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The Top 5 Tips From Microsoft Access Help

Microsoft Access Tips

Your 5 Keys to Easy Microsoft Access Database Editing 

Microsoft Access Tips

Microsoft Access has advanced massively over the last 20 years. It is now a rich application that provides excellent out-of-the-box functionality. It is now compatible with other applications and can be used to create a productive and functional solution that can meet all your business needs. Often, people that are looking to work with Access don’t fully understand the functionality that Access has to offer. So to help counter that, here are my top 5 tips to help you with Microsoft Access.

Database Entry

Entering information into tables and forms is, of course, very simple… and Microsoft Access makes it intuitive. On top of this Microsoft Access includes keyboard shortcuts to enhance the usability through better navigation and editing processes. CTRL + adds a new record. CTRL ‘ takes the value from a previous record and replicates it in the corresponding field in the current record. Using the F2 key provides the opportunity to edit a record. There are so many ways to improve the usability of Microsoft Access. Make sure you check out the help file in the program by looking for “keyboard shortcuts”.

The Object Properties Dialog Box

Keyboard Shortcut KeysItems in the navigation pane and database window have properties that are hidden in which you can add narratives and also remove the object from the screen. There is a keyboard shortcut available in the form of ALT + Enter or you can “right-click” -> Properties. Once you have hidden an object, it will be gone from view until you select the option “Show Hidden Objects”. Utilizing this function is primarily adopted for sensitive items such as Action Queries and can be very useful.

Application Starter

It is possible to open a form on your welcoming screen instead of the navigation pane or database window. This can help make it a richer front-end. You can also stop the startup by pressing and holding “shift” during the database file launch.

Reporting In Access – Combine with Excel?

Reports are numerous in Microsoft Access database. It includes pivot tables. However, most people will be more comfortable with Excel’s pivot tables. It is possible to take data from Excel and link it to the Accessdatabase. The two applications, both being Microsoft, are great for integration and Excel also provides the added benefit of having a file that can be sent by email.

Updating Bulk Data

If you have a big update to do and it involves a pattern, then there is a function called “Update Query”, which enables you to dictate the criteria and also include calculations. A typical example of this is with an online store: A price increase of 5% across the board could be done through a formula update query. Updating each price manually could be a time consuming nightmare, but running an update query is fast and simple. There are so many different options available in Microsoft Access. It’s a far more powerful tool than most of us give it credit for. Get your head into the system and understand how it can help improve your business and you really will benefit from an efficient, productive, and profit-increasing piece of software.

© 2013 Phoenix Consultants Group, Inc.

How To Choose The Best Database Programs

Database Programs

How To Choose The Best Database Programs

Choosing the best database program for your business will transform columns and rows of data into priceless information to make your business efficient and competitive. Databases certainly aren’t just about the columns and rows.

Different businesses have different uses for their data. Some databases are nothing more than mailing lists that require a minimal amount of information but have a very powerful function in the business. Other databases have product inventories that need to be constantly updated as sales are made online and offline. Others are even more complex, tracking the full lifecycle of a product through manufacture and distribution.

Whatever data your business is able to collect, it is important to know how to get the best out of it. Here are some tips to help you select the best software.

A Lot of Different Options

Database ProgramsThe first thing to note is the plethora of options available for you through the different types of database management systems. We now have web-enabled, server-based, desktop, cloud, and so many more different means of accessing database technology. Traditional databases are just a part of the offering nowadays. There are even targeted systems, such as column stores, unstructured information, in-memory; and each and every one of these can add value to organizations in different ways.

Each system has advantages and disadvantages and what’s important is selecting the best database program that is right for your business. The minimum necessities that are required are a suite of tools for customization, frequent updates, and reliable, expert support.

The process of choosing the best database program can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth the investment in the long run to ensure business scalability, efficiency, and profitability. Having a trusted partner at your side, through a consulting company, really does pay dividends.

Desktop Solutions

Desktop solutions are generally for single users and are cost-effective for people that really just need a database on their computer. Many people will use Microsoft Access or a very low-cost solution.

Server-Based Databases

A server-based database is designed for multiple users and enables the storage and manipulation of significant amounts of data. The most popular server-based systems are Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. The cost implications of server-based solutions are pretty high.

Web-Based Database Management

Naturally, these days, most things are integrated with the Web. The most popular product available as a web-based solution is Microsoft Access, and it is relatively inexpensive.

With websites increasingly being the feeder for databases, web-based solutions are an exciting proposition. It is important to consider your data uses when you are selecting your database software. You need to look at the value you gain based on the different tools available to you. Your budget and your company size will also be important.

Steps to Take

Choosing the Best Database ProgramForm a strategic plan to understand the importance of the software to your business so that you can understand the financial implications. Drill down into the exact information you want to collect so that you can understand the impact it will have and ensure that you will get maximum benefit.

Whether you choose a custom solution, an off-the-shelf package system, or a tailored off-the-shelf solution, will depend on your needs and budget. Certainly, if you need something particularly complex, then a server platform will likely be best. If budget is your primary concern, then a desktop-based database will suit your needs perhaps most affordably. If you’re looking for flexibility and cost-effectiveness, then web-based solution may interact best with your business.

Web-based solutions also offer customer relationship management and content management systems combined, and also maximize efficiency. It is important to also think about data protection to ensure that the company you choose meets the guidelines set out by the relevant security standards councils.

