Saturday, July 29, 2006

MSDN Library Now Available for Free Download

The MSDN Library May 2006 an essential resource of information for developers using Microsoft tools, products, and technologies is now available for free download.

The download is available as three separate ISO image files totaling 2gb. Unfortunately you can't pick and choose content and there is no TOC for each ISO, though on the download page you are told to download the files most appropriate for you... There are other inconsistencies on the page, and MS really needs to review the text, and consider custom download options based on content.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Even More Office 2007 Developer Videos

2007 Office System Video: Windows SharePoint Services Platform How Windows SharePoint Services provides the unified server foundation for many of the 2007 Microsoft Office system server capabilities
2007 Office System Video: Portals Customizing search capabilities, building custom portal interfaces, providing personalized views, and aggregating connections to line-of-business data.
Microsoft Webcasts Links
SQL Server 2005: How Microsoft IT Does It

Improving Data Security by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Using SQL Server 2005 Integration Services in a Scalable Business Intelligence Solution

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Office 2007 Ribbon To Be "Tweaked"

Source Gregg Keizer, TechWeb July 26 2006

Microsoft has announced that the Technical Refresh of the current Beta 2 of Office 2007 will make changes to the operation of the RibbonBar. See my post of July 2 on my take on the Access 2007 RibbonBar.

This is news to me: you can use Ctrl-F1 to collapse the RibbonBar since the first beta to provide more viewing and working space for documents. Microsoft Office 2007 GUI program manger Jensen Harris has outlined changes on how the RibbonBar will be invoked in future builds. In the latest builds, you can right-click anywhere in the Ribbon to bring up a context menu which includes an option to minimize the Ribbon. This is in addition to Ctrl+F1 and double-clicking the selected tab. Jensen has also posted a short video showing the new feature in action. The Menu Tabs also activates a tab as a pop-up in a minimized Ribbon with a left-click. When users finish with the tab pop-up or click away from it, it disappears, and returns the interface to a ribbon-minimized state. The new feature can be seen in another video clip posted to Jensen's blog.

But from what I can gather all this does is return some screen real estate to the GUI, and still does not allow Access developers to implement a classic menubar/toolbar navigation paradigm.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More Office 2007 Developer Videos

2007 Office System Video: Solutions and Partners Industry experts demonstrate how to integrate Office clients, servers, services, and tools to build real world solutions.

2007 Office System Video: Enterprise Content Management View conference breakout sessions about the new, extensible content management features.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Office 2007 Developer Videos

Download this series of Office 2007 developer-oriented videos:

Collaboration How developers can use the 2007 Microsoft Office system to create powerful collaboration tools

Client Development Using the Microsoft Office System client

Enterprise Project Management Project 2007 and enterprise project management.

Friday, July 21, 2006

2007 Office System Video: Business Intelligence

Download this series of developer-oriented videos from to view conference breakout sessions about building smart client and browser-based BI solutions leveraging a wide array of extensible capabilities, including key performance indicators, PivotTables, Web parts, and spreadsheet-based Web services.
SQL Server 2005 Books Online (July 2006)

Download an updated version of the documentation and tutorials for Microsoft SQL Server 2005. See the Additional Information section for an update on SQL Server Express Books Online.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

SQL Server 2005 Samples and Sample Databases (July 2006)

Download over 100 samples and three sample databases for SQL Server 2005 from
MVP Allen Browne's Tips for Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access tips, solutions, tutorials, help, and examples from Allen Browne Articles for beginners and advanced users of Access. Examples and solutions, bugs and traps to avoid, and sample code & utilities to download. All free.
The Hey, Scripting Guy! Archive

The first two years of the Hey, Scripting Guy! column, gathered in one fully-searchable archive. This HTML help file includes all the text, graphics, and hyperlinks for nearly 500 Hey, Scripting Guy! columns. Includes many useful scripts using the Windows Scripting object.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

WEBCAST: Ensuring High Availability for SQL Server

Webcast: Ensuring High Availability for SQL Server A live Webcast to see a walkthrough demonstration of such a product, WANSyncHA SQL, XOsoft's business continuity solution for Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 2005.

Top 10 advanced features of SQL Server SQL 2005

From Top 10 advanced features of SQL Server SQL 2005 New features enhance productivity, efficiency, availability, and administrative ease. A discussion of the more advanced new features of the SQL Server 2005 Database Engine.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Latest MS Access KB Articles
Courtesy of

Access 97

167852 ACC97: Can't Use Back Button in IE3 If Started from Web Toolbar
167293 ACC: Can't Print Datasheet Gridlines in Color in Access 95/97

Access 2000

917284 MS06-038: Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office could allow remote code execution
914797 Description of the security update for Office 2000: July 11, 2006
917152 Description of the security update for Office 2000 and for Project 2000: July 11, 2006
288300 ACC2000: "Microsoft Access Can't Find the Wizard..." Error Message After You Apply the Access 2000 and SQL Server 2000 Readiness Update
918957 A file does not open in the program that you expect when you try to open the file in Office

Access 2002

919530 Description of the Access 2002 post-Service Pack 3 hotfix package for the Estonian version of Access 2002: June 6, 2006
914796 Description of the security update for Office XP: July 11, 2006
917150 Description of the security update for Office XP, the security update for Project 2002, and the security update for Visio 2002: July 11, 2006

Access 2003

917151 Description of the security update for Office 2003: July 11, 2006
914455 Description of the security update for Office 2003, for Project 2003, and for OneNote 2003: July 11, 2006
921647 Description of the Access 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: June 26, 2006
915433 Description of the Office 2003 hotfix package: April 5, 2006
913646 Description of the Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: April 24, 2006
919427 You cannot use can the MSOLAP provider name to reference the Analysis Services 9.0 OLE DB Provider after you install or repair an Office 2003 program
921025 You cannot open Access report snapshot (.snp) files in Internet Explorer after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2
921024 Error message when you use Access 2003 to open a database file: "Error 1706. No valid source could be found"

Friday, July 14, 2006

Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0

Microsoft has released MSXML 6.0. with improved reliability, security, conformance with the XML 1.0 and XML Schema 1.0 W3C Recommendations, and compatibility with System.Xml 2.0. Download details.
New Free MS Access Tool: The Access DASHBOARD®
Manage all your Access databases in one free application

I have just launched my latest free Access tool: The Access DASHBOARD®. Launch multiple versions of MS Access Databases. Supports Access 97 or later and JET 2 or later, and these Access files types:*.mdb;*.mda;*.mde;*.adp;*.ade. Windows file associations are NOT affected.

