Monday, August 04, 2014

Access Web App technology is important as demonstated in this talk.

In this talk at SharePoint 2014 USA, the very important topic (to SP people) of what is happening to InfoPath and Forms in SharePoint 2013+ featured a lot of Access technology. To be more precise, Access forms were displayed in the great Excel Web Surveys (Available now), List Forms (Later 2014 and displayed in the talk) and there was even a good demo of Access 2013 at the 33rd minute of the talk.  This happened in front of a big audience of over a 1000.  In slide 1, a green tick shows where the Access web form technology is used and in slide 2, you will see where the Access web app is demonstrated in the video. If there are InfoPath users reading this, don't panic, its still being supported for many years to come according to the talk.


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Access Web Apps Home Page at

I have created a page at where I will put most of the links and detail pages on the Access 2013 Web apps technology.  If anyone has a resource page or video they would like to share, post it here

In last weeks competition, Jeff Pye and Robb Wait won copies of Professional Access 2013 Programming ebook.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Forget the lamp posts - glow in the dark trees


A really great story (unless you don't like tampering with nature) about an invention that has managed to pass the glow in the dark properties of jellyfish into plants.

See an Access Desktop App running normally using cloud data and more

This edition I have some more videos on Access Web Apps from my talk at the Aussie SharePoint conference. 

Video 4 describes what you get when you start a Web App from scratch. Its a bit different to ordinary Access desktop so its worth reviewing the features. Video 5 shows a desktop running with all the data in the cloud.  This totally rocks and speaking of which, its rock solid with SQL Server on Azure and ODBC connections. Video 6 explains how you setup the ODBC so you can connect your desktop with a read/write connection to SQL Server in the cloud.

If you followed last weeks newsletter and watched the videos, you are now up to video 4.  Here is the full deck of Access Web App videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Win a copy of Professional Access 2013 Programming by Teresa, George, Ben and Dagi

In one of my YouTube videos on Access Web Apps, I discuss a "Click on a New Macro Button" that transfers the current Task into what table ?  Tell me here the name of that table and you will be in the running to win one of two copies of Professional Access 2013 Programming in eBook form.

Correct entries will be drawn by using the rand() function in Excel and those with highest random value will win and I will announce the winners here and by email a the end of July.

Prize was won by Jeff Pye and Robb Wait

Garry Robinson
Access MVP since 2006

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Talk On Access 2013 Web Apps Running at Office 365/

Last week I gave a talk at a big Australian SharePoint conference about Access 2013 Web Apps. This was remarkable in itself as no SharePoint person has ever listened to me before. To get tuned up for the presentation, I made some YouTube videos.  You can watch the first three of those Access Web App videos here

Video 1 -  Introduction to Access Web Apps and your humble scribe (me)
Video 2 - This is probably the first movie ever made on an iPad that shows an Access Web App. You would watch this just to get a feel of what a good Web App would look like.  I am not trying to sell the App I wrote, just demonstrate the tool.
Video 3 - Here is my take on setting up a Web App from scratch on  It shows what happens when you use the Table template.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Monday, July 07, 2014

Making The Grade

Its good to have look at challenging query situations every now and again as most Access problems are solved by queries, not code.  Doug Steele wrote an article on how to classify student marks into Grades A to F.  Have a look and see if you can follow the logic. Even if you can't, if you are a database programmer, you may need to one day.

You will find many challenging articles on queries on the LHS of Doug's article.  Read one query article a week and you will be a much better programmer as a result.

Free Ticket to ShareThePoint conference in Sydney


You need to be able to attend the conference for at least one day. It runs for 2 days at the Hilton in Sydney.

Links to Sydney details here

Garry Robinson
Access MVP 2006-2015

Friday, June 27, 2014

Read this to feel PtrSafe about Office 64 Bit compatibility

If you write Microsoft Access databases with basic VBA code and no fancy Windows calls, you will find your database will run with Office 32 bit and Office 64 bit with no problems. But if you have used fancy windows library calls, you are likely to get this bug

Compile error 
The code in this project must be updated for use on 64-bit Visual Basic VBA7. Please review and update Declare statements and then mark them with the PrtSafe attribute.

This issue is discussed in detail here at Microsoft and Conditional Compilation is discussed here

Better still, here is some code that now works with both Office 32 bit and Office 64 bit VBA

'Office 64 Bit Code - Conditional Compile

#If VBA7 Then
  '64 Bit code
  Public Declare PtrSafe Function etc etc

  '32 Bit code

  Public Declare Function etc etc
#End If

and the full code looks like this picture

Thursday, June 12, 2014

19 mod 5 <<< Does this ring a bell

If I typed

ival = 19 mod 5
msgbox "The answer is " & ival

or what would I get for

 22 mod 10

Read about the mod operator here     Sorry no clues, this is good to work out.

If you head to, choose the Index words Key (see picture), and type Mod, you will find a few articles where Mod is used.

Sydney SharePoint Conference in July

I am speaking at the Sydney ShareThePoint conference on July 15th. The Agenda for the conference is here

My 1hr talk is advertised as follows

Access MVP Garry Robinson now collects billing and to-do items from 5 sub-contractors across 30 projects in using an Access 2013 Web App. It's secure, contractors only see the projects they are assigned to and it runs well in all browsers and even on iPads.

