Friday, November 27, 2015

The Big PDF Conversion Part One

One of the problems I had converting the smart access articles when I bought the magazine was that a huge number many of the articles were wrapped up in the published format of the magazine.  I converted many of the articles into html which took FOREVER and many into pdf because that took Less than Forever. Unfortunately the pdf articles were hard to find on my website because the search engine didn't index them. Now I have substantial introductions to the articles in html and that means those articles will be easier to find. Here are links to some of the article that are in pdf from 2003 through to 2006.  I hope you enjoy them because that is all I have time for in this newsletter.

Before you read this list, do you have a work colleague or friend that loves Microsoft Access and may like to read this magazine?  If so send them to the AWeber page where their details will be professionally handled by a large professional company that specialises in email distribution and security. And hopefully they will enjoy the newsletter like you do :)

Navigating through recursion

Dates, Data Access and Presentation

Using Invisible Forms to Track Users

Combining Tables

Using Triggers

Using Invisible Forms to Track Users

Managing Cursors, Quotes, Subforms,and Missing Data

Choosing Options (with Option boxes and other controls)

Deleting Records,Reports, Data Design

Calculating the Median

Replace Your File API’s With The FileDialog Object  

Ordering Controls, Speed Up Remote Databases

Outputting Flexible Report Data

Simplifying Complex SQL

Flexible Normalization and Denormalization

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Official 2016 Upgrade Page

Here is a link to a page that Microsoft posted about upgrading to Office 2016.  After inquiring, it turns out that my email host has Exchange 2010 but so I have a way out eventually.  Time to get back on the horse.

Monday, November 16, 2015

"Whoa There Nelly" - Office 2016 Install Is A Horse Without Stirrups

The other day I was reading this article on the Office blog and this comment caught my eye.

7. Can I install a subset of the Office 2016 applications?  No, the ability to selectively install individual applications is not available with Office 2016. 

Bonanza (from Wikipedia)
 So being a good little Office Access MVP, I thought maybe there is a story in that , I can get the pictures of what the install process looks like but not actually install the software. As a veteran of installing every version of Office since Bonanza appeared on TV, I knew I could have a look at the install screens and then cancel at the end.  So I downloaded the combined 64 bit/32 bit Office 2016 ISO install package from MSDN.

I clicked Setup.exe and the words "We will be done in a minute" appeared instantly on my screen. I fell off my horse. I climbed back on and checked to see if Access 2013 was still there, the icon was blanked out. "Whoa there" I cried but alas things seemed to be progressing across the screen. I waited about 10 few moments and then Figure 2 appeared on my screen. I walked my horse back to the saddle yard thinking its 2016, its going to be exciting so I will learn to live with it.

Alas my horse had one last trick up its sleeve. I opened Outlook 2016 and there was the message  "Microsoft Exchange 2007 is not supported". Figure 3.

Alas I have now found out that my service provider for emails is running Exchange 2007 which I have always found to be a really good product. I doubt my service provider will change anytime soon so I guess I will have to unistall 2016. My horse bucked up high and ran out to the far end of the paddock. I now have to go and get it back.

Figure 1 - Instant Setup

Figure 2 - Install Finished

Figure 3 - Exchange Server 2007 Error

Summary:  If Office 2016 on your agenda, prepare well, your old versions of Office are going to be wiped off your computer, your Office VBA references will be made into 2016 references and no doubt there will be other inconsistencies and 2007 Exchange Server will definitely stop you in your tracks.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Setting Up A Survey Database - In Pictures

Hunting thru my old articles and I found one that I never got around to publishing on Survey databases. In the article I give all the basic steps so that you can enter data using Option Boxes (as in Figure 1 below).

Figure 1 - Survey database where users choose from option boxes for each question

Other articles on Surveys at include  Flexible Normalization and Denormalization and an article written by Helen Feddema also on Questionaires

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Sydney Microsoft Store - Who Says Australia is Backward

The other day I was invited to a preview of the first Microsoft Store outside America. This store is smack bang in the centre of Sydney's main shopping center and will look great when they open it tomorrow, job well done.  The store is packed with lots of Surfaces, Surface Books, a few phones, xboxes, giant touch screens, mice and keyboards. What I liked is Dell and other vendors also got good floor space. An article on the store here but the picture is from another store in USA. More pictures here

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The New Silk Road

Here is a really interesting 4 part series (45 mins x 4) on the railway and road system that China is building to Europe and even to America eventually.  The scale of project is pretty impressive.  Part one of the series is here

Favourites are not my favourite

In Outlook 2013, I find the Favorites (Favourites English spelling) folders list a little annoying.  The picture below shows you how to turn it off in the Ribbon

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Articles that I Wrote a While Back for Microsoft

Over the years I wrote articles that appeared on the Microsoft Site.  Not all the content is relevant now but they certainly were the subject of much research.

