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> What Do You Use Microsoft Access For?    
post Jan 30 2004, 10:19 AM

Posts: 592
Joined: 31-March 03
From: Bristol, UKLand

I've used A97 to build an all-singing-all-dancing case management tool for our Fraud & Operation Loss department. Actually, it sort of sings off-key and the only dancing it does is the sort you tend to see towards the end of an over-long office party. I've also built applications to run fraud detection audits based on data in our Data Warehouse. Lots of fun!
'd like to echo Joe in saying that UA has been invaluable - I don't think I've ever come across a problem that hasn't been answered here at some time or other!
Jammie Dodgers for everyone! thumbup.gif
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post Jan 30 2004, 01:35 PM

Retired Moderator
Posts: 13,587
Joined: 23-June 02
From: Texas (Is there anywhere else?)

I currently use Access 2K. I don't use the XML, data access pages, or macros.
I have used Access since 1996 starting with 2.0. I use it at work as a front end various data warehouse applications. We also import data extracts from our mainframe for analysis. I have a few VB6 apps with access backends that I am going to convert to SQL 2000.
I do volunteer work for a non-profit and I have developed a member/finance tracking database in Access for them.
I would like to see Access and Access VBA move to a DotNet compatible platform, one where you can build a database in Access and then drop it in Visual Studio.Net and extend its capabilities. You shouldn't have to redo all the forms and reports so it will work in VS.

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post Jan 30 2004, 01:53 PM

Utterly Eccentric and Moderator
Posts: 4,081
Joined: 4-March 00
From: Bristol / Ipswich / Spain

Has it evver caught any fraudsters????
TW I'm from St Werburghs, & was Master Carpenter @ Bristol old Vic
Oright my Babs?
All the best
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post Jan 30 2004, 02:56 PM

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

> True indeed sir! At least in my case... Oh I forgot, I check my e-mail:
Private Sub DelJunkhotMail()
Const URL As String = "[URL="http://www.hotmail.com/"]http://www.hotmail.com[/URL]"
Dim ie As Object, myurl As String, sngSt As Date, pLc As Long
Dim MyInbox As String
Select Case _
    MsgBox("You are about to clear your Junk Folder," & _
        "this data is not backed up." & String(2, vbLf) & _
            "Shall we proceed?" & String(2, vbLf) & _
            "If not, try the normal login variety.", vbYesNo)
    Case vbNo
        Exit Sub
End Select
On Error GoTo 1
Set ie = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
With ie
    .navigate URL
    Do While .ReadyState <> 4: Loop
    With .document.passwordform
        If .login.Value = "[email="%22%20Then%20.login.Value%20=%20y%20&%20%22@hotmail.com"]" Then .login.Value = y & "@hotmail.com[/email]"
        .passwd.Value = z
    End With
    Do While .busy: DoEvents: Loop
    Do While .ReadyState <> 4: DoEvents: Loop
    sngSt = Now
    Do While InStr(.document.URL, "hmhome") = 0
        If Now - sngSt > TimeValue("00:01:00") Then GoTo 1
    myurl = .document.URL
    MyInbox = Replace(myurl, "hmhome", "HoTMail")
    pLc = InStr(.document.URL, "hmhome") + Len("hmhome?curmbox=F00000000")
    .navigate Replace(Mid$(myurl, 1, pLc - 1), _
        "hmhome", "HoTMail") & _
        5 & Mid$(myurl, pLc + 1, Len(myurl)) & "&DoEmpty=1"
    Do While .busy: DoEvents: Loop
    Do While .ReadyState <> 4: DoEvents: Loop
    .navigate Replace(.document.URL, "HoTMail", "Logout")
    Do While InStr(.document.URL, "[URL="http://www.msn.com/"]www.msn.com[/URL]") = 0: DoEvents: Loop
End With
Set ie = Nothing
MsgBox "Junk Mail has been deleted."
Exit Sub
1:  MsgBox "Could Not Log into Hotmail."
   Set ie = Nothing
End Sub

