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> What Do You Use Microsoft Access For?    
post Jan 29 2004, 04:58 PM

Posts: 253
Joined: 23-January 04
From: Cumbria - UK

A2K (used 97 in the past). Have written small databases <10 users for previous jobs. Just about to start a new project (big £'s hopefully) for a uk police force. FE installed on about 1800 pc's with possible 2000+ users (should only be 100-200 logged on at any one time).
Will post some screen shots when it gets to that stage. Already stolen loads of ideas from UA - thanks!
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post Jan 29 2004, 05:41 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 5,244
Joined: 29-October 01
From: Northern Virginia

I actually develop db's as a hobby, which tells you how badly I need a life...I do things for my daughter's school (transcripts, etc)--that's upcoming; staffing stuff for my wife's work; miscellaneous stuff for a few friends for their work; and for my own work, whatever is needful...I work at an investment bank, and right now I have two db's in development--one to track equity ownership across the company, and another to track quarterly questionnaires & certifications.
I use XP primarily now, but have been developing since 2.0, and DBaseII+ before that...but I didn't really begin to understand normalization until about 6 years ago.
Never use macros, haven't done any ODBC work (but just got a SQL Server db installed that I will need to tap into soon!!!) and don't use anything but basic forms, SQL, and VBA at present--no XML, data access pages, etc...
HAs for evolution, I am sure it will continue in the path it's taken in the last ten years, with ups and downs, frustrations, annoyances, and some pretty cool stuff...someone earlier mentioned a love-hate relationship, and I agree...about half of my 'skiils' comes under the category of knowing the best workarounds....
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post Jan 29 2004, 06:04 PM

Posts: 358
Joined: 23-September 02
From: Australia

I use Access 2000.
It is for business purposes.
Oinitially designed an Access db to store data for the company i work for which we used for around 2 years. Due to the growth of the company and need to take our data online (and my lack of knowledge to take the db to this next level), we have now purchased a sql/asp based db that has been specifically designed for our industry.
I am still using access to generate custom reports from the sql backend.
I have also developed a budgeting db application that we provide to select clients using access runtime.
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post Jan 29 2004, 07:00 PM

Posts: 5,055
Joined: 27-March 03
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA

I use it for data warehousing and statistical work related with my business. I use '97, '00 & XP. My use is fairly streamlined; I use all types of queries, a ton of VBA (never macros!), the odd form, some graphics, and very rarely reports.
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post Jan 29 2004, 07:59 PM

Posts: 73
Joined: 2-August 00
From: Brazil

In the beginning there was Access 2. Since then, 97, 2000 and, currently, 2003. Many versions of a carrier(?) (a company that transports goods by truck). It began as just a database to print bills of loadings. Then "THE THING" began to grow with accounts to receive, accounts to pay, trucks, employees, banking accounts, accounting & etc... wink.gif
How I have 11 users, the smaller with a server and three clients and the bigger with a server and 30 clients. From 12 to 137 trucks. From 25 to around 400 employees. shocked.gif
AND IT WORKS! laugh.gif
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post Jan 29 2004, 08:32 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 3,754
Joined: 8-November 02
From: Australia (NSW)

Actually there was a version 1.0 AND 1.1 (which I developed in, still have the "floppy instal disks" around somewhere.)

My developemtn ..... Business (very diverse), Persoanl, Family, Local Sporting bodies , etc etc etc.

O(still) currently develop in A97, A2000, A2002 , and very recently into A2003.

This is because of my varied client base and what they need/use.

Have developed applications to run locally, across LANS, across WANS (an entrie state in Oz (250+users), from laptops etc etc.

Have many apps where "database replication" has been necessary (WAN and/or laptop).

I personally utilise MANY "standard functions" that reside in a SINGLE library database which is referenced by ALL my apps (It is an MDE in a constant directory, so only EVER ONE copy/version.)
This enables me to have a huge amount of "reusable" code, and speeds up my development time because I know that I can simply call on tried-and-true functions with a single line of code.