Restricting who can use your database

Security Considerations and Guidelines for Access 2007

Real World Microsoft Access Database Protection and Security

Conditional Formatting Using the Field Format Property and other Articles.

Tom Wickerath posted this article on conditional formatting many years ago and I found it quite intriguing becuase it didn't use the standard conditional formatting that is front and centre of later versions of Access and Excel.

This article was one of many that I refurbished from my old collections into this week. The other two by Tom that you may want to look at are

Use these techniques to optimize your Access/Jet applications
How to create a Crosstab Query

If I add an article to, you will find it on this page

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Jamaican Kids Learning Basketball

A few months ago I asked if any of the readers wanted to sponsor a Jamaican basketball program for kids who don't have a lot. 20 coaches volunteered their time and flew into Jamaica and  the video for that funtastic event is here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mapping Americas disgusting riverways

Here is a great story about data collection using google mapping technology. You've probably seen pictures of the cars driving around towns sucking up pictures of everything and mapping it with GPS. With these super little camera's, people are paddling around dirty rivers photographing and collecting data about the environment. Well done Google and really well done to the guys paddling in those rivers.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Open a Word Template and pass text strings to it using Bookmarks

In this VBA article, I show you how to fire up a word document and fill it with some data. A good example of this is filling in someones address details at the top of letter.

I have used this simple class library on quite a few projects.  Garry

BTW: Never over promise on automating Word, if you promise the world, you may not be able to deliver.

Access 365 Isnt Being Touted As A Office 365 Product

If your clients jump into Office365, don't be surprised that Access 2016 cannot be downloaded as described in this article.

See the Office 365 Business Plan Here. No mention of Access.

You will though find it front and centre in the desktop versions of Office 2016 as per this Microsoft online sales page

Be prepared to find clients that don't have Access licences anymore that thought they did. Guess they will have to stump up 9 bucks extra a month for the desktop version. I will stick to my philosophy from Sergeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes. "I know nothink"

Friday, October 09, 2015

How To Improve Microsoft Access Desktop

You will never get a chance to ask the Microsoft Access team for improvements to good Access Desktops again. Trust me, the time to get any changes to Access 2019 is quickly closing.  Just to whet your appetite, here are the top voted requests as of the 9th October

  • Make it possible to stop Access Desktop from being an Automation Server so that security is improved

  • Please make Access able to handle more data types as are commonly used in Server databases

  • Gracefully handle ODBC connection lost failure

  • When creating forms and reports, checkboxes should be centered in the space

  • Enable Ctrl-Spacebar to Popup Intellisense in Queries
  • add event: Before Leave Record

If you want some ideas, back in 2006 I wrote an editorial for Smart Access where we got the readers to send in their best ideas.  Maybe Garry's list will give you ideas for the Access Desktop requests sites above

How to Improve Access Web Apps

Surprisingly Microsoft has setup a website where you can enter/vote for your favourite request to Improve Microsoft Access Web Apps

As of the 9 October, these topics had 4 votes each

  • Give us a relationships window!

  • Enable saving of query layout

  • Please either do not take away public-facing Office 365 sites or enable anonymous access to AWAs elsewhere in Office 365

  • Please provide action queries, i.e. append, update and delete queries.

  • Increase the maximum size of an AWA database

  • Enable copying of objects in the Navigation Pane

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Windows 10 Privacy - IOS9 Ad Blockers

After reading this zdnet post on Windows 10 Privacy, I feel better about Microsoft's approach to collecting my data. In particular I love this quote

Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you. 

From the Apple camp, there is a different approach to socking it to advertising based business models. I looked for these ad blockers on our Ipad2 that is running IOS9 and it was not available. My older son also assures me that these tools in the old days mucked up pages that had embedded video content so he gave up on them. Maybe the new wave of blockers will work better like the story suggests.

On good ol facebook, Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook can do what it wants with adverts on the phone because it owns the app. You the consumer have now been warned by good ol Garry the editor.

Centennial Park Sydney - Advert Free

Friday, September 25, 2015

Whats New In Access 2016

Here is a link to whats new in Access 2016.

Clearly Access didn't make it into the brave new world of multi operating systems and different types of machines as did Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher   But given that all these online solutions seem to be devoid of programming, maybe waiting wont be a bad thing because Access without programming wont be Access anyway. Thats my editorial opinion.


Followup Notes:

Here is Q and A on programming in the 365 cloud (read not really)

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Variety Of Windows 10 Power User/Developer Posts

I have rolled two Windows 8 machines up to Windows 10. The most drama free upgrade in my long windows life.  Only thing I can suggest is watch for your anti virus support immediately after the launch.  I would check with your own antivirus company about compatibility before making the switch.

Here are some links that I have been asked to inform readers about. If you click on them, you will get me some credits with the people that decide my MVP award

Many Windows 10 Related Videos at the MS Channel9 site

Developing in Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 Development

Windows 10 Development in the Microsoft Virtual Acadamy

Enterprise support for Windows Edge and Internet Explorer 11

The Azure September virtual conference