Jan 29

Taking Advantage of Emailing Microsoft Access Data and Reports

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One of the most powerful ways to increase productivity is automating the distribution of personalized data to your contacts. Whether they are customers, prospects, or internal people, simplifying communications is a wonderful result of all your efforts collecting and analyzing data. With our Total Access Emailer program, we are helping thousands of people leverage the power of emails and their Microsoft Access data.  Easily send HTML emails with references to your data fields to personalize each message.  You can even add filtered data from a table or query, or email Microsoft Access reports either as attachments or as your HTML email.  Total Access Emailer makes it easy to do on a one time basis or continuously. It runs as an Access add-in with a Wizard interface, and also has a programmatic interface with runtime library to launch emails from VBA code.

Recently, we’ve helped several organizations create Access applications where email was a critical part of the solution. For Harvard College, we developed a system to manage the assignment of interviewers and candidates. An Access database on SQL Server is used by an administrator to match the two parties, then an email sent out to the interviewer. The Interviewer then visits an ASP.NET web site to record whether they accepted or declined the assignment, and upload their results. Reminders are automatically sent if no response is received by a certain time. It’s running hot and heavy now as interviewing season comes to a close for this year’s applicants.

Similarly, we created a solution for a national firm in the customer loyalty business to improve their partners’ communications with the customers they’ve signed up. The main application is a web-based ASP.NET and SQL Server solution, but we decided to build the communications part in Access. This separated it from the transactional load on the web site and simplified its development. The marketing people could design their emails in HTML and use Total Access Emailer to replace the fields in the message with the data downloaded from SQL Server. After tweaking their message, previewing sample emails, and getting it perfect, they could launch the blast on their own. The result was a personalized email to each participant with a custom letterhead with graphics for each affinity partner as if the message came directly from them. We’ve created monthly statements, a campaign for Toys for Tots, and other notifications to drive build a closer relationship between the partners and their customers.

So if you want to send emails from database, learn more about Total Access Emailer.  A free 30 day trial version to send emails from Access is available. If you’d like us to help you create a custom solution in Access or .NET with email, please contact our Professional Solutions Group.

Jan 05

FMS Offers Access to SQL Server Migration Services

FMS has offered Access to SQL Server "upsizing" (aka conversion or migration) services for a number of years. We have been working with Microsoft to help customers convert their database applications from Access-based systems to (most typically) SQL Server and ASP.NET websites and web applications. We are one of the few companies in the world who are recognized by Microsoft as being experts at Access to SQL Server migration (see our whitepaper and partner link at the bottom of that page on the Microsoft website).

To kick off 2009, we are offering special rates on these services. Please contact us or give us a call at 703-356-4700 to find out how we can help your organization take the next step.

Dec 03

Finding Unused Objects and Code in Microsoft Access

If you're like most Microsoft Access users and developers, you've created databases with lots of objects. Over time, it's easy to lose track of which objects are still needed. A temporary query or report becomes permanent because you're not sure if it's being used by other objects. Same with macros and VBA code.  The annoying thing is that you may waste time maintaining objects and code that's not even being used. I've written a detailed article about the challenges of finding unused objects (you have to first determine where all objects are referenced before identifying unused ones) and one of the main benefits of using Total Access Analyzer.  http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/UnusedObjects/FindingDeleting.html

Dec 03

White Paper: Application Development During Uncertain Times

The economy and financial markets are undergoing tremendous turmoil as this massive deleveraging unfolds. In response to discussions with our customers and the wider community, I published an article for things to consider when developing software applications during these challenging times. Minimize risk and maximize your potential by getting solutions into production quickly and let the market (users) decide what survives and dies. Application evolution and natural selection is most powerful during times like these. It's important to anticipate rather than be surprised by those forces. For more details, check out the paper (http://www.fmsinc.com/tpapers/budgets/ApplicationDev) which is referenced by Microsoft and other sites.

Wishing you the best and much success!