Ken Bluttman is the author of numerous computer books and articles. He recently released O'Reilly's Access Hacks as well as Excel Charts for Dummies. Ken is also at work on his next O'Reilly book: The Access Data Cookbook (due out at the end of 2005). His technical chops include Microsoft Office, XML, VBA, VB.Net, SQL Server, and assorted web technologies.Ken is a musician, nature lover, and as time allows spins a good dish in the kitchen. Visit Ken at www.bluttman.com.
Access Hacksby Ken Bluttman
As part of the Microsoft Office suite, Access has become the industry's leading desktop database management program for organizing, accessing, and sharing information. But taking advantage of this product to build increasingly complex Access applications requires something more than your typical how-to book. What it calls for is Access Hacks from/i>
As part of the Microsoft Office suite, Access has become the industry's leading desktop database management program for organizing, accessing, and sharing information. But taking advantage of this product to build increasingly complex Access applications requires something more than your typical how-to book. What it calls for is Access Hacks from O'Reilly.This valuable guide provides direct, hands-on solutions that can help relieve the frustrations felt by users struggling to master the program's various complexities. For experienced users, Access Hacks offers a unique collection of proven techniques and tools that enable them to take their database skills and productivity to the next level. For Access beginners, it helps them acquire a firm grasp of the program's most productive features.A smart collection of insider tips and tricks, Access Hacks covers all of the program's finer points. Among the multitude of topics addressed, it shows users how to:
- work with Access in multi-user environments
- utilize SQL queries
- work with external data and programs
- integrate Access with third-party products
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Not what I expected
Microsft Access is a little of a strange beast. From the vantage of a SQL user, it is a dumbed down SQL implementation. But it has a very nice GUI that pure SQL engines like SQL Server or DB2 lack. So most of the hacks in the book relate to GUI issues. But a minority pertain to the SQL limitations, compared to SQL Server. Access cannot make an outer join, for example. But hack 53 provides a workaround, just in case you need to do so. Another group of hacks illustrate how Access can be used in combination with Microsoft Office. Microsoft has cleverly provided ways for Access users to integrate their tasks with Word and Excel. In one case, Excel can reorient your Access data. Or, more broadly, many of Excel's functions can be used within Access. These methods key off Microsoft's strengths in a mature Office suite.