Review of Microsoft Access Add-in: Total Access Emailer

Developer Central 32, Mike Gunderloy, Reviewer, August 7, 2003

Mass e-mails are a fact of life, even for those of us who don't send spam. Heck, you're reading one right now, aren't you? Now, I'm not responsible for managing the Developer Central mailing list or sending the e-mail blasts, but if I were, Total Access Emailer would be an attractive product for the task.

Total Access Emailer works with e-mail addresses stored in any sort of Access database, either MDB or ADP (the version of the program you buy is specific to the version of Access, though, so if you have data scattered across Access 97 and Access 2000 you'll need two copies). You can pick any field in any table or query as the source of the addresses, and use any other data stored in the table in the mail. For example, if you set the start of the body text to "Dear [FirstName] [LastName]", TA Emailer will fill in the data from the FirstName and LastName fields of each record.

Total Access Emailer avoids the annoying Outlook security features that prevent mass mailings by sending directly to an SMTP server. You can use an SMTP server you already have access to, or follow the instructions in the help file to set one up on Windows 2000 or XP. You can schedule the blast to go out at any time, and you can set a delay between messages or between groups of messages so you don't outpace the server's ability to send them.

Email jobs are saved so they can be edited and reused. You also get statistics and reporting after a blast has gone out. There's even a programmatic interface in case you'd like to add emailing capabilities to your own Access applications. All in all, a nice piece of work.

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"I was thrilled with how easy it was to run and I appreciated that I didn't need to build any special tables or queries."

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