Why You Need Total Access Analyzer

Whether you're a Microsoft Access end-user, professional developer, or consultant making a living off Access, Total Access Analyzer can help you maximize your time and investment in Access while improving your skills.

As your Access databases evolve and grow, they become harder and harder to understand. Review the following challenges and see how Total Access Analyzer helps you address them:

My Database is too complex!

Many Access database projects start out simple and rapidly devolve into complex collections of related and unrelated objects. There is simply no way to keep track of which object calls or uses which object, how data is related to forms and reports, etc.

Solution: Total Access Analyzer scans your entire database and comes up with a complete and easy-to-use set of documentation and analysis. It finds problems, suggests improvements, and recommends performance enhancements. It even highlights unused objects and code. Total Access Analyzer lets you take back control of your Access databases.

The built-in Microsoft Access Documenter is not very useful

The built-in Access documenter looks at each object separately. For each object type, only a single report is available. Additionally, Access provides no analysis, cross-reference reporting, or detection or errors and performance problems.

Solution: Total Access Analyzer also documents individual objects, but in addition it provides a wealth of information and reporting options. More importantly, it "analyzes" your entire database, giving you the information you need to understand how objects relate to each other. It also provides extensive module analysis so you know more about your code and where and how it is used. The diagrams for application flow, data flow, and objects reveal the hierarchical relationship across code and objects and provide an excellent overview of how a database works.

Total Access Analyzer also uncovers truly critical information such as broken or missing references to objects, unused objects (tables, queries, procedures, variables, etc.), inconsistent field types among identically named fields, plus many other useful suggestions.

Total Access Analyzer includes over 300 presentation quality reports with options to filter the data and customize the headers so you can make a permanent record of your database on paper. A wide range of reports is available including different sort options to reveal different relationships. For instance, Total Access Analyzer includes a report that shows each table's fields, including their type and description, sorted by the table name. In addition, the product includes a field report that shows the same data sorted by field, so you can see which table each field is in.

Other reports include the bracketed module printout (all lines are numbered and indented properly with each loop bracketed), object cross-reference reports, module listings for procedures, variables, etc., application flow diagrams, and detailed "dictionary" reports for each object and its properties.

For more details, see our Microsoft Access Database Documenter Comparison page.

I can't figure out how my Access database works

As your database grows with more objects, relationships, and complex dependencies, it's easy to have trouble determining how it works.

Solution: Total Access Analyzer documents object and code cross-references so you can determine where and how each object is used.

More importantly, Total Access Analyzer reveals complex multi-level relationships. Not only can you see what an object references, but you can see what the referenced object references as well! The Application Flow, Data Flow, and Object Diagrams provide excellent overviews of your database.

  • The Application Flow Diagram reveals how your application starts and what events, code, or macros get called, and what those call. See the entire hierarchical tree of your application flow.
  • The Data Flow Diagram shows how data "flows" through your application, from tables to queries to forms and reports. Complex, multi-query relationships are clearly revealed.
  • The Object Flow Diagram looks at objects from the other perspective. For each form, report, or query, see what other objects it uses. For instance, quickly see the entire "family" of objects used by a form from tables and queries by its record source and combo boxes, to macros invoked by buttons, and what all those objects use.

Total Access Analyzer also performs consistency checks to detect issues such as:

  • Identical field names with different data types between tables
  • Identical SQL strings among queries and form/report record sources

Total Access Analyzer also finds Unused Objects, Macros, and VBA Code to help you eliminate objects that are no longer needed to let you focus on those which are used.

I inherited a big Microsoft Access Database project. Help!

Our research indicates that over 80% of Access database projects lack documentation of any kind. If you inherit even a mildly complex Access project, you'll spend weeks just figuring out how it works. And without doing that, the changes you make may trigger unexpected problems.

Solution: Only Total Access Analyzer offers the comprehensive set of tools that give you the jumpstart on an inherited project. Cut your ramp-up time from weeks to days with Total Access Analyzer's full set of reports, view, and search tools.

Here's a paper discussing our experience Inheriting and Taking Over Microsoft Access Database Applications

I don't have time to try and find all the errors in my application

As your deadlines loom closer, the time you have to proactively detect and fix errors dwindles. How to you ship an Access application with a reduced error count?

Solution: Total Access Analyzer performs sophisticated analysis on your database application to find a wide range of errors and potential errors, including missing objects, broken object and field references, unused objects and code, design inconsistencies, etc.

How can I find out which objects in my database are no longer used?

As one develops an Access project, it's common to create lots of unused objects. Temporary objects, copies of objects, and backups all combine to bloat to your database. But because you can't figure out whether the objects really aren't used, you're afraid to delete a questionable query, form, report, macro, or procedure.

Solution: By documenting everywhere objects are used, Total Access Analyzer can reveal Unused Objects, Macros, and VBA Code in your database so you can determine what should be deleted. The Search feature also lets you search for any string across your object properties, macro lines, and module VBA code so you can verify a particular name really isn't referenced.

How can Total Access Analyzer help me improve performance?

Microsoft Access makes it easy to add objects and link them together. However, Access also makes it easy to create data, queries, forms and reports that simply run too slowly. You don't have time to dig through your application and find all the potential performance bottlenecks.

Solution: Total Access Analyzer provides a complete and comprehensive list of performance suggestions that can make your application run faster from table and query design to code.

I'm about to deliver my application, but the client wants documentation. What do I do?

Documentation is often the last part of a project. If you have a limited amount of time, you may get to the end of development and find no time to document the hundreds of objects in your Access database.

Solution: Total Access Analyzer provides presentation quality documentation with over 350 reports. You can provide your end-user or client with all the documentation they desire with the click of a button.

Make Technical Documentation a Profit Center

Rather than a burden, technical documentation is not only what professional developers should do when delivering a project, it can also be a profit center for you.

Many consultants recoup the cost of Total Access Analyzer many times over by charging their clients for such technical documentation on every project they deliver! Write some pages providing an overview of the application that no automated tool can generate, include information on the development environment, and other helpful tips for future developers (it may be you), and use the output from Total Access Analyzer to deliver professional application documentation. All the Total Access Analyzer reports have customizable headers and footers so you can use your own name to personalize them.

Good technical documentation is fundamental to being able to maintain an application over time. Give your clients an option to purchase technical documentation from you, and deliver impressive results with Total Access Analyzer. And if they choose not to get it, make sure it's in writing. Same for a backup and disaster recovery plan for Microsoft Access databases.

I need a solution that is simple and quick

The last thing you have is time to manually document and analyze your database. You need a solution that is easy to use, intuitive, and quick.

Solution: Total Access Analyzer runs as a Microsoft Access add-in. It behaves the way you expect because it's using MS Access tables, forms, reports, and approaches you're already comfortable with.

Simply open your database and launch Total Access Analyzer. Its step-by-step wizard lets you easily select the objects to analyze and the analysis to perform. No programming required! When it's complete, you can view and print/preview/export the results. All the results are stored in tables in a separate Access database and available for future retrieval.

Still not sure?

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