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> Tracking Any Design Changes, Access 2016    
 
   
wornout
post Aug 19 2017, 04:49 PM
Post#1



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From: Orewa New Zealand


I am not sure if this is the right area to ask or exactly what I am asking for
I would like to track any design changes in my database.
I have another user who is allowed to make design changes and I would like to track these all the info I have read talks of tracking records.
maybe I am not putting the right question in.
If someone could point me in the right direction assuming it can be done
Thanks
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GroverParkGeorge
post Aug 19 2017, 04:52 PM
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Unfortunately, there's not really an automated way to do this in Access.

What you are talking about falls under the category of "Source Control". Search bingoogle, but the last I heard, there's not really a great solution there for that.

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GroverParkGeorge
post Aug 19 2017, 04:55 PM
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You can adopt a strategy in which you restrict changes to one person at a time, making sure all developers get and use the latest "approved" version before starting. But that's pretty manual, and requires good discipline on everyone's part.

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wornout
post Aug 19 2017, 05:11 PM
Post#4



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umm ok so I can not record when he goes into design view and changes something.
I thought it would be a matter of VBA code recording this somehow.
I am surprised we can do just about anything else in Access with code
oh well I will just have to get him to email every time he makes a change i guess
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PhilS
post Aug 20 2017, 07:01 AM
Post#5



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From: The middle of Germany


Quoting GroverParkGeorge:
QUOTE
What you are talking about falls under the category of "Source Control". Search bingoogle, but the last I heard, there's not really a great solution there for that.

Yes, this question deals with one of the primary reasons to use source code control.

Please bear with me for a short self promotion. I very much had the same impression of the few solutions out there being just not good enough. That's why I developed Ivercy as SCC-Add-In for Microsoft Access. It may still be not "perfect", but from my personal experience with other solutions, particularly the discontinued Microsoft-SCC-Plug-In, I think we achieved quite a lot of improvement there.

Nevertheless, be aware that using source code control will add a bit of "overhead" to your development process. You will have to install and maintain the SCC-Backend of your choice, get accustomed to using SCC in your process and need to spend some extra time for properly managing your project in the SCC-repository.
Still, I personally think all the benefits of using source code control outweigh the additional effort by orders of magnitude for all development projects but the most tiny.

George, if you were thinking of Ivercy while writing the "not really great" assessment, I would really love to hear your reservations and critique.


Quoting wornout:
QUOTE
oh well I will just have to get him to email every time he makes a change i guess

Well, sorry to say that, but that's not going to work. Been there, tried something similar. It will happen and happen again that either you or him are going to forget something and it will get lost. As George said, this sort of process requires quite a lot of discipline, and from my experience working in many different teams over the years, most developers do not maintain this discipline. Furthermore it limits (serializes) your development process quite a bit.

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GroverParkGeorge
post Aug 20 2017, 07:05 AM
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Sorry, no. I just completely forgot about it.

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GroverParkGeorge
post Aug 20 2017, 07:45 AM
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I don't know why I had forgotten this tool, but this discussion prompted me to revisit it.

As Phil notes, Microsoft dropped its own source control after the 2010 version. I'd only used it sparingly before that, if ever.

In my current practice, I have only one situation where good source control tools would be important. For most of the rest of my clients I am the sole developer working on their projects, so it's not relevant. I make backups before I make any design changes at all. Simple and effective.

That said, it's worth a small investment to have a working tool if you really need to have control over multiple developers' work on a common accdb.

Keep in mind, though, that in your situation, it sounds like you are each working on your own individual copies of the database, i.e. you each have an accdb on your own computers. Are you on a network? Can you store a master copy of the accdbs for this database in a shared location? Or do you have to remember to email your changed copies of the accdb back and forth?

I suppose you could also try to set up a change log table in the accdb and have each developer record what they changed, when, why, etc. But that seems fraught with risk as well.

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Jeff B.
post Aug 20 2017, 08:08 AM
Post#8


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On a purely "personal interaction" note, I've found the promise that changes may be overwritten unless documented in "x" (take your pick) to be a fair inducement ... but "oops, I forgot" is still extant ... and just because a change was documented doesn't prevent it from being overwritten ... "oops, my bad!"

--------------------
Regards

Jeff Boyce
Microsoft Access MVP (2002-2015)

Mention of hardware or software is, in no way, an endorsement thereof. The FTC of the USA made this disclaimer necessary/possible.
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PhilS
post Aug 20 2017, 10:14 AM
Post#9



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QUOTE
For most of the rest of my clients I am the sole developer working on their projects, so it's not relevant. I make backups before I make any design changes at all.

Imagine you changed two forms since the last backup. Then you come to the conclusion that you want to revert one of the forms to its original version but want to keep the other? Ok, you just import the form-to-revert from your backup. Ups, you changed a couple of supporting functions in some modules as well. You did not really paid attention in which modules they were exactly. - Would be nice to have the changed modules marked automatically and to easily compare each one to the previous version, wouldn't it?
My respect if you are so organized that something similar never happens to you. - I'm certainly not, and the above scenario is not uncommon in my work.

Well, I don't want to go further down the evangelism path here. It should be obvious already, I disagree with the "not relevant for a single developer"-part. - For the interested reader: The "benefits"-article linked in my previous post covers this in more depth.

Don't get me wrong. The ideas of George and Jeff for keeping track of changes are all helpful. Each of them is much better than just ignoring the problem and hoping that all will go well. Depending on the size and duration of the project they might be more economical than to introduce a real SCC-Solution.

