What’s New with Microsoft Access 2010 Macros

The new macro interface tool is a welcome feature and well overdue! fitting nicely with the rest of Microsoft Access 2010 namely the Ribbon Bar & easy to use templates.

The simple drag n drop actions and in line arguments makes this a far more intuitive system to use which is easily managed by expandable and collapsible sections.

This version now has more keywords and arguments and is a strong case to stick with macros and use VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) as a ‘plan B‘ option for the more advanced user and any procedure that no macro is designed to do.

How to Utilise and Apply Access Database Normalisation Techniques

Access Database Normalisation levels 1, 2, 3; getting normal about it!

The process of Database Normalisation was developed by E.F.Codd who is widely considered the father of relational database theory.

There are several rules which provide theoretical structures and disciplines which are not always practical to follow but help provide the main goals which are:

  1. Eliminate redundant information
  2. Increase data integrity
  3. Make systems more efficient

Modern databases should be in BCNF Boyce-Codd Normal Form which is deemed to be at third normal form of which there are considered to be five in all. This article focuses on what I believe is considered a good balance to applying some of these rules and covers up to the third norm of database normalisation.

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Why it is Essential to Regularly Compact and Repair Microsoft Access Databases?

One of the most powerful features of Microsoft Access is that it allows databases to consistently increase in size. This way you do not have to worry about size limitations while developing the databases or while working on them. On the other hand, this means that even if you delete a record or even entire tables, Access simply indicates that the space may be made use of, for new records without actually giving up the space. Similarly, even if any extra space is created when you shorten or possibly modify records, that space is not released. This will not only cause enormous amount of defragmentation of the database, but more importantly it will eventually lead to corruption in the MDB files. The only way to restore data from the damaged files may then be to resort to high level MDB recovery.

The best way to make use of the extra space and the space created by deletions is to regularly compact the Access database. On the other hand, not compacting the Access database at all will mean that the extra space is being wasted and the database will continue to demand more space as more records are added.

Fortunately, Microsoft Access provides a powerful Compact and Repair tool that can be used to make use of the space available and to prevent excess defragmentation of the database. This tool works in two phases – in the first, it compacts the database so as to get rid of all the extra space and in the second, it repairs the MDB file if the fragmentation had caused any damage to it. The tool also helps in reducing the physical size of the database thereby making it more manageable for Access and also reducing the risk of requiring an extensive MDB recovery process. In fact, compacting an Access database is the only way that you can actually reduce the size of the database.

The frequency with which you should run the Compact and Repair tool depends a great deal on how often you use your Access database and more importantly on how frequently you add, modify or delete records from the database. If you are a regular user, then it is important that you run the tool often to reduce the risk of corruption in the MDB files. If you do not compact your database regularly, chances are that the MDB file may become corrupted at some point in time. You can then use the Repair utility to actually repair the corrupted MDB file. However, you should bear in mind that this Repair utility can only restore corrupted data objects such as records, tables and indexes.

If after running both the Compact and Repair tools, your database still appears damaged, there is no need to panic. It should still be possible for you to restore almost all your data but you will need to use more specialized, third-party tools such as Advanced Access Repair from DataNumen to carry out an MDB recovery. While these tools are very powerful and have the ability to restore data from seriously corrupt MDB files, they are also very efficient and easy to use.

The official website of Advanced Access Repair is http://www.repair-access.com/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alan_Nice

This article explains why and what the ‘Compact and Repair’ feature is when using Microsoft Access databases (version 2003 or earlier) though it also applies to later versions (Access 2007 and 2010 uing the newer file extension .ACCDB).

The author is spot on regarding why you use it and how it basically works which is very clear. I like to refer to ‘Compacting’ the database which reduces the file size issue (as a fragmented file) by ‘squeezing the air out in between‘ bringing the file into a normal manageable size.

The added point to mention here is the ‘Repair’ element which also releases the locking file (.LDB file) when used in a multi-user environment and therefore adminstrators should ensure they are the only user using the database (as exclusive mode) before running this utility.

Microsoft Access IIF Function in a Query

This video tutorial is clear and simple to follow and explains the IIF function well (in it’s simplest form).

Users who are normally familiar with Microsoft Excel’s IF function will be able to relate to this function as it is the same!

The only aspect you will need to know of course is how to create a calculation in a query which is demonstrated quickly in this video but if want to know more about how to calculate in a query and use some of the other tools namely, the Expression Builder.

Here’s a brief history of Microsoft Access

Here’s a brief history of Microsoft Access just in case you wish to step back and reminisce

A brief history of Microsoft Access

Late 1992, Microsoft released the first version of Access (version 1.0) desktop database application for the Windows operating system and was shortly replaced with version 1.1 in mid 1993 to incorporate better compatibility with other Microsoft Office products of that time and more importantly introduce the ability for programmers to code this application using Access BASIC.

Version 1.1 was buggy! and had performance issues and in the same year Microsoft released Windows 3.1 operating system along with Microsoft Office 4.3 Pro (suite of applications including Excel, Word, PowerPoint with Access – version 2.0) as it required the improved hardware, software memory and the power supported by Windows 3.1.

This was an ideal desktop database application tailored to the small to medium sized business that required a low cost database. At that time, the capacity of a disk hardrive was less than 100 MB (mega bytes) and typical document file sizes were in the 100’s of bytes. Continue reading “Here’s a brief history of Microsoft Access”

Microsoft Access Databases – Learning the Fundamentals

The Access database application provides a rich set of powerful tools ranging from a simple database design model to the multi-user network version using Access’s administrative tools at all levels which include the Relationship Window, Database Splitter, Linked Manager Tool and Access Security module to name but a few.

If you have wondered where you start to learn about Microsoft Access the quickest and simplest way, then welcome as I will step you through and guide you to learning Access the easy way!

Access beginners sometimes find this application overwhelming as there are a lot of objects and components to an Access Database. I am going to start by de-mystifying some of these objects and introduce you to Access Terminology first and foremost.

Getting to grips with some of the Access terminology will serve as a useful glossary for learning and mastering this application and any supporting resources you may use.

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Access 2007 – The Navigation Pane Window View


This video tutorial is a good overview for those new to the Access 2007 screen and how objects are managed into groups and other filter views. It is a vast improvement from the previous database window (of earlier versions).

The Navigation Pane Window view contains all the Access objects stored as it is in one file. You can create, edit, open, delete, duplicate, search and maintain natural groups.

I like the quick ‘right’ mouse click on the ‘Navigation Pane’ banner to set properties including showing and hiding system objects.

Here’s one of my shortcut tips; press the F11 function key from the keyboard to toggle the hide/show the Navigation Pane Window view instead of clicking the >> << chevron icons on the banner.

Planning an Access Database – Video

This video from YouTube takes you from the very beginning even before working with the actual database application which is often overlooked when designing and planning an Access database.

It’s a good guide to help relate how you actually would use and benefit from any database in the ‘real world’ making this a very human and user friendlier approach and best of all it’s ‘geek’ speak and jargon free!