To Nate, Anthony and uno1980 .... "you're just pups"

To John (mvos) and Gord ..... " Ahhh !!!! memories " laugh.gif

Now , if you will excuse me ....... sleeping.gif (it comes with age)
Edited by: r_cubed on 01.29.04.
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post Jan 29 2004, 08:44 PM

UdderAccess Admin + UA Ruler
Posts: 19,555
Joined: 27-April 02
From: Upper MI

In the beginning, (beta 0.9), I used Access as a stepping stone into a strictly business expansion. Through the years, both my prowess with, and Access itself, has grown.
rimarily, I use Access to create business solutions for clients. The rest of the time, I use Access to learn more about application development and share my knowledge with the members here at UA.
Ooften times use Access to manipulate large numbers of sequential (or similarly named) file names. When the DOS level commands do not provide enough control, I use the "Name", "FileCopy" and/or "Kill" functions in a VBA code loop to do what needs to be done.
A few times, I've even had fun with it. (For example, my Music Maker - in the code archive).
My first db (Access 1.0) started as a 'job tracking' tool for a family owned print shop that somehow managed to grow into accounts receiveable/payable with payroll then general ledger with quarterly and annual accounting balance sheets to more easily do their tax work. It has grown into Access 2000 and still in use today. (Longest standing db yet)
A cablevision company wanted to report on all of the phone service requests that got stored weekly on their AS400. Every week the app would read a 20 to 30 meg text file and digest the contents to spit out over 400 pages of reports for HQ. Done in Access 1.1 and migrated to Access 2.0 Used for 5 years. (Most heavy duty reporting)
A bank system wanted ALL the data of it customers from 5 zip code areas, transferred from their tera-server into and Access db, that it's sales folks could use to "fish" for potential sale of other banking services. On a weekly basis, the Access app was to ODBC connect to the DB2 mainframe, grab all the data and seperate it into the 5 zip code areas (5 different tables). Then each table was imported into a front-end that was tape backed-up and delivered to the appropriate branches. Each db contained anywhere from 150 to 200 meg of data. We tried to start the development in A95, but quickly moved up to A97. That's when it began to work. As a pilot app, it worked well for 18 months, then they ported the front-end over to VB and still use it today. (Largest data handling app ever)
I've had one client who wanted a sales contact management system (on steroids) for all of it's offices in the States, Europe and Asia, divided into three partial replications so the central US office could pull all of the data together, yet allow their offshore offices to see only their pertinent data. Good replication/resynch scenario. Started and still in use today as Access 97. (Most spread around the world)
My latest client has me constructing a "suite" of apps for all of it plants across the US to manage safety hazard issues. Each plant has it's own back-end (A97) - with as many as three different Access versions of the front-end. Each plant, in turn, sends the corporate office their data on a monthly basis so a "master" version of the app can 'see' what is happening company wide. Because of the varied Access front-end versions, replication wouldn't work, so we created our own method of synching the data. All with development-lock-downs, user security levels, an auto-updating feature and Office automation for Word reports and Excel charts up the wazoo. It even has a mechanism to 'kick everyone out of the pool' when an updrade has to occur on the back-end. Started in A97 and augmented with A2K and AXP front-ends. (Most sophisticated development to-date)
I've also used Access to create my own client/accounting/managment tool to track my development time and do my invoicing and track payments and dead-beats - started in Access 1.0 and migrated to A97, where it will remain.. As well as a db to manage our personal contacts list; family etc. Built an A2K db for my wife to track and manage her artwork and one for my son to manage the items he has collected in his Diablo II game.
I take no credit for any of the several A95 db's that I've been paid to do.
Access' evolution has gone waaaay past my expectations and needs. I started to learn about app development with the macros and slowly migrated to VBA. I don't use macros any more, except the AutoKeys macro.
Don't use XML or DataAccessPages.
I like and use the report "Snapshot" add-in that lets me post a demo of a report on the web for a client to see before I commit the report to deployment.
I never found a need for ANY of the ActiveX 'toys' that come with Access. They've always seemed to create more problems than solutions.
Never had the need to deploy MDE's, but played with them alot.
The ODBC features of Access make it a real work-horse.
I've wasted many hours trying to get Access Data pages to work successfully across the web. I found it easier to generate my own "HTML Conversion" procedures in Access than to use what it came with; and augment the web pages themselves with Perl/CGI scripting.
The thing I dislike most about A2K3 is the "Certification" licensing requirements to deploy those versioned apps. Oh, sure, you can still develop and deploy in A2K3, but any machine other than the one it was created on will thow up the security warnings at launch without the certification.
I am still very amazed at what can be done with A97 (with SR-2) alone. It, in my opinion, is their best and most stable version yet. Also, since A97's release, I've not begun an Access development without building it in A97, then convert to A2K and/or AXP. Even when I get the job of repairing someone's A2K or AXP db, I take it down to A97, get it working right, then bring it back to the original version. I don't like the instability of A2K & AXP. They both tend to corrupt deep in the middle of development.
When I can afford another PC, I will load O2K3 and O2K3 ONLY on that machine. I still need to meet the demands of my clients, who through the years have taught me that about a year or two after an Access version has been upgraded, they will upgrade. Yeah, the $400 per year certification will be a pain in the backside, but I usually get paid well enough to compensate.
I also think that Access newbies should start with A97 before venturing into the jungles of A2K, AXP and A2K3. A2K & up have some pretty cool development features, but none that I've found have improved my development time/skills.
IMHO, I believe MS's direction with Access has gone too broad-spectrum.
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post Jan 29 2004, 09:13 PM

