Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference for Access


Julian Kirkness, Brent Spaulding, Crystal Long, and Pat Wood discuss Access Web Apps on the Microsoft video channel. This also includes demonstrations of linking to SQL Azure from Access, Excel, and SQL Server Management 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Digging Deep Into The Past

Many years ago I was very good at persuading Alta Vista and other search tools at the time to visit my Access web sites.  In sub folders on the sites I even had 10,000 pages devoted to getting link fees from CD Rom and book sites. Each of these pages said little more than If You Want to Hear the Music of The Bla Bla Band, Click here. These pages brought in 500$ a month till Mr Google came along and ignored them.

Hippos at Werribee Zoo
In those days I also had many good Access Articles articles organized to attract the search engines (they were called landing pages) across about 3 different domains. I found a few of them the other day and whilst they are a little old, they are worth bringing back from near extinction to my new site  http://www.vb123.com.au  See if these links get you interested.

A nice introduction into Lookup tables by Doug Thatcher called Lookup Tables – Improve data quality in your database

A simple article by Nirmala Sekhar called Track All Changes Made To A Database

and three pieces by your erstwhile editor entitled Exploring Your Data With Subdatasheets
plus SubDatasheets In Access 2000 
and an article that has been part of many of my jobs called    

Cleaning Up An Access Database








Friday, August 21, 2015

Building an Access Database from a Spreadsheet

A number of the Microsoft Access projects that I have been involved with are rescue missions for spreadsheet systems that have outgrown themselves. When I examine these systems they tend to have characteristics such a 12 individual monthly spreadsheets, one yearly spreadsheet that draws the results from the monthly sheets and maybe even another set of weekly report sheets jumbled into the system as well. Once these interlinked spreadsheets hit their second or third year, all the monthly spreadsheets have changed in design and the old information is only accessible by by a lot of manual cutting and pasting.

With good design and a few compromises, you can turn these into database systems that have easier navigation for input for users, report equivalent output and they do not require spreadsheet skills to run. This article tries to capture the techniques that I have used over the years to get these conversion projects up and running smoothly


FYI: I am currently working through my old content that didn't make it into the www.vb123.com.au conversion.   This is one of those stories.  Apologies for lack of content lately, life's deck of cards haven't been so good lately. 



Monday, August 17, 2015

Rosetta and New Horizons

Recently man has visited Pluto and tracked a comet  << Fixed link. See if these articles will whet your appetite on these magnificent achievements. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Building vb123.com.au using Azure


If you are a little old school and build a website using old ftp technologies, Microsoft's very successful Azure has a  Content Deployment that uses Dropbox and other modern cloud synchronization tools. The interesting thing about this is that you can build a website completely on your desktop and not worry much about the internet at all. And if you were happy hosting content in a site called MyLittleSite.Azurewebsites.com, you could be off and racing in short period of time.  Anyway to get a feel for what I now do to publish to Azure, look at the pictures on this page.

My Sharepoint Web Site Is Closing

The vb123.com sharepoint public facing website is almost closed.  This photo describes this short adventure for me.



http://www.vb123.com.au is the new star. It runs on Microsoft Azure websites. It is really fast and I will bet it is one of the few websites that provides not only search but indexed words to find content. Give it a rip, I certainly haven't wasted my recent research time. :)

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sub Atomic Particle Collider Doubles Down

Here is a really positive story about the restart of the sub atomic particle collider hidden under the mountains of France and Switzerland. Its a 27 km circuit and they are now searching for black matter. By the way, if you are bored with your online newspaper, try RT news, the provider of this story. The have good news and interesting TV documentaries.

Friday, April 03, 2015

In Through The Out Door

In 1979, Led Zeppelin finished their last album called In Through the Out Door. That was the last vinyl record that I ever bought, my tape collection at that stage numbered about 200 and I seemed to be moving house every three months.

In through the out door describes my current dilemma with websites. Last year I did what I thought was the right thing and upgraded vb123.com from a front-page based website [see old format here] to the "latest thing", an Office 365 public facing website. In January this year Microsoft announced that public facing websites would be phased out in a sliver of time, 2 years.

So now I have to workout a new way to present the 600 articles that makes up vb123.com. This is going to take time and in the meantime you won't see any new content from me.

So what is the plan you may ask ? At the moment I will aim to put the content on site that hosts SQL Server, ASP.net and probably will need to serve the framework for a WordPress site. A list of these types of hosts can be found here. I also need to find a way that I can edit content and change and drop pages in the website and still reflect those changes elegantly in the website. 

As I value my recently re-awarded MS Access MVP badge far more than my old collection of vinyl, I will attack this project and get back to you as soon as I can.

All the best till then, Garry Robinson

Friday, March 06, 2015

Google Search Engine Pointers - Content is King

Many years ago I ran a database that produced 1000's of html pages that pointed people to well known compact disk sites where I could make a little commission. That fooled search engines like altavista and excite back in the 90's to where I was making 100$s a month.  Google came along and I gave up that pursuit and just concentrated on my own content.  Here is a great article on what google is probably concentrating on. In particular I love this quote

"Google’s biggest threat is that users start going elsewhere (social media, smartphone apps) to find what they’re looking for"  Does that sound familiar Microsoft lovers ?





