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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Learn Access VBA 2003 With The Smart Method
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£17.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 8 August 2017
Excellent - highly recommended - but for 2003 mainly.
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on 29 April 2009
This book is everything I wanted and more!

Finally a book which doesn't assume you know absolutely everything about Access before launching into VBA! This book breaks you in gently, with step by step instructions for each example in plain english, which you can follow without an in depth knowledge of Access itself.

It does require that you have a basic understanding of how to create tables, queries, forms and reports using the wizards, but I would assume that most people diving into Access VBA are already somewhat familiar with that.

Personally, my knowledge was a bit sketchy, having mostly self-taught through changing things in existing code and breaking them until they worked, then going to forums to ask others how to fix things, however the approach taken in this book really worked well. It allows you to read about a new bit of code, then see it work, and then try it out in an example at the end of the section. Suddenly lightbulbs were firing off all over the place .. "ahhh, so THAT'S why that bit of code wouldn't work the other month!!"

All the way through there are code examples and screenshots, so that if you do get completely lost you can work back and figure out what you're confused about, re-read the examples, check over the sample code and hopefully figure it out.

I actually noticed a couple of minor errors in the book which meant my code wasn't working, and was amazed to receive a reply back from Mike within 24 hours, correcting the word which was wrong and hence allowing my code to work (woohoo!) - the first time I've ever had a reply back from an author when highlighting or suggesting something in their book. Mike was very keen to receive feedback which is a really good thing, in my opinion.

I would definitely DEFINITELY recommend this book to people starting out in VBA - I now understand how the "guts" of Access works and can start to write my own code rather than fiddle about with things until they break, which is a huge saving in time and frustrations!

I'll definitely be using this as a reference guide for some time to come, and passing it on to other colleagues who want to learn about the subject area - can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 2 September 2010
I am surprised at the number of positive 5 * reviews this text has received as I did not find it that helpful. I have just finished working through it and I found it rather mediocre for the following reasons:

I found that I did not understand a lot of the language, e.g. taking a line at random: "Access can automatically de-reference object variables when they go out of scope...". Even though the concept of scope was explained earlier, I still need someone to explain what the rest of the sentence is getting at... This would be fine in a classroom setting, but not so good for self-study. This happened a lot.

I found the idea of creating a database for movies a rather useless example (though of course someone else might find it directly relevant) and there was too much emphasis on making the application look good rather than finding elegant solutions and shortcuts to common problems using code.

All in all it is ok if you want to familiarize yourself with access and some vba but don't expect the moon (as other reviews suggest).
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on 28 February 2011
I'm an ex-professional Mainframe (the big computers which used to be at the heart of Businesses) programmer.

I now do voluntary I.T. work for a charity, and I needed to get up to speed on Microsoft 2003 Access VBA very quickly.

The book is structured so that an absolute beginner can start without any knowledge of MS Access, and end up having created a professional quality Film Records database application.

Normally I wouldn't buy this sort of book.

I don't want a Film Records database, and I tend to get impatient and skip through the basic "put your finger on the key and press down" areas, which sometimes means I can miss vital bits of information.

I therefore started reading this book half way through, at a point which seemed to address some of the problems I was having with Access. Sure enough my problems were solved, in a clear and concise way.

At that point the book should have been shelved, but I started reading Appendix A - The Rules.

These rules seemed to be so blindingly obvious, (and so universally ignored!) that I read further. And further.

Rather to my surprise, I found this to be a great book, and very well written.

All the individual chapters have "write it yourself" sections, which for the bone idle (like me) can also be downloaded directly from Mike Smart's website.
However, I'd suggest you actually do the work and code each line yourself - I am, and I don't even WANT a Film Records database! But I'm building one, just for the sheer joy of working through this book.

The sixth star would have been awarded because I needed to be able to do something similar to an exercise in the book, but couldn't get it working properly.
Without much hope, I E-mailed the problem to Mr. Smart, and to my amazement and delight I not only got a reply (in about 2 hours, allowing for the time differences), which not only corrected my erroneous code, but also suggested helpful alternatives. Now that's what I call support, and all for buying a book for just over [..] quid.