(Note, this does not work anymore, it did at one point...)
Sub Download_Unread()
Dim ie As Object, lnk As Object, z As String
Dim WrdApp As Object, NewDoc As Object, MyInbox As String
Dim x As New Collection, CollCount As Long
Dim cnt As Long
Set ie = GetObject(, "InternetExplorer.Application")
MyInbox = ie.document.URL
For Each lnk In ie.document.Links
    If InStr(lnk.href, "msgread=1") = 0 And InStr(lnk.href, "getmsg") <> 0 Then
        x.Add lnk.href
        cnt = cnt + 1
    End If
Next lnk
If cnt <> 0 Then
    Set WrdApp = CreateObject("Word.Application")
    For CollCount = 1 To x.Count
        ie.navigate x(CollCount) & "&printf=1"
        Do While ie.busy: DoEvents: Loop
        Do While ie.ReadyState <> 4: DoEvents: Loop
        Set NewDoc = WrdApp.Documents.Add
        NewDoc.Content = ie.document.body.innertext
    ie.navigate MyInbox
    WrdApp.Visible = True
    Else: MsgBox "No Unread Messages"
End If
Set ie = Nothing
Set WrdApp = Nothing
Set NewDoc = Nothing
End Sub

Compose E-Mails:
Crop Audio Files:
Generate Excel Reports:
And post to UA:

I think my next project is to set up a normalized CRM DB for personal contacts. My first non Abby-Normal DB! My post-it contact directory leaves something to be desired, and it might be nice to know when my contacts are celebrating birthday's, etc... I suppose I might use Access to place the calls as well! http://www.xcelfiles.com/Excel01.html#anchor_34
Good hunting everyone&#
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post Jan 30 2004, 03:43 PM

Posts: 421
Joined: 26-August 03
From: Omaha, NE

I work for a large hospital association. We have an Access 97 database that we use to track many things, productivity, denials recieved, billing errors...etc. I have several databases, my biggest one has about 20 users tracking various things.
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post Jan 30 2004, 05:01 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 2,128
Joined: 20-November 03
From: San Jose, California

First of all, let me say that compared to some of the posts noted above, I'm a real amateur at Access (since 1998) but my background includes: retired programmer/manager that "diddled my first bit" in 1959, wrote my first assembler in 1960, my first program-for-hire (an emulator) in 1961, and then some 34 years of writing (or managing the writers of) database applications and tools.

My very first SQL statement was in mid 1977 (I think - things tend to blur a bit after 25 years or so!) and it PROMPTLY crashed the mainframe operating system all the way down to a re-boot --it was called re-IPL then-- and they called me "Black Thumb G" for a long time after that! (Of course, the fact that I ran it two more times before we realized what was happening may have influenced their attitude a bit..)

So, since I am now (mostly) retired, my current use of Access is primarily for personal use and includes things like databases for self, family and friends to provide specialized address lists, music/image inventory, home-business orders/inventory/billing/..., membership lists (non/profits) and the like.

However, I still help support a revenue-producing application which has the following characteristics:

1a. Development and initial testing is done on an unsplit A97 mdb (with lots of backup copies!).
1b. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the order of the day. No fancy ActiveX controls, ....
1c. Separate PC systems used for each level of Access. No mixing of Access levels on a PC.
1d. All systems kept up-to-date re service packs.
1e. Only one system is "on-the-web", but all are on an internal LAN (behind firewall).

2a. A copy of the unsplit A97 mdb is split into FE/BE mdb's.
2b. A copy of the unsplit A97 mdb is loaded with demo data.
2c. Ancillary mdb's (specialized forms, patches, encrypted stuff, ...) are loaded with data.
2d. All mdb's are then upconverted and tested as A2000 mdb's on an A2000 system.
2e. The A2000 mdbs are then tested on an A2002 system.

3a. The demo mdb's and supporting files are packaged as one setup file.
3b. The non-demo mdb's and supporting files are packaged as a different setup file.
3c. At install time the local version of Access is determined and the related mdb(s) and files installed.
3d. An A97 runtime/demo package is also prepared as a different install package.
3e. The whole glop is then released/updated via CD and via web.
3f. A dated archive CD is then created with all the above plus all source, build-files, documentation, ...

4a. Typical FE mdb will be in the 15-20 MB range, with around 500 objects and 40,000+ lines of code.
4b. Typical BE mdb will be in the 10-30 MB range with maybe 99.9% of the data in 40+ tables.
4c. Max users arbitrarily limited by app to 25 (customer-set attribute, so this is no problem).
4d. The FE/BE app includes an FE self-autoupdate process for ease of FE-maintenance.
4e. Provision is made for (skilled) user object modifications and addition of user objects and functions.

However, a typical user is NOT a computer/Access whiz, so app is menu/transaction based using a point-n-click philosophy, with lots of online app help. And since the users are scattered over several states with who-knows-what level of Windows or Access (or Service Pack level, for that matter), we do our best to avoid use of any function or control that causes potential Tools reference priority/binding problems.

