Nov 05

Total Visual SourceBook 2013 Ships

Total Visual SourceBook Total Visual SourceBook

We are delighted to announce the release of Total Visual SourceBook 2013. Total Visual SourceBook is our royalty-free source code library for Microsoft Access/Office VBA developers and Visual Basic 6 (VB6) developers.

code-explorer-web

The new 2013 version is an upgrade to our Total Visual SourceBook 2007 version. The new version is especially designed for the new features introduced in Microsoft Access/Office/VBA 2013 and 2010. It can also run in Access/Office 2007 and older versions through Access/Office 2000.

New Features

Total Visual SourceBook 2013 includes 35 new modules, 25,000+ more lines of code, enhancements to existing modules including VBA code that’s compatible with 32 and 64-bit versions of Office.

The user code database can now be upsized to SQL Server to simplify sharing code among your developer team. The new version also includes many enhancements to the code browser to simplify your experience in viewing, searching, adding, editing, and applying different error handlers to the source code.

For a complete list of enhancements, visit our New Features page.

Additional Resources

Aug 01

Total Access Statistics Ships for Microsoft Access 2013

Total Access StatisticsTotal Access Statistics is the most advanced data analysis program for Microsoft Access. It extends the power of Microsoft Access queries with a wide range of statistical calculations including percentiles, frequency distributions, correlations, regressions, rankings, running totals, financial cash flow analysis, data normalization, crosstabs with Chi-Square, t-Tests, ANOVA, non-parametrics, probabilities, and more.

Total Access Statistics is now available for Microsoft Access 2013. Total Access Statistics 2013 includes many enhancements since the prior release of Total Access Statistics 2010:

  • Support for the 32 and 64 bit versions of Access 2013 with separate add-ins for each
  • New redistributable runtime libraries to support Access 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003
  • Support for Windows 8 (and all Windows versions supported by Access)
  • Improved performance when analyzing large data sets
  • For Percentiles, when assigning percentile values to a field in your table, you can specify calculations such as quartiles, quintiles, octiles, deciles, etc. rather than just percentile
  • Field format is set to Percent for percentage fields in the Frequency, Crosstab (when percentages are in columns), and Chi-Square details tables
  • When tables are generated from the add-in, the field column widths are resized to show the entire field name and data
  • Updated user manual and help file

Here’s a complete list of new features. For more information visit these resources:

Jun 06

Total Access Emailer Ships for Microsoft Access 2013

Total Access EmailerTotal Access Emailer is the most popular email automation program for Microsoft Access. It simplifies the sending of personalized emails with Access data and reports to everyone on your list.

Total Access Emailer is now available for Microsoft Access 2013. Total Access Emailer 2013 includes many enhancements since the prior release of Total Access Emailer 2010 and the Version x.6 for pre-Access 2010 versions:

  • Enhanced setup for Windows 8 and 64-bit installations
  • Supports differences in VBA code between Microsoft Access 2013 and 2010
  • Improved support for linked tables in SQL Server and Access databases including situations when connections are lost
  • User interface improvements to better manage editing and duplicating email blast specifications
  • Professional Version VBA library detects if the user’s machine has not run the runtime distribution EXE
  • Improved display of record counts for repeating multiple email blast broadcasts
  • Improved error handing and reporting
  • Updated user manual and help file

Here’s a complete list of new features.

download-trial-blueDownload the free trial version and send your own personalized emails from Microsoft Access.

Mar 22

Total Visual Agent Ships for Microsoft Access 2013 and 2010

Microsoft Access Database SchedulerTotal Visual Agent for Microsoft Access DatabasesAutomate Microsoft Access Database Compact and Other Chores

We are very pleased to announce that Total Visual Agent 2013 is now shipping.

Don’t Forget System Administration for Microsoft Access Database Solutions

A professional Microsoft Access database application needs ongoing system administration. It’s an area that many MS Access developers neglect and causes problems when things go wrong (database corruption, missing backups, disaster recovery, etc.):

Enterprise Quality System Administration with Audit Logs and Email Alerts

Total Visual Agent has provided an Enterprise Quality solution for almost 20 years by giving organizations a reliable way to perform their critical tasks on a 24/7, 365 days a year basis. A detailed audit log documents each action that is performed, and sends emails if errors are encountered.

Schedule Events, Databases, and Actions to Perform

Total Visual Agent automates and schedules Microsoft Access tasks. It ensures repetitive tasks are completed reliably. Tasks such as database compact and repair, zipped backups, rolling backups (e.g. 7 copies for each day of the week), running macros, running Windows command lines, making copies of table data, collecting database statistics such as size and record counts, etc. Easily schedule tasks for the middle of the night and know they’ll be completed.

Events can be scheduled every X minutes, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or just one time. You can specify the days of week and time periods that it runs to limit processing to off-hours. Select the databases and directories (including subdirectories) to manage with support for workgroup security and database passwords.

Includes a Windows Service for Secure Processing and Reliability

Once defined, the events and tasks can be run by our Monitor program that is a standard Windows program.

Alternatively, Total Visual Agent includes a Windows Service, so you can run your tasks without having anyone logged on the machine. The Windows service is a more secure, robust solution since it can automatically restart if the machine reboots.

