Ready to consider upgrading to Access 2010 or Access 2007?

“Ready to consider upgrading to Microsoft Access 2010 or Microsoft Access 2007?…It may well be worth it!…”

If you have been using Microsoft Access 2007 for a while now, moving to Access 2010 will be seamless and all you need to do is understand what new features have been introduced and what it has also replaced (where applicable).

However, a lot more users haven’t yet upgraded to Microsoft Access 2007 and are still using Access 2003 (or even an earlier version). So I’ve decided to include and combine the latest two versions and their new features to help with the transition and migration.

I will clearly point out where a feature is exclusive to either version so that you have the heads up and understanding of what you will expect to see and more importantly how to access the feature due to new GUI (graphical user interface).

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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 using Microsoft Access 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?

Building Your First Database with Microsoft Access 3One of the most powerful features of Microsoft Access database 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.

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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 IIF 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 ms access query and use some of the other tools namely, the Expression Builder.

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 “Brief history of Microsoft Access”

‪Microsoft Access 2010 – How to Create a Navigation Form‬

This video is a good advert that shows some of the new features – adding a navigation form with tabs that allows you to move between other forms replacing the conventional menu manager tool from previous versions.

It also gives you a quick overview of how sleek looking this version is compared to earlier versions (not so much Access 2007 but earlier) and how interactive the Ribbon Bar is to the selected item (object) with dynamic previews when formatting the components.

New users to Microsoft access database will find this a pleasing application to work with but be warned the learning curve is a little steep at first but with determination and persistence, you will be able to master this application much quicker than perhaps its predecessors.

By the way! You can always engage in a training session (or two) with me to learn Microsoft Access in quick time.

Structuring Queries In Access 2007

how-to-create-a-microsoft-access-database-new-form-2007People prefer to keep complex data sets in databases rather than in flat files because data can be found and grouped more precisely when it is stored in a database. The ability to draw data out of a database depends upon the ability to structure queries, or requests that define specific records. Structuring queries in Access 2007 is relatively easy because Access is designed to handle many different types of operators.

An operator is a special symbol or reserved word that triggers the database to act in a certain way. Access 2007 recognises several types of operators, including comparison operators, arithmetic operators, logical operators and special expressions such as like, between..and, in, and is null. You may also use combinations of these types of operators when structuring queries in Access 2007.

Comparison operators ask Access 2007 to perform a comparison between two values. In a query, a comparison operator can locate all records where a field value is greater than, less than, equal to, not equal to, greater than or equal to, or less than or equal to a specified value. Comparison operators can be applied to all fields that contain a literal value. A literal value is a value that has been directly entered into the field. Access recognizes four literals: text, numbers, dates and times, and constants.

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Microsoft Access Databases – Learning the Fundamentals

access-application-programmerThe 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 access database then the quickest and simplest way, then welcome as I will step you through and guide you to learn access database 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 access database 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.