All in all, I've been very happy with the above process and the way Access behaves in general (with a few glaring exceptions such as the A2000 Datasubsheet name default problem), but I'm concerned that MS is in the process of making Access harder to use as an "easy" platform for application development.

And I suspect that the day is fast approaching that it will be too hard (or too expensive) for an average user to create a simple application that can be ported to other users.

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post Jan 30 2004, 06:28 PM

Posts: 989
Joined: 1-August 02
From: Kansas City, MO, USA

I use Access strictly for business (US gov't agency). My primary focus is Personnel, but I have made db's for Safety (generating OSHA forms), property and training. I've been doing it for about 4 years, starting off with A97, now using 2k2, although I'm still supporting some 2k and 97 db's. I'm not doing anything with XML or 'data access pages'. I started to learn macros in the beginning, but with the help of some patient people (like Ben P) learned enough VBA to be dangerous and never looked back.
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post Jan 30 2004, 07:36 PM

Posts: 0
Joined: --

Until recently I had only played with Access for I discovered very quickly that whilst it vas very powerful for a small organisation such as mine it needed poking about with code to make it any real use to us and I am not a programer. However having used Excel to run my business for the past 4 years we found that Excel wasn't able to handle the work load anymore
It this point I decided to "have a go" at getting Access to do what we needed it to do.
Starting from scratch, knowing nothing about programing and nothing more about Access other than it was a relational data base suposedly, quite good at crunching data. In three weeks I have a working db for my company that has already increased productivity by approx 15%.
Ostill have a way to go yet but I think that my db will be a continuing development.
Access is not as frightful as a lot of people think. it is easy to use and develope and intuative. Thanks to this and other forums I have grasped a working knowledge of VBA and any hickups or problems are soon sorted thanks to the support on these pages.
What do I use it for?
I run a Chauffeur Hire company that speacialises in providing a chauffeur only service as well as chauffeur driven cars We control 47 chauffeurs, 80 cars with drivers 36 vintage and classic vehicles, and 4 office staff. (a total staff of131 + little ol me) We have 170 corporate accounts on our books and in excess of 1500 private clients. our largest corporate client has in excess of 1800 employees in this area.
We pride ourselves on supplying a very personal service, so much so that our clients often believe that they are our only client.
Access has just given us a facility that we have never enjoyed before.
It is now screen poping records for us so that we often know who is calling before anyone picks up the telephone.
It easily handles our contacts database.
It keeps track of orders (as of today)
Tracks drivers and chauffeurs.
keeps workshop and service records for all our vehicles as well as clients vehicles.
And partially keeps track of accounts.
My next plan is to fully develope a double entry accounts package so that we do everything except route planning in one piece of software and if anyone knows how to interface Autoroute with Access then I would love to know how.
If I can then get it to the stage that i can put it on an intranet I will be overjoyed because this year we are planing to open another office 200miles away from base.But I havent really explored this area yet.
Macro's? trying to stay away from them ---- to many problems
Version --- 2002
Where did Access come from? a freebe from a friend!
Where will it evolve? Dunno hopefully MS won't discontinue it and it will become a one stop shop for the small business. Let the big guys play with the more expensive stuff and keep this at least in the realms of the realistic for us little guys.
MS has made only one major mistake with this program as far as I'm concerened and that is that it is difficult to get Access to interact fully with Outlook and seemingly impossible to interface with AR.
I used to think it was expensive for a small company now I don't know what I did without it.
AND what fun! at last simple minded people like me wot no nufing 'bout computers and programing can actually do somthing useful with the machine and are not restricted to playing card games and cursing at other peoples software that never seems to work.
Sorry to rattle on but you did ask
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post Jan 30 2004, 11:23 PM

Posts: 1
Joined: 3-August 03

I'm an independent consultant and I use Access to design & deploy database solutions to businesses in the area. I own Office 2000 Developer and Office XP Developer and I design a lot of stand alone applications. Most of my products involve Finance, Process Control, HR Functions and Quality Systems.
om Hargrave
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post Jan 31 2004, 09:49 AM

Posts: 84
Joined: 24-February 03
From: Fairport, NY

I am an Engineer at a midsize company. I started working there in 1996. When I got there computers were in short supply. Everything was done on paper. I started using A97 to collect and store the data we generated so I could retrieve it easily. It was always a hobby. Something to keep me busy when my regular development projects were slow. Over the years I have gone from using the basics to doing almost everything using VB. Now I am the Database Admin for our Engineering Database. It has about 50 users (usually no more than 5 - 10 at a time). It has an A97 forntend/backend. Luckily my company is slow to upgrade anything and all my users either use A97 on Windows 98 or A97 on Windows 2000.
I have had very little formal training ( a beginner and intermediate class in MS Access). Everything I do I have learned by doing or from the wonderful people here @ UtterAccess. I know very little about normalization. I have researched it, but it seems like a foreign language.
I use a Windows PC @ work and have a Macintosh PC @ home. So until recently I have not done anything @ home. I recently bought a copy of Virtual PC so I can run Access on my Mac. I am using A2000 @ home so I am trying to learn the differences.
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post Jan 31 2004, 05:18 PM

