Friday, September 30, 2005 On-Line Access Knowledge Base Upgraded

I have upgraded the on-line Access KB Articles database for direct search results for over 3,000 article links. The search page now supports OR & AND boolean operators.
Using the latest Technology in MS Office

These recent articles from MSDN will give you a head start on the new features of Office 2003:

Word 2003: Importing XML Data to Word 2003 Using Visual Studio Tools for Office Download this code sample to learn how to import XML data from a database into Word documents using Visual Studio Tools for Office 2003.

Office COM Add-Ins Use Visual Basic to build COM add-ins and then use them to extend your Outlook applications. These techniques can also be applied to developing COM Add-Ins for Access.

Begin Web Part Development in Windows SharePoint Services Introduce yourself to Web Part programming using prewritten Web Parts, Web Part Pages, custom lists and libraries, browser-based editing, FrontPage-based editing, Data Sources, Data Views, Web Part connections, and Microsoft Office connectivity.
For the Serious Office Developer

Valuable Access developer resources from MSDN:
Get Started on Access VBA Error-Handling

These overview articles from MSDN on implementing error-handling in Office applications are a good starting point for new developers:
Get A Handle on MS Access Security

A collection of articles on Access security from MSDN:
Deploying Your MS Access Database Applications

Three new articles from MSDN:

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New BETA 2 of Access Table Links and Connections Manager:
Manage MS Access Table Links and Project Connections More Easily

The BETA 2 is now available for free download. The Links Manager will find all the MS Access files in the location you select and an Access report will display all table links and base string connections, and any connect errors grouped by:

  • Jet Version
  • File Type: mdb/mde/mda or adp/ade
  • Linked Database Paths and linked tables: for mdb/mde/mda's
  • Base Connection String: for adp/ade's
  • Separate reports will be produced for .mdx files and .adx. files

BETA 2 adds a new dependents of report, after feedback on the first BETA.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

MS Office 2003 Service Pack 2 Out

Office 2003 SP2 was realeased on 27 Sep:
Ezy Reporter PLUS Add-In for MS Access BETA

The easy way to create data output from MS Access - including XML - with my latest Access Add-In, Ezy Reporter PLUS. An add code options allows developers to add Ezy Reporter PLUS to their applications. Download from

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ezy Filter PLUS Add-In for MS Access BETA

Easily filter any data form or report in any MS Access database, with advanced sorting options using my latest Access Add-In, Ezy Filter PLUS. An add code options allows developers to add Ezy Filter PLUS to their applications. Download from
Latest MS Access KB Articles

Courtesy of

Access 2000
905726 You are unexpectedly prompted to restart the computer after you install an Office service pack or an Office update

Access 2002

906680 Description of the Microsoft Office XP Proofing Tools Kit hotfix package: September 1, 2005
906886 Description of the proofing tools for the Dutch version of Office XP post-Service Pack 3 hotfix package: September 1, 2005
902349 How to change the source for a client computer from an updated administrative installation point to an Office 2003 or Office XP original baseline source
904948 A document may take a longer time than expected to print or the print spool file may be larger in Office 2003 or in Office XP

Access 2003

907339 Description of Photo Editor support with Office 2003 programs
905476 You cannot update the data in a view that you created in Office Access 2003
902988 How to perform a chain installation of Office 2003 and Office 2003 updates
NEW Contemporary Switchboard And Transaction Log Demof or Microsoft© Access 2000/2002/2003

I have just launched my latest Access Demo Database featuring a new look sidebar application navigation with bonus comprehensive transaction logging code.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Kids Programming Language (KPL)

Morrison Schwarz have also developed a free and really cool development language especially designed to gets kids started in programming. KPL is an easy-to-use VB-like language to make learning to program fun. Download from Kid's Programming Language. Read the wrap on KPL from MSDN's CoolApps on the Coding4Fun portal.
Morrison Schwartz: Free Developer Tools

I just discovered this excellent resource. Morrison Schwartz offer a wide range of free Developer Tools.

More on Office 12 has some feature articles on Office 12:

  • FAQ: Looking into Office 12 Here's what you can expect from Microsoft's radical revamp of Office, due next year.
  • Office 12 makeover takes on 'feature creep' Microsoft's radical Office 12 overhaul, due next year, aims to counteract "feature creep" and wake users up to the suite's hidden treasures.
  • Photo gallery: New looks for Vista, Office The September 2005 edition of Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference got under way with a keynote address by Bill Gates and a "live preview" of the next version of Office.
  • Blog: Microsoft Office 12--The rise of smart applications? Find out why TechRepublic's Jason Hiner is ambivalent about Bill Gates' statement at the Professional Developers Conference that Office 12 will attempt to automatically adapt its interface to the type of work that a user is doing. However, he adds, "This makes me think that we may be seeing the beginning of the smart applications of the future--applications that will be able to anticipate and help streamline rudimentary tasks."

