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Access 2003 Vba Programmer's Reference (Wrox Press) (Programmer to Programmer) Paperback – 8 Apr 2004

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Its power and short learning curve have made Access Microsoft’s leading consumer relational database management system for desktop applications. VBA lets you tap more of that power, responding to application level events, displaying forms and reports, manipulating toolbars, and much more.

In this book, a crack team of programmers including two Microsoft MVPs shows you how to take control of Access 2003 or 2002 using VBA. You’ll learn to create and name variables, use DAO and ADO to manipulate data, handle errors correctly, create classes and use APIs, and more. An entire chapter is devoted to the changes in Access 2003, including new wizards and GUI features that previously required VBA code as well as new VBA features.

You’ll receive a thorough education in system security, macro security, and the Access Developer Extensions (ADE). You will discover how to access data with VBA, execute and debug VBA code, and use VBA with Access objects. Finally, you will learn more about the relationship between Access and SQL Server®, and how to use VBA in Access to control and enhance other Office applications.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to take advantage of the built–in Access object library, using Access commands and executing them from any Access toolbar
  • What you need to know to design your own classes, implement common APIs in your code, and use SQL to access data
  • How to configure custom menus for your Access database applications
  • Ways to transfer information between Access and Excel, Word, Outlook®, and other Office programs
  • How to show or hide entire sections of reports based on data entered on a form, or hide form fields based on database login information
  • Object models you can use when writing VBA code in Access, and a list of common API functions to use in your code

Who this book is for

This book is a comprehensive resource for Access users and VBA developers who want to increase the power of Access using VBA. In addition to experience with VBA, you should have read at least one tutorial covering VBA for Access.

Wrox Programmer’s References are designed to give the experienced developer straight facts on a new technology, without hype or unnecessary explanations. They deliver hard information with plenty of practical examples to help you apply new tools to your development projects today.

About the Author

Patricia Cardoza is an Access Developer and an Outlook MVP; she previously authored Special Edition Using Microsoft Outllook 11 (Que). 

Teresa Hennig is a database consultant specializing in Access; she is President of the two leading Acess user groups in the US.

Armen Stein is the founder of J Street Technology, a team of database developers in Redmond Washington, and is Emeritus President of the Pacific Northwest Access Developers Group. 

Graham Seach is an Access MVP; he is also Director and Chief Developer for Pacific Database, a firm specializing in Microsoft Access and SQL Server.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd had this book in my hands less than 60 seconds before I found a chapter on the ins and outs of DAO vs ADO methods of accessing the database - and the why the two need to be carefully separated. Got me out of a hole immediately and made the whole thing (no pun intended) much, much clearer.

Nicely laid out, lots of code fragments to illustrate points and some larger self-contained subroutines to put the points to bed together.

It assumes you know at least something about Access and VBA otherwise you really would be struggling to keep up; but as an experienced VB programmer (but not in Access) this really did drop me in the deep end but let me keep running.

I'm glad I bought it, even though it's early days yet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the course of my job over the last 20 years I've had to buy numerous examples of these kind of manuals, so I feel I am well placed to comment on this type of material.

This tome is quirky and provides too many obscure examples of how you might want to configure Access. The VBA content is limited and not orientated to real world examples. The content on reporting is scant at best and provides little above intermediate knowledge. Tell me what mainstream DB application doesn't have an integral reporting suite?

