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In Access you will find similar startup options under the Current Database page of the Access Options dialog see Picture 2. Using an AutoExec macro to execute specific actions or sequences of actions at database startup works similarly as in earlier Access versions.

The build in shift bypass key mechanism avoids the execution of both the set startup options and an AutoExec macro to ensure that an application is not completely disabled in case the developer needs to make future modifications. However, this also enables users of finished databases to get back into the design level of the application and make vital and unauthorized changes or see data that is not permitted to them.

It is generally known that it is possible to reset the AllowBypassKey property and therefore it will not completely secure your application, but it is one of many features you can implement to protect against potential misusage of your application. Either library still supports the CreateProperty method which allows us to set the Boolean type AllowBypassKey property.

A quick sample illustrating the disabling of the shift bypass key can be seen in code example 3. Database, prp As DAO. Setting the AllowBypassKey property. The above code needs to be executed only once within the application to set the property. Keep in mind that you should implement a method to turn the AllowBypassKey property back to True to ensure that you can get back into the application yourself. This topic might be closely related to the sample we have just covered.

Sometimes you might want to give users with appropriate rights in a secured environment the possibility to work with the Navigation Pane. The startup options under the Current Page allow you to hide the Navigation Pane similarly as you might have been doing with the Database Window in earlier Access versions.

To programmatically show or hide the Database Window or Navigation Pane you can run the sample code shown in the code example 3. Showing or hiding Database Window.

When utilizing the above code to show or hide the Database Window it is not necessary to actually specify a true existing database object name in the ObjectName argument of the SelectObject method of the DoCmd object. However, when trying to show or hide the Navigation Pane in Access it is required to pass along an existing object name for the code to function correctly. Though you might not even want to completely hide the Navigation Pane or reveal it to certain users in Access anymore.

The Navigation Pane can be an integrated part of your application and serve as a very interactive switchboard replacement. Access introduces three specific macro actions which will help developers with the customization of the Navigation Pane. We will look at this topic later on when discussing the implementation of these new Access features. For now let us mention the three macro actions without going into too much reasoning and detail about their functionalities.

The SetDisplayCategories action allows the developer to show or hide specific categories to the user. The NavigateTo macro action enables us to organize categories and database objects within the Navigation Pane and the LockNavigationPane action prevents anyone from mistakenly cutting or deleting database objects from within the pane. One major annoyance developers had to deal with in prior Access editions was the control of the mouse scroll wheel and avoiding the saving of empty records in single form view.

Throughout time many different workarounds to fix this issue have been implemented. Others implemented a lot of VBA Visual Basic for Applications code to trap the record advancement with the mouse wheel in certain conditions.

In the end none of the solutions were extremely desirable because of flexibility or performance issues as well as the hassle of implementing them. To the delight of probably every Access developer Access improved the mouse wheel behavior. The mouse wheel will not scroll through records in the single form view anymore. The mouse wheel still works as expected in continuous and datasheet form view. When utilizing the new split form view the mouse scroll wheel will function in the datasheet portion of the form, but not in the single form segment.

Utilizing the Form Mouse Wheel Event. Some developers like to utilize the status bar at the bottom of the Access application window. Some possible usage scenarios would be the implementation of a progress meter for longer lasting processes or maybe tips to help the user of the application with navigating through the application. The status bar in Access functions identically to earlier Access editions.

Alternatively you can work with the status bar with Visual Basic for Applications code see Code Example 3. Utilizing the Application Status Bar. In some circumstances it is advised to split an Access application into two separate files.

Examples of such circumstances would be the usage of a database in a multi-user environment, organizing large amounts of data effectively or running into problems with the 2 gigabyte file size limit.

Splitting the application will result in a frontend file housing Form, Query, Report objects as well as Visual Basic for Applications code and one backend file holding all the data tables. The frontend file uses table links to communicate with the backend file. The build in Database Splitter can establish this whole setup within seconds and make the splitting process a fairly simple affair.

Another method of splitting an application would be the manual process of creating two Access files and importing and deleting certain database objects within the two files. The importing process can be achieved through the External Data tab on the Ribbon see Picture 2.

A very helpful tool in organizing table links is the known Linked Table Manager, which can also be found on the Database Tools Ribbon tab see Picture 2. Access houses this option under the Database Utilities sub-menu of the Tools main-menu option. If the application files are moved around, the table links would need to be refreshed to reflect the new directory location of the backend file.

