Third Of Five - just another voice in the Collective

Currently talking about Access 2007 and other random topics...

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  • Blog Post: Access 2007's Improved Command Buttons

    Up until this point, Access has supported command buttons with text or a picture, but never both at the same time. This has been a long standing request from users: the capability of showing both the caption and the picture. In Access 2007, you will notice a new property off of the command button called...
  • Blog Post: The New Import/Export Specifications UI

    As I previously mentioned, we are now exposing Import/Export Specifications (Imex Specs) in the OM in a thorough manner. We also took the time to make importing and exporting less repetitive in the UI. In the past, to make use of Imex Specs, you had to go through part of the import/export wizard until...
  • Blog Post: Customizing the Office Button Menu (aka File Menu) and No-Ribbon Custom Solutions

    Even though most of the information on how to customize the Ribbon in Access 2007 is already out , there are two recurring question that I've been seeing being asked often: How can I customize the Office Button Menu (aka File Menu)? We allow you to show/hide any controls off of the Office Button...
  • Blog Post: The New Import/Export Specification OM

    In previous versions of Access (such as Access 2003), you can save the steps from an import or export operation into what we call Import/Export Specifications (Imex Specs). After saving it, you can always load it back so you don't have to customize the settings over and over again. One point of contention...
  • Blog Post: The New Access 2007 Switchboards

    Now that Access 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh (B2TR) is out, you will notice that we changed the Switchboard Manager functionality. Now that we have Disabled Mode and Embedded Macros , it was about time we revisited the switchboards that the Switchboard Manager cranks out and come up with something that...
  • Blog Post: Quick Trick: Copying Embedded Macros from one Property to another

    Now that we spent all this time talking about templates, how about we put to use something we learned about it in a totally unexpected way? Remember that we talked about how embedded macros are really represented as SaveAsText/LoadFromText alongside objects? Unlike VBA code associated with event properties...
  • Blog Post: Templates: How to create your own

    Now that we discussed extensively all about templates, we can talk about how this all this can be put at your service. You see, we will give you the capability (though not in the Access product itself - details will be forthcoming soon, hopefully) to generate templates out of any database (not ADPs...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Programmability

    Now that we talked about what Access 2007 templates are made of and how Access makes use of them to create brand new databases, it begs the question as to what you can programmability-wise. The answer to that question lies in the fact that we changed Application.NewCurrentDatabase by adding a new...
  • Blog Post: Templates: SharePoint comes into Play

    When you go create your new database from a template using Access 2007, you will notice a checkbox right by the OK button and path where you will create the file. By checking the “Create and Link your Database to a Windows SharePoint Services Site”, instead of just creating a local database, lists will...
  • Blog Post: Templates: The Template Store

    No, that is not a new franchise opening near you. So far we talked a lot about what templates are, how we use them and all, but where are they? Well, they are actually in different locations in your hard drive. Do you think we would make this easier on you? Templates that are shipped with...
  • Blog Post: Templates: The Instantiation Process

    As we’ve seen in the previous posts, Access 2007 templates are not really database files per se, but simply a set of data and meta-data that will allow Access to create a brand new database file every time. At a high level, the process to instantiate a template works like this: 1. First,...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Where did the embedded macros go?

    Now that we saw how macros, queries, forms, reports and tables are persisted in templates, we can ask: what about embedded macros? Since embedded macros live in the event properties of form, reports and controls, they are persisted along with the object that contains them. For example, let’s say...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Access Objects parts

    Last week I talked about how the template core data is laid out. Now, I’ll focus on the actual Access objects. For every Access object part (each file in template\database\objects), there is a corresponding” XML file in the \template\database\objects\properties folder containing it’s properties...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Quick Overview of SaveAsText and LoadFromText (aka let’s get boring again)

    Before we dive into the way the Access Objects are persisted in the Access 2007 template files, I thought it would be best if we talked briefly about the Application.SaveAsText and Application.LoadFromText methods and what they generate and read in, respectively. In case you don’t recognize these...
  • Blog Post: Templates: The Meat of the ACCDT Template Files

    In my previous post, we cracked open an Access 2007 template file. For this post, I’d like to delve into the / template/database folder, where pretty much all the template content resides. In the root of this folder you will notice four files, with very important roles: · databaseProperties...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Cracking open ACCDT files

    (This post was pre-recorded. I'll follow up on any comments when I'm back). Since the Access 2007 template files are Open XML files, you can easily crack them open to take a peek. These are really ZIP files, so you can simply copy the ACCDT file somewhere (say, c:\temp), rename it to FOO.ZIP and...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Quick overview of Open XML files (aka boring as hell post)

    (This post was pre-recorded. I'll follow up on any comments when I'm back). This is really a brief overview of the terminology around Open XML files before we actually look at how it applies to Access 2007 template files. First of all, Open XML files are really a set of files (the majority...
  • Blog Post: Templates: Access 2007

    Perhaps one of the most significant improvements to Access 2007 when it comes to ramping up to using Access are templates. Unlike previous version of Access (like Access 2003), where upon starting you would be greated by a blank window, in Access 2007 you will be greeted by an assortment of templates...
  • Blog Post: Customizing the Access Ribbon

    As you probably saw in Erik's post , making a completly custom Ribbon is basically an XML exercise with some VBA or Macro glue code. In case you'd like to see this in action, the VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Office System) team have a video on this process and it's definetely worth watching...
  • Blog Post: Access Developers-related Presentations

    In case you'd like to get some free quasi-training videos, Microsoft is making available some of the videos for the Microsoft Office System Developers Conference 2006. The full list of videos is here . Two of the videos are directly related to Access 2007: Access 2007: Rich Client Solutions (Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Append Only (aka Column History)

    In Access 2007, memo fields have now the capability of collecting change history. When you change an append-only field's data, the change and time stamp are recorded and appeneded to the version history of the field. To enable this feature, first you need a memo field (this only works for memo fields...
  • Blog Post: Access 2007 Beta 2 Misconception #3 - Somebody else will report this bug

    This is something that I have been guilty of in a number of ocasions. If you run into any bugs or issues when using any pre-release (and to some extent, even released) software, make sure you report them to the manufacturer. Do not expect it to get reported by somebody else. For example, if you try...
  • Blog Post: Trying out Access 2007 without installing anything

    This is sort of old new by now, but in case you didn't give it a try yet (or couldn't because Microsoft's servers were too busy), you should use the Office 2007 Beta 2 Test Drive a try. It is very cool way to try Access 2007 without having to worry about installing or downloading anything.
  • Blog Post: New Field List Task Pane

    Another addition to Access 2007 is a new version of the old Field List dialog/toolbar. Besides retaining the old functionality of adding fields based on the record souce, the new task pane adds a couple of new features. For starters, you can now see which table are the fields coming from. Instead...
  • Blog Post: Access 2007 Beta 2 Misconception #2 - Ribbons morph completely depending on context

    Another misconception that I read is regarding the new Ribbon interface: some people apparently are expecting the tabs on the ribbon to change completly as the context changes. This is very untrue: each of the tabs in the ribbon are pretty much fixed (I'm sure that there is the odd exception somewhere...
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