Posts: 33
Joined: 5-January 04

All right, I hate to post after that one, but here goes:
Been using Access for about 7 year, primarily to manage my Christmas list and print the envelopes. 8 ) It was (and still is!) a very UN-normalized database, but suited my purposes well.
Then we had a family reunion and I got the idea to keep track of all of my rellies, so I created a database for that and am the family's keeper of the addresses. Created a nice catalog that I am still getting rave compliments on now three years later!
In the past month I have started developing a customer database for my brother who tunes pianos. He was keeping a separate wordpad file for each customer and then when it came time to send out postcards, he would go through by hand and write them out. I said,
"This could be done better with a database" (think I heard that here somewhere... grin.gif)
Hence I have learned about normalization and think I have a pretty good grasp on how to do it, but not always on WHY to do it (except that it prevents problems down the road, I've been told!) I have discovered that I LOVE doing the development of databases and type fast enough that entering the records is not too painful either. I like it better than the web design I am currently doing.
Started using 97, then 2000, currently have XP, but have yet to make a database in it.
So, I am definitely on the "lite" user side of it, but hoping to change that soon!
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post Jan 29 2004, 09:32 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 3,278
Joined: 19-August 03
From: Perth, Australia

I use Access here at work for a number of different things, mainly Portfolio management stuff. I personally dont like Access much actually. It is just too unstable as many people have discovered. Also I find that most IT depts I have been in, Access developers get looked down upon by developers who use C++ or Oracle or something like that. I seem to have been pigeonholed now into using Access. As a contractor, I find it is hard to try something different as the people paying are paying for you to do something, not learn something else!
nyway, Im off to Canada next year to see if I can get some work there. If I can get some IT work, that will be good, otherwise I will looking for work on a fishing boat :-)
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post Jan 29 2004, 09:43 PM

UA Admin + Auntie Virus
Posts: 2,671
Joined: 15-July 02
From: USA

I'm using Access '02 to develop a very basic application for less than 25 users (no XML, data access pages, or other higher functions -- just basic native Access objects and Access VBA). I've only used it for "business" so far, unless you include a db or two I've done for keeping up with a few things at home.
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post Jan 30 2004, 02:59 AM

Posts: 977
Joined: 5-February 02
From: Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, UK

I use Access to drive myself mad when I'm feeling happy and content!!
I use Access at work to control inventory - very much infant stage with this one.
Then I have an application that takes care of recording almost everything I do on my boat. From a regular log book to engine service, calculated fuel consupmtion to which locker has the port o! thumbup.gif
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post Jan 30 2004, 05:25 AM

Utterly Eccentric and Moderator
Posts: 4,055
Joined: 4-March 00
From: Bristol / Ipswich / Spain

