Clint Covington: Software design, Microsoft Office Access

News, trends, and commentary about everything from software design (i.e. innovation, nailing scenarios, elegance), and my personal technology passion -- Microsoft Office Access.

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  • Blog Post: Silverlight resources post by ScottGu

    Scott Guthrie has a truly great post on Silverlight . You should be able to find anything you need to start ramping up--very cool, innovative technology! As a developer, it is definitely worth your time to get educated on the possiblities.
  • Blog Post: Security Considerations and Guidance for Access 2007 - MSDN article

    There is a new article by Access MVP Garry Robinson. "Find out how you can use Access 2007 to protect the information in your databases. Learn about encrypting files, administering passwords, converting databases to the new ACCDB and ACCDE formats, and using other security options such as SQL Server...
  • Blog Post: The runtime will ship May 15th

    I just heard from Erik that the runtime will ship as a free download on May 15th! I will post a URL to the download page when it is available. Enjoy!
  • Blog Post: Tip on renamed field names and debugging reports

    Today's Guest Writer: Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP I have a complex report with 5 grouping levels, subtotals, and three subreports for additional details of totals. There are also lots of calculated fields on the report with embedded control names. I had to rename some fields in the base query...
  • Blog Post: Reader question about macros and VBA

    A reader recently asked: Is there any way on Access 2007 to keep wizards and Switchboard Manager coding in VBA, any way developers "HAVE" to code for most applications. If a customer is buying an apllication from us, he is not going to trust what he bought?. Switchboard manager was great in its...
  • Blog Post: How to pull in Amazon web service data into Access 2007

    Today’s guest writer is Ric Lewis. Several weeks ago he started a general discussion about web services which turned out to be a popular post. This week he is providing the details of the books sample database. It would be sweet if someone takes this project and details it out a bit further. For example...
  • Blog Post: Cool As Ice uses Office Live and Access 2007 with custom ribbon

    Alan Cossey recently sent me a overview of how Cool As Ice is using Office Live and Access to track process information. He has found a couple bugs we will fix in SP 1 but overall it is working nicely for them. I thought some of you might appreciate seeing what others are doing with Access 2007. If you...
  • Blog Post: VBA Functions and RunCommand code samples sites

    I recently came across in an internal newsgroup a couple great sites that provide lots of code samples for expressions and runcommands. You might find this useful. Terry Wickenden's web site has lots of examples of RunCommands: http://www.accessruncommand.com Brendan Reynolds has a great...
  • Blog Post: Tips and tricks for designing forms and reports - part 3

    This is the final post of a three part series on Access Tips and Tricks provided by members of the Access team. This article focuses on non-obvious things new to the forms and report designers. The other articles in this series covered useful keyboard commands and a general topic on new databases, the...
  • Blog Post: My favorite Access keyboard commands - part 2

    I have a confession to make… I started hacking around in computers with Windows 3.1—never learned how to really use the command line. I know—I have fallen from grace for many of you developers. The mouse has been my friend. I’m trying to change and use keyboard shortcuts more often. Here is a list of...
  • Blog Post: Web service and sample book database that uses Amazon's Web Services

    Today’s guest writer is Access Program Manager Ric Lewis. Ric spent the last couple years with the Indigo team and just took an Access PM job. He is looking for some customer feedback on interesting web services scenarios. To start the conversation—he created an interesting and useful sample book database...
  • Blog Post: Tips and tricks from the Access team - part 1

    I have been working on a three part series of non-obvious tips and tricks for using Access 2007. The other series will be on designing forms and reports and my favorite keyboard shortcuts. I put together a rough draft of this series and sent it around to the Access team. Fortunately, many team members...
  • Blog Post: Macro improvements in Access 2007

    Access 2007 and Macros One feature that might be surprising to many experienced developers is the re-invigoration of macros in Access 2007. We have done a bunch of work in this area that we think benefits end users and developers in some scenarios. If you are running Access 2007 you will notice macros...
  • Blog Post: The runtime and developer extensions will be FREE!

    This morning we are announcing that the developer extensions and runtime will be available for FREE ! In the past, Access developers had to purchase the Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Office System in order to build and deploy runtime solutions. The product was costly at nearly $800 for the full version...
  • Blog Post: New SQL editing and versioning tool for Access

    I just got an email from Andrew Wrigley, an member of the UK Access users group, about a new tool he has developed for editing SQL. You all might find this interesting--Access SQL editing tools are so lame. I haven't used it but the screen shots look super interesting. Wingspan Swift SQL is a SQL...
  • Blog Post: What features do you want in Access 14?

    I know, I know--most of you are still trying to get the hang of Access 2007 and now I'm talking about the next version! Last week I sat in on 8 hours of outstanding ideas about the next version of Access by the development team—lots of cool ideas in the hopper. I want to start a thread/dialog about...
  • Blog Post: The Excel and Access Services team is growing - we have job openings

    The Excel/Access Services and Access teams have open test and PM positions for individuals who are smart and have passion for data applications. This is a great opportunity to have millions of people use your work every single day while working for one of the best teams at Microsoft (I'm not biased ...
  • Blog Post: MVP's Allen Browne's review and resource page on Access 2007

    Allen Browne has put together a nice resource page on Access 2007. I'm not sure I completely agree with the statement about too buggy for serious use--guess that depends on your definition of serious use. As with any major release there are some bugs that slipped through (the team will focus on fixing...
  • Blog Post: Access 2007 Runtime information

    I keep getting pinged on this topic--so let me share what information I can. There will be a Access 2007 runtime. The team is finishing up the work right now. It will support creating a runtime setup, saving a db to a template ACCDT, and SourceSafe integration. There are people working hard to get this...
  • Blog Post: How do you use Access?

    I was browsing Business Week last week and noticed a BlackBerry ad asking people to tell them what they do with their BlackBerry. I like effort to get to know their customers--something you can never understand with enough clarity. In the Access world it is tough because we have so many different customers...
  • Blog Post: Interactive chart/form filtering code sample

    One of the most enjoyable design challenges I have had over the last couple of years was redesigning how users can filter inside Access and Excel. The new filter dropdown menu and context menus were lots of fun to explore different designs and think creatively about how users interact with data. I wanted...
  • Blog Post: New site on Access ribbons with VBA and XML samples

    Access MVPs Gunter Avenius and Peter Doering have setup a site with information on ribbons from Access point of view, with lots of VBA and XML samples. The site is online in English on http://www.accessribbon.com and German http://www.accessribbon.de You might also take a look at my blog post...
  • Blog Post: My favorite software book of the year "Get Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application"

    For some time I have been a fan of the work done by 37Signals. They have a great understanding of the value of building simple software that people fiind useful. They recently self published Get Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application . This book is the best book I...
  • Blog Post: MSDN article "Transitioning Your Existing Access Applications to Access 2007"

    There is a good new article by Jan Fransen and Ken Getz that is designed to be a guide for users to take advantage of new features. Summary: Learn about some of the new features in Access 2007 and how you can take advantage of them to improve your existing Access applications. Read about some of the...
  • Blog Post: Design for filter favorites functionality in forms

    Access 2007 introduces a ton of new filtering tools that make it much easier to cut and slice data in different ways. I’m very happy about the new experience and think developers will spend far less time building filtering functionality because of the built in functionality. However, in all releases...
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