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> What Do You Use Microsoft Access For?    
post Jul 5 2013, 07:01 AM

Posts: 0
Joined: --

Develop databases for work
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post Aug 26 2013, 08:23 PM

Posts: 9
Joined: 11-October 11

I have Access 2007 but suspect that the updates Microsoft has installed over the past 3 years have enhanced it considerably. I began developing a database using R-Base in the late 80's. I was self taught, beginning with Basic when PET personal computers were the latest thing. R-Base struck me as excellent and almost intuitive. As an historian, I wanted to organize the files of our Community (we are Episcopal Sisters) before they disappeared and simply assumed it should be on a computer. In the 90's my Community adopted Microsoft Office for general use and told me I should switch to Access. I did so with some reluctance. I don't think like Microsoft designers, and it has taken years to reach the same level of competence that I think I achieved with R-Base. On the other hand, I'm enjoying the challenge -- a lot more than I enjoy the job of sorting, entering and filing the still voluminous files. There are a lot of holes in my understanding of databases. I tend to decide what I want to do, look it up and do it. So finding UtterAccess is a real blessing. With a limited budget, I buy second hand books when they drop from the first extremely high price to something closer to my resources. It works pretty well, and the public library in New York City is a godsend. I have asked for help here once before and am back as I now need to pull my work together into a form someone else can use. I expect to enjoy my experience here.
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post Aug 27 2013, 03:30 AM

Posts: 282
Joined: 15-July 13

hello and good day to everyone,
started with mbasic and apple pascal in parallel, then came dbase.
in recent years I made some living with msaccess, since version 2.0.
Ocreated a business suite for architects and constructing planning offices, which upgraded to 2007 + SQL Server in 2011. today the mdb runs on 2010/64 too.
no problem with a shop that has 250 employees. everything smooth.
also some soil exploration databases for governmental organization, they used the database to send around like some smarter excel file with a more strict datastructure. this took a lot of invisible maintenance intelligence in the code. then, some heuristic text analysis and re-puzzling code for messed up large excel data files.
some graphic reporting with low level code as line, box, print etc..
there is no third party component, but some api programming like to connect the employee table with the ldap directory of domain users, with automatic updating of login names also in the database server.
basically the 2.0 application grew smoothly into the 64 bit world, nothing was thrown away.
update deployment is nice, the program is started with a cmd script that checks for any new version on the server and copies it down to the client's profile folder and then runs it. the connect string issue is automated, only for the first start at the site, the new connection must be confirmed.
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post Aug 27 2013, 06:11 AM

Posts: 97
Joined: 17-July 13
From: UK

I've only ever used MS Access 'at work' - never seen a use for it at home... .
Ooriginally started using Access back in 1996, when I was working for a smallish training company... they had no-one working there who knew Access so I was told to learn it when one of their clients asked for a training course on it!
I learned from a book and then spent the next 2 years training other people on it, as well as developing databases for clients... one of whom then offered me a job so I finished up going and working for them as part of a team of 3, helping to build / maintain a suite of 9 'interlocking' databases, which had around 650-700 users all in all. Some people only used 1 part of it, some used all 9....this is where I learnt a lot more about Access security and complicated queries! I was based at a nuclear site so the databases were largely to do with logging documentation etc, in order to acheive compliance.
A few years ago I decided I wanted to go back to doing Training. When I started my new job, they had no electronic way of storing training records - so I built a database to do just that. We're still using that database now, and it still works pretty well < It started in Access 2k and I've just upgraded it (not it's first upgrade!) to 2007... so far so good, it's not fallen over < The training database only has about half a dozen users...
I also develop / manage / maintain a couple of other databases that are used within the company: an Accident & reporting db (15 users), an Applicants db(4 users), and a Bids/Tenders db (30 users)... least said on that one, though - I still can't get it to send one email to multiple users via Lotus Notes!
There do I see it going? well, for me, Access already does what it needs to - but then, I'm not trying to run anything vastly complicated! Just wish I could get an FE/BE approach to work here - when I've tried splitting the database, I've always had to reverse it, because everything slows to a crawl on our network!
Oh - and I don't use Macros, or Data Access Pages... but my databases ARE secured with separate workgroups etc <
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post Aug 29 2013, 04:21 PM

Posts: 791
Joined: 25-July 02
From: Basking Ridge, NJ

I was a mainframe programmer years ago. I've use access at work for the past 18 years. I was wondering how you make a living doing Access development. How do you get jobs? Do you advertise, or do mailings, or somehow make good contacts. I would really like to stop doing what I do now, and do Access development.
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post Aug 29 2013, 06:53 PM

UdderAccess Admin + UA Ruler
Posts: 19,557
Joined: 27-April 02
From: Upper MI

Mike - word of mouth is probably the strongest method of getting Access projects. After that, it comes down to hanging out a shingle, a web sire for point of contact with other contact methods on the site. Conduct some affordable advertising. Commit to spending 12 hours-a-day getting your first projects lined up; then once the project is lined up, you can hopefully spend 8 hrs/day doing billable development, then another 4 hrs/day procuring the next project. Rinse & repeat for the next couple of years. Hopefully, after a couple of years, the swing of things finds a routine and you get you daily time commitment down to 10 hrs/day.
From my experience, it's a lot of hustle to get started and is generally a feast/famine scenario. Hopefully, a dream project comes along that keeps you busy for a few years. My longest project ever was for Chrysler - it started out as a spreadsheet that, over time, transmografied into full-blown multi-site Access project that collected information from all the manufacturing plants to roll consolidated data into a rich set of reports for the upper-level-management teams at HQ. That gig lasted just under 3 years.
There are several pit-falls to watch for as well; customers who cannot grasp the concept of scope-creep, customers who don't/won't pay, and so on. Then there is expense of running your business. Sick days? They don't exist. Paid holidays? They don't exist either. Health benefits and/or insurance - your dime. Lots to consider.
So, basically, the idea is to continually work yourself out of a job, with your nose constantly to the ground looking for that next project. I did that for over 15 years and am still kicking. But grew tired of the constant PR, advertising and project seeking, so I looked for a permanent position again and am happier for it.
To each his/her own. If you don't mind the extra work it takes to be your own sales force, then going solo may be the way you want to go.
hope this helps hat_tip.gif
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post Oct 29 2013, 11:18 PM