I use Access 2000 to construct business applications:
ental management for holiday properties.
Property (real estate) Sales
Community management
Shop stock management
Plant & tool rental
Nursery school security and accounting
Time-share accounting & property management
Builders (constructors) management
UK gov Educational Survey
UK national parking company.
I use Office 2000 automation very heavily, the absence of graphics in Access reports has led me along this path. The security features of Outlook 2002 rendered much of two years work redundant since many of my clients send automated accounts and property information and do not want to be asked two or three hundred times if its OK to send mail My solution: remove Outlook 2002 and re-install Outlook 2000. WHY Oh WHY did MS not allow the disabling of this 'feature'?
I use VBA to drive Winfax, Sage accounting, CuteFTP, Photoeditor, Paint and have built Powerpoint presentations with automation (using pics from the properties programs)
Access 2000 missed out some useful features of A97, the expression builder the use of the columns property of combo boxes in queries. For me I would like to see the date/time format divorced from the OS and similarly the Currency datatype, both to be specified by the creator of the database. The previously mentioned lack of graphics needs to be addressed. 2002 ? Love the multiple undo's otherwise leaves me cold.
I use macros for Autokeys and Autoexec only (dont really know how to use macros) and never use DAPs
Since I am not in control of any of my clients IT needs I am often greeted by a secretary who announces that they have a new 'Shiny' and its got Widows XP and Office 2002, but the database doesn't work any more........
With a vew that I will need to web enable some of this stuff, I have been looking at SQL server. I find that its impenetrable. Very little of the terminology is the same as Access, I spent a morning trying to discover what are the SQL datatypes and where/how they were used.....no dice. I spent the afternoon trying to discover how to create the equivalent of an Autonumber field.....more no dice. I still have no idea how to create a parameter query and cannot find the definition of a stored procedure. The upsizing wizard transfers only a third of the tables and I really dread any strategy to force developers toward SQL server.
I have not yet tried Access 2003 but bearing CyberCows' comments in mind, I will certainly now try it only on a trial comp.
Thanks Gord, I think this is an extremely important and worthwhile discussion. Since the UA you have done so much for, now has 1.5 million hits and since there are on occassions over 1000 users online, I would hazard the opinion that UA could become an important consulting body and pressure group to assist Microsft in its search for better and the refinement of its products.
Thanks again
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post Jan 30 2004, 06:20 AM

Posts: 168
Joined: 2-September 03
From: Yorkshire, England

I started using Access 2000 about 10 months ago, this was/ still is my only experience of a version of Access I have.
only use Access for business use, I have developed a Customer Service Database to track complaints from customers, a Recruitment Database to handle the thousands of advert responses we receive when we advertise for jobs, A Sales & Marketing Database, A Project Database to make the office "paperless" and now I am embarking on a Personnel Database.
I use Macro's sometimes, but still very much being an amateur, I am now beginning to learn how to put these into code. I have never used Data Access Pages (at the moment there really is just no need) and overall I am very much self taught. I have no experience of SQL, but, with help from UA I am improving overall and becoming more confident in what I do.
Just to re-iterate, this really is a great site, the time and dedication everyone inputs into answering questions and investigating problems never ceases to amaze me. You do actually feel as though you are part of a community which, in my opinion, can be very rare on a discussion forum such as this.
Keep up the good work uarulez2.gif
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post Jan 30 2004, 08:27 AM

VIP Emeritus
Posts: 2,421
Joined: 6-May 02
From: UK

Access XP, thousands of users, each user typically has 50,000 to 500,000 records stored locally, but data is also shared by putting it onto a website which everyone can link to, not using asp pages.
I use forms, tables and VBA
publish coin catalogues (Auction and fixed price) and provide sophisticated user interface for searching and displaying of data. I develop the application at my own expense then sell it.
Most of my customers use W98, so unless MS allows access runtime to work on W98 it will be many years before I can upgrade from Access XP.
MS has run out of ideas as to how to improve Office products and are now adding obscure features which nobody wants in an attempt to pursued people to spend more money.
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post Jan 30 2004, 09:08 AM

Posts: 621
Joined: 18-August 03
From: Ireland - belfast, near the park

I use access 97 and 2000 - the 97 database is the front end for our patient information database and has about 600 users.