Key Concepts and Definitions

Here are some key concepts you should understand well when considering database software.

Database

Databases are collections of data stored for business purposes in columns and rows and accessed to manipulate, provide reports and generally understand the business.

Database Management System (DBMS)

These are tools and software that are utilized in order to create and manipulate databases. They catalog, capture, and run queries on data. They also enable businesses to manage and organize data that arrives into a database and provide ways that users can modify and extract the data in order to suit the specific business needs.

Non-Relational Database (No SQL)

Unstructured information, such as tweets, emails, documents, and so on will need a database that is designed for this purpose. Many databases have information that is particularly organized and structured and can be nicely slotted into columns and rows. If this isn’t the case, then No SQL is the solution likely to work best.

Primary Key

This is a column in a database that is unique and identifies the entry into a database. For example, it could be a customer number or a social security number.

Schema

This is the structure of a database as defined by formal language. Relational databases have schema defined as tables, fields, relationships, indexes, functions, and sequences.

Structured Query Language (SQL)

This is a very common language used in programming to create and manipulate databases. It is the basis for relational databases and provides the ability to input data, create new tables, purge databases, and so on.

 

So there you have it – some tips on how to choose the best database programs and also some of the language that you’ll need to know to have good discussions with IT companies.

Database Tracking Systems and their Value to You and Your Business

Database Tracking

Database TrackingDatabase tracking systems come in a variety of forms and serve many different business purposes.  For example, one may use a database tracking system to catalog library book usage – check-ins and checkouts, reservations and holds, etc.   Alternatively, such systems may also be employed in the ongoing recording of construction asset and material locations, conditions, and projected values.

Additionally, database tracking software may encompass the ongoing understanding of the contents of a database itself.  For example, any effective sales representative needs to be familiar with the current offerings of the business they represent.

Rather than downloading a product catalogue every few weeks, database tracking software would highlight the changes that have occurred in the database since it was last viewed, enabling greater sales effectiveness and information efficiency.

In fact, business in the modern world is all about efficiency, and efficiency, in turn, is dependent on reliable and current information.  Data organization and structure is the key to relevant and up-to-date information.  Today, the contents of databases arrive from a myriad of different sources in distinct formats, through numerous data transformations and conversions, and via any of a number of devices.
With such complexity in the way data is input into a database, there is an inherently increased risk that the integrity of the data may be compromised.  Database tracking systems are specifically and uniquely designed to prevent such catastrophe.  They do so by carefully monitoring the flow of information, coordinating the influx of complex data from its many sources, effectively integrating the information into the database, ensuring organization and usability, and safeguarding against data compromise.

You may be thinking, “This is all very well, but what does all this  have to do with MY business?”  Well, no matter your business size or type, database tracking systems allow for:

  • Greater process efficiency
  • Increased information integration and organization across business divisions
  • More efficient and comprehensive reporting
  • Greater understanding of your client profile, customer behaviors, and overall product satisfaction
  • More effective business strategy design
  • Earlier identification of business challenges and issues
  • More informed decision-making

Database Tracking Scheme

Furthermore, from a data integrity point of view, the employment of a database tracking system could mean the prevention of catastrophic business failure.  For example, the compromise or loss of an online or other business database could result in serious direct financial loss.  Additionally, the accompanying loss of business credibility and industry reputation may incur ongoing losses in the future.  In today’s highly competive and unforgiving business atmosphere, no organization can afford to be seen as careless, disorganized, and/or inefficient.

Databases are the lifeblood that enables effective and profitable business to deliver their services, both online and offline.  With the right help, the installation of a properly designed and reliable database tracking system is relatively quick and simple.  Strongly consider pursuing the greater piece of mind, stability, and security that a database tracking system can provide for your business.

Custom Software Applications Can Make Your Business Fly

custom software application

custom software applicationFor many businesses, custom software applications have made their business more efficient and cheaper to run. Retail software can reduce upfront costs, but in the long run will have many costs that businesses fail to take into consideration. Retail is designed like a one size fits all mitten. With the right custom software developer, custom software can be developed to fit your business like a glove. Retail software is not designed for a specific business, but rather a wide range to ensure that the company sells as many units as possible. The negative effects of this include cluttered menus, slow performance, and the inability to tweak different aspects of the software. Working with a custom software developer, a custom application can be developed that is more efficient in every way. Overall costs will be reduced because of the time saved over months and years that the software is used. Training time can be reduced because of the customized menus that show only the information needed. A common frustration with retail software is that a feature that is very important to a certain company is hidden in the menus and not easily accessible. When you have custom software applications, a company can work with the custom software developer to make the user interface and functionality that you dream of a reality.

Benefits Of Custom Software Applications

custom software applicatoin

custom software applicatoinMore and more companies are creating their own software. They are making internal processes easier and making apps for people with smartphones to connect with their business.  The more ingrained you can get a potential customer the better, and smartphone apps have proven to be a winning combination for many businesses.

The reason that custom software applications are so powerful is because of how tailored they can be to your business. Most software companies create software, and then you have to figure out how to adapt your business practices to it. The software itself cant change because you want it to, and you inevitably end up frustrated. It will be able to do eight out of ten things you want, but not in the way you want it to.

Working with a custom software developer, you can specify every little part of the application to set up your work flow. Custom software applications will have all the nuances that you need them to. With the right software team, you can set up a recurring contract so they can add features to the program as more needs arise. Being flexible with your software is one of the best parts of the having custom software.