Friday, September 16, 2005

Diving Into the New Office 12

A 40 minute video demo of the new Office GUI.

Links to Free Microsoft Access and Microsoft Office Training

I have added a new Free Access Training page to, with many links to free MS Access and MS Office Training, eBooks, and Book and Tutorial Downloads. There also links to Office, SQL Server, Web Development, VB, and XML material.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Office 12: Goodbye to Menubars and Toolbars...

Instead of the menubar and toolbar, Office 12 users will navigate a new user interface referred to as a ribbon. This new navigation bar consists of a tabbed command bar, which will open galleries in place of the venerable toolbar by hovering over command items. Full review and screenshots.
Office 12 Previews

Office "12" XML Schema Reference - PDC 2005 Preview This download contains DRAFT documentation on a selection of Microsoft Office 12 XML Schemas.

Video: Brian Jones on New Office XML Format Brian Jones, program manager on the Microsoft Word team, demos the new Office XML format.
Automating the Deployment of an Office InfoPath Form Template

Automating the Deployment of an Office InfoPath Form Template How to update part of a previously-published form template and move it to a new location, such as a Web server or a network file share.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Plenty of MS Office Hype But Where is the Support?

For Microsoft's fiscal year ended June 30, the unit that includes Office had operating income of nearly $8 billion, on revenue of $11 billion. The company's overall revenue was $40 billion. It is fair to say that Office is the flagship earnings product for Microsoft, but as an Office developer I feel short-changed.

While massive resources and support are available for VB.Net, Visual Studio, and SQL Server, Office Developers get short shrift. Most Office applications are deployed in small businesses and within corporate units, so the fancy but complex and costly-to-maintain enterprise interfaces offered by VSTO and SQL Server are not relevant, yet the support focus is on these enterprise tools. All the talk about supporting Office Developers is just that.

A case in point: I applied for an MS Office ISV "buddy" under the ISV Microsoft Buddy Program, where an MS specialist is assigned to you as a direct MS support contact. Nothing happened for 6 months, and on enquiry was told a match could not be found! I suppose they were embarrassed and soon came up with a "match", who turned about out be an evangelist for VB.Net with no real interest in Office...
New GUI for Office 12

At this week's PDC05 the new UI for Office 12 was showcased. A Q&A article on the new design is available at the Office Developer Center on MSDN.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Easily Build Custom Controls for Your Office Applications

In Visual Studio Tools for Office, Windows Forms makes creating a custom control as easy as building a form. From DevX.Com.

Office 12 Screenshots

Go to

Monday, September 12, 2005

Visual Studio for Office: MSDN Webcast

Visual Studio for Office: MSDN Webcast Forum with MS Office Development Team Explore the new features of Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System, such as hosting Word and Excel as full-fledged designers within the Visual Studio development environment, programming directly against data and view objects, and creating a custom Document Actions Pane. Developers can utilize these new features to build solutions that work with the current and upcoming versions of Word and Excel.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Use MS Office to Track Your Stocks

A simple way to achieve this is to use Excel and Access in MS Office 2002 or Office 2003.

Excel's Web Query feature allows a spreadsheet to be automatically updated by data from the Web each time you open the file. You can set up a Web query in a spreadsheet that will give you the latest stock prices from a web site:
  1. Open a blank worksheet and click in cell A1.
  2. From the Menubar click Data Import External Data New Web Query. Excel will then prompt you for an Internet connection if you're not already connected.
  3. In the Address box, enter the URL of the Web page that contains the stock statistics and then click Go. For example the live stock statistics on the site are easily linked.
  4. Click the yellow boxes with arrows next to the blocks of text you want to import. When clicked, the yellow boxes turn into green boxes with check marks.
  5. Click the Import button.
To have the Web query update the spreadsheet every time the file is opened:
  1. Right-click a blank area of the main toolbar and select External Data.
  2. Click the Data Range Properties button.
  3. In the Refresh Control section, select Refresh Data On File Open. Click OK.
  4. Add column headings (ie. field names) to each data column as needed.
Now the spreadsheet will automatically update the web data each time the file is opened, or accessed by another Office application such as Access.

If you need to take a snapshot of the data in Excel:
  1. Select the data you want to copy. From the Menubar click Edit Copy.
  2. Click on the cell where you want the snapshot of the data to appear.
  3. From the Menubar click Edit Paste Special.
  4. Click the Values And Number Formats checkboxes, and then click OK.
  5. From the Menubar click Edit Paste Special.
  6. Click the Column Widths checkbox and then click OK.
Finally you can use this date in Access by creating a new database in Access and then:
  1. From the Menubar click File Get External Data Link Tables...
  2. In the Link dialog, select Microsoft Excel (*.xls) from the Files of type combobox, and click Link.
  3. Follow the the Link Wizard to finish, and you will have a table linked directly to your spreadsheet.