Monday, December 04, 2006

Access Control Center Now Free!

A new version of Access Control Center to cover Access 2007 is under development, and I have decided to make the popular current version free. Was US$30.

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More info on this fully-featured application follows. Don't pay upwards of US$120 for other applications.

What is Access Control Center (ACC)?

ACC manages all your Microsoft Access database projects from within an integrated project environment.

ACC detects which supported versions of Access are installed on your PC, allowing you to organize projects by Access versions. Projects are managed centrally and .mdb's are opened by the appropriate Access version automatically. Each .mdb has it's own Notes record. The Shortcut Wizard creates desktop shortcuts for secured and unsecured databases. You can compact, repair, and decompile files from within ACC.

System Requirements

ACC requires at least MS Office 97 Professional and VB6 Runtime files.

ACC automatically supports Access 97, Access 2000, Access 2002, and Access 2003 ('supported versions'). You can manually add references to Access 2 and Access.

Setting Up ACC

When ACC is first opened, it will detect which supported versions of Access are installed on your PC.  

Using ACC

The ACC Find Database Wizard automatically locates all Access files in a location and adds them to ACC classified by the Access version required to open a file.

For each Access version installed on your PC, you can also manually add a reference to each database you wish to automatically open with that version. The Add Databases dialog will list all the Access database files in the selected folder, and you can optionally add files in bulk. You can check that a file is compatible with the current Access version by selecting a file and clicking the Check command button. The Check command will attempt to open the file in the current Access version. Duplicate database names are allowed.

Once a database has been added to ACC, you can optionally assign a reference to an Access workgroup file for that database.

The paths of the database file and any assigned workgroup file will be displayed in the first status bar at the bottom of the ACC application window. Double-clicking on a database will open it in the assigned Access version. The second status bar details the size of and date of the file.

You can open supported versions of Access from within ACC by selecting the Access version from the dropdown menu on the Toolbar. Double-click on an Access version node in the ACC data tree to open that version of Access without opening a database.

You can drag a database node from one Access version to another in the ACC data tree by holding down the right mouse button and dragging the database onto another Access version.

Open a database on the fly with command-line options by using the Command-Line Dialog.

After adding a database to ACC, you can also create Windows Desktop shortcuts to the database. You can incorporate command line switches in shortcuts for unsecured databases and also user-specific shortcuts for secured databases. You can also optionally add a shortcut to your Windows Favorites folder for unsecured databases. You can edit a shortcut and add multiple switches.  You can in-text edit all the components of the shortcut, and test the shortcut before creating it.

The Task Pane

The main ACC application window organizes databases by Access version. The main ACC application window organizes databases by Access version. The Task Pane allows shortcuts to any file to be organized by task or project. You can add shortcuts and tasks in the Task Pane, from the ACC application Menubar, or by dragging files from Windows Explorer onto an Access version in ACC or a Task in the Task Pane.

The Task Pane is an integrated floating Task Window, which can be hidden and sent to the icon tray, and with a Stay On Top option. You can add Tasks (ie. Projects, Jobs etc), and add Shortcuts to databases under each Task. The Task Pane is a separate application that, as needed, works in tandem with ACC, and there is an option to turn autostart of the Task Pane off.

Other Features Include:

  • Export the note for a database to a .txt file.
  • Right-click on a database node to Compact/Repair or Decompile a database on the fly.
  • In-place editing of database names within the ACC data tree. The Copy Database Dialog allows in-line editing of the field name.
  • You can toggle between a vertical and horizontal split for the Tree and Notes panes, or hide the Notes pane completely.
  • Drag files from Windows Explorer and automatically create shortcuts by dropping onto an Access version in ACC or a task in the Task Pane.
  • Refresh the date tree by selecting View, Refresh Tree from the Menubar.
  • You can copy a database file to another drive/folder, and re-name a database file from within ACC.
  • Intelligent file dialogs, which default to the most recent database folder used by a selected Access version, or to the folder for the current database file, according to the context, allow easy access to current projects.
  • User settings are saved between sessions.
  • The File Properties Utility allows viewing of database file information from within ACC.
  • Use the Filing Assistant for the bulk copying of files from within ACC.
  • The Logged Users Tool allows you to locate all users and network stations logged into a production Access database, and send network broadcasts to logged-in machines within ACC.
  • Functionality for Access2/95/97 is customized to deal with such issues as .ini files, short file names, and different command-line switches.
  • Extensive Browse File Dialogs assist in the creation of shortcuts and the location of files.

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Access Control Center v2.8.2
©2003-2006 Anthony D'Ambra

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