Save your money unless insomnia is your thang!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Old School Approach to Access 14 July 2004
By Sean O'Neil - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is breezy enough in tone and works well enough as a programmer's reference but the rah-rah Access! delivery grates after a while. The authors are old school in that they introduce an end of life data access model (DAO) at length and then make endless and confusing references to it while they document the current initiative, ADO. (They spend 64 pages on DAO--a legacy object model useful only for desktop databases and 46 pages on ADO, the preferred model, an evolving technology for use with everything from desktop to enterprise.) These topics should be treated in isolation from one another as a side-by-side comparison is just unnecessarily confusing, especially for users of Access 2000/XP/2003. It's almost like their only intent is to prove how long they've been Access developers instead of providing the most streamlined and useful documentation--in other words, it's more about them than it is you. They're also big on their own received wisdom as opposed to accuracy like encouraging readers to document their code as if they were writing a bible because there is no speed hit involved--this isn't necessarily true. They also have a bad habit of not declaring variables in their sample code (with annoyingly trendy scenarios like "how many lattes can I buy?"), which is a cause for concern in a book about programming. There is useful, if overenthusiastic, coverage of the new features in Access 2003. If you're comfortable with the series and need a lengthy reference to complement the Microsoft Access help files, you'll find useful information here...with large swaths of information (hundreds of pages at a time) that you'll probably never use.
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good reference for everyone 12 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am writing this review because I believe the expectations created by the book description and reviews were not met.
I do not disagree that the book is comprehensive as the description and the reviews point out. It discusses subjects that are wide-ranging and, I am certain, very important to many readers.
My contention is that the book is not organized in such a manner as to allow a less experienced user to get at what he wants. I think books like these need to better indicate for whom they are written. The foreward talks about it being for those who have been using Access for some time and are just beginning to jump into the world of code. I have had a reasonable amount of experience with Access, relational databases and electronic spreadsheets. I have a decent understanding of programming although only little expereince with object oriented programming.I feel that I understand Access sufficiently well that I have a base upon which to add the VBA skills. I really don't believe that the book is written for such a person.
My opinion of the shortcomings follow.
I believe the most important component of a reference source is the index. In this case the index is 24 pages with 100 entries on each. The frustration I faced in trying to answer my questions through the index, and table of contents was as bad or worse than trying to use Microsoft help screens or on-line resources.
I do not understand the organization of the book. It does not seem to follow a path from broad to narrow or any other progression that makes intuitive sense. I know this is acceptable in a reference but only, I would say, if there was a sufficient index.
The general execution of the book was also inferior. I was frequently distracted by grammar errors such as the wrong word (eg "than" instead of "that") and even typos. The figures and tables were numbered but not titled and in at least one case was misreferenced from the text. I found myself really in need of a diagram in many cases but there were none to be found. The car analogy used to explain Object Oriented Programming was not clear and I think possibley incorrect. The analogy describes "Press" as a method of the "Gas Pedal" object when it seems to me to be more like an event triggered by the user. I am not saying that I am necessarily right or the authors definitely wrong. I'm just saying that the analogy was ineffective. Again, I would have loved (and expected) a diagram or some representation that would explain this difficult concept.
I want to say that in the end I did find the elusive answer to my question although just by chance. I think this will illustrate my frustration with this book. I wanted to know how to automate the import of a TXT file. I had searched on-line help and 2 other Access books as well as this book but could not find the answer. I finally was skimming through the methods of the DoCmd Object in Appendix E (The Access Object Model) and happened on the DoMenuItem method (page 750.) The description of this method explained that it executes the specified menu item but that it was a legacy from Access 97 that had been replaced by the RunCommand method in later version of Access. I then flipped forward in the same appendix to the RunCommand Method Arguments section (page 793) which started with this comment: "One of the easiest ways to perform a variety of functions in Microsoft Access is through use of the RunCommand Method." I thought that if it was so easy, then why doesn't somebody include it in their discussion of VBA. (I don't know if this book does so because the only reference to the RunCommand in the index is to the Appendix pages noted above. There are no references to the DoCmd or menus in the index.)
When I found this discussion, I knew that I had answered my question but I still had more errors to deal with. The section was entitled RunCommand Method Arguments but the verbage that preceded the table stated "The RunCommnad takes a single argument, the acCommand constant. All of the available acCommand constants are listed in the following table." The column in the table that follows is entitled "Argument." I know that constants can be arguments but don't these constants relate to the acCommand which is the only argument of the RunCommand? I know this is picky (and I feel more than a little self-conscious for exposing my ignorance) but doesn't a book about language need to be precise and consistent in their use of terms?
I would also ask what the value is of this (the RunCommand Methods Arguments) table. It simply lists the constants (Arguments [?]) This information is available and more easily accessible in on-line help. The inclusion of this table (and possibley others) may make the reference more complete but does not necessarily make it more valuable. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I feel this table illustrates another shortcoming of this text in that it isn't even organized very well. The 9 page table has two columns that list the constants alphabetically. The first column starts on page 793 with acCmdAboutMicrosoft and finishes on page 802 with AcCmdPivotChartDrillInto. The list continues in column 2 back on page 793. I know this is confusing but so is the book.
I have no doubt that the authors of this book are extremely knowledgeable (and even really good and helpful people.) I would love to know what they know. That is why I bought this book. I can't imagine the difficulty in trying to organize and explain such a large and complex model but that is what they have attempted to do. I would love to see this book reworked and represented in a better way because I think think it contains a lot of good information. I just don't think enough consideration was given the user or enough care was taken in the execution.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all! 13 April 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a very special book. The authors obviously went way out of their way to include everything that you could need to be a successful Access developer. As far as I know, this extensive reference material has never before been assembled in one place. As a result, it is just the right thing for aspiring intermediate and advanced users of Microsoft Access. Even many developers with extensive experience will be surprised at what can finally become clear to them by checking out what this reference makes available. You'd have to search the Microsoft and other sites for weeks to assemble all this on your own.
This well-written reference covers everything from VBA basics to using the new Access Developer Extensions, which are part of Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System. In between it also covers error handling, enhancing forms, enhancing reports, SQL coding, and even working with the Windows Registry. The appendices go all the way from A to L, or from Upgrading of Access (what other book covers this subject at all, never mind so thoroughly?) to VBA Reserved Words.
I have never seen such comprehensive reference material! And is it loaded with tips, tips, tips! The authors have obviously lived in the trenches with Access for some time. They know what to watch out for. They know what kind of protocols you should set up yourself to boost your success.
It took the experience of four co-authors and several other contributors to bring this work together. Patricia, Teresa, Graham and Armen have provided a unique Access reference that will get you up and going fast and save you scads of time that you would otherwise have wasted learning "the hard way" or, at best, wasted digging through a multitude of written and online references. This is a special, one-of-a kind reference work!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful comparison of ADP versus MDB 15 July 2006
By Ricardo Dapaz - Published on
Format: Paperback
I own this book along with Wordware's Access 2003 Programming by Example with VBA, XML and ASP. I find that this book has a more comprehensive treatement of subjects such as using ADE, Access upsizing via ADP versus MDB databases with linked tables and DAO. Granted that DAO is quite dated but its inclusion in the book is prefaced by a discussion of the advantages that it has over ADO in some limited applications. The book also tries to provide a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of each technology, even if it does spend more of its time concentrating on DAO.