Utterly Crispy UA Forum Administrator
Posts: 8,813
Joined: 29-September 01
From: Edmonton,Alberta,Canada

I guess we are just getting older even if we don't want to admit it...... laugh.gif
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post Jan 31 2004, 05:32 PM

Utterly Crispy UA Forum Administrator
Posts: 8,813
Joined: 29-September 01
From: Edmonton,Alberta,Canada

Now I use it for fun but before I retired I used it for business and wrote databases for other companies.
I have used Access 95 through to XP.
Ofeel Access has grown but at a much slower pace than what I had expected. I believe it will always have it's place in todays market place as it is easy for a small business to get a database up and running by just being able to use the wizards. But as any of use know you can only do so much with wizards and macros so there should always be jobs availiable for programmers in Access. They maybe a little harder to find as the users themselves have become more willing to learn a little bit of VBA but again they can only go so far.
Long Live Access and UA thumbup.gif
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post Jan 31 2004, 07:18 PM

Posts: 488
Joined: 15-January 02
From: Texas

I primarily use Access for work. I've written a several different db's ranging from simple text file importing to the main db. My main db tracks aircraft parts, parts turned-in and transaction processed. About 13 user have access to it, but usually only 5 or 6 are actually logged on and using the program
I have progressed up through the different versions of Access starting with 2.0 up to 2002. Most of the changes where for the better. The best thing was the ease of transitioning from the old version to the new with very few problems. I learned Access primarily through trial and error and reading the help files and a book or two. It's very user friendly and hope it continues to be. I don't think I could have accomplished that using another program or language. From what I've seen, at least with Air Force, most the tracking programs utilize Access in some form or another.
Ohaven't gotten into using Data Access Pages or XML due to the military and our workgroup managers not being allowed to put anything on the servers that isn't Air Force approved. So I've had to share a folder on my PC out to the other folks. It's worked fine for the past 10 years without any major problems
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post Feb 1 2004, 05:39 AM

UA Quasi Admoderuser
Posts: 2,256
Joined: 30-January 00
From: Windsor, ON, Canada

Using/Used: 97,2k, xp (and updating some backends that are still in 1.1 & 2 formats at new job)
'd say that i have a advanced level of knowledge with access and db's, wouldn't consider myself an expert or anything. I use it primarily for work, haven't really had a desire or need to track anything i have at home - if i do, i'm lazy and will download a pre-built app (unless i couldn't find one, but there's always one). I've seen some insanely large db's built in Access, as well as a few that were just silly (1 table with 26,000 records, normalized to 1nf!!!)
Some personal thoughts on some features i rarely use:
XML - over-hyped (good concept of shared data thought, can see how it can be usefull)
Macros - ... blah, why even bother with these useless things?
ADP - played with them a few times, discarded them for PHP
Switchboard Manager - ease of form design phased these out, needs something "zestier" (if that's a valid word)
- why don't they have a query builder for union queries?
- why's it have to send the whole table, even if you specify criteria? kinda defeats the purose if you ask me.
- why is the sample northwind db so junk? why not include a sample db that illustrates the normal forms, all of em - or even 1 db that illustrates each feature and how it's usefull.
- why doesn't my scroll wheel on my mouse scroll the vba code windows?
Things that i wish i didn't have to jerry-rig:
- Common API's - why do i need some module written by Dev to call a "save as" dialog?
- Counters in queries - why must i use a subquery with a similar sql call to the parent query in order to get it to assign it a row number.. ever try to pull one of these off with a query that has 5+ criteria statements?
- again, mouse scroll wheel control..
I'm sure i could go on and on, but don't get me wrong - i love the program, and think that if they keep to what they do best - make everything simple and don't water it down with too much crap, the program will be around for a long while yet.
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post Feb 1 2004, 02:31 PM

