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Expert One-on-One Microsoft Access Application Development [Paperback]

Helen Feddema
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 7 2004 0764559044 978-0764559044 1
What is this book about?

If you are developing databases for your own use, the process need not be complicated. But when you build databases for clients, many of whom may not be familiar with Access or comfortable with databases in general, you have a lot more work to do. Expert One-on-One Microsoft Access Application Development makes that process easier.

In these pages, you discover how to set up tables and relationships to ensure that the database is properly normalized. Then you write VBA code to create the connective tissue that turns a bunch of tables, queries, forms, and reports into a complete and coherent application. You also find out about the important but often inadequately documented area of Automation code, which is used to communicate with other Office applications.

Over years of working with Access, the author has created some add-ins to save time when developing applications. She shows you how to use them to create a main menu for an application, automatically apply a naming convention to database objects, and ensure a consistent and professional appearance of the application’s forms.

This book helps you write VBA code that unites database components into an application that works.

What does this book cover?

Here's what you'll discover in this book:

  • How to build integrated Access-based applications that support multiple clients and databases
  • Tips for streamlining application creation
  • Maintenance required throughout an application’s life cycle, including migrating data from legacy systems and upgrading Office
  • How to use Automation code to exchange data among Office components and even some non-Office programs
  • Ways to avoid glitches when building Access applications that work with Excel, Word, and Outlook

Who is this book for?

This book is for experienced Access users who are familiar with creating Access objects and writing VBA code, but who need help transitioning from competent users/programmers to full-fledged Access developers.


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Product Description

From the Back Cover

If you are developing databases for your own use, the process need not be complicated. But when you build databases for clients, many of whom may not be familiar with Access or comfortable with databases in general, you have a lot more work to do. I hope this book will make that process easier.

In these pages, I will teach you how to set up tables and relationships to ensure that the database is properly normalized. Then I’ll help you write VBA code to create the connective tissue that turns a bunch of tables, queries, forms, and reports into a complete and coherent application. We’ll pay special attention to the important but often inadequately documented area of Automation code, which is used to communicate with other Office applications.

Over years of working with Access, I’ve created some add-ins to save time when developing applications. I’ll show you how to use them to create a main menu for an application, automatically apply a naming convention to database objects, and ensure a consistent and professional appearance of the application’s forms.

This book helps you write VBA code that unites database components into an application that works.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to build integrated Access-based applications that support multiple clients and databases
  • Tips for streamlining application creation
  • Maintenance required throughout an application’s life cycle, including migrating data from legacy systems and upgrading Office
  • How to use Automation code to exchange data among Office components and even some non-Office programs
  • Ways to avoid glitches when building Access applications that work with Excel, Word, and Outlook

Who this book is for

This book is for experienced Access users who are familiar with creating Access objects and writing VBA code, but who need help transitioning from competent users/programmers to full-fledged Access developers.

Wrox Expert One-On-One books present the wisdom accumulated by an experienced author who is recognized as an expert by the programming community. These experts challenge professional developers to examine their current practices in pursuit of better results.

