Creating Sophisticated yet Simple computerised solutions for your Business

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Developing and Supporting systems created in all versions of Microsoft Access
Access 97, Access 2000, Access 2003, Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013, Access 2016

Tel: +44 (0)20 8123 0528
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Your Access Database System
Here I detail the process of how I can work with you to create a fully functioning useful database system for your business.

There are many stages to creating your Microsoft Access Database system
Your Access Database System
Initial Access Database consulting
I would be pleased to offer an initial chat with you to determine if Access is the right product to fulfil your requirements, discuss problems you are having with current systems, and suggest solutions.

Requirements gathering (This consists of the following)
Clive Patten, Managing Director, ABS Wastewater Technology Ltd. said "Despite having no face to face meetings and all communication being undertaken by telephone and email, Dennis was able to exactly meet our design specification."  See my testimonials

Structuring your data Trevor, Director GAP Photos Ltd. said "Dennis asks all the right questions and adopts a right-first-time approach."  See my testimonials

Referential Integrity
Data Validation
Data Validation
What is meant by Data Validation?
Steve Brierley QA / H&S Manager, Metal Cleaning UK and Standish Metal Treatment said "Dennis set certain criteria for information to be entered correctly so we have nice clean data."  See my testimonials

Keeping your data safe!
Keeping your Data Safe
Security

Backup

Mary Peskett Smith, Grants and Fellowships Manager, Paul Mellon Centre said "Dennis undertook the work quickly and to our great satisfaction. He is very approachable and reliable. I can thoroughly recommend Dennis and his expertise."  See my testimonials

What you will see when using your system
What you will see when using your system
Below is a brief summary of what you will see when using your database system
I always design my Access Database Systems as bespoke systems; they only display items that are used in the system, rather that displaying the whole of the Access user interface. This helps ensure that my systems are easy to use without all the confusing clutter of 'raw' Access.

This also ensures that users do not inadvertently wander off into areas of Access where they have little or no experience, by using this approach my systems are far more robust that those which do not provide this level of configuration.

Disabled Living Foundation "We needed a unique database application; Dennis very quickly provided a user friendly, bespoke solution."  See my testimonials

I always supply my systems in a form where the end users cannot make changes to the design or programming code. I will supply your system as compiled mde files which operate faster that un-compiled mdb files and are not changeable by the end user, thereby increasing the robustness and security of your database system.

Opening Form
As I mentioned above I normally prompt users for a username and password when starting one of my systems, so this would be the first form they would see on entering the database system, for example:
Logon Form

If you did not have a requirement for different levels of access multiple users would see a form offering various options, here is an example where this particular user can only undertake two tasks 'Process Control' or 'Reports'

Whereas, the overall administration user would have access to all the tasks including the setting up of other users, and the Administrator would be trained by me to be fully conversant with the operation of the entire system. Menu Form

Mike Russell, Director, Air Heating Southern Ltd. said "After showing Dennis our current database he made some excellent suggestions on how he could improve it."  See my testimonials

Customised Menu System
I always provide a customised menu system in databases I develop, this ensures that users can only undertake tasks as intended and not corrupt the database by wandering into areas they do not fully understand, as an example, here is a normal Access Menu
Image36
This enables the user access to many areas of the system where they could cause damage, probably unintentionally.

I supply databases with a customised menu system that only offers the facilities that are required, and is semi-intelligent to only offer facilities relevant to the current task.
Image37
Here you can see there are less options, and some are disabled (shown as grey) as they are not appropriate to the current task.

Here is another example where the available selections are different as appropriate for the current task Image38

Forms
A system can have many forms; these are where you enter data into your system and are also used to interrogate your database to find information.

I always create forms in accordance with the clients requirements in respect of colour, font sizes etc. Also I always use real world names that my clients are comfortable with, for example 'Project name' 'Project Value' rather than database terms like 'Project Record'
Form Example

Speeding up data input while maintaining accuracy
Speed of data entry can be greatly improved by a combination of programming and data structure. For example if you had a system that needed to record information about flights, I would present a box that the user could select a country from, titled Country; this would contain a list of countries sorted alphabetically, when the user selected a country (this is far superior to letting a user type a country as they may misspell it and that would have a detrimental effect on your data integrity), lets say they select 'United Kingdom' then I would program the system so that the next box titled 'Airport' would only contain a list of airports in the United Kingdom, thereby guiding the user rather than letting them enter data that could be inconsistent such as entering USA as the country and London Heathrow as the airport.

User Feedback
At various stages of operation it is useful to ask users to respond to questions or simply tell the user what is happening.

I always provide feedback using real world terminology, for example if a user had selected to delete a customer I would display a message to the user such as:
Good Feedback Box
Here you can see the title says 'Customer Deletion' so the user knows what the message is about, the message box shows a red X so that the user knows this is an important question, the message itself is clear about what will happen if the user clicks 'Yes' The default button has been set to 'No' so if the user accidentally presses the enter key the deletion will not take place.

As opposed to
Bad Feedback Box
This simply says 'Microsoft Office Access' in the title, there is no red X, the message simply says 'delete' and the default button has been left as 'Yes' so if the user accidentally pressed the enter key this customer data would be deleted.

The creation of systems that provide the first type of message to the user rather than the second type comes from experience and many other developers may not have the required level of experience to design a really user friendly interface.

As well as programming in the functionality described above I also create feedback messages that speak the users language, not a database developers language, so no words like Record, Database, Index, but words appropriate to your business, for example, Invoice, Customer Order, Client Request.

Clive Patten, Managing Director, ABS Wastewater Technology said "Dennis was able to exactly meet our design specification. The delivery was on time and the system worked faultlessly from day one."  See my testimonials

Reports
A report is where you produce outputs from your Access Database system.

Normally clients have requirements for at least a few basic reports, whereas some clients require very complex reports.

I normally create a form that acts as a menu to the various reports available.

When the user selects a report I display it on screen, or if you prefer I can send it directly to your printer, most users like to see their reports on screen first to ensure the data the report contains is what they were looking for.

Here is an example of a form requesting complex selection criteria from a system I created for Canon Consumer Imaging
Report selection Criteria
Here the user can select multiple criteria in order to be presented with a report that exactly matches their needs. This also has an option to produce the report in one of three ways, to the screen, to a file, or directly to a printer.

When the report is run, it displays the user's selection criteria on the first page
First page of Report

The subsequent pages display the information matching those criteria
Report Detail
Some of the data has been removed from this report for display here.

Branding
I can brand your system with your company colours and logo as can be seen in the report examples above, and in the form below.

Example of Branding

What you won't see when using your system
What you won't see when using your system
As mentioned above under 'Customised menu System' you will not see the standard Access Menus.

You will not see any programming code

You will not see any raw data tables

You will not see any data queries

The things mentioned above are for programmers to deal with, not end users.

I always endeavour to create systems that are easy to use, are not confusing and are fast.