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How to Get the Latest Features in Office 365

Do you remember when software programs were available on CD and couldn’t be updated until a new program was rolled out? Today’s software is far better in this department, as improvements, changes and glitches can be repaired with a new update rolled out to all users. However, depending on your organization’s settings, you may see Office 365 before or after another group.

Let’s learn more about how to get the latest features from Office 365.

Who Gets Office 365 Updates?

As new features roll out to Office users, many are introduced slowly. Eventually, everyone will have access to the features, but the times they become available vary. If you don’t have the features that another company has, don’t worry. Instead, expect that they will be coming to your device soon!

The reason why people get the features at different times is partly based on how they are released and partly based on the organization’s settings. So, if you have a work or school account, your administrator probably controls when you see the features. Unfortunately, if you only have a one-time Office 2016 purchase, you will not see any new features. You will, however, receive security and performance updates to keep your software secure.

How to Get New Features

Usually, updates are automatic, but you can install them manually as well. To keep on top of new features, we recommend joining the Office Insider program. This program keeps you abreast of the latest advancements with Office 365 and when to expect new updates. Otherwise, Microsoft is vague about its updates because they are rolled out at different times.

You can also learn about the new features that are included with each update by checking out this page. It’s a good idea to do so, as many of these elements sneak past people until they actually use them. For example, the latest update included security updates for Access, Outlook and Office Suite.

If you have a database programming company to work with, you can also learn about updates through them. At Arkware, we keep on top of the latest trends so you don’t have to. We’ll make sure your database always has the latest technology and features. To learn more about how we can help your databases run smoothly, call Arkware today.


How to Use the Compact and Repair Command in Access

A key benefit to using databases is their ability to grow to meet your needs. However, the more changes that are made to the database, the greater the risk of it becoming corrupted or damaged. This can occur from any number of actions such as writing, reading or processing. As scary as database corruption can be, there are ways to prevent and fix these problems.

Included with Microsoft Access 2016 is the Compact and Repair Database command. We’re going to teach you how and when to use this tool for your own Access databases.

Why Corruption and Damage Occurs

As files grow larger, they have an increased risk of becoming damaged. This happens because the database receives new data and information. For example, Access sometimes creates hidden objects to accomplish certain tasks. These temporary objects might remain in your database even though Access no longer needs them.

Another issue that can happen is when deleting a database object. The disk space the object filled may not be reclaimed. While a few temporary and deleted objects may not be a big deal, an excess can cause problems over time. What you may see is that queries take longer to run or your database takes longer to load.

Decreased performance is never easy to deal with, but corruption is especially unsettling! No one wants to lose precious data. Data corruption is most likely to occur when a database is shared over a network and multiple users work within it. While you probably won’t lose your entire database over data corruption, it’s possible to lose some of it.

When to Use Compact and Repair

If you open a database that has been damaged or corrupted, you will be prompted to use the Compact and Repair command. We always recommend making a backup first.

  • Compact on Close. The Compact on Close database option lets you automatically compact and repair a database when it closes.
  • Manual run of Compact on Close. You can also manually run the Compact on Close option. This can be run on both open and non-open databases.

One word of caution: the compact and repair process can disrupt other users. If you plan on running this operation, let others know so they can avoid using the database at that time.

The Compact and Repair Database command is a great tool that comes with Access 2016. By understanding when and how to use this tool, you can address potential database problems early on – and save yourself a lot of headache.


What is the True Value of Bringing Microsoft Access into Your Organization?

Small-to-mid-size organizations have hundreds of computers around the workplace that are responsible for delegating certain tasks. These tasks can run on their own without needing the IT department to complete them. This setup allows your workplace to run efficiently, increasing productivity and decreasing downtime.

One of the most popular software programs used to enhance productivity is Microsoft Access. It has the same look and feel as other Microsoft products, which is why businesses that use Word and Excel also tend to use Access. The learning curve is small and the data can be shared. Also, both spreadsheets and databases may be created by end users to streamline day-to-day tasks.

The benefits of using Access for your organization include:

  • Most widely used desktop database system in the world
  • Reasonably priced compared to larger database systems
  • Can be ported to SQL Server for future upgrades
  • Offers support and development consultants
  • Uses comprehensive programming language, VBA

Ensure Well-Built Databases

While it’s convenient to run software programs independent of your IT department, there are issues of security, reliability and scalability to consider. Does the end user have the appropriate training and experience to build a secure, reliable database? Some databases are simpler in nature, but others require the knowledge and expertise of a programmer, system administrator or database expert.

Although end users aren’t always qualified to create a database, this is more of a rarity. Most end users are successful creating databases with tables, forms, reports and queries. To help, templates are available. Plus, giving end users this freedom and flexibility allows organizations to preserve resources. It’s not necessary to have all databases custom built by a professional.

In the instance that the database does outgrow its creator, an upgrade is the next step. SQL Server is a natural progression from Access, as the original design, queries, forms, reports, modules, etc. are changed. Once the data is in SQL Server, new functionalities become available, such as Visual Studio and .NET. These programs can be used to create Windows, web solutions or mobile solutions.


Microsoft Access is a true asset to your organization. To get the most from the software program, only end users who are comfortable building databases should do so. This saves company resources and allows you to upgrade to SQL Server at a later date. That said, some databases need to be built by a professional database expert like Arkware. This ensures that the database is reliable, secure, scalable and manageable.

For a free consultation to discuss your database needs, call Arkware today.

How to Use Access as a CRM

Are you interested in using Microsoft Access as a Customer Relationship Management database, or CRM? Luckily, you can use the database templates to help you create a CRM that fits your needs. Included on the templates are tables, queries, reports and forms that will give you a head start. Once you set up the template, all you have to do is fill in your data.

