Jun 17

Watch the Microsoft TechEd Conference Videos for Free


TechEd is Microsoft's premier conference for IT professionals and developers. The sold-out conference took place in Orlando, Florida last week.

If you didn't attend, you can still watch many of the videos from the conference, including the keynotes and other highlights from each day. Visit the TechEd web site and click the "On Demand" tab to learn about the latest in Microsoft technology.

The announcements this year are stunning with huge advances in Azure, Visual Studio .NET, SkyDrive, LightSwitch, Virtual Machines, and more.

May 09

Microsoft Access Database Architecture: Taking Time into Account and Shadow Tables


When designing an application and its tables, it’s very important to capture the time dimension and determine how data should be stored with the expectation that it will change over time. While there’s a natural tendency to keep data normalized so that the same information is stored in only one place, the time dimension also needs to be considered.

  • What Needs to be Preserved Over Time?
  • Making Sure Data Normalization Doesn’t Lose Historical Data
  • Shadow Tables

For more details, read our paper: Microsoft Access Database Architecture: Taking Time into Account and Shadow Tables

Additional papers and resources in our Microsoft Access Developer and VBA Programming Help Center

Feb 27

The Hot Mommas Project Website Update

HotMommas Web SiteLongtime client Kathy Korman Frey, George Washington University School of Business professor and GWU Entrepreneur in Residence, has engaged the FMS Professional Solutions Group to enhance her HotMommas Project website.

The site is the world's largest collection of public case studies for entrepreneurial women. It is a community where women can learn from the experiences of other women addressing their businesses, family and personal challenges.

Visual Studio
The revamped website is built on Visual Studio .NET, SQL Server with a modern, dynamic interface incorporating our technical and graphic artist resources.

Contact us if we can help you with a similar solution.

Feb 16

Linked In Communities for the Microsoft Access, Azure, SQL Server and Visual Studio .NET Communities


LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers many opportunities for professionals to interact with each other. There are many groups available for the Microsoft Access, Azure, SQL Server, and Visual Studio .NET communities. Here are some of the vibrant groups we’ve discovered:

Microsoft Access, Excel and VBA

Microsoft AzureMicrosoft Azure and SQL Server


Visual Studio .NET

Feb 13

Transposing Data in Microsoft Access Tables and Data Normalization

Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL ServerData normalization is fundamental to database design. Properly normalized data makes it easy to support an application over time and simplifies the querying, displaying, and reporting features of an application. 

Unfortunately, we don’t always receive or have normalized data. Tables that require adding fields as the data changes over time are particularly problematic and violate the basic premise of database design where adding records is free, but adding fields is expensive:

Here are some updated resources detailing the value of data normalization, including a sample database and VBA code to transpose and normalize your existing data.

These and other related papers are part of our developer centers:

Hope these help you create more scalable, maintainable, and analyzable databases.

For advanced data analysis, check out our Total Access Statistics add-in product.

Oct 13

The HotMommas Project Case Study Competition Website Update

HotMommas ProjectOur long time client Kathy Korman Frey, George Washington University School of Business professor and GWU Entrepreneur in Residence, has engaged the FMS Professional Solutions Group again to update her HotMommas Project case study competition website and create another brand new website. Professor Frey has amassed the world's largest public domain collection of women's case studies, and created an environment where these women can share their experiences and challenges of creating and running companies along with juggling family and other commitments in life.

This effort is almost complete and we'll be unveiling the revamped case study competition website as well as the new "sister" site next month. Stay tuned!

Jun 07

Microsoft Access and SQL Server Union vs. Union All Query Syntax

Microsoft AccessMicrosoft Access Union QueryMicrosoft SQL ServerThe purpose of the SQL UNION query is to combine the results of two or more queries into a single result set. The list contains all the rows belonging to all the queries in the union. This applies to queries in SQL Server or Microsoft Access. A common question is whether to use the UNION or UNION ALL syntax.

The main difference between UNION ALL and UNION is that, UNION only selects distinct values and sorts the results, while UNION ALL selects all values (including duplicates) without sorting. Read our revised paper on UNION versus UNION ALL SQL Syntax to learn more about the differences, see some examples, and understand why you would use one versus the other.

For more tips and using queries, visit our Microsoft Access Query Help Center.

Jun 06

Consulting Services and Custom Software Solutions for Large Businesses

Serving Large Organizations and Public CompaniesFMS Professional Solutions Group logoSince our beginning in 1986, we've served large organizations with our leading-edge solutions designed to help people make better data-based decisions. Whether it's on PC desktops, networks, the Internet, and more recently mobile devices, we recognize you need to have the data you need, where and when you need it, in a format that helps you make decisions and avoid mistakes. We also understand the challenges of balancing application functionality with the cost and requirements of regulators, auditors, and enterprise IT.

Our general philosophy is to quickly create sophisticated solutions built on a solid database foundation. Designed to scale and expand, our solutions evolve as your business demands it. Sometimes we can anticipate future needs in our design, but more often, the application evolves based on unforeseen events such as changes in the economy, regulations, new products and customers, or competitive pressure. With our staff of experienced developers, we can quickly adapt our solutions to meet your needs. Rapid development and deployment, fail quickly and cheaply, and water and nurture the seeds that grow and justify additional investment.

We understand the needs of large organizations and deliver the quality you demand. FMS products are used by tens of thousands of customers in over 100 countries including 90 of the Fortune 100.

Learn more about our experience and services to large organizations in our new page Consulting Services and Custom Software Solutions for Large Businesses.

To find out how we can help your organization, please contact us for a Risk-Free Assessment.

Jun 01

Published on Enterprise Features: Microsoft Access Is Underrated–Your Hatred of Access Is Largely Unjustified

Microsoft Access Enterprise Features Microsoft Access

The Enterprise Features web site highlight’s FMS President Luke Chung’s discussion about why Microsoft Access is underrated and hated in large enterprise organizations. “Haters Gonna Hate”

He discusses the dynamics of IT departments in large organizations and their natural conflict with the needs and budgets of information worker. He also shows how organizations that understand the strengths and weaknesses of Microsoft Access can leverage its power for competitive advantage, and how to structure service levels to do so.

May 31

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

Microsoft Access 2013What’s the Maximum Number of Microsoft Access Users?

There 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

We offer a commercial product for enterprises, Total Access Startup, that 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

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