Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Access 2007 Resources for CAE Class 27th May 2009

Just a friendly hello to the class and to anyone interested in Access resources to follow up. Microsoft Access is a veteran program, bits have changed particularly from Access 2.0, but many of the basic fundamentals have been steady and reliable since Access 7.0 / 1995. So, whatever skills, knowledge and culture people have written about in books and on the web are still relevant to Access in 2009.

Access 2007 has of course a new look – the Office Button, the Ribbon, the Navigation Panel, but the fundamental features are still there.

Microsoft Access Resources:

Access USENET newsgroups of course have been there for yonks – you can tap on reasoning and ideas that were discussed more than 10 years ago. They are easily accessible now, via Google resources.

microsoft.public.access (often abbreviated as m.p.a.) is one group – but there are many subgroups under the microsoft.public.access tree.

comp.databases.access can be more roughhouse but lots of knowledge there as well.

Utter Access is a more moderated forum, again with lots of interaction and knowledge.

We discussed the Leszynski naming convention – here is a wikipedia link.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Access 2007 Power Toys, well, nearly

Access 2007 has a host of new features, some of them long awaited over more than 10 years. A few features have been deprecated and lost. I don’t miss Data Access Pages at all, but the classic Database Container Window, losing that is really uncool. Yes, yes, yes, the new Objects Panel has some swish in operation and I like how it stays open to allow you to drag objects into the Designers smoothly. And initially, the collapse, expand is fine. In the long term, when a your database ages and you have heaps of objects, getting to one isn’t so fine and you can’t see remarks you’ve made on the objects in a grid view. Gunter Avenius has a lovely tool that looks and feels a lot like the old DCW called DBC2007. It’s a COM Add-In, programmed in .NET Framework 2.0 and is triggered from a new custom icon on the Home Tab of the Ribbon. Just lovely.

Not to forget one indispensible and free programming tool, the venerable MZ-Tools 3.0 VBA IDE enhancement.

Herr Gunter has also produced a WYSIWYG Custom Ribbon Creator for Access, Excel and Word. There is a limited capacity free edition and a paid edition. Garry Robinson talks about it in a Database Journal Article. If you don’t know much about custom Office 2007 Ribbons (I don’t have much experience), here’s an article and download on the Custom UI Editor Tool – Ken Getz, a veteran has a three part article on MSDN on Customizing the Ribbon. He makes reference to the 2007 Office XML Schema Reference. You’ll also want to read about the List of Control IDs, the Icons Gallery as well as the general overview of the Office 2007 UI.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Access 2007 New Features

Reiterating new features for products can be a soulless exercise. Sometimes you brighten up when those features are accessible and relevant. Here's a concise and useful article at fmsinc on Access 2007.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TED Presentations

I’ve enjoyed a fair number of recorded TED presentations and thought their speakers were riveting. This is the first time I have seen the TED Commandments (graphic hosted by


Friday, May 1, 2009

Office 2007 Service Pack 2 followup

Good to know Office Watch has a bead on Service Pack 2 and are determined to track it’s health. They’ve summarised Microsoft remarks in their Changes and Problems post. I also noticed that Service Pack 2 does not come with revised Office Help files – but I do remember seeing Office Help updates once in a while via Windows Update. These new files though are dated 28th April 2009 which postdates SP2 release to distribution. Tags: ,