Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Managing Cursors, Quotes, Subforms, and Missing Data

Christopher Weber looks at four problems: handling missing data in reports, customizing the cursor, variable sized subforms, and managing quotes.
Read the article in pdf format here

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Choosing and Working with Option Boxes

Access provides three different ways for users to select among multiple choices: check boxes, option buttons, and toggles— and then there are option groups. Peter Vogel looks at what you can (and can’t) do with these tools.

Here is Peter Vogels article on MS Access Option Boxes

Did someone say holiday ?

Doug Steele shows how to automate the creation of table of holiday dates for use in your databases.
Read the first part of this article here and the actual article on holidays here.

Consolidating Your Data With Queries

This was my second ever article for Smart Access back in 1998. Nothing much has changed when it comes to group by queries, if you want to be a good Access programmer, you need to know all the tricks that you can do with these queries.

Microsoft Access's Query/SQL environment, along with its support of functions and complex expressions, makes Access a powerful tool for consolidating data. Access's ability to work with many different database formats also gives you the ability to explore data in many different data sources. As I discovered, there's more to consolidating data than clicking the Totals button in the Query Design window, and I'm going to share that information with you in this article.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Access 2010 - VBA Book

My good Scottish friend Andrew Couch has written a book on Access 2010 VBA
Go to Amazon to read about the book and pre-order

Ordering Controls, Fixing Bugs, and Speeding Up Remote Databases

Chris Weber returns to his list of most asked questions to address some pressing issues for Access developers. This PDF article discusses managing your control’s tab order, provides an easy solution for an annoying Access bug, and shows an easy way to improve performance when retrieving large recordsets from remote computers.  Click here to read the article

PDF: Outputting Flexible Data

Producing static reports is easy—but what if your users want to be able to customize their output? Dave Gannon and Nich Mann look at all the options available to you and let you in on the best answer.  Click here to read the MS Access article

Its not the backup system that counts - its the recovery

Two weeks ago, my Access 2003 laptop bit the dust, stopped working, kaput.  Doesn't matter how good your backup systems are its always tense when you go hunting for those files.  In my case the main backups were created using Norton's 360 on a Terabyte drive and I had recovered files from there a few times so I wasn't too worried. But when I looked at the files from another PC using Norton's they weren't there.  Norton's packs everything into an encrypted /file and Norton's from the other machines only showed the backups from that specific machine.  An hour of madly typing in a Logmein session with a Nortons engineer at 3 in the morning and I finally worked out the trick that allowed me to recover the files from a different PC.  It wasn't obvious in the help file etc   You know the story... After the Easter weekend a Chinese guy at the local PC shop did a disk mirror and I got my older laptop working again so I was back to normal. 

Moral of the story.  Never rely on just having a backup system, its much more important to rely on testing the backup system with recoveries.  Irrespective of what your backup system is, delete an unimportant file and then recover it.  Once I tried this with a big company and they sheepishly said they couldn't, all their backup tapes were empty.

"Its the recovery that counts "  Try it now..  Not next week  Now.   
Garry Robinson - Access MVP 2006-2011