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.
One of the features of Microsoft Windows Server that is increasingly popular over the last few years is the Terminal Server and more recently RemoteApp. With few exceptions, most Windows applications work within a Terminal Server environment. By doing so, your investment in existing applications, and the power of Windows desktop features and interoperability, can be exposed over the Internet.
This is particularly powerful for database applications such as Microsoft Access since it eliminates the need to send large amounts of data over the Internet for Access to process and users do not need to install Access on their machine. With RemoteApp, you can set up a terminal server experience where your users can only run your application without running other applications or browsing your network. Easily web enable all your desktop applications.
In our Microsoft Access, VBA, and VB6 programs, we often need to pause processing for a certain period of time, or until a specific time, and then continue processing. One common way to do this is to use the DoEvents function in a loop while waiting, however, this method consumes the CPU time and slows down the PC considerably. This is a significant problem when pausing for more than a couple of seconds, when users will notice the slow down. Use the Sleep command instead.
In Microsoft Access tables, the AutoNumber field type allows you to automatically assign a unique sequential number to each row in a table. AutoNumber fields are often used as the Primary Key, since they are unique and permanent.
The release candidate of Office 2010 is now available, and Office 2010 is expected to be shipping by mid-year. Hopefully you take the chance to download it, or at least review some of the many videos and articles about the new features.
For Access enthusiasts, the new version makes Access even more accessible to non-developers by exposing more functionality without requiring code or queries. For example, Reports are much richer, with added calculation tools and the ability to combine data from multiple sources. Microsoft has also created a whole new set of Templates to get users started more quickly, and what can be characterized as data triggers for Jet databases.
Most interesting is the ability to create solutions that can be exposed to the web. There are lots of restrictions and it’s not the same as putting an existing Access application on the web, but by leveraging SharePoint and cloud computing, it’s a whole new option for Access users and developers.
Part of Office 2010 is the Office Web Applications (OWA), a web version of Excel, PowerPoint, Word programs that allows you to create, edit and host Office files on the web without having Office installed locally. Microsoft is actually providing 25GB of space for you for free on their new SkyDrive site (with you Microsoft Live account).
Note: After losing a court case in the UK, Microsoft has renamed SkyDrive to OneDrive.
In our continuing coverage of query tips and techniques, we've create a paper focused on the DELETE query in Microsoft Access. It covers the basics of DELETE query SQL Syntax. It's a very powerful feature and a fundamental part of relational databases since you can remove multiple records at one time, and can specify which records to delete by linking to data in another table.
The paper also covers these more advanced topics:
Query fails: "Could not delete from the specified tables"
Use DISTINCTROW with Delete Queries for Non-Key Field Joins
Understanding and using Delete Queries improves the performance of your applications and makes them easier to maintain versus doing the same changes manually or in code.
Many organizations use Microsoft Access to manage a list of email contacts. In conjunction with Total Access Emailer from FMS, it’s easy to send everyone a personalized email (such as a newsletter, order notification, or even a recipient’s individual invoice or sales receipt) in a convenient and automated way. Handling undeliverable emails and unsubscribe requests, however, can be tricky.
We’ve been using Azure over the past year for web/asp.net hosting and SQL Server solutions. We have been very impressed with its features and capabilties. We believe it will revolutionize how we create and deploy applications, and look forward to providing commercial and custom solutions and services with Azure.
We’re already working on several projects including the merging of the Windows desktop/Microsoft Access/Office with the web. We look forward to sharing more with you in the near future.
What do you think about Azure and cloud computing?
In Access 2007-Format databases (ACCDBs), the AppendOnly property for Memo fields allows you to store a history of the changes made to the field. The history of the Memo field can later be retrieved using the ColumnHistory method.