Monday, February 23, 2015

Cyclones have their good points, a very rare and cute animal and a weird shark


Last week two cyclones/hurricanes hit Australia at the same time and they were really big. Whilst that was bad news for some, surfing on the gold coast was amazing as shown in this photo from the Daily Mail.

The Eastern Australian Quoll is a carnivorous marsupial like the Tasmanian devil and has been totally wiped from mainland Australia because of feral cats mainly. It survives in Tasmanian in reasonable numbers. In the picture is a rare black Quoll that I confess I have never heard about.

The other day I spied one of these wobbegong sharks where I snorkel every other day. Never seen one in Clovelly bay before, unfortunately it was quite murky so I didn't get a great look.  Talk to you again in March.   Garry

2014 - The Three Access Amigos

My most used third party products that helped me with my Access development in 2014 were

  1. MUST - the upsizing tool for turning Access apps into good SQL Server apps
  2. Total Visual Code Tools - Clean up your VBA code and lot more
  3. FindandReplace - find any vba variable or access object or property and change it
Garry Robinson
Access MVP since 2006

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2014 - Access Web Apps - Send Emails

Jeff Conrad from Microsoft just posted this new email event feature for Access web apps.  I have been using it in our Timesheet app for a few months now and it works well.  The trick I use is to get it to post to SharePoint account and then AutoForward the emails from that SharePoint account to my own account where I collect my emails.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

SharePoint Public Facing Websites are Being Phased Out

I was notified by one of my readers that Office365 wouldn't let him create a public facing SharePoint website. This is detailed here at Microsoft and covered by ZdNet in this article. I will have more on this in the future. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Australia Day Iconic Photo

This selection of photos of people lying on blow up footware in blue water on Australia day will surely make you want to fly to Australia on a one way ticket. Unfortunately our local attempt at Bondi was cancelled due to rough conditions (and a bit of rain).  Finally good luck to all those in the New York - Boston areas with that huge snow storm. Garry

2014 - Switching Versions of Access

I invite anyone else to join in by following this article's link to vb123.blogspot.com and tell us your own way of switching Access versions (2013, 10, 7, 3). In the meantime lets get started with some ideas.

Scott McManus writes "The biggest thing for me is using Hyper V to manage different versions of Microsoft Access.  Scott discusses hyper V, the Access document search function and OneDrive for Business and SharePoint here

Ian Andrew from Canberra uses the Access icons on the taskbar as his database work is in 2010 and 2007.  He finds that and the MRU list in Access is enough.

León Carpay, a DataWareHouse specialist from Amsterdam and a long time user of the Access Workbench said "I’m really enjoying working with 123 for Microsoft Office though I do miss the version number feature of the Workbench". Don't worry Leon, there is a way around this which I will explain one day.

Garry, your editor, used to use The Access Workbench to switch versions  of Access.  Now I use 123 for Office which does switch versions of Access but has a smaller feature set than the good old Workbench. Alas I had to give up visual basic 6 eventually. That said, it now opens my most used Word and Excel files as well. I wrote the program, I had to give it a plug. 

123 for Microsoft Office in action


Chernoblyl Photographed from A Drone

Here is a neat video and story about the devastated lands that were Chernobyl. Its a lot more than just a ruined power station and the photography is well worth the trip.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-04/stunning-video-footage-chernobyl-devastation-captured-drone

Given that Chernobyl is in Ukraine, why not try an essay that discusses the different way that Russians handle adversity. Given the hoopla that is cranked out daily in the press about the how Russia is the bad guy in the Ukraine, its worth a read.  

2014 - Sue used these techniques a few times

Sue Waters came up with this list of code that she has been attaching to her databases in 2014

  1. Using reg keys with Access for keeping client settings, including client specific backend
  2. Giving user menu option to compact and repair currently connected backend
  3. Giving user menu option to change backend
  4. Adding ALL xx option to a combo box - eg. Combo box of all company divisions, and also having ALL DIVISIONS as default first option in drop down.
An article on Reg key 1) and Combo Box 4) can be found in the first link on this page

2014 - Outer Joins - How to write a query that gets all values from two tables

We continue the series of articles on things that helped us get through our Microsoft Access 2014 year with a piece from Kent Gorrell in Brisbane.

"What is an Outer Join? If we have two tables, in this example Sales and Orders and we want to see a full list of customers who have placed Either an Order or a Sale and also see the details of both. And not only that, we want to see what they haven’t done."



Click on the Outer Joins link on this page for the article

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Holographs

Along with Windows 10 launch, is an interesting new interface that uses holograms that are projected into your real field of vision. Read all about it here and if your kids are into MineCraft, you will see how you can build MineCraft into your living room.