Download from the Free Access Tools tab on my Access Tools page.

The DASHBOARD® automatically determines in which version of JET adatabase was created. Each file is opened in the appropriate versionof MS Access. Users can manually override the version applied bythe DASHBOARD. You can use the Shortcut Builder to create customDesktop shortcuts.

In-built Tools allow you to Backup, Repair, Compact, and Decompile database files without leaving the DASHBOARD.

As an option, you can have your Windows Explorer Right-click PopUp Menu available friom within the DASHBOARD.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Office 2007 and OBAs: Customizable Business Applications

Building Office Business Applications: A New Breed of Business Applications Built on the 2007 Microsoft Office System This white paper introduces Office Business Applications (OBAs), a new breed of easily customizable solutions that address real-world business problems through the 2007 Microsoft Office system.
Data Access Tracing in SQL Server 2005

Data Access Tracing in SQL Server 2005 Learn how to apply the new tracing functionality in Microsoft data access technologies such as ADO.NET 2.0, MDAC 2.82, SQL Server Native Client, and the JDBC driver; and in the SQL Server network protocols and the SQL Server 2005 database engine.

MSDN Magazine August 2006: Focus On Office Development

The just released August 2006 issue of MSDN Magazine features these Office-related articles:

Business Apps: What You Need To Know About Using Office As A Development Platform

Gathering MOSS: New Dev-Centric Features In Office SharePoint Server Keep Your Apps Rolling

Add-In Power: Let Users Customize Your Apps With Visual Studio Tools For Applications

InfoPath 2007: Designing Form Templates With The New Features Of InfoPath

Monday, July 10, 2006

SQL Server Migration Assistant for Microsoft Access Requires License Key

Microsoft has just announced that the SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) for MS Access, to operate properly requires registration, download, and update of a license key. This page provides access to a download of the license key as well as instructions on how to update the SSMA installation.
Ezy Exporter Premium Edition:
New Version 3.0 for Access 2000/2002/2003

The functionality Microsoft forgot... Export unlimited MS Access objects and data in bulk. The Access 2002/2003 version supports XML.

I have just launched a new Version 3 of Ezy Export Premium:

New features include:
  • Export these additional object collections: Relationships, CommandBars, Import/Export Specifications, and References
  • Select the folder to receive data exports
  • New GUI

Saturday, July 08, 2006

MS Access Database Repair and Recovery:
New v1.1 of Access Database Mechanic

My Access Database Mechanic tool is the top free download on

The Mechanic automates the process of attempting to recover a corrupt MS Access database, using four operations: compact & repair, JET compact, decompile, and complete rebuild of an .mdb. The applet also features a fail-safe mechanism that creates a uniquely named back-up copy of the .mdb before any recovery operation is attempted. Versions are available for Access2000/2002/2003.

Version 1.1 adds:

  • Support for the Microsoft JET Compact Repair Utility
  • Now features rebuild for additional objects: Import/Export Specifications, References, and Custom CommandBars
  • File download is one-fifth the size of v1.0 with a new and faster Install set

On the download page there are also comprehensive resources and links to assist you in your Access database recovery efforts.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Classic Database Window and MenuBar for Access 2007 BETA 2:
Free Code

Get my free download of a sample database for Access 2007 BETA 2 that recreates the Classic Access Database Window - just import the objects into your ACCDB:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Access 2007: First Impressions

I installed the Access 2007 BETA 2 over the weekend. These are my first impressions:
  • Install went smoothly and existing Access installations were not affected.

  • I was unable to open the sample applications/templates and received an error saying that I needed to load SQL Server Data Management Objects (SQL-DMO)? Running SQL Server 2005 Express did not fix the problem, and all download links for the sample databases from the BETA site were broken...

  • The RibbonBar navigation paradigm is bewildering and, from a developer's perspective, possibly a big mistake. It takes up a lot of screen space and the eye candy does not make up for the loss of accessibility and functionality from the ditching of the classic menubar/toolbar paradigm. It is telling that the VBA Editor retains the classic menubar and toolbars. It seems that Microsoft is deliberately pushing developers away from Office and VBA, while the Visual Studio Express applications retain the classic menus. There is a customizable QuickToolbar, to which you can add all available RibbonBar commands, but you can't create groups or nested hierarchies, and you can't add text to the icon buttons.

  • The change in the database format seems to stem from the need to handle RibbonBars and the new themes. This hardly compensates developers for the loss of Access security and the inability to implement classic menus. Changes to MDBs made in Access 2007 will be saved only in the new format. So for MDBs, Access 2007 offers only legacy support.

    This means that developers that need to support multiple Access versions, now also need to cope with incompatible file formats, as well as switching to and from the classic menus in Access prior versions and the clunky RibbonBars in Access 2007, and back again in the Access 2007 VBA Editor.

  • Ironically, the Switchboard Manager does not receive a make-over, using the Access 95 navigation paradigm AND the Access 95 format and colors.

Expect more posts as I delve further.