About the Author

Helen Feddema is an internationally known expert on Microsoft Access, and a regular contributor to Pinnacle’s Smart Access and Office Developer journals. She edits the Woody’s Access Watch e-zine and writes its "Access Archon" column. Helen’s writings and seminars have been helping Access developers since the beta of Access 1.0, one of many she has tested.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
An application is more than just a database. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, but there are better books July 17 2004
Format:Paperback
I bought this book hoping, as the author stated in her introduction, to make the transition from an experienced and competent Access user to an Access developer who can make a living developing applications for clients. I had hoped that the book would be chocked full of tips, tricks and wisdom from an Access expert. But I was disappointed. The author stated that she wrote this book for experienced Access users, who knew how to create tables, queries, forms and other Access objects, and had some familiarity writing VBA code. It has always been my opinion that the creation of a good Access database application requires a solid knowledge of VBA, the available control events and how to effectively program those control events. Unfortunately the chapter on VBA was rather weak and the chapter on controls had little discussion of the numerous control events.
On the other hand, the author presented 13 full pages of VBA code to demonstrate using the ItemsSelected collection of a MultiSelect listbox, a concept that could have been demonstrated in about 10 lines of code. I found it interesting that the author never mentioned the Control Wizard, which can automatically generate VBA code for many control events. Also the author never mentioned that a callback function could be used as the record source for a combobox (or listbox).
In the first half of the book the author uses the Toy Workshop database example to illustrate how to create/modify tables, relationships, forms, controls and reports. The reader very quickly must become familiar with the structure of this database. A complete summary of the tables (listing the fields), forms (listing the controls), queries, and reports in an appendix would have been very helpful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for your Access library June 13 2004
Format:Paperback
Helen has been around since Access was introduced. She knows how to solve problems. This book is better than her previous book (Microsoft Press) for Access 2002. Great examples, plenty of code. Helen gives the reader insight into every day solutions. I especially like her Menu Manager Add-in. It is a good help for using her solutions. And, she even has code for sending a fax from Access with WinFax. I wrote my own procedure (it took a great deal of time) and it works fine, but Helen's code is very efficient (over 20 pages devoted to this in her book). It checks for all the folders and sends the fax. Much more information included - from a sample interview with a client, to using Access with Word, Outlook, and Excel.
My only complaint concerns the sample files. Wrox used to include a CD, but now they seem to be leaining toward web downloads. Not a bad idea but, in this case, the files are over 100 MB. If you don't have broadband, you may be working in Access 2004 before you're finished downloading these samples.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, but there are better books July 17 2004
By T. L Waltz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book hoping, as the author stated in her introduction, to make the transition from an experienced and competent Access user to an Access developer who can make a living developing applications for clients. I had hoped that the book would be chocked full of tips, tricks and wisdom from an Access expert. But I was disappointed. The author stated that she wrote this book for experienced Access users, who knew how to create tables, queries, forms and other Access objects, and had some familiarity writing VBA code. It has always been my opinion that the creation of a good Access database application requires a solid knowledge of VBA, the available control events and how to effectively program those control events. Unfortunately the chapter on VBA was rather weak and the chapter on controls had little discussion of the numerous control events.
On the other hand, the author presented 13 full pages of VBA code to demonstrate using the ItemsSelected collection of a MultiSelect listbox, a concept that could have been demonstrated in about 10 lines of code. I found it interesting that the author never mentioned the Control Wizard, which can automatically generate VBA code for many control events. Also the author never mentioned that a callback function could be used as the record source for a combobox (or listbox).
In the first half of the book the author uses the Toy Workshop database example to illustrate how to create/modify tables, relationships, forms, controls and reports. The reader very quickly must become familiar with the structure of this database. A complete summary of the tables (listing the fields), forms (listing the controls), queries, and reports in an appendix would have been very helpful. The reader is almost forced to download the sample databases from the Wrox website to get anything out of the book.
The author had many pages presenting the three add-ins that she developed: Design Schemes, LNC Rename and the Menu Manager add-in. On the surface these add-ins appear to be good tools for an Access developer, but the LNC Rename add-in (used to rename objects using the Leszynski naming convention) was not designed to work for controls with existing VBA code. And I wasn't crazy about the design of the main form created by the Menu Manager. Not to mention the fact that this add-in required you to rename your main form using a non-standard "fpri" tag. I would have liked for the author to give me the expert guidance that I need to create my own add-ins rather than to simply use the "canned" add-ins developed by the author.
I didn't read the chapters on Automation dealing with Word, Outlook or applications outside of Office. The chapter "Working With Word" probably is one of the best chapters since this subject appears to one of the author's areas of expertise. I did read the chapter on "Working with Excel". It was OK. It just scratched the surface of the subject of automation between Access and Excel, primarily dealing with how to programmatically export data from Access to Excel and import data from Excel into Access.
Before you decide to purchase this book, I'd recommend taking a look at Alison Balter's book "Mastering Microsoft Access 2000 Development " and Scott Barker's book "Microsoft Access 2000 Power Programming". And if you decide to purchase this book, plan on downloading the sample databases (Note: the three ZIP files are a whopping 114MB) and plan on spending a lot of time studying the sample tables, forms, queries, reports, and VBA code.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for your Access library June 13 2004
By Allan Bach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helen has been around since Access was introduced. She knows how to solve problems. This book is better than her previous book (Microsoft Press) for Access 2002. Great examples, plenty of code. Helen gives the reader insight into every day solutions. I especially like her Menu Manager Add-in. It is a good help for using her solutions. And, she even has code for sending a fax from Access with WinFax. I wrote my own procedure (it took a great deal of time) and it works fine, but Helen's code is very efficient (over 20 pages devoted to this in her book). It checks for all the folders and sends the fax. Much more information included - from a sample interview with a client, to using Access with Word, Outlook, and Excel.
My only complaint concerns the sample files. Wrox used to include a CD, but now they seem to be leaining toward web downloads. Not a bad idea but, in this case, the files are over 100 MB. If you don't have broadband, you may be working in Access 2004 before you're finished downloading these samples.
3.0 out of 5 stars Very approachable Aug. 8 2011
By J. Sayer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has good coverage for Access 2003, but is sadly out of date. Still it does have a personality that gives the reader some real one-on-one insight and information. I hope that Helen updates her work.
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful Access guide to app development and VBA Aug. 5 2010
By Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helen is a dean of Access VBA development. The book is full of useful, easily adaptable examples of how to customize Access apps with VBA.
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