I have developed about 4 different systems in 2000 - the development is still ongoing so none of them are complete quite yet - user numbers range from a single user - the MI event database - to about 600 again - for the training database - used to monitor and record training courses that staff have attended. In between i have a colposcopy clinic database, a Drugs Incident database, a theatres booking system, an asset register for the IT department, and my next project is to develop a Fault Desk system for the IT dept. And im only a temp and have been here since july - no one else in the office really understands databases, i said i knew a bit and have been making them ever since - that and web management where i work. I havent been doing much on the web front cuz i have a load of database stuff on the go at the minute

At the start i would have used macros to carry out operations but thanks to the help on this site im moving towards not using them at all and just coding them all instead - makes for less headaches i find laugh.gif

However, i will be moving more onto SQL based database with access frontends or coding it in visual basic - something to add to the CV.

Needless to say, without the help of this site many of these systems would still be in their infancy instead of nearly completed.

Joe o!
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post Jan 30 2004, 09:09 AM

Posts: 207
Joined: 4-September 02
From: London

I have used access 97 + 2k for the last few years. for small to medium business applications (no more than 20 concurrent users) and for personal use (to track the household finaces, inventories of my gadgets :-))
only really use the usual components and VBA, reports on occassion. never used macros why would you when you can code it yourself. (good tool along with a book to learn if you convert them to VBA i suppose.)
haven't really seen the XML support but its the wayforward so hope its good.
Yep its good product for what its aimed to do. and very quick to develop and probably more importantly enable users to learn and understand database concepts -- well you hope so, the amount of badly designed structures you read on here seems worrying. but hey we're all learning.
ps this is probably the best community i've come accross and i often come just to see if i can help pepole out, good work everyone and UA
Have fun
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post Jan 30 2004, 09:16 AM

Posts: 355
Joined: 21-July 03

Mostly business. I develop low level apps for specific user needs across my division. Most of my learning comes from tweaking the system I was handed.
I use just about every area on UA as I am not trained on DB development, what meager skills I got, I got out of self defense smile.gif
pecific items I've developed include a seminar registration DB, a historical fatality analysis system, and I'm currently trying to develop a consultation system for our reps.
nothing big or exciting
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post Jan 30 2004, 09:35 AM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,506
Joined: 31-January 00
From: Columbus, OH USA

Use A2k. Allows me to prototype changes and enhancements to current db's and develop new ones. Then typically migrate the back end to SQL server and keep the front end for GUI and Reporting for the users. Currently in the Insurance industry and formerly in manufacturing and consulting (you name, we did it).
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post Jan 30 2004, 09:54 AM

UA Administrator
Posts: -8,388,355
Joined: 21-April 01
From: Right here.

Thanks very much Kencvr - now we are on a serious thread here, but you (might) know my sense of humour is a little offside:
Here the seminars so bad the former required the latter? ohyeah.gif
Sorry - It's Friday and it's been a long week.
Thanks again,
Gord o!
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post Jan 30 2004, 10:08 AM

Posts: 445
Joined: 8-October 03
From: Seattle, WA

Unlike most regulars, and indeed people here in general, I am not any sort of software developer, I'm in admin. I use Access mostly for reports (business). Usually I'm taking a one time data dump and using Access to easily edit the data that's there and then create a report in exactly the desired format. In a couple examples it's a data dump at regular intervals.
For example, a list comes out every month of advancements that lists a name, an employee ID number, and a department ID number. I have a db set up with a table listing the units in our district with their department IDs. Every month I copy and paste the data into Excel, dump it into a table named after the date, copy and paste the table overwriting it into a "current" table, and then run a report that using the relationship between the DeptID table and the Current table lists who's advancing in the district this month. Not very automated, but before I came up with this I was taking the list of usually over 100 people and looking up their Employee ID in the CG-wide database one by one. Used to take me over half an hour, now takes me 2 mins.
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