(877) 519-4537 info@arkware.com

5 Microsoft Access Tips and Tricks

All programs seem to have some sort of time saving tips or special shortcuts and Microsoft Access is no exception.  The casual user may not be aware of many of these tips, so at Arkware, we have shared a few query tips and tricks.  

Top Values Setting

When in the design of any query, there is a setting to filter out the top records.  The top values setting provides several different options.  One option is to return a certain percentage of data.  If you want to know the top 25% of your highest price orders, you just select the 25% option from the list.  The important part of this feature is to always have the data in the proper sort order. The drop-down list has some pre-defined choices, but it allows any values entered.


Zoom Box

It is often difficult to see everything in any part of a query when typing in the criteria or field name area.  A keyboard shortcut of “Shift + F2” will bring up the zoom box. The zoom box allows you to see everything in one separate window. 

Datasheet View button versus Run Button

When creating a standard query, there are two choices to see the query results.  You can select either the datasheet button or the run button.  However, when creating action queries (queries that perform action on records), using the run button will carry out the query.  Before you run a delete or update query using the run button, you may want to see what or how many records are going to be updated or changed.  Selecting the datasheet button will allow you to do this.  Once you are confident of what records will be updated, then the run or action query button can be used.

ODBC Timeout Setting

Microsoft Access allows you to connect to other data sources such as a SQL Server database.  Depending on the design of the SQL Server database and the number of records that are retrieved, it can take some time to retrieve those records.

The default ODBC (ODBC stands for “Object Database Connectivity) timeout setting is 60 seconds. This is the time it will take for the query to return data results. If it takes longer, the user will receive a time out error.  A tip for this setting is to enter the value of zero in the setting.  By entering a zero, the time out is set to unlimited.  This means the user will not see a timeout error if it takes longer.  

Parameter Query Setting

Microsoft Access offers many options for entering query criteria.  One option is the parameter query option.  This option prompts the user for specific data input.  For example, you can have the option prompt for a specific data range by using the Between [Enter the start date] And [Enter the end date]

Sometimes you want to see all the records for a specific situation.  For example, if you do not know the starting or ending dates for example, you may be excluding some records.

The tip for this feature is to add a statement at the end of the criteria. As noted below, the way to use this feature is once the query prompts the user to enter the date range, but not entering a date for the start and end date prompts, it will return all the records from the select query, and in this case all dates.

Hopefully, these tips will help you in your work with Microsoft Access.  If you need help with your project or do not know where to begin in the design of any database, please reach out to Arkware for assistance.


How to Access the Built-in CRM Template in Microsoft Access

Customer relationship management (CRM) software keeps all customer interactions in one place. CRMs have evolved significantly over the last few years because they are effective at streamlining communications, improving customer satisfaction and retaining loyal customers. Some CRMs are expensive, but yours doesn’t have to be. With Microsoft Access, you can access the built-in CRM database template. Below we’ll show you how. 

Features of Microsoft Access CRM Template 

Microsoft Access has a great selection of templates that you can download and work off of, but be aware that not all may meet your needs. In this case, it’s best to hire a company like Arkware to build a custom database for your business or organization. This way, you’ll have everything you need to keep track of your customers in one place.

Here are some of the features that an MS Access CRM template will include: 

  • Account/client information
  • Contact information
  • Potential sales opportunities 
  • Activities (phone calls, appointments, emails, etc.)
  • Invoices 

How to Make Your Own CRM in Access 

Below are the steps to creating your own CRM using Microsoft Access

  • Step 1. Open Access and locate the template gallery. To find the CRM, select “File” and “New.” Here you will see all of the available databases. Download the sales contact management database. It’s included under the “business” templates. 
  • Step 2. Review the template. Make sure it meets your needs. To view the full database, press F11. This lets you view the tables, queries, forms, reports, macros and modules. 
  • Step 3. Modify the tables and forms to meet your needs. This may require you to edit field properties of the tables and forms. Fortunately, MS Access is fairly easy to work in  – no coding experience necessary! 
  • Step 4. Review the relationships between tables. If necessary, modify them to fit your needs.
  • Step 5. Enter your data into the tables and forms. You can do this manually or by inputting data directly from Access. 
  • Step 6. Run your queries. If the template does not contain queries, use the query wizard to create them. 

