Microsoft has officially designated FMS President Luke Chung as a Microsoft MVP for supporting the Microsoft Access community.
Since the official launch of Microsoft Access twenty years ago, Luke Chung has been at the forefront of the Microsoft Access community (read his impression on the day Microsoft Access debuted). He has written numerous articles, spoken at conferences around the world, and collaborated with the Microsoft Access development team over the years. His leadership propelled FMS to the world’s leading developer of commercial products for Microsoft Access with tens of thousands of customers in 100+ countries.
While there are more than 100 million social and technical community members, only a small portion are selected to be recognized as Microsoft MVPs. Each year, around 4,000 MVPs are honored. 982 were recognized on July 1, including Luke. These individuals were chosen because they have demonstrated their deep commitment to helping others make the most of their technology, voluntarily sharing their passion, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with the community. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They come from more than 90 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in more than 90 Microsoft technologies. Microsoft Announcement
There are many, many legacy Microsoft Access databases that need to be supported and enhanced. Often the original developer is long gone and there’s little to no documentation available. Yet, you’re expected to take care of it.
No matter what technology it is, taking over someone else’s work is always challenging. It’s even more challenging if you become responsible for a system that you (and no one else) understands.
FMS President Luke Chung explored this topic during his presentation at the Portland Oregon Microsoft Access User Group Conference. Learn about the issues and techniques we’ve learned over the years to triage, enhance, and support Microsoft Access applications, including migrating and upsizing to SQL Server and other platforms.
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 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.
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
There are many things a user does with an application that need to be preserved either during processing, between screens, between sessions, or between application updates/versions. When designing a system, it’s important to consider what needs to be kept and where/how to do this. If designed properly, the data should also support multi-user environments.
Users are commonly annoyed to be forced to re-enter their last specifications when the application should start with that as its default. After all, a computer is supposed to be good at remembering things, right?
There are several ways to preserve user information during a session, on a PC, and/or between PCs:
Keeping Selections in Memory for the Current Session
Using the Registry to Store User Information Between Sessions
Using Private Tables to Store Information Between Sessions
Microsoft’s SkyDrive service has offered everyone a free 25GB hard disk in the cloud. This lets you store your files, backups, and even share files with others. It’s an amazing free offer that we’ve mentioned in the past.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has just reduced the free amount to 7 GB. That’s still generous, is more than Apple’s iCloud, and is what’s offered to new customers. For a limited time, any registered SkyDrive user *who has uploaded files to SkyDrive* as of April 22nd can opt in to keep 25GB of free storage while still getting all of the benefits of the new service.
So, if you already have a SkyDrive account, they are letting you keep your 25GB disk but you need to claim it.
Simply log into your SkyDrive account at skydrive.com with your Microsoft’s Windows Live credentials. On the bottom left of your account page, and click on the “Manage Storage” link. You’ll see a listing of storage plans, and under “SkyDrive Free” a button that says “Free upgrade!”
Not familiar with SkyDrive? In addition to being a hard disk in the sky, SkyDrive also has software you can install on your device (PC, Mac, mobile) and keep folders in sync. Here’s an overview of the new features from CBS Moneywatch: Microsoft gets cloud storage right with new SkyDrive
To use combo boxes effectively, learn about the following properties:
* LimitToList: Set this property to Yes to prevent values that are not in your list. * AutoExpand: Set this property to Yes to automatically select a matching value in the list as you type. * ListRows: Set this value to a high value so that the drop down shows as many list items as space allows.
On a form with multiple ComboBoxes, you may want to make the selection in one ComboBox limit the choices in another ComboBox. To do this, add code to the “AfterUpdate” event of the first control that updates the RowSource property of the second control.
Software System to Manage Impact Aid Suvey Forms for Department of Education Funding
See how our Microsoft Access database application is helping the Washington DC Public System (DCPS) more efficiently and accurately secure their Impact Aid funding from the US Department of Education.
What is Federal Impact Aid for Primary and Secondary Education?
Many local school districts across the United States include within their boundaries parcels of land that are owned by the Federal Government or that have been removed from the local tax rolls by the Federal Government, including Indian lands. These school districts face special challenges — they must provide a quality education to the children living on the Indian and other Federal lands and meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, while sometimes operating with less local revenue than is available to other school districts, because the Federal property is exempt from local property taxes.
The Impact Aid law (now Title VIII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) has been amended numerous times since its inception in 1950. The program continues, however, to support local school districts with concentrations of children who reside on Indian lands, military bases, low-rent housing properties, and other Federal properties, or who have parents in the uniformed services or employed on eligible Federal properties. The law refers to local school districts as local educational agencies, or LEAs.
To secure this funding, school districts send survey forms to their students’ parents, collect the results, and submit the claim to the Department of Education.