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GroverParkGeorge
post Aug 20 2017, 11:58 AM
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Well, it's true that I potentially can change two or more things during a session, in fact, that's almost always the case.

Typically, though, I document changes in code with comments about what was changed and why it was changed, along with the date and time of the change.

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wornout
post Aug 21 2017, 03:36 PM
Post#11



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From: Orewa New Zealand


Oh this is way over my head.
I am not a commercial developer and have just really only built databases for my husbands work to make things easier for him.
What happens is I build it and email it to him and its one of those things where he has a little bit of knowledge which we all know can be dangerous. so he gets the database and because he is on the spot and I am not always by my PC he makes changes but really has no idea what he is doing anyway. when something does go wrong he sends me the database back and I have to figure out what he has done and what changes he has made that worked and he wants kept and what went wrong so I can fix or remove. I know you are all throwing your hands up in the air but thats the way it is. I dont want to stop him from trying because I feel he is learning at the same time.

So I was hoping there was a simple way to document any changes. He mainly changes the name of fields and sometimes there could be code attached to the name or he will change a textbox to a combo or visa versa sometimes he might delete a field that is needed for coding. He doesn't touch any VBA (I do discourage this and put a password on so he can't).
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tina t
post Aug 21 2017, 07:19 PM
Post#12



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From: SoCal, USA


QUOTE
I am not a commercial developer and have just really only built databases for my husbands work to make things easier for him.
What happens is I build it and email it to him

well, since this is basically a personal situation between the two of you, you can both manage it with a little thought and foresight.

1. always back up the database before you email it to him. your copy will have a date/time stamp on the file (in Windows Explorer). don't open the copy again after emailing it, to preserve the date/time stamp.
2. when your husband makes a change that works, he should make a backup copy of his file - BEFORE going on to make another change.
3. if/when he makes a change that does not work, he should email the "doesn't work" copy back to you, AND the last "everything works" copy that he made.
4. save the good copy he sends to you, as the most recent backup at that point. again, take care to preserve the date/time stamp on the file.
5. then work on troubleshooting the "doesn't work" copy. presumably he's at least telling you what he was trying to accomplish, so you have some idea of where to start! if you need to, you can make a throw-away copy of the last "everything works" db, and look in that copy to compare with the "doesn't work" copy.

in older versions of Access, every object has a "Modified" date/time stamp. if that's also true in A2016, you can use it to your advantage: sort the objects (forms, for instance) by the Modified column, so the recently changed objects are at the top of the list. that way you can limit the objects you have to check for changes.

this is far from the perfect, easy solution you were hoping for, but it should help you keep control of the situation. [actually your husband is lucky you're so forebearing. if it were my husband, we'd have a conversation that i wouldn't dare have with a client, or my boss! ;) ]

hth
tina

--------------------
"you can't take the sky from me"
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wornout
post Aug 21 2017, 09:38 PM
Post#13



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Great thank you I have learned something That you can sort by last modified all the times and years I have been doing this I never knew it was there
as it is only field names that he changes would that come under data tracking or is it only the data in the field
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Jeff B.
post Aug 22 2017, 08:34 AM
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Are you trying to 'spot' when data has changed, or when the application has changed, or both?

--------------------
Regards

Jeff Boyce
Microsoft Access MVP (2002-2015)

Mention of hardware or software is, in no way, an endorsement thereof. The FTC of the USA made this disclaimer necessary/possible.
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tina t
post Aug 22 2017, 11:21 AM
Post#15



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QUOTE
as it is only field names that he changes

that is a really scary statement. do you really mean that he is changing the names of fields in tables? (yikes!) or do you mean that he is changing the names of controls in forms and/or reports? (better, but can still break code, expressions, macros.) and if he is changing control names, i have to wonder why he thinks there is a need to do so.

hth
tina

--------------------
"you can't take the sky from me"
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Jeff B.
post Aug 22 2017, 05:42 PM
Post#16


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Along the lines of <tina>'s comments, changing the names of objects in an Access application could result in code, queries, forms, reports, tables and macros not working.

... not to mention the possibility of someone changing a field named [Red] to [Green] (a poor example, I know), thereby confusing everyone about what is stored in that field.

What is the underlying business issue being addressed? Why is it thought that names of objects need to be changed?

--------------------
Regards

Jeff Boyce
Microsoft Access MVP (2002-2015)

Mention of hardware or software is, in no way, an endorsement thereof. The FTC of the USA made this disclaimer necessary/possible.
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wornout
post Aug 23 2017, 03:30 PM
Post#17



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Names need to be change because I don't always get it right.
Hey its not that important as I said it is only between husband and I that can change anything the rest of the people can not.
and I thought it could of been done
Always trying to learn new things and get a bit carried away sometimes
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Jeff B.
post Aug 24 2017, 08:50 AM
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Unless there is a (VERY!) strong business need for your husband to make immediate changes to the names of Access objects, I'll suggest having him tell/send you the requested changes and have you be the ONLY one making changes.

--------------------
Regards

Jeff Boyce
Microsoft Access MVP (2002-2015)

Mention of hardware or software is, in no way, an endorsement thereof. The FTC of the USA made this disclaimer necessary/possible.
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JonSmith
post Aug 24 2017, 09:43 AM
Post#19



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With my version of Office 2013 I have a database compare tool. Have you tried that? It tells you about changes to tables.

JS
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