Jan 12

Automatically Compact and Repair Microsoft Access Databases with Compact On Close

Microsoft Access/Jet databases require routine maintenance to ensure reliability, integrity, and efficiency. You can manually compact and repair a database. However, you can save yourself some time and effort by configuring your database to automatically do this every time it closes. Read the issues and limitations around this Microsoft Access feature Automatically Compact and Repair Microsoft Access Databases with Compact On Close.

Jan 12

Create a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan for Microsoft Access Database Applications

Microsoft Access Backup Disaster Recovery PlanIf you create or take over a Microsoft Access application from someone else, you become responsible for the data in addition to the application and its queries, forms, reports, macros, and module code. Unanticipated disasters can occur, so it’s important to prepare before they happen. The amount of effort and investment to spend for disaster recovery varies with the value of the application, but some basics apply to all applications.

A Disaster Recovery Plan is much more than making backups of your database. And if your backups are on the same machine and/or hard disk as your production database, that doesn’t qualify.

Read our paper on Creating a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan for Microsoft Access Database Applications for ways to limit your risk and headaches, while providing a professional solution for your end-users, boss, and clients.

Jan 04

Total Access Admin for Microsoft Access 2010 is Shipping

Total Access Admin lets you monitor your Microsoft Access databases to see who’s currently in it. It’s ideal for understanding who’s currently connected, compacting databases after everyone has exited it, and troubleshooting multi-user problems.

The Total Access Admin 2010 supports Microosft Access 2010 and 2007. In addition to supporting Access 2010, it now lets you monitor multiple databases in one screen. You can perform actions across all the databases, watch the activity in real time, log the users entering and exiting each database, and compact the database after everyone exits. Visit the New Features page for all the enhancements.

Total Access Admin 2003, version 11.5, is also released for Access 2003 and earlier.

Free Trial versions of both versions are available.

Dec 03

Free Microsoft Access Small Business Solutions Book Offer

Free Microsoft Access Small Business Solutions BookGet a FREE copy of the Microsoft Access Small Business Solutions book by Teresa Henning, Truitt Bradly, Larry Linson, Leigh Purvis, Brent Spaulding with the foreword written by FMS president Luke Chung (a $50 value)

Thanks to a special arrangement with Theresa Henning and the publisher we are pleased to offer a limited quantity of this book for free to purchasers of any of our product suites. This book contains descriptions and code for a wide range of challenges small business and workgroups face.

*NOTE* Thank you for your interest. This offer is no longer available.

Sep 29

Total Access Statistics for Microsoft Access 2010 is Shipping

We are very pleased to announce Total Access Statistics for Microsoft Access 2010 is now shipping, along with updates for earlier versions of Access. 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.Microsoft Access 2010

Total Access Statistics runs within Access with all output in Access tables. It supports MDB, ACCDB, and ADP databases.

In addition to supporting Access 2010, we’ve added Financial Calculations for Cash Flows. It now calculates net present value (NPV), present value (PV), future value (FV), internal rate of return (IRR), and modified internal rates of return (MIRR). There’s support for both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Access 2010. It includes both the interactive wizard that runs as an add-in, plus the programmatic VBA library so you can embed statistical analysis in your applications.

Here is additional information for:

Free demo versions are also available for you to download.

Aug 20

Deploying Microsoft Access Databases Linked to SQL Azure Databases

SQL Azure A few weeks ago, I discussed how Microsoft Access could link to databases hosted on SQL Azure. Here’s a new paper discussing How to Deploy Microsoft Access Databases Linked to a SQL Azure Database. Details on how this works and how to distribute your databases are covered. The people who receive your database don’t need a license of SQL Server but do need to have its ODBC driver installed on their machines.

Here’s the original blog on Microsoft Access and Cloud Computing with SQL Azure Databases.

Aug 19

Speed Up Microsoft Access and Visual SourceSafe Integration

Microsoft Visual SourceSafeMicrosoft AccessUsing Microsoft Visual SourceSafe (VSS) with Microsoft Access for system development is great for tracking old versions, maintaining a professional Access development platform, and multi-developer environments. Being able to quickly see old versions of individual objects, differences over time, and check-in and check-out objects to prevent multiple developers from changing the same object are all wonderful features. Visual Source Safe is part of MSDN. By installing the Office/Access developer extensions/edition or Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO), VSS gets added to your Access menus.

