Monday, June 23, 2008

Free Security Tool for MS Office Files

Security company Sourcefire has released a freeware utility to help identify potentially unsecure Microsoft Office files. The tool, called OfficeCat, can be used to scan Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher documents. Unlike other products that detect attempts to exploit known Microsoft vulnerabilities, Sourcefire said OfficeCat can determine if a file contains hostile content before it is opened.

More info from source:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Using Access with SQL Server: Panel Discussion from TechEd 2008

Check out this TechEd panel discussion: Are we there yet? Successfully navigating the bumpy road from Access to SQL Server.

The discussion is described as follows:

“Use SQL Server, not Access”, is advice commonly handed out when the Jet database engine outgrows its usefulness. However, that’s often easier said than done. Each database application is unique; some may have salvageable components, whereas others may need to be redesigned and rebuilt from scratch. In addition, there are substantial differences between the Jet and SQL Server database engines that can make a straight port unworkable in many situations. This panel discusses criteria for deciding whether to migrate data from Access to SQL Server, and for determining the optimal migration path once the decision is made. The panelists will share their real-world expertise to help you determine a successful strategy that best suits your business needs. With Mary Chipman, Armen Stein, Luke Chung, Paul Sheriff, and Stephen Forte."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

NEW NATIVE SideBar MS Access Switchboard Demos
for Microsoft© 2000/2002/2003/2007

Screenshot from Access 2000 in Windows XP: click on the image to zoom in

I have just uploaded two new Access 2007 Themed Native SideBar Switchboard Demos, which feature Outlook-style application navigation using only native Access controls.

There are now FIVE themes:
  • Windows XP
  • Access 2007 Vista NOIR
  • Access 2007 Black
  • NEW Access 2007 Silver
  • NEW Access 2007 Blue
included in the package which is still only US$39.95.

Features include:
  • Seamlessly use the native Switchboard Items table created by the Access Switchboard Manager
  • Outlook-style navigation
  • Custom Icons for each Switchboard Bar and Switchboard Item
  • FIVE Switchboards for the price of one!
You can use the demos as a Contacts Manager or buy the source code to use the GUI in your own Access applications.

Download the Native SideBar Switchboard Demos.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Office 2007 Security Guide

Understanding the 2007 Microsoft Office Security Guide This guide from Microsoft sets out best practices and automated tools to help strengthen the security of computers running Office 2007 on Windows XP/Vista.

What's New in Microsoft SQL Server 2008: Free Courses

Free E-Learning: What's New in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 A free E-Learning collection from Microsoft. In three clinics, participants learn what's new in SQL Server 2008 for Enterprise Data Platform, SQL Server 2008 for Business Intelligence, and SQL Server 2008 for Database Development.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Improving Access Database Performance

I just came across this very useful article on Mircosoft's Office On-line portal:
Improve Performance of an Access Database.

Significant performance issues for Access developers are deploying Access databases over a network and in multi-user environments. This article has some really well-presented advice and tips. A tip on improving the performance of linked tables is particularly helpful:
You can greatly enhance performance, when opening the main database and opening tables and forms, by forcing the linked database to remain open. To do this, create an empty table in the linked database, and link the table in the main database. Then, use the OpenRecordset method to open the linked table. This prevents the Microsoft Jet database engine from repeatedly opening and closing the linked database and from creating and deleting the associated .ldb file.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

New Access 2007 Backup Before Compact Tool

As reported in my AccessExtra post Access 2007 Bug Alert: Compact and Repair Might Delete Your Database last week, Access KB Article 950812 describes a scenario where a compact and repair in Access 2007 deletes the database. You can’t download the fix directly but can get it by calling MS Customer Service. This fix will be included in SP2 when that ships.

Backup Before Compact is a free Access 2007 Add-In that I have developed that automatically closes Access to unlock the database file, backups, and then compacts & repairs the database before re-opening it in Access 2007. A fail-safe feature renames the original file, which is retained as a temporary redundant backup until the tool is next used on the database.

You can download the Add-in from my Free Access Tools page.