Category Archives: Subfeature

Access 2010 Tips: 5 Tips to increase Productivity

1. Get to Know the Ribbon

If you skipped Office 2007 and are making the jump from Access 2003, the Microsoft’s Ribbon is a new feature and potential annoyance.  I know that when I first switched from Excel 2003 to Excel 2007, I hated the ribbon.  However over the years, I have found that it is actually a lot better than the old menu system once you become accustomed to it.  Of course the biggest problem in the transition is not knowing where anything is.  Luckily Microsoft has released an interactive reference guide to help you find the new location of commands in Access 2010.  You can get it here.

The most important tabs are Home, Create and Design.  Home is the….home of a lot of the common tasks and menu items found in other Office programs (think Cut, Copy, Paste, Text Formatting, Find/Replace).  Create is the starting point for all your new queries, tables, forms, and reports.  Design appears when you create a new objects and Access is smart enough to auto-select it after you create a new object.

2. Don’t like the Ribbon? Get it out of your way.

Simply Right Click the ribbon and select Minimize Ribbon to hide it and increase your work area in Access 2010.  You’ll still get to the ribbon, but it won’t always be displayed and taking up valuable screen real estate.

3. Customize the Ribbon

Right Click the ribbon and click the Customize Ribbon button to change it exactly to your liking.

4. The Quick Access Toolbar makes things Quick

Even when you get used to exactly where things are in the Ribbon, switching tabs to find menus and select them can require a lot more clicks than were needed in Access 2003.  Right click the Ribbon and select Show Quick Access Toolbar to display this small little shortcut of things.  You can right click the Quick Access Toolbar or the Ribbon and select Customize Quick Access to add shortcuts to all your frequent tasks.  We recommend adding things like Print, Save, Sync, Copy/Paste to the toolbar since they require 2 or more clicks and are very frequently used.  Sync is essential if you’re developing a web app, but you don’t have to take our recommendations – download our custom Quick Access Toolbar Right Here.

5. Don’t Miss the Quick View Change

You can quickly jump between Report View, Design View, Layout View and any other valid views by looking in the bottom right corner.  Each view is always just 1 click away!  You can also right click on any tab and change the view (2 clicks) rather than navigate the ribbon (3 Clicks) to change the view.

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Access 2010: Interactive menu to ribbon guide

Click here to download the Reference Guide

If you’re getting lost in Microsoft Access 2010’s Ribbon then this interactive reference guide is for you.  It will help you transition from Access 2003’s menu system to the Access 2010 ribbon.  It’s a visual, interactive reference guide to help you find the new location of commands in Access 2010.  It’s a Silverlight/HTML program that lets you select a menu item in Access 2003’s menu and then plays a video showing you the location in Access 2010.  Very useful for folks making the transition.  You can download it from Microsoft here.

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How to Create a Web Database from Excel

Lately we have gotten a lot of questions about how businesses can take their old access databases or excel spreadsheets and get them on the web with Access Hosting. The tutorial video above will hopefully demonstrate some of the issues with web compatibility and how to get your database ready for the web, but here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown on how to create a new web database from data that you have in Excel.  If you have your data already in an Access 2010 table, you can skip to STEP 10, but to get better conversion results you should check out www.access2010converter.com since it will preserve your forms, queries, etc.  This tutorial focuses purely on getting your data into a web compatible format so that you can upload it to Access Hosting and start enjoying our great service.

  1. Create a New Web Database in Access 2010
  2. Open up your Excel File that has your data
  3. Copy the data in Excel
  4. Switch over to Access
  5. Right Click in the left sidebar and select paste. This should paste over your MS Excel data into Access 2010
  6. Now before a Database is ready to be published to Access Hosting, it has to pass Access 2010’s Web Compatibility Checker
  7. Goto File -> Save & Publish -> Publish to Access Services; Click the Web Compatibility Check Button.
  8. View any Web Compatibility Issues and Fix them.  In the video above, my fields contained illegal characters such as ‘Pts/G’.  Changing these headings to ‘Points per Game’ fixed nearly all of the web issues.
  9. Run the Web Compatibility Again.  You should only get 1 error for the unique identifier ‘ID field’ requirement.  SharePoint requires that each record have a numerical ID associated with it.
  10. Highlight and Copy all the data in your table
  11. Create a new Web Table.  This should create an ID field that will automatically assign a numerical ID to each record.
  12. Right Click your table and select ‘Paste as Fields’
  13. Close and Delete the other non-web compatible table
  14. Run the Web compatibility checker – there should be zero web issues
  15. Publish to Access Hosting!
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5 Reasons why Microsoft Access Schools Quickbase

