This big book is designed to tell you everything about using Access 2010. In fact, it’s such a big book that a third of it is only available online or as a PDF.
The first section of the book takes you through what’s new in Access 2010 if you’ve been using Access 2007, it then goes on to using the online templates and the new Office interface. Part II of the book covers fundamentals - relational database theory, tables and working with data. The details are explained well, though I personally find it strange the way the In Depth titles mix quite complex topics with ‘press this key, then this one, and you’ll see this appear on the screen’. If you need the latter in terms of hand-holding, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to cope with the former. The section on queries takes up the next 180 pages and covers everything about Access queries, including topics such as cross-tab queries, different join types, and both Access and SQL Server SQL.
The section on forms and reports starts with the use of auto-generated forms and reports, and goes through to topics such as grouping with subgroups, using subreports and unlinked reports. There’s a nice chapter on using Microsoft Graph to add graphs and pivot-charts to your forms and reports.
So far, everything makes logical sense in terms of what’s being covered, but the paper element of the book finishes with chapters that are chosen for other reasons. As Access 2010 has a revamped macro interface and Microsoft is ‘de-emphasizing’ Visual Basic for Applications for Access 2010, macro programming gets a chapter in the paper part of the book, while the chapter on VBA is only available online. Then come chapters on collaborating with Windows SharePoint Foundation Server, and sharing web databases with SharePoint Server 2010. It would be interesting to see statistics on how many companies are using Access with SharePoint - I suspect the figure is lower than Microsoft would like. However, the material is useful if you’re going to have to work with SharePoint - I’d just have preferred to see those chapters in the online section rather than the VBA chapters and the chapters on using Access with SQL Server.
That’s it for the paper part of the book. The online part kicks off with working with HTML and XML documents, importing and exporting web pages, integrating with XML and InfoPath. There’s a good description of analysing and using HTML data and how to use utilities such as HTML Tidy. The coverage of SQL Server with Access gets a couple of hundred pages with a short section on linking Access applications to SQL Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based version of SQL Server.
The final section covers programming with VBA, and starts from the basics of what’s a module, program flow, and error handling. From there onwards the material is well organized in terms of how you’re likely to actually use code in Access - event handling, programming combo and list boxes, understanding DAO, OLE DB and ADO, and upgrading older VBA applications to work with 2010.
Overall, this is a good book, and I’m happy to have it on my bookshelf. I’d have been even happier if it had all been there, but as it gives you arm ache holding it anyway, I do see why they made some of it online only. What seems really strange is the fact that so far as I can see, the Kindle version is identical in that you still have to download the extra pages.
Read the original review here.
Here are my comments about the online-only content from the book’s Amazon page:
It should be noted that QUE Publishing reduced the list price of the book by $10.00 from "Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Access 2007" ($49.99) and by $20.00 from that of the "Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Access 2003" edition ($59.99). Amazon's discounted prices are $25.50 (2010), $30.69 (2007) and $37.40 (2003). The discount percentage differs for each edition.
The online-only chapters cover advanced topics … that the Access team is deemphasizing in the 2010 version: primarily Access Data Projects (in favor of SharePoint back ends) and Visual Basic for Applications (in favor of Access macros, which Access Web Databases support.)
Regarding “It would be interesting to see statistics on how many companies are using Access with SharePoint - I suspect the figure is lower than Microsoft would like. However, the material is useful if you’re going to have to work with SharePoint - I’d just have preferred to see those chapters in the online section rather than the VBA chapters and the chapters on using Access with SQL Server.” --
SharePoint 2010 and later will be a major player in Access’s future.
SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition’s Access Services enable deploying Access Web Databases to the public Internet or private intranet. Web Databases supplant the discontinued Access Data Projects (ADPs) supported by Access 2003 and earlier. Web Databases let you take advantage of Access’s Rapid Application Development (RAD) features and a Wizard to automatically deploy *.accdb projects to an on-premises or hosted SharePoint Server 2010 instance.
Access Hosting now offers low cost (US$19/month for one, US$49 for up to five, or US$99 multi-tenanted hosting for up to 10 users. Office 365 will deliver Access Services and other Office Online applications for US$6 monthly per user when it releases to commercial service later this year. Both Access Hosting and Office 365 offer a free 30-day trial period.
See my following posts for more details about using Access and SharePoint together:
- Access Web Databases on AccessHosting.com: What is OData and Why Should I Care? (3/14/2011)
- Access Web Databases on AccessHosting.com: Adding User Logins and Assigning Permissions (3/13/2011)
- Access Web Databases on AccessHosting.com: Viewing, Printing and Editing Reports (3/13/2011)
- Three Microsoft Access 2010 Webcasts Scheduled by Que Publishing for March, April and May 2011 (3/5/2011)