Over the years, I have had an ongoing discussion about how Microsoft Access best fits in an organization's database strategy. Similar to how some Excel files evolve beyond the capabilities of a spreadsheet and move to Access, some Access applications grow beyond the features of Access. Recently, I was interviewed by Microsoft’s Architect Evangelist Dr. Zhiming Xue on dealing with Access Database based solutions and the challenges of migrating them to SQL Server. Watch the 22 minute video and read more about Migrating Microsoft Access Databases to SQL Server. Let me know what you think.
Integrating emails into Microsoft Access applications is an amazingly powerful way to distribute your data. The built-in SendObject command lets you do this at a very basic level. Here’s a review of the SendObject command’s features and limitations, and how Total Access Emailer can help you extend Access beyond SendObject to really email personalized messages with Microsoft Access data and reports to all your contacts.
Our list of all the internal Microsoft Access error numbers and error descriptions now has a database with the descriptions by Access version in a table. Use it as a reference or for your own lookups across Access versions.
Our friend Alison Balter is a popular speaker, author, and trainer in the Microsoft Access community. She’s been a user and fan of our products for many years. In her Mastering Office Access 2003 book, she wrote a whole chapter on ThirdParty Tools That Can Help You Get Your Job Done Effectively, where she covered many of our Access related products:
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.
Total Access Analyzer is the world's most popular Access product. We recently shipped the Access 2007 version, and are now pleased to provide versions X.8 for Microsoft Access 2003, 2002, and 2000. The new versions are a significant upgrade and let you create and maintain Access solutions better than ever. Enhancements include the detection of new suggestions and performance tips including duplicate SQL string analysis across queries, record sources, and row sources. There's also a redesigned user interface, new reports, one click opening of the current object in design mode when viewing documentation and search results, Vista support, and much more. Click here for a complete list of new features in version X.8. We hope you like the results!
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.
If you're used to pasting Excel spreadsheet data into an Access table, you may have encountered this error recently: The data on the Clipboard is damaged, so Microsoft Office Access can't paste it. Maybe you thought there was something wrong with your spreadsheet, data, or memory. It turns out this is caused by a Microsoft Excel 2007 security patch that was released December 9th. Click on the link to learn about the issue and a workaround.
FMS is excited to announce the launch of The HotMommas Project, a case study competition and social networking website for businesswomen and entrepreneurs. FMS developed this Microsoft ASP.NET and SQL Server based website for a GWU business school professor in Washington, DC. The HotMommas Project just announced their judging panel and the group is generating quite a buzz. Check it out, and we encourage you to tell anyone who may be interested to sign up and enter the competition.
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