Back in 1999, Intuit launched Quickbase – a web-based collaborative database application that allows business people to create their own custom applications without writing code. The application is hosted by Intuit and sold by subscription.  At the time, Quickbase had quite a few advantages over Access 97 (even Access 2000).  It was web based, allowed for collaboration, and didn’t require any programming knowledge (Visual Basic for Applications – VBA).  Did I mention that Access 97 was ugly too:

Access 2010 has evolved though and Microsoft is ready for a rematch.  Here’s 5 Reasons why Quickbase can’t touch Microsoft Access 2010 & Access Web Services:

1. Access 2010 can do everything Quickbase can with no programming.  Anyone familiar with Microsoft Office will instantly feel comfortable with Access’s user interface.  You can easily add records, create queries and with Access Hosting – you can easily collaborate with other users and sync your data online without any programming knowledge.  Unlike Quickbase, Access 2010 is still compatible with VBA and other programming languages – so power users shouldn’t feel snubbed.

2. Access 2010 is software – not Browserware. That means you don’t NEED an internet connection to work with your database.  Just like Quickbase, and Access App can work in the browser and sync online, but has the added advantage of working locally as well.  If your internet connection goes down or if you are on the road, you can continue to add records to your database.  Next time you connect to the internet, Access will sync with your online database and upload your new records.

3. Access Web Services has a Back-Up Plan.  With Access you don’t have to worry about service outages (Bad Quickbase). Unfortunately, Quickbase works entirely in the cloud on Intuit’s servers.  Imagine if your Small Business can’t access its application or data for days because of an outage (Intuit suffered outages on between June 16 and June 17, June 20, and July 14).  With Access 2010, everything is stored locally and can run natively in a Windows Client. You can still get some work done even if your server/host goes down.

4. Access has Macros.  Macros allow you to automate a lot of routine reports and  actions. In 2010, Macros may be represented with XML which lends them more credibility with programmers.

5. Access is Cheaper than Quickbase. Quickbase’s monthly subscriptions start at $299 for 10 users and 1 GB of space and they own/control the hosting, the online software, and your data.  You buy Access 2010 Once and can get hosting from us for $49 and get 1GB and 5 Users.  That’s $250 Savings per Month! Did I mention that we have 99% Uptime too – no outages here.

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How to Delete Your Published Access Web Database from SharePoint 2010

This short video will walk you through the steps necessary to remove a published database from SharePoint 2010. This process should be used with caution as the database, when removed completely, is no longer recoverable from the recycle bin.

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Distribute Your Access 2010 Web Application with an ACCDW file

This short video will show you how to distribute your Access 2010 Web Application to other Access users by creating and ACCDW link. The ACCDW file is a small shortcut file that allows users to connect to your web database and completely hydrate a local, connected copy of the web application on their desktop. This is a very easy way to take your Access 2010 application from its development stage into production across a set of widely dispersed users.

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Create an Access 2010 Table Using Copy/Paste

One quick and easy way to create a new table in your Access Web Database is to use the clipboard and copy/paste from Excel or any other tabular data source.

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Delivering Email from Your Access 2010 Web Application

We recently published a short video tutorial on using data macros to trigger an email alert in Access 2010 (see below).  Since this behavior assumes that you are running on SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition and relying on SharePoint for email delivery it is worth taking a closer look at the best practices we have established for making sure emails are delivered as expected from the SharePoint 2010 Server. If you have published your application to our shared hosting farm we run a standalone instance of the SMTP service with verbose logging enabled. The net effect of this configuration is that we get a detailed report of the conversations between SharePoint, the SMTP Mail Delivery Service, and the destination email server. This information can be invaluable in determining why an email generated successfully from Access does not make it to the intended inbox. Common mail delivery issues include lack of a reverse DNS record, SPAM quarantine, and typos in the users email address. Many of these issues can be properly diagnosed and corrected by using an SMTP instance dedicated to Access Services. Disclaimer: There are instances where the email message is marked as SPAM and non-delivered without any notification back to the originating server as to why the message was rejected. We won’t mention any names but the worst offender of this is spelled Y-A-H-O-O. That problem is easily corrected by finding an alternative free email provider.

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Access 2003 to 2010 Migration Guide Now Available

Microsoft has just released an excellent migration guide to help re-orient Access 2003 users with the updated toolbars, menu structure, and concepts behind Access 2010. This concise (8 page) document serves as a great jumping off  point for established Access users that are just getting their arms around Access 2010. As a followup to this document you may want to review the details behind our Access Database Migration Service, which brings your legacy table structure into a web legal SharePoint 2010 format.

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