New Features in the 2013 Version

A huge number of new features were added in this 2013 release from the previous 2007 version:

  • Microsoft Access 2013Support for Microsoft Access 2013 and 2010, plus 2007
  • Support for 64 bit Operating Systems
  • Simplified Startup and Easier Management of Multiple Microsoft Access Versions
  • Import Settings from Multiple Versions of Total Visual Agent
  • Test All Actions for an Event, Database, Directory or Task Group
  • Create Events that Run Every X Minutes
  • Create Events that are Limited to Periods Spanning Midnight
  • Process Directories with Managed Databases
  • Data Extract Tables are Keyed
  • Run Macros for Database Password Protected Databases
  • Pause for a Fractional Minute
  • Compressed Archive File Names Support Multiple Extensions
  • More Detailed Activity History Log with Deletions
  • More Detailed Database Statistics with Deletions
  • Add Your Comments to Events, Directories, and Actions
  • Simplified Addition of New Actions
  • More Modern and Improved User Interface
  • New User Manual and Help File

For complete list, visit New Features in Total Visual Agent 2013.

Download a Free Trial Version

A fully functional trial version is available for download so you can run it on your system with your databases.

Contact Us

  • Visit our Support Site if you would like to submit any questions to our technical support team.
  • Place an order online. Existing customers can upgrade at a discounted price.
Jul 09

Microsoft Access 2013 Features, Changes, Resources and Runtime Release

Microsoft Access 2013Microsoft Access 2013 Features

Microsoft has published a variety of resources to discuss the new features of Microsoft Access 2013.

Free Runtime Version Available

The Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime enables you to distribute Access 2013 applications to users who do not have the full version of Access 2013 installed on their computers. The Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime Download is available in 38 languages!

Note that due to the many deprecated features in Access 2013, we would recommend developers to stick to the Access 2010 runtime version unless you’re deploying to an environment that has already migrated to Office 2013.

Additional Resources

FMS Products for Microsoft Access 2013

We are busily enhancing our products for Access 2013. Access 2013 versions are already shipping for Total Visual Agent, Total Access Emailer, Total Access Speller, and Total Access Statistics.

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.

Feb 18

Attending the Microsoft MVP Summit in Bellevue/Redmond, WA

I’m attending the annual Microsoft MVP Global Summit this week in Bellevue and Redmond, WA. This is actually my first experience at this event as I was awarded the MVP title this past summer for my support of Microsoft Access.

Over the years, FMS has had several Microsoft MVPs for Access including Dan Haught, Steve Clark, and Jim Ferguson who was one of the original MVPs when the program started 20 years ago. Book author Alison Balter and Portland Access User Group leader Jack Stockton join me as new MVPs this year. Last night we had a nice kickoff event with fellow Microsoft Access MVPs.

The MVP conference brings together 1500 professionals from across the world to this conference. The MVPs cover all the different product groups for Microsoft which offers a wonderful mix of expertise and enthusiasm. Over the next few days, the different Microsoft product groups will be providing presentations to attendees in an NDA environment. Sorry, I can’t share the content, but I can say it impacts our future planning.

Yesterday, they had a showcase of a variety of technologies from MVPs in the US plus companies from Taiwan, Japan, Germany, China, India, etc. It’s great to see the global impact of Microsoft.

How do you become an MVP? The usual path is to be involved in public forums answering questions and becoming an expert in the field. You don’t need to own a business to be an MVP. Other ways to be selected are to increase your professional visibility through products, writing books, blogs, etc. The MVP program is designed to recognize individuals who influence the market and help the community maximize the value of Microsoft products. So whether it’s XBox, Bing Maps, Dynamics, Exchange, Office 365, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Windows Phone, Word, etc., if you have a passion, expertise, and a willingness to share, the MVP community could be part of your future. Good luck!

May 31

Microsoft Access Database Scalability: How many users can it support?

What’s the Maximum Number of Microsoft Access Users?

Microsoft Access 2013There is a persistent myth that Microsoft Access Jet databases can only support 20 or so users. Here’s my response to a recent inquiry:

I flatly refute any suggestions that Microsoft Access users are limited to around 30. We’ve run many tests and have never seen that kind of degradation in performance. It is a myth from Access 2.0 days that was eliminated with Access 97 almost two decades ago.

A poorly designed Access database won’t support two users, but a well designed Access solution can support hundreds of users. Of course, what matters is the number of simultaneous users, and what they’re doing.

At Least 200 Simultaneous Microsoft Access Users on an Access/Jet Database

If everyone is just viewing data or entering data into a table, that takes very little work and a large number of people (well over 200) can be supported. People cannot type faster than what Access can handle. If users are all running massive reports and queries with data updates, that can still be done but performance would be an issue which applies to any technology, so testing and optimization would be necessary.

Migrate Back-End Access Database to Microsoft SQL Server for More Users

Microsoft SQL ServerIf the back-end database is in SQL Server rather than an Access/Jet database, the number of users can be practically unlimited if each user has their own front-end copy of the Access application. Performance issues still apply based on what they are doing. In some cases SQL Server is slower than Access, so it is important to understand the situation before thinking SQL Server is the answer.

All that said, any Access application that is distributed to others with shared data should be a split database design. Here are a few resources we’ve written:

Total Access StartupSimplify Support for All the Users of Your Access Databases

Total Access Startup helps with the distribution of databases to each user’s desktop, and launching it with the right version of Microsoft Access.

This allows you to centrally support a large number of Access users across your network and ensure everyone is using the latest version of your application. It also simplifies the migration from one version of Access to another.

Additional Discussions

This topic was also discussed on the Microsoft Developer Network, Microsoft Access Database Scalability: How many users can it support?

Microsoft