Sometimes it is nice not to expose the user to this complete process and programmatically execute a procedure which mostly takes care of this issue for them. There are many different ways to achieve the refreshing of table links with Visual Basic for Applications code. TableDefs ' check if linked table has connection string? Programmatically refreshing table links The refreshTblLinks function shown in code example 3. A call to the function requires the full directory and file name string value of the Access backend file to be passed along.

You will receive a Runtime Error if you try to do so see Picture 3. This does not cover all the security options you have within Access but the ACCDE or MDE file formats are a very popular choice when deploying your application to customers. We will look into more customizable security approaches in later tutorials. After finishing the process of building a complete user interface through the help of Form objects, a switchboard form can help tie everything together to an easy navigatable menu for your users.

As earlier mentioned the new Navigation Pane could actually be utilized as a very good alternative to a switchboard form and we will have a more detailed look to this approach later on. Many developers like to customize the start up of their application by implementing a splash screen. This simulates the feel of a professionally created application. The most commonly used method to realize a custom splash screen is to hide the default Access splash screen and start the database with a custom form.

Setting specific properties within a Form will make it appear less like an Access Form object and more like a regular splash screen. The purpose of this Form should be to stay visible on the screen for a short amount of time and then redirect to a main menu or switchboard page. This effect can be achieved by adding two lines of code see code example 3.

Keep in mind that the Timer Interval is evaluated in milliseconds. Now that we have created a custom splash screen we can define it to open on database startup automatically as the first form by adjusting the Display Form property of the Current Database page within the Access Options dialog see Picture 3. Specifying the Database Start Up Form.

This finishes tutorial three. We raised our confidence to navigate through the majority of Access with the keyboard, through the help of keyboard shortcut combinations as well as the newly implemented Key Tips feature. Additionally, we tested some common development practices in Access and compared functionalities to Access To increase our awareness of the Access development environment we went through a detailed comparison of the and versions.

This included the scalability and specifications of the software as well as a side by side menu assessment. By using the software you will become more and more comfortable and soon be as proficient in it as you were earlier editions. Further tutorials will help you do just that.

In this tutorial we will closely look at all the details of this new attribute including the activation as well as the manually and programmatically usages. Instead you will find a button linked to a specific help file topic informing you about possible add-ins for other file formats see Picture 4.

After downloading the Add-in file open it and follow the download instructions. After publishing the selected database object to and external file you will be confronted with a further dialog which enables you to save the steps taken to export the internal content see Picture 4. This nice feature will set up a shortcut for you the next time you repeat the export functionality.

Save Export Steps Dialog. Both can be obtained on the internet free of charge. It is not necessary anymore to implement long winded coding workarounds or third party solutions to achieve the same results.

The OutputTo method is especially useful for developers who do not like to employ the somewhat limited SendObject method. The SendObject method only allows the attachment of one internal database object at a time to a plain text email message. Sometimes this does not suffice the needs of developers or clients and more advanced automation code is implemented.

Looking at code example 4. This tutorial will primarily deal with the usage of the new and major interface features of Access We had quickly browsed through most of them in earlier tutorials and will now have a detailed look at how to customize them.

The most intriguing and probably most complicated component of Access is the new user interface. However, it is very customizable and presents developers with a vast amount of options for their applications. The best approach to customizing the new user interface is XML. This might be somewhat intimidating if you have never worked with Extensible Markup Language before but using this tutorial you should be able to get a head start and take it wherever you want afterwards.

Name this table USysRibbons. Than choose Current Database and press the Navigation Options… button displayed there. Open the table in datasheet view So we will have a look at that. For the Ribbon to be recognized you need to close and reopen the application. After that go to the Current Database tab of the Access Options dialog described earlier. After pressing OK Access should notify you that you need to close and reopen the application for the change to take effect.

So close and reopen the application. They should all be grayed out and inaccessible. Congratulations…you have just customized the new user interface. The shift bypass key affects the user customization similarly to other options you might have used before. So to temporarily return to the design state you can just close the application and reopen it while holding down the shift key.

Setting the startFromScratch attribute to true will completely hide the Ribbon, remove certain commands from the Office pull down as well as the quick launch bar if you do not specify any further actions. As described in step three close and reopen the application and set the new Ribbon Name in the Access Options dialog.