In this session, Garry will address these points:
What have I learnt in the short time that I have been developing the system ?
How would an Access Web App fit into a SharePoint world?
What about Office 365, do Access Web apps have a future in the cloud?
And where does the legacy desktop database fit in ?

Hope to see you there   

Garry Robinson
Microsoft Office Access MVP

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Use Your Skills as A Database Developer to create a Web/Sharepoint App

In my blog post entitled Impress the Head Of the IT Department For the First Time,  I said that I had adopted a new development tool for collecting data in the cloud. That tool is the spanking new 2013 Microsoft Access Web App environment.

Access Web Apps are new and powerful edition to SharePoint 2013. They provide you with a rapid way to generate an interface that runs on PC's, iPads and Android and can be viewed in Firefox, Opera, IE and Chrome. But its what the interface sits on that is most impressive, clean crisp screens that use SharePoint security fronting SQL Server both on-premise and in the cloud. Even the macro environment, much despised in desktop Access, produces SQL Server stored procedures.  But who cares about all that, does it work?   YES.

If you click here, you can see some screens from the Access Web App that we are running to manage task lists and timesheets (for billing) on Office 365.

But as you probably want to find out what Access Web Apps are all about, I strongly recommend this presentation from Jeff Conrad and Chris Usher entitled Anyone can build a SharePoint App with Microsoft Access.  It goes for a full hour so settle back with a beer and some nachos and enjoy.

Happy Garry
Before you get worried that everyone will be developing Access Web Apps, I am of the belief that Access desktop developers with patience and a good knowledge of what Web Apps can do will be very well suited to this "Totally Different Development Environment". The exception to this will be those who expect the same old Access Desktop in the web. That ain't happening any time soon.

I am a happy man, this new environment could well become one of the most productive environments in the cloud just like Access still is on the desktop and on file servers.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Purrfect Job Interview

My sister has a friend who was undertaking a job interview using video on an smart phone.  There were four people who were talking to her and looking at her video on a TV.  After a minute her face morphed into a speaking cat. As she was not tech savvy, she had no idea why she was a cat or how to make herself back into a talking person. She completed her 20 minute interview as a cat.

She later found out that her daughter was trying out a Cat App on the phone earlier in the day. The interview was conducted in a humorous spirit and I will not tell you if she purrfect for the job. 

Impress the Head Of the IT Department For the First Time

If you tell the head of IT in a large company that you are thinking of writing an Access Desktop database running on a file server, he/she would probably ban it.  I know that you would probably be successful but the IT manager would probably not be happy. Most of my business in big companies has been with technical managers who haven’t involved the IT department. Please don’t tell them

If you were to tell the same head of IT that you were going to write a database that was secured by SharePoint, hosted in SQL Server, very efficient in how it used SQL Server and that it ran on any HTML5 ready browser, he/she would probably be a happy person.

In a similar vein, if you told a manager of a company that ran its businesses across multiple locations around the country that you could write a database that used SharePoint security, SQL Server and HTML 5. If you then said the database could be running in Office 365 anytime, I think you may have an interested boss.

This brings me to my story. I am now running my company’s important time sheets collections in the cloud.  For the last 7 years, provided us with simple html screens where each contractor that works for me would only see the projects that they were assigned to at that time. Entering timesheets was very easy and could be done from any browser. I downloaded the information from BaseCamphq and produced invoices and management reports in an offline Access database.
We are now doing our data collection in an App that I wrote for the Cloud in 3 weeks part time. I have configured the App to work securely like BasecampHq did. I have also set it up so that all our desktop billing software works the same as before. Can you guess what program I used to build the online HTML5 interface to SQL Server hosted in Office365  ?  Stay tuned  …

This was posted as a youtube video here

Garry Robinson - Manager of a handful of very good Access developers in Australia

Monday, April 28, 2014

Closing a database at a certain time every day

Compacting an Access database is important because it clears out the replaced objects and records and organizes the data according to the primary keys in each table. This can only happen when no one is using the database.

The easiest way to get everyone out of the database is with a macro that runs at a certain time of the day.  You can do this with VBA but if the user doesn't allow VBA to run for security concerns, this won't happen.

and if you want to find out how to easily compact a database, read last weeks post here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Compacting a database is now as easy as 123

Two months ago I released a new program called 123 for Microsoft Access. I had some comments and on reflection I decided it was too tricky for the average Joe. So I completely rewrote it to be more Office centric and its now called 123 for Microsoft Office and its a lot easier to use. Think of it as a collection of smart shortcuts for your current Office files and databases.

To illustrate how easy it is to compact a database that someone has open, here are the steps to setup a 123 shortcut and Compact the database.

Click on Select a File

Choose a MDB or ACCDB file

Your 123 shortcut looks like this, the people icon displays if database is IN USE

Click Compact. If the database is IN USE, Compacting will be attempted again in 10 minutes

Once everyone leaves the database, it will be Compacted
The next time you open the 123 program, click Compact and it will do it in one step. If it wasn't successful last time, it will click Compact for you automatically.

Check out and download 123 here   If you can, use Internet Explorer to download the program as its easier.

Garry Robinson
Office Access MVP since 2006