people might not be familiar with. I think the most frequented venue for Access communications continues to be the NNTP servers. Check these out with any News reader (windows mail/outlook express is a free client you may already have).* (I don't list the...(truncated)...

Updated Blog Look and Feel

(Indexed 2007-07-28):

I spent some time today updating the look and feel of the blog. We'd been running with Orange for quite a while, and it seemed like time for a change. We also decided it would be good to rename the blog to the Access Team Blog, because that name better reflects how we intend to use the blog (as an outlet for communications between you and the Access team).What do you think of the redesign? Comments are welcome![Image]

Access Runtime Re-released

(Indexed 2007-07-23):

We've finally gotten the runtime re-released and its available on the web at the location below. We've nailed the issues down and it will stay available at this point. My appologies I didn't get this posted over the weekend - I was away without net access for the weekend. Clint's blog got the word out earlier, and that's another good place to look for Access information. Here is the link for the 2007 Access Runtime: There is...(truncated)...

Easing the transition from Access 2003 to 2007

(Indexed 2007-07-12):

One of our Access MVPs, Oliver Stohr, has just released his new web site focusing on helping users make the switch from Access 2003 to Access 2007. Oli has some good tutorial content which should be useful for those of you who are just getting started with Access 2007, and also check out his blog. Hes been working with some members of the Access team producing content for Access Advisor Magazine.[Image]

UtterAccess, the web 2.0 social learning platform for Access developers

(Indexed 2007-06-29):

Long before social web 2.0 applications were all the rage, a small traffic site, UtterAccess (UA), became a foundation for a community of Access users sharing ideas and building friendships. For its 10,000s of active members, UA develops careers, builds friendships, and helps them run their businesses more efficiently. In the last five years alone, UA has accumulated 555M+ hits, 120,000 members, and 1.4M posts. Clearly, UA offers something of value that drawn so many users to the community.A few...(truncated)...

Automated front-end management and publishing

(Indexed 2007-06-28):

One of the Access MVPs from Canada has a great tool for helping to manage and publish Front End database apps. For those of you who are familiar with the process of front-ending, this is a real time saver, and he makes it available for free (thanks Tony!). You can pick up Auto FE Updater from here: also has a quick explanation for why front-ending is a good thing:[Image]

Access Runtime is on Hold

(Indexed 2007-06-27):

It turns out that there was a recall class issue with one of the Access Runtime components. After we released the Access Runtime yesterday it was discovered that patches on Microsoft Update would not automatically detect and patch this component. We unfortunately had to pull down the Access Runtime download until we can ensure that all components are supportable. We are sorry for the inconvenience, and we are aiming to have it back up in a couple of weeks. If you happen to be one of the few t...(truncated)...

Access 2007 Developer Extensions and Runtime are LIVE!!!

(Indexed 2007-06-26):

After a long, hard effort the stars have finally aligned. The Access Developer Extensions team is very happy to announce the release of the Access 2007 Developer Extensions and the Access 2007 Runtime. Here is the link for the 2007 Access Developer Extensions: Here is the link for the 2007 Access Runtime:

Ribbon Customizer

(Indexed 2007-06-25):

For those of you who have been struggling a little with Ribbon customization in Access 2007 and miss the old world of CommandBars where you could design the command experience directly through the UI, Patrick Schmid has a cool add-in that allows you to make graphical design changes to your Ribbons from right within Office. It works with all Office apps that have the Ribbon.His tool is free to try, and he's also currently got a beta program going. You can pick up the trial here: http://pschmid....(truncated)...

Access blog back and rolling, ADE (still) on the way, but very close

(Indexed 2007-06-25):

Sorry for the unannounced hiatus, but the Access blog is back up and rolling. Im changing the way I come up with content and will be sharing things more broadly around the team than weve been before, which should lead to a more constant flow of content and a spread of interesting topics. The last few months have been spent planning the next version of Access and getting the ball rolling on that. Cant say more about it, but the team is very excited about the plans and were making good progres...(truncated)...

Running Access 2007 in Runtime Mode

(Indexed 2007-03-26):

Even though we haven't gotten the runtime re-distributable shipped yet, you can run apps in Access 2007 in runtime mode. This will let you test solutions while waiting for the re-dist. In addition, it is a simple way to keep users from changing your applications even when they have the full app. You can use a long-standing command-line switch (documented here: to launch apps in runtime mode. Access 2007 makes this much easier, though. All you have to ...(truncated)...

Access 2007 Developer Extensions and Runtime - Still On The Way

(Indexed 2007-03-26):

Weve been getting a lot of questions about this, so I want to let you all know the status of our 2007 Access Developer Extensions (ADE) project. As we posted before, the Access 2007 runtime is going to ship with the ADE, and redistribution of the runtime will be free for those of you who build runtime solutions. We have been slowed down a little be some source management / build issues on this project that came from the way it was set up. Were getting through those issues and are nearly done wi...(truncated)...