UA Admin
Posts: 36,092
Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA

Small to mid-size applications for small businesses and non-profit organations. From one to 12 users at any one site.
Odevelop in Access XP. I participated in the beta for A2003 and decided I'd wait a while to add it to my toolkit. thumbdn.gif
I use the Office Developers Edition to package for runtime.
I've looked at InstallShield and am about to start evaluating Wise for packaging installations.
That being said, I think the future for most developers will have to include XML and some form of web-based capabilities in their toolkits. SQL Server and VS.Net and beyond that. I think Ken Getz's article is a good preview of the future. (The one cited by Lars).
There are some contradictions inherent in what we are talking about here, I'm afraid. For example, the small private school for which I created an attendance database is not going to grow much and they are not going to push the capacity of the networked Access 2002 database for several years to come. Moreover, they have no resources to do much more, so that database is likely to be in use pretty much as it now exists, and in need of support for at least five or six years, maybe more. That means I have to keep A2002 in my toolkit for at least that long.
However, if I were to be asked to expand the attendance db to support an entire school district, I would have to migrate it to a SQL Server, web-interface design and incur a lot of additional issues, like security, which are only marginal in the existing installation. In other words, the existing db is fine, but limited to a small subset of potential clients.
I don't want to stretch the example too far, but I do think this one does somewhat represent the central dilemma facing many, if not most, of us. We have an installed base of customers at varying levels of sophistication and with varying resources. We have to support what's out there now, but we have to be ready to move on, or risk becoming irrelevant to the future. I can't afford to focus all of my attention on what I know today because the next opportunity that presents itself will require new skills and new tools.
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post Feb 2 2004, 03:59 AM

Posts: 592
Joined: 31-March 03
From: Bristol, UKLand

Yup. Some of my applications have prevented zillions of pounds worth of frauds, mostly cheque clearing related stuff - unfortunately I'm not on commission... bummer!
On the plus side, I'm not actually from Brizzle originally so I'm not blessed with that luvverly accent, me Babber. On the other 'and I does 'ave a penchant fer turrrneps! Cheers, Droive!
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post Feb 2 2004, 07:40 AM

Posts: 113
Joined: 26-November 03
From: Condobolin, NSW, Australia

I'm very new to this stuff. I was asked to build a couple of systems for a property valuer.
I'm not a keen programmer or anything. I'm going to uni and studying to be a sports journalist!
1. This is a quotation system that allows searching for and creating new quotes and involves automation with Microsoft Excel.
2. A library reference system that allows searching and creating records of documents both physically and electronically. The db allows any document (regardless of file type) to be opened from Access.
Both systems are split and I use the RefreshTableLinks module found in the Samples database provided with Access just in case some dodgy character moves the back-end on me.
I use Access 2000 Developer on Windows 2000 and package the systems as runtimes.
I want to thank anyone and everyone at UtterAccess for helping me recently with the myriad of dramas over the past few months. This site is absolutely sensational and I couldn't have go the job done without your help. Thanks Again.
I've had a quick geez at Access 2003 and have found it very slow to load. I'm stuffed if I know what's going on there.
Jamie uarulez2.gif thumbup.gif o!
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post Feb 2 2004, 08:48 AM

Posts: 155
Joined: 29-September 03
From: Somewhere in the Milky Way

At work -it varies.
At home primarily for my gene library...
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post Feb 2 2004, 10:30 AM

Posts: 38
Joined: 30-September 02
From: Battle Creek, Michigan USA

Just like YN3 B, I too am strictly admin, not a developer. Everything I have picked up has been courtesy of a local computer training resource center and of course this site. When I started using Access 3 years ago, I had no experience with databases or VB. To this day, I still know very little!!
I use Access 97, 2000, and 2002 to track quality issues, create documents for use through out the plant, and to track training hours. Currently I have about 80 users. However, a co-worker and I have begun working on a project that will combine several existing databases into one easy to use one. This will then up the total users to 700 to 800 to start with.
At home I use Access to keep track of my movies and my sports card collection.
"Oooohhh, they have the internet on computers now!!!"
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post Feb 2 2004, 02:00 PM

Posts: 101
Joined: 27-October 01
From: Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa

Version: 2000 / 2002
Application: Work
Industry: Fairly large photo finisher
ive Examples: (1) Customer order tracking & pricing. (2) Control strip monitoring & assessment (Great graphs). (3) Store room control.
Under Development: (1) Saleries package (2) Simple POS (3) Whatever comes up
Bio. I started fiddeling with Access a couple of years ago and did a simple course. It took about a year before I really got stuck in and realized that VBA was very similar to VBasic. I discovered this wonderful web site that has been a great asset where the help files failed. Pretty so after, I was working out how I could streamline and control my business better, and the solutions kept rolling in.
Keep up the great work chaps.
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