In this article, we will walk you through the steps of using Access to create a CRM database. Let’s begin!

Step 1: Download a Template

Open Microsoft Access and find the template gallery. Choose the business category and look for the customer relationship management database. This can be found within the other business templates. When you locate the template, download it.

Step 2: Review the Template

Go through the template and make sure that it fits your needs. To view the entire database, hit F11. This way, you can see all of the tables, queries, forms, reports, modules and macros.

Step 3: Make Adjustments

The neat thing about Access templates is that you can customize them to fit your needs without having to start from scratch. Modify the tables and forms and edit them to your liking. To do this, you may have to edit the field properties of the tables and forms.

Step 4: Review Relationships

Not only do you have to review the tables and forms but also the relationships between tables. These relationships should be modified to fit your needs, which many involve breaking relationships or starting new ones.

Step 5: Enter Your Data

When everything looks good, it’s time to input your data. You can do this either by entering the data into the forms or the tables. Using the tables, the information is entered automatically. The forms, on the other hand, require you to add the info manually.

Step 6: Run Queries

Many times, templates include queries. If yours does not, you can add queries using the query wizard or query design view. Queries are inquiries that help you find information within a database.

Step 7: Run Reports

The next step is to run a customized report. As with the queries, if your template does not include reports, use the report wizard or report design view. Reports give you a series of queries that can help you make data-driven decisions.

Step 8: Complete Customizations

Store your work for future access in this last step. All of your customizations will be saved.

Once Access is set up as a CRM, you can continue using it to manage business relationships and the data that goes along with them. This can be a much cheaper alternative to buying CRM software. And, if you’re already familiar with Microsoft Office, you will feel comfortable using Access.


Which Industries Benefit Most from Access?

Microsoft Access is a database application included with Office 365. It’s used to enter, manage and run reports using large amounts of data. Large businesses and corporations often need larger databases, though many still prefer to use Access because of its affordability, easy installation and quick learning curve. For small and medium size businesses, Access is a top choice.

Are you curious to know which companies benefit most from using MS Access? The top industries are listed below.

Top Industries That Use Microsoft Access

According to iDataLabs, there are 67,474 companies that use Access. The majority of these companies are in the United States, have between 50-200 employees and earn 1M-10M dollars in revenue. Many businesses that use Access also use other Microsoft products such as PowerPoint, Excel and SQL Server.

The top industries, in order, that use MS Access include:

  • Computer software
  • Hospital and healthcare
  • Information technology and services
  • Higher education
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Financial services
  • Construction
  • Government and administration
  • Retail
  • Computer hardware

iDataLabs also reports the biggest companies that use Access as their choice of database: UnitedHealth Group, OfficeTeam Inc., WellCare Health Plans, National Older Worker Career Center and Jones Lang LaSalle. As you can see, the healthcare industry is a big proponent of database programs, largely because they are safe and secure and take the place of paper files that contain sensitive information.

Can You Benefit from Using Access?

Any business that tracks data will find Access to be a great solution. Here are some of the ways that you can tell if you’re ready for a database management system like MS Access.

  • You have a large amount of data that you need to track and manage
  • You’re wasting time entering information into multiple fields
  • You’re tracking related information in multiple spreadsheets
  • Your spreadsheets aren’t synced
  • Your administrative and IT costs are high

Do you think that your company could benefit from MS Access? Maybe you feel that you are not getting enough from your current database. Before switching to a different one, call Arkware. We can help determine if you’re using the right database and ways to see more from it. Our consultations are always friendly and free!


Ways that Access Can Save Your Business Money

Microsoft Access is one of the most popular database programs in the world. It’s easy to install, easy to learn and a natural progression from Excel. Moving to Access is an obvious decision for many businesses, particularly when they need more stability, greater storage capacity and multi-user support. But, what some businesses don’t realize is that MS Access can actually save them money! And saving money is a very good thing!

Let’s explore the reasons why Microsoft Access is an affordable database solution and the ways it can save your business money.

Access: Less Expensive than Oracle and SQL Server

Microsoft Access is a cost-effective database option, largely because you don’t have to pay a third party to build and maintain a large, custom database. All you need is a subscription to Access, which is included with Office 365 Business and Premium plans. The software has many templates that you can download, modify to your business needs and use right away.

To maximize what you can do with Access and increase ROI, it’s helpful to work with a Microsoft Access support company. This way, you can discover the least expensive ways to accomplish your business objectives. Plus, there are many Access consultants available, which means you can find the help you need at a competitive rate.

Why Databases Save Businesses Money

Now let’s discuss the cost benefits to having a database like Access to support your goals.

  • Manage invoices. If you’re not keeping up with invoices, money can slip through the cracks. Customers may not pay on time or maybe not at all. Staying on top of your invoices helps you manage a positive cash flow.
  • Improve sales. Your database can be used to store customer names, sales histories and accounts. It should also include leads and new prospects. Knowing who your customers are allows you to segment them into groups and plan appropriate campaigns.
  • Track inventory. Not knowing the status on your inventory can lead to money wasted. In order to balance things accordingly, you need to be organized. Too much on your shelves is a waste of space and money, while too little can interfere with sales and growth.
  • HR management. A database is an excellent tool for managing your HR needs. You can automate tasks, keep track of staff hours and leave and organize payroll. This frees up time so that you can focus on more important things around the workplace, such as growing your business.

Microsoft Access is a powerful addition to your business. Whether you’re considering upgrading from Excel or maximizing the return from your current database, call Arkware for assistance. We can make sure that your needs are being met and ways to plan for future growth.