Total Access Detective

Total Acess Detective Manual

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Product Reviews 

"Total Access Detective is well worth every penny, it will quickly pay for itself through savings in time and effort."

Tom Cryan, Denver Access User Group product review

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Find differences between Microsoft Access databases and objects with Total Access DetectiveMicrosoft Access Object and Database ComparisonsDetect differences between Microsoft Access databases, object designs and data with Total Access Detective

Total Access Detective

from the DAAUG March Newsletter
By Tom Cryan

Total Access Detective is a third party add in by FMS designed to compare differences between any two Microsoft Access Databases or Objects.

Total Access Detective automates the tedious, time consuming chore of finding differences or changes between tables, queries, forms, reports macros, modules or command bars within the same database or between two different databases. It has an easy to use interface with clear, concise pull down list boxes that makes comparison or finding differences as easy as pointing and clicking.

Total Access Detective is easy to install and use. The manual was clear, concise and easy to use and understand. Installation was a snap, just install the diskettes and run setup. Installation screens had good explanations as to your choices and their results. The manual gets into details on how the program works and is easy to use and understand.

I was impressed with the help system, it was well written, used very clear screen shots and the descriptions and explanations were easy to read and understand. It uses context sensitive help and also help command buttons throughout the program, it was easy to get the information and answers I needed, it was a breeze using the program.

Technically, Total Access Detective is an Access add in which uses familiar Access forms, datasheet views, etc., and has full reporting and printing capabilities. When comparing objects (Tables, Queries, Modules, etc.) within the same database Total Access Detective uses a Library database to store the results of the comparison. When comparing two different databases the program uses a number of linked databases to store the information about the various forms, program files, comparison data, etc. The creation and maintenance of these databases is done in the background, transparent to the user. The user also has access to these databases, which allows the user to edit data and make changes based on the results of the comparison.

I compared a couple of small databases and the program performed at a fast clip. As you move to comparing very large databases performance could slow down in proportion to the larger size; however, it is not an issue as the program automates the comparison task and results in a huge time and effort savings when comparing large databases.

Total Access Detective is valuable for those times when you have two or more versions or copies of the same database and you are not sure which one is the latest version. This program is a must have for those times when you have two or more people working on the same project, it takes the confusion out of trying to determine which changes or updates are the correct ones.

The comparisons do include the date and time the objects were last created or updated so you will know which copy is the latest. One can compare Table data, Field Properties, Relationships, References such as VBA library references, Permissions and Forms and Report Modules, (includes the code behind the forms or reports).

The Module and Macro Options lets the user compare source code; the user has the option to determine whether indentation differences constitute code differences. The reports generated in Total Access Detective include comparisons for Object Differences, Data Differences, Macro/Module Differences, Macro/Module Source Code, Objects in Both Databases, Objects Not in One Database and Errors.

Priced at $199, Total Access Detective is well worth every penny, it will quickly pay for itself through savings in time and effort. It can be ordered through FMS's Web Site.