Helping the Washington DC Public School System Process their Federal Impact Aid Survey Forms and Secure Funding
As you can imagine, the federal government has a lot of workers and property in Washington, DC that don’t pay local property taxes to fund education.
The Washington DC Public Schools (DCPS) consists of over 100 public elementary and secondary schools and learning centers. Each year DCPS sends out survey forms to determine the residential and parental employment status of their students. This information is used to determine Impact Aid funding for students who live or have parents who work on federal property.
Database Software Solution
By automating a process that was previously performed manually, FMS helped DCPS achieve increased efficiency and accuracy with an easy-to-use, easy-to-deploy, and easy-to-support, multiuser Microsoft Access application.
Professionally designed and deployed, FMS created reports and processes to help DCPS identify a larger number of federally connected families, and file the forms to obtain federal funding.
The application increased funding which more than paid for our services and allows DCPS to devote more resources to their classrooms. The payoff will continue year after year.
Let us know if your school systems could benefit from claiming these Impact Aid funds with our database application.
Microsoft Access Database Documentation and Analysis
300 Ways To Create Better Microsoft Access Applications
FMS is pleased to announce Total Access Analyzer 2010 is now shipping with support for both the 32 and 64 bit versions of Microsoft Access 2010. Total Access Analyzer is the world’s most popular Microsoft Access product winning every Best Access Add-in Award since 1994. This is the tenth major release of Total Access Analyzer since its debut in 1992.
Comprehensive Microsoft Access Database Documentation
Total Access Analyzer examines each Microsoft Access database to provide detailed documentation of individual objects and their relationships to each other. Comprehensive code analysis of VBA module code and macros is also performed. A powerful search features lets you find any string across all the properties, macros, and modules. Over 375 presentation quality reports are available with a wide variety of customization, sorting, and filtering options.
Avoid Crashes Before You Ship
The popularity of Total Access Analyzer is its ability to help Access users and developers improve their applications, avoid errors that can cause their solutions to crash, and learn best practices to increase their skills. By using Total Access Analyzer to take over an existing application, during development, and before deployment as part of one’s quality assurance process, developers can avoid embarrassing mistakes and improve consistency and performance.
Most importantly, Total Access Analyzer detects 300 ways to avoid errors, apply best practices, and improve performance. By leveraging our years of experience and customer feedback, FMS has created the most powerful system for diagnosing Microsoft Access applications. For instance, Total Access Analyzer can detect broken references to tables, fields, forms, reports, macros, and VBA code that will cause the database to crash as soon as they’re encountered. It finds unused objects (tables, queries, forms, and reports), macros, classes, procedures, variables, constants, etc. to help developers get rid of unnecessary and old work.
Advanced analysis is also performed to detect inconsistent field definitions across tables, duplicate SQL definitions, macro command problems, etc. Multi-level object and code relationships are presented with three advanced hierarchical diagrams showing application flow, data flow, and object containership.
Microsoft Access users, developers, and consultants of all levels rely on Total Access Analyzer to deliver great solutions. “Total Access Analyzer is an amazing product that I’ve relied on and recommended for years,” said Sal Ricciardi Programming Writer for Microsoft Corporation. “It’s a huge time saver.”
Total Access Analyzer 2010 adds many enhancements in addition to supporting both 32 and 64 bit versions of Microsoft Access 2010. Its VBA module code parser now supports the conditional compiler syntax (e.g. #If VBA7 Then) that’s common for supporting 32 and 64 bit environments. There’s advanced macro documentation and analysis that includes a “macro compiler” to validate if macro commands have the proper number of parameters. Improved views and reports simplify the review and printouts of macro lines scattered in embedded macros across the forms and reports. New temporary variable analysis documents and detects undefined and unused TempVars set by macros and modules. A variety of other new suggestions were added to detect timer event inconsistencies, query performance enhancement opportunities, and reserved word conflicts with the upcoming SQL Server 2012. With all the new features, Total Access Analyzer remains the most powerful diagnostic tool for Microsoft Access databases.
“Total Access Analyzer provides the comprehensive documentation and analysis that empowers Access users and developers to takeover existing Access applications and enhance them,” said Luke Chung, President and founder of FMS. “Total Access Analyzer offers a cost-effective way to understand what’s going on in a database, detect errors, improve quality, and learn Best Practices. It should be part of the quality assurance process during development and certainly before shipping. If it doesn’t pass Total Access Analyzer’s review, it’s not ready for deployment. It’s fundamental to our own Access development efforts.”
Availability and Pricing
Total Access Analyzer 2010 is available immediately from FMS for $299. Existing owners of Total Access Analyzer can upgrade for only $199. Total Access Analyzer is available via ESD and also comes with a professionally printed user manual and CD.