If you are looking for a serious reference on ADO, I would suggest that you give the Wordware title serious consideration. However, if you are comparing ADP versus MDB databases in upsizing scenarios or if you are looking for a good reference on ADE which is well rounded in its description of VBA as applied to Access in general; as opposed to a specific data access model such as ADO, then this is the book for you.

The writers have done this all before and approach the subject in a narrative tone which worked for me. The section on ADP sold me on the book as I was looking at an application for upsizing an Access database to SQL server, whilst still retaining Access for the forms and reports. I was considering the two main approaches of using ADP versus MDB with linked tables and this book was able to provide me with all of the information required for me to make a sound decision.

In fact I liked it so much whilst browsing it at my local Boffins bookshop that I just had to buy it on the spot! However, whilst very good, it is not worthy of 5 stars due to its excessive focus on DAO.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Must Have Reference" 2 July 2004
By Robert A.Mattey - Published on
Format: Paperback
As an Access Developer this is one of my most used Access VBA reference books. All of the authors present the material in a good comprehensive manner for all levels of Access development. There are many clearly presented code examples and Access information that will assist in all levels of development.
There are many good chapters in the book; however don't overlook the Appendices as they are exceptional.(Note: Appendix I "Tips and Tricks") I know most Access Developers are selective in the books they buy. If you scan this book you will see how much above other VBA reference books this particular book is.
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