Posts: 16
Joined: 12-June 04
From: Los Angeles

Personal use only. Double-entry accounting. Tracking investments. Creating a subject index for a quarterly magazine. Tracking and graphing mining claims. Subscription management for the quarterly.
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post May 1 2014, 07:16 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,892
Joined: 25-September 02
From: Washington State

Never really used computers until 1993. There was one at a high school I attended. It filled up a classroom, it seemed. Only the studious math whizzes were allowed in there.
Not transferred into a position (state government) in 1996 where they were trying to keep track of attendance records with spreadsheets, and they needed a database. I started trying to learn Access. Every time I clicked Help, I didn't know half of the words on the page, and many of them were underlined (links.) Each time I'd click on a link, I'd see another page of words I didn't know, half of them underlined. I just kept slogging, found UA in 2002, kept learning.
Now my job title is System Performance Analyst. I use Access to distribute a large reporting system that gets its data from various large databases, Oracle and SQLServer. I do ad hoc reporting tasks, and build automation tools to help get work done.
Obranched out and learned how to build interactive websites with PHP/MySQL. I do volunteer work for a CBO, built their website and also their membership DB (Access)... I've done a few free-lance projects. As Anthony said, I owe it all to Access getting me started.
Future: This is fuzzy for me. Access 2010 is a good program for developing desktop tools, but I have to make all sorts of workarounds in order to use Access to work with my organization's data, which is kind of big. For my main reporting tool, I must populate 4 or 5 BE files and copy them to a server in another city, each week, and rinse and repeat the process for a dozen local servers. Hearing about Access for the Web, I got kind of excited. Then I found out you can't use VBA, and I couldn't be less interested in learning it - I don't use any macros at all and don't want to learn how.
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post May 7 2014, 10:32 AM

Posts: 618
Joined: 25-July 07
From: Georgia, USA

Everything under the sun.
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post May 13 2017, 08:43 AM

Posts: 293
Joined: 3-May 17
From: France

Acces 2016, one user, experience - one failed application.
I don't use Access yet, but I believe it will be a life-changer.
I think I will use SQL, VBA with DAO and maybe other libraries or APIs for html, email and PDF output.
I don't use the models, except Northwind once or twice because tutorials use it. I will probably only use macros for autokeys.
I want to be able to automate natural sounding French-language text output, as much paperwork as possible, website creation, and manipulate various multimedia files.
I will let you know one day what actually happens.
I already have a 1 page fill-in-the-boxes text file model called "design my database". Its a pencil and erasor job. I also have 3.75 tons of various info I want to collate and learn.
I want to use my sheet of paper to design an application which steps me through design from the field-list to the empty prototype database, reminding me which questions I should ask at each stage.
I want to use my design application to design an application which steps me through development, reminding me which questions I should ask at each stage.
Along the way, I want to build some database models containing object/field/control models and some standard code.
I am hoping these increasingly complex databases will allow me to make the worst mistakes before I use them help me through a real-life project.
The real-life project is half a full-body armour against paperwork, half a creative framework for live musicans, and half a marketing tool. I am allowed three halves because I am an artist.

Life is too short to forget a back-up.
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post Sep 4 2017, 03:13 PM

Posts: 134
Joined: 4-July 05

I'm retired now, but manage a small volunteer organization. We use Access to handle inventory and members. Our newsletter has about 1200 subscribers.

I also use Access and VBA to automate the production of web pages, they are all static HTML. With a click of the button, I can generate over 70 pages of products for viewers to see.

I've tried using commercial email management programs like Mail Chimp, or ConstantContact, but not only are they expensive for our little organization, but browser-based content creation is a real PITA, and mailing list maintenance is horrible.

So I write the newsletter in Word, generate the mailing list and status notices in Access, and use MailMerge to send the emails out myself.

The only problem is that we have a member who has been handling the private mail server, and he's moving and not taking the aging computer systems with us, so I have to use my ISP, which has a limit on the number of emails that can be sent out. There's a couple of approaches, I haven't figured out the best, yet.
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post Dec 26 2017, 04:51 PM

Posts: 16
Joined: 26-April 06

Access development has been paying the mortgage for the last 15 years or so.
Started out with a bunch of projects at Goldman Sachs actually.

I've had the luxury of work coming to me through referrals and responses to SIG presentations that I've done.
But that seems to be slowing down - a lot.

So now I'm looking for the best (easiest) web development language/tools to jam into my tired brain
Any suggestions?

BC coffee1.gif

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post Apr 5 2018, 12:34 AM

Posts: 0
Joined: 5-April 18

Microsoft Access is important because it dramatically decreases the amount of time required to exchange and leverage information between Microsoft Office applications. Access provides database management functionality for novice end users and is highly extensible with enterprise systems by professional developers.
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