Jun 07

Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers

Last month I spoke at the Portland Access Users Group Conference at Silver Falls State Park. I gave a presentation introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch and how it could be used for SQL Server applications deployed on a variety of platforms. As a follow-up, I’ve created a summary matrix and discussion that highlights the features and limitations of the variety of platforms from Microsoft Access, Visual Studio LightSwitch, and Visual Studio.


Microsoft Access started at the beginning of the Windows revolution 20+ years ago and became the most popular database of all time. More recently, additional technologies have become significant, so it behooves the Microsoft Access community to be aware of the trends and options.

Database Platform Matrix

Ultimately, it’s about being able to create solutions that help you and/or your users accomplish their mission. Sometimes the user’s platform is critical, sometimes, it’s the data source, and other times it’s the permissions you have to deploy a solution. A variety of platforms and options are available with benefits and limitations with each. Meanwhile, Microsoft Access is also evolving with their latest Access 2013 version offering new web based solutions.

We’ve written a new paper Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers¬†¬†that summarizes what we’re seeing and experiencing.

Dec 31

Total Visual CodeTools 2010 Updated for Microsoft Access Office VBA and Visual Basic 6

Microsoft Access 2010 VBATotal Visual CodeToolsMicrosoft Access VBA, VB6 Module Coding ToolsModule Code Cleanup and Builders

Visual Basic 6An update of Total Visual CodeTools 2010 is released with support for Microsoft Office/Access 2010, 2007, 2003 and Visual Basic 6.0. Several enhancements were made to improve the New Procedure Builder, VBE color scheme builder, icons for the toolbars, setup program and IDE integration, etc. Here are the details on the enhancements of Total Visual CodeTools version 14.00.0039.

Total Visual CodeTools is an add-in to your Office/Access/VBA and VB6 integrated development environment (IDE) that helps you write, clean-up and deliver better solutions. Available from the IDE menu or a toolbar, a variety of tools help increase your efficiency and consistency when writing code and taking over someone else’s work. Features include:

  • Code Builders to create new procedures, properties, ADO and DAO recordsets, message boxes, select case statements; convert SQL strings, copy control event procedures, use the Format and DateDiff functions, comment blocks of text, etc.
  • Cleanup Existing Module Code by adding Option Explicit, standardizing formatting, adding error handling to procedures that lack it, rename variable names to your convention, etc.
  • Deliver Modules with Line Numbers plus obfuscation
  • Find Unused Variables to pinpoint unnecessary code
  • Macro Recorder for playing back keystrokes while editing

Registered customers should have received email notification with download instructions of the update.

Dec 26

Total Access Statistics Update for Microsoft Access 2010, 2007, and 2003

Microsoft Access 2010

We are very pleased to release an update to Total Access Statistics for Microsoft Access 2010, 2007, and 2003. If you are an owner of version 14.0, 12.8, and 11.8 respectively, you can download the update at no charge.

Total Access Statistics is the most popular data analysis program for Microsoft Access. It extends the data analysis capabilities of Access queries to let you perform advanced numerical analysis on your data. Use any Access table, linked table, or query to perform calculations such as percentiles, regressions, frequency distributions, t-Tests, correlations, non-parametrics, rankings, moving averages, etc. It can also perform data normalization and let you select random records. As you would expect in a query, you can specify Group By fields so analysis is performed on each set of records with identical group fields. Total Access Statistics runs within Access with all output in Access tables. It supports MDB, ACCDB, and ADP databases.

The update includes these enhancements:

  • Significant performance improvements when processing large numbers of records
  • While analyzing records, a new status form appears with an option to cancel the process
  • Setup program offers machine or current user installation options
  • Resolves all known issues

For additional information, visit the Total Access Statistics Update page.

Aug 22

Microsoft Windows Common Control Library (MSCOMCTL.OCX) Security Update Requires Fixing

ActiveX ControlOn August 14, 2012, Microsoft released a security update for Microsoft Office that includes an update to the Windows Common Control MSCOMCTL.OCX.

Unfortunately, this update causes problems with existing Microsoft Access, Visual Basic 6, and other applications that use the common control such as the Treeview and ListBox controls. For us, this impacts our Total Access Analyzer program which uses the Treeview control in its database explorer feature. It triggers this error:

Error 459 – Object or class does not support the set of events,
Procedure clsFrmExplorer_TAA.InitForm

Microsoft provides a workaround for this problem in a Knowledgebase article, but it doesn't always work. We've come up with a solution that addresses this problem reliably.

Read our article Fixing the Microsoft Windows Common Control Library (MSCOMCTL.OCX) Security Update for more details.

Jul 17

Total Access Analyzer for Microsoft Access 2010 Update and Demo Version

Microsoft Access 2010Microsoft Access Database DocumentationMicrosoft Access Database DocumentationMicrosoft Access Documenter

Total Access Analyzer is the most popular Microsoft Access product of all-time! Documenting and analyzing your database objects, macros and VBA module code, Total Access Analyzer helps you understand what's going on. Take control of your MS Access applications and find errors and ways to improve their design and performance. Over 300 issues are pinpointed with 380 presentation quality reports for comprehensive documentation and cross-referencing of your application. Winner of every Best Microsoft Access Add-in award with great reviews, Total Access Analyzer remains the "Must Have" tool for serious Microsoft Access developers and people who inherit existing Access solutions.

What's New

Thank you for your support in making Total Access Analyzer such a great success!