Then close and reopen the application for the XML to take effect. This short tutorial should have helped you get started. The Ribbon exposes many cool user interface features which have not been possible up till now.

You can display galleries, drop downs, split buttons…and construct a really rich and friendly interface for your users.

As a little hint I will show you one more step to creating a custom Ribbon button which executes a specified action when clicked. Add the following XML to a new record in your Ribbon table:. Ribbon commands act through the help of callbacks which are little subs you write in VBA code. After closing your Ribbon table create a new module and paste the following code in it:.

Follow the instructions in step three to assign this new Ribbon XML to the application. After closing and reopening the application you should see one tab named My Tab holding one group named My Group which houses one button named Click Me. If you press the button you should receive the message box we defined in the callback procedure. For some more information on specific commands, features and functions you might find the following articles helpful: This results in a locked version of your application which effects the user interface as well.

In this tutorial we will look at the new Navigation Pane introduced in Access Next to the new Ribbon interface discussed in earlier tutorials the Navigation Pane adds a lot to the overall new interface of the development environment. This should be a stepping stone to navigating and customizing the Navigation Pane as we will have a detailed look at it.

It houses all application objects in a vertical manner. Unfortunately the Navigation Pane is not self-collapsible nor can it be a separate floating container as the Database Window used to be.

A further restriction of the Navigation Pane is its vertical layout. The Navigation Pane switches this view to a vertical representation which could mean that an object could use up to 4 lines of space see Picture 6. Object taking up 4 lines in the Navigation Pane. If you consider a large application with many objects you might be doing a lot of vertical scrolling in the Navigation Pane. However, if you know exactly what you are looking for a neat search feature provided up top might be very beneficial in such a scenario.

We will look at this in more detail in the next section. Navigation Pane features You can manually collapse and expand the Navigation Pane by clicking on the double arrow at the top of the pane see Picture 6. Manually Expanding the Navigation Pane. Since we are discussing the showing and hiding of the pane we can also still hide it at application startup by un-checking the Display Navigation Pane option in the Current Database tab of the Access Options dialog see Picture 6.

Hide Navigation Pane at Database Startup. If you save and restart the application the Navigation Pane should be unavailable. However as with other interface customizations holding down the Shift key at application startup will bypass these options.

The Common developer practices section of tutorial three shows a method to disable the Shift bypass key but keep in mind that it can be easily re-enabled through code, too. As mentioned earlier there is a very useful search feature implemented at the top of the pane.

If you do not see it by default then right click on the Navigation Pane header and select Search Bar see Picture 6. The Search Bar acts as a drill down feature which will filter the complete Navigation Pane.

This makes it very easy to find specific database objects within seconds. Objects within the Navigation Pane are grouped either in specific predefined categories or custom groups. Using predefined categories you can easily switch between displaying only your Tables, Forms, Queries, Reports, Modules as well as viewing a sorted break down of objects by their created or modified date see Picture 6.

Right clicking the top bar of the Navigation Pane also exposes other filtering and sorting options for your database objects. Customizing the Navigation Pane One of the strong points of the Navigation Pane is the ability to extensively customize it. This means that it can actually be included in your application as a switchboard type navigation bar.

Exposing the Database Window to users in earlier versions of Access was never a recommended practice so being able to customize and lock down the main point of object navigation within your application can be of great benefit. We will start by simply creating a couple of custom groups in some application.

Open the Navigation Options dialog through one of the earlier specified methods. You should see something similar as shown in Picture 6. Add a new Item and name it. For example you might want to establish a grouping specific for user forms e. Within this new Item add a couple different groups e.

You might now have something as shown in Picture 6. After applying all these settings your Navigation Pane should now look something like shown in Picture 6.

Navigation Pane with some Customization. At this point you are ready to click and drag specific database objects into your custom groups. In our example you could drag specific Form or Report objects which only apply to your certain supervisor groups.

This is the appropriate way to handle the customization and actually allows you lock down the Forms. Shortcuts have an additional Disable Design View Shortcuts property that you can apply to not allow any users to switch into design view when launching your database objects through the supplied shortcut. You can set this property by right clicking on the shortcut to open up its property dialog.

After you are done creating all your shortcuts in your custom groups you can completely remove the Unassigned Objects group through the Navigation Options dialog.

Now all that is left is to further lock down and customize the Navigation Pane at runtime. Access includes three new methods of the DoCmd object which will prove helpful with that.

The NavigateTