FMS Email Newsletter

May 2013

For Microsoft Access, SQL Server,
Visual Studio .NET, and VB6 Professionals

Luke Chung, FMS PresidentGreetings!

We hope spring is treating you well.

We had a rather bizarre experience when a migrating Canadian goose flew too low and caused us to lose power for almost a day (picture). Sorry for any inconvenience!

I'll be speaking at the Portland Oregon Access User Group Conference this weekend for third year in a row. It's a wonderful event organized by PAUG at a wonderful state park. This year's event was sold out early with participants from around the world. If you're not able to be there this year, think about coming next year to mingle with fellow Access enthusiasts in a very intimate setting.

Our hearts and condolences go to those who were affected by the recent tragedies in Boston, MA and West, TX. Unrelated to our Microsoft related products, our Sentinel Visualizer link analysis product continues to help law enforcement agencies and was recently mentioned by MIT Technology Review.

Since our last newsletter, we've provided a lot of tips, news items, and other activity on our Facebook page. Please Like our Facebook page to receive more timely and detailed information than we can provide in our newsletter.

All the best,

Luke Chung


Total Access Analyzer and Total Access Detective Helps You Create Better Solutions

We always enjoy hearing from our customers about how our products help their development efforts. We're even more delighted when they are willing to recommend them to others.

In a recent posting on Experts-Exchange, Microsoft Access "Prodigy" LSMConsulting provided a very nice testimonial about our products:

"I've always found Total Access Analyzer to be a great source of information about your database. I also use Total Access Detective, which is great for determining the differences between two Access databases."

That's why we created them! Learn more about All our Microsoft Related Products.

Microsoft Access 2010Blaming Technology (Microsoft Access) Rather than Developer Ignorance

I respond to a Washington Post article which described the experience of a local small business. They ran into trouble with Microsoft Access and were forced to migrate to another system. While there may be legitimate reasons to migrate, Microsoft Access took the blame for a poorly designed system which couldn't even support a trivial multiuser environment. The actual problem wasn't the technology, but the ignorance and incompetence of the developer who built that system.

Read more about it in his blog: Mistakenly Blaming Microsoft Access instead of the Developer

Blaming Microsoft Excel Rather than the User

Microsoft ExcelSimilarly, here's an article blaming Excel for a variety of big mistakes. When people don't understand databases and use spreadsheets, bad things can happen. Excel is great for one time analysis, but over time, they inevitably fall apart as people add new data and adjust data ranges and formulas.

Damn Excel! How the 'most important software application of all time' is ruining the world.

Read our article Microsoft Access versus Microsoft Excel for Data Analysis and Reporting to understand the difference and how a well designed database lets you add an unlimited amount of data without changing any queries, reports, and other analytic formulas.

Microsoft AccessMicrosoft Access Query Sorting on Multiple Date (or Numeric) Fields with Blank Values

Sorting multiple numeric or date fields is complicated if they contain null values. It's very easy to accidentally convert and sort the fields as text rather than numbers.

This new paper, Microsoft Access Query Sorting on Multiple Date (or Numeric) Fields with Blank Values, shows how to sort around nulls using a calculated field based on VBA functions IIF and Is Null.

Equally important, it also demonstrates why you can't use the Nz (NullToZero) function which leads to an alphabetical sort instead of a numeric sort.

Part of our Microsoft Access Query Help Center.

Microsoft AccessMicrosoft Access Shortcut Keys for Data Entry and Navigation

Here's our paper on a variety of shortcut keys to simplify your use of Microsoft Access. Just learning one of these keys could save you lots of time: Microsoft Access Shortcut Keys for Data Entry and Navigation

Microsoft Outlook Tips and Techniques

Be Careful Making Appointments on Your Smartphone from a Different Time Zone

When travelling in Texas recently, I received an email for a noon lunch appointment the following week. So I added it to Outlook on my Windows Phone as usual.

Unfortunately, I missed the appointment because when I returned home to Eastern time, the appointment appeared on my calendar as 1 PM (noon in Texas). Rude, embarrassing, and bad for business.

Read Missing an Appointment Set on a Smartphone while in a Different Time Zone

Microsoft Outlook Tips and TechniquesUpdated Tips for Microsoft Outlook

We've updated many of our MS Outlook papers starting with our most popular paper on how to Delay Sending Your Emails in Microsoft Outlook (a real relationship saver!). Plus these papers:

Link Analysis and Data VisualizationSentinel Visualizer Mentioned in MIT Technology Review with Boston Marathon Bombing

MIT Technology ReviewAs the rampage and manhunt in Boston transpired, MIT Technology Review published an article that mentioned our Sentinel Visualizer product.

In the article, David Talbot describes the rise of technology to detect the activities of criminals over the Internet and connect seemingly unrelated people, places and things.

Through the power of link analysis visualization, geospatial mapping, timelines, social network analysis (SNA), and other tools to find people trying to hide their identities and activities, Sentinel Visualizer maximizes the value of the data in your knowledgebase.

The article is entitled Building a Picture of the Bomb Suspects through Social Network Analysis. For more information, visit here.

Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing are Gaining Acceptance

Microsoft Windows AzureWe have been big fans of Microsoft Azure including Windows Azure and SQL Azure, since their debut. We discussed this in our paper Microsoft Azure and Cloud Computing...What it Means to Me and Information Workers

Microsoft SQL AzureEnterprise quality web hosting and upsizing to a hosted SQL Server database makes Azure an ideal platform for Microsoft customers.

It appears that many organizations are beginning to realize this as well: Microsoft Azure Sales Top $1 Billion Challenging Amazon

Microsoft News

Microsoft Announcements and Resources

Free Microsoft Access 2013 Online Training Courses

Training Courses


Steven Sinofsky

The former president of the Microsoft Windows division shares How To Deal With Doubters Who Think Your Product Idea Is Dumb

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Thank you! Thank you! I just finished reading this document, which was part of a link in the recent Buzz newsletter. I have printed it for others to read, especially those skeptical on the powers of Access and its capabilities.

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