Unfortunately, as Access databases get more objects, VSS slows down and can sometimes take minutes to add a new object to the database. Waiting for VSS to prompt you for every new object not only wastes time (especially if you don't want to add a temporary object to VSS), it disrupts the rhythm of system development. Fortunately, there's an easy way to work around this. Read this paper Speed Up Microsoft Access and Visual SourceSafe Integration for details, including Access 2010.

Jul 23

Microsoft Access and Cloud Computing with SQL Azure Databases

Microsoft AccessSQL AzureWe at FMS are very excited about cloud computing and started developing solutions using Microsoft Azure including SQL Azure well before it was released to the general public. We feel cloud computing represents the next big platform change in the software industry and the most significant transformation since the introduction of the Internet in the mid-1990’s. It will transform the internal hardware, application hosting, and data storage business the same way electric companies eliminated most organization’s need to generate their own electricity.

While there’s been lots of discussions of Azure with .NET and SQL Server, we also see lots of opportunities with Azure and the Microsoft Access/Excel/Office community. In fact, we’re busily working on a way to integrate Access data and files with the cloud. Meanwhile, we’d like to share some tips and techniques for linking Access databases directly to tables in SQL Azure. This opens up huge new opportunities to create and deploy Access databases using a more robust, cheaper, and highly scalable platform that is enterprise quality.

I look forward to your feedback on two new papers:

Jul 16

Guest Speaker on Radio Show: Start Up or Shut Up

On Monday July 19, 2010, I’ll be live on the local radio show Start up or Shut up! which covers creating and running a small business.  It’ll be from 2-3PM on 1580 AM in Northern Virginia.

Start up or Shut up! is a LIVE radio show Monday afternoon from 2-3pm on the Big Talker 1580 AM hosted by Mark Bucher & Tom Gregg.

Jul 08

Celebrating the 4th of July, and Participating in our Democratic Processes

I spent the 4th of July watching the fireworks in DC next to the Lincoln Memorial. It's always a wonderful experience to do that beyond the basic joy of watching cool explosions. Sitting by the reflecting pool with friends and family let us reflect on what a wonderful nation and concepts our founding fathers created by prioritizing the freedom of the individual.

Over the past few months, I've had the fortune of participating in our democratic system much more than usual. 

I was recently appointed to the Fairfax County Information Technology Policy Advisory Committee (ITPAC) on behalf of the school board, which is giving me insight into the challenges our county and all local municipalities face with providing services to its citizens. Some of the problems are quite fascinating and complex. I've only been to one meeting and we won't meet until after the summer, so we'll see what comes of it.

Late last month, I was invited to participate in a lobbying effort on Capitol Hill as part of the Association for Competitive Technology. I did this twice almost 10 years ago, so it's been quite a while. ACT gives small technology businesses a voice amid the battle among the large players, and brought in participants from across the country for a one day blitz. It turns out that we as a group are very under-represented on the Hill and were warmly received at all the offices we visited. All elected officials want to support small business owners in their districts, but don't seem to meet them too often on the hill. I was very pleased to participate in small group meetings and had a chance to meet my Senator Mark Warner (D-VA, very impressive as he really understands the technology industry) and Congressman Moran (D-VA). We also met the legislative aides for Sen. Hatch (R-UT), Congressman Connolly (D-VA) and Wittman (R-VA), and Speaker Pelosi (D-CA). Unlike the others, the speaker's office is in the Capitol building and was an interesting maze to get to both physically and through security.

The general message was to make sure they considered the impact of their decisions on small businesses and how unintended consequences of their decisions may impact us. Whether it's regulating the internet, net neutrality, cloud computing, privacy, international laws, taxation, patents, etc., a lot of issues affect small technology businesses. Considering the impact of small business on employment in this country, it's critical that they don't create more problems than they solve.

I don't know how much of an impact we had, but it was gratifying to walk the halls of Congress and see how they operate. There are a lot of challenges facing our country and world. Technology holds the promise that it can help us increase our productivity and ability to address those needs in a meaningful way at a reasonable cost. I hope they continue to foster an environment that allows technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to prosper for the common good.