If you need to get to grips with Access 2003, stop reading reviews and BUY THIS BOOK!
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on 31 August 2007
A great practical hands-on book that should teach any beginning to intermediate Access user/developer how to design and build easy-to-use, effective database applications in a sensible manner. I really found it easy to read. And it's not just about Access VBA - although it certainly teaches you that - but about how best to leverage what MSAccess has to offer.

The learning comes in short manageable chunks - with zero distractions. You will learn the concepts as you write the code. The short lessons are grouped logically, and the entire book constitutes an excellent survey of Microsoft Access application development - with the fat trimmed off.

Two points in closing: I hope the author gets around to writing another Access book on planning, designing and deployment. And throw in a fat chapter on getting legacy data into Access - now that I would sink my teeth into.
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on 1 September 2009
I was completely new to Access, and needed to develop a reasonably complex database application very quickly at my workplace.

In order to get up to speed without delay, I bought a number of books on the subject. I initially didn't own the Smart book, but was instead reading the "for dummies" ones (they were "accessible"). However I quickly realised something was missing, and tried looking elsewhere.

I stumbled on the Smart Method. It is the book I wish I'd read WAY sooner. It begins establishing essential first principles, something the other books miserably failed to do. It then takes the reader through a very logical journey of learning, one clearly-explained step at a time.

If I'd read this sooner, it would have saved me a great deal of heartache.

Although it is designed ostensibly for those wishing to enter the realms of VBA, the first third of the book just looks at the very basics of database construction, with no VBA in sight. The solid principles communicated at the outset are invaluable; worth the price of the book alone (and then some).

Incidentally I use Access 2007, but there are no appreciable differences between the versions, so this book is still completely relevant to 2007 as well as the 2003 in the title.

If you're using Access, then whether you're a novice or an advanced user, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I'm so impressed with the Smart Method I'll definitely be looking at their other titles in the series.
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on 30 March 2007
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn Access VBA. The lessons were very easy to follow, and after reading it I've been able to do a lot of things with Access that I didn't think were possible before. I've also found it to be very valuable as a reference tool.

It certainly requires you to be well versed in working with Access using the Wizards and knowing how to create tables, queries and forms etc., but it's perfect for an advanced Access user who wants to make professional database applications.
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on 11 September 2009
This is the way that self-teach books should be written. Easy to pick up and follow. It takes you step by step and is written in flowing narrative language which doesn't leave you stuck at any point.

I don't think that this is the only thing you will ever need to become a proficient Access programmer; you will need practise creating your own applications and working on various projects. But as books come, I can't imagine a better way of learning Access VBA and I can imagine having this book to hand when I want to develop my own applications.

The book font is clear with lots of illustrations and notes in the margin. I also like the bite sized chunks they break down the lessons into.

As other reviews have mentioned, you need to be a little familiar with Access before purchasing this book. But then again, the level you need to be isn't very high. It takes you almost from the point of "no knowledge".
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on 10 September 2007
This book will provide you with the know-how and more importantly the confidence to built Professionally designed databases very quickly. Once you have experienced the joy of this well constructed 'hands on' approach teaching method (ideal for such a tool as Access) you will be writing to Mike Smart to ask him to produce books for other software design tools.

On finishing the book (and the exercises) you are ready to proceed imediately to designing your own databases with the book in the background as reference if and when you need it.

I wholeheartedly reccommend this book to anyone wishing to learn Access and VBA.

Laurence Keegan
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on 6 September 2009
I only bought this book because it was recommended when I purchased 2 other Access books. I am very glad I did, because although it teaches you how to use VBA, it also gives some essential ground rules before starting a database that the other books I purchased did not cover. I was so impressed with how these simple rules made the coding of Access so much more robust and professional, that I went back and re-engineered what I had already written! I would recommend Mike Smart's book even to a novice such as myself and can guarantee that in no-time, you will be writing VBA in your database applications.
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