What if You Can’t Find the Right CRM Template? 

The selection of client tools in Access is limited, so it’s possible that you may not be able to use the built-in CRM template for your business. If this is the case, contact Arkware for a customized solution. We can build you a personalized CRM that fits your unique needs and budget! 

5 Powerful Features of Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access sometimes has a reputation for being too streamlined and basic. But it’s actually far more powerful than people realize. While Microsoft Access may not meet every organization’s needs, it can accommodate many. And it’s likely that you’re one of them! 

Below are five powerful features of Microsoft Access that you should know. 

1. It’s easier to understand than client-server databases. 

Users don’t need any special training or experience to use Access. Some users have self-tutored themselves while others have learned from their coworkers. Either way, there’s not much of a learning curve thanks to the well-organized templates you can dive right into. If you’re comfortable using Excel, you’ll be comfortable using Access.

2. You can import and export to other Microsoft Office applications.

One of the most useful features of Access is the ability to import and export data from other programs. It’s also fairly easy to combine data, transfer data between two programs and store data over the long-term for future exports. To do this, you can copy and paste objects as well as export objects, which comes with more options. 

3. Templates are available for immediate use. 

The templates that Access comes with are pretty great. They can save an incredible amount of time by not having to build a database from scratch. Better yet, you can still make modifications to the templates to meet your organization’s needs. Both desktop and web-based database templates are available. 

4. The ‘Tell Me’ feature will help you get the most out of Access. 

Even though MS Access is user-friendly, you’ll probably still run into questions along the way. Fortunately, you’re not alone. Access includes the ‘Tell Me’ feature that works as an assistant to help you complete tasks efficiently. It was introduced in 2016 as a way to help users save time and do things quickly and correctly. 

5. Output reports in PDF.

More and more users are sharing databases through electronic image formats like PDF by Adobe Systems and XPS by Microsoft. Using Access, all you have to do is create reports in electronic image files through the External Data tab on the ribbon. Even users who don’t own Access can view the reports in their entirety. 

As you can see, Microsoft Access is a powerful database solution that has many new features. It continues to be user-friendly and cost-effective for businesses of all sizes. To learn more about creating an Access database, contact Arkware today. 

5 Great Reasons to Download and Use Microsoft Access Templates

Microsoft Access is a complete end-to-end database management application that is user-friendly and flexible for most businesses. You can use Access to build and customize databases, including forms, tables, macros, relationships and more. 

One of the great things about Access is that you can start using the program right away. It functions similarly to other Office products and includes downloadable templates. In this post, we’ll explore five reasons to use Access templates and the benefits to expect. 

1. Save time and effort. 

It takes time to create a custom template, which is fine if you have it and want something specific. But if you want to get working right away, a template is a great alternative. Choose the one that meets your needs and it’s ready to use right away. Plus, the time you save can be put toward other tasks in the workplace, such as training employees or generating new leads. 

2. Find templates that are specific to your business. 

It’s easy to find templates that are specific to your business or task. For example, Microsoft offers templates for Event Management, Task Management and Inventory. We find that this works well for people because they’re sometimes unsure of what to include in a database. While you can find a great selection of templates on Microsoft’s website, third-party sites also have good options. (Note: Only download templates from trustworthy sources.)

3. Customize the templates to meet your needs. 

All templates are customizable, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments to match your needs. You can add or delete forms, tables and more so that only the data you need is in your database. This will also give you the opportunity to learn how to use Access. While a background in programming is not necessary, some experience is helpful. 

4. You’ll have the chance to explore the database. 

Typically, when you download a database template, you’ll see a message that says Get Started. Click on the links to learn more about the database or click the buttons to explore the different fields. This gives you the chance to make sure the template is right for your business. 

5. They’re free. 

For the most part, Access database templates are free to download. This allows small businesses to start a quality database that supports their business while only having to pay for the Access program (which is also affordable). Only download templates from trustworthy sources, as you don’t want to end up with corrupted files. You can trust the templates that are included on Microsoft Office

Arkware offers database management solutions for small and midsize businesses. If you don’t want to create a database from scratch but aren’t finding what you need through the templates, contact us for a custom solution.

Is Microsoft Access Still Relevant in 2020?

With so many different databases – Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL – you may be wondering if Microsoft Access is still worth using these days. The Access database application was first launched in 1992. At the time, it was considered an innovative application at an affordable price. Today, things have changed. Powerful databases with endless features can be downloaded for free. So why use Access in 2020? 

Believe it or not, the reasons for using Access are plentiful. Below we’ll cover why Microsoft Access remains relevant and useful for small-scale needs. 

It’s comfortable and familiar for most users. 

Here at Arkware, many of our clients use Access because it’s comfortable and familiar. Even people with little technical experience can use Access with no problems because it mimics the look and feel of other Microsoft applications. It also doesn’t require any special hardware or custom applications, and it can be used as a front-end to another database like SQL Server. 

It supports multiple users at one time. 

Another reason why Microsoft Access is still relevant is because it’s portable and flexible. Although it’s sometimes thought of as a single-user database, Access works well with multiple users. In fact, it’s a multi-user platform by default, supporting at least 200 users simultaneously. Users are able to copy and move data, which is helpful when starting new projects or replicating the database to other locations. 

The database has a long-standing reputation and track record.

Even though some people claim that Access is dying, this is not the case at all. It remains one of the most popular relational databases, and many of our clients won’t use anything else but Access because of the perks mentioned above. With over 25 years in existence, it’s safe to say that Access has reliable technical support and a strong community. 

It’s cost-effective, especially for small businesses. 

Microsoft Access is a very affordable database solution. This allows businesses with small budgets to utilize a powerful database at an affordable price point. You can purchase Access with Microsoft 365 and also get premium versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others, along with services like OneDrive and SharePoint. 

So is Microsoft Access still worth it in 2020? 

The short answer is, yes, Access is very much worth using. However, it’s not the best database solution for all projects. This is why it’s important to have a database consultant like Arkware. It’s possible that you may be ready to upgrade to another database like Microsoft SQL Server for improved security, performance and growth. To learn more about your database options, contact Arkware today. 

5 Uncommon Microsoft Access Tips for 2020

Whether you’re building an Access database for the first time or learning to work within a custom-built template, it helps to know the ins and outs of how the program works. There are many Access tips available online, but today, we want to focus on tips that are useful but rarely shared. The more you know, the easier it is to manage a successful database.

Below you’ll find five uncommon MS Access tips for 2020.

1. Keep Access database fields as small as possible. 

As you build tables, make your text fields only as big as you need them. By default, Access sets up text fields to hold up to 255 characters. This is a lot of space that you probably won’t end up using. To avoid having all this wasted storage space, make your text fields the appropriate size. 

2. Use number fields for real numbers. 

Use number fields for real numbers, not for text numbers. For example, zip codes do not go in number fields. Software programs perceive a 60609 zip code differently from the number 60,609. The numbers in a zip code are digits, but they aren’t to be used for math and other numeric purposes. So, leave the number fields to numbers you plan on calculating.

3. Carefully delete Access field values. 

Whenever you delete field values from a table, use caution. The reason for this is because you can’t recover the old value if you need to. Once you start doing other things, Access will forget about the value as if it never existed. Unfortunately, there is no Undo option available for an entire record. (Note: If you delete a value and realize you need it before doing anything else, you can do a quick Ctrl + Z.)

4. Backup your databases.

Backing up your database is extremely important. You can maintain backup copies at another location in case something happens at your place of work, such as a fire or flood. You can also store your backups to the cloud so they can be retrieved later. Here’s a great article on how often you should be backing up your databases and why it’s so important. 

5. Ask for help – it’s not hard to find.

One of the great things about Access is that help is easy to find. As the most popular database in the world, you can find support online or from an Access programming expert. The important thing is that you ask for help when you need it. Small missteps can add up quickly and cause huge problems for your database down the line. 

Microsoft Access remains a reliable database program for businesses of all types and sizes. If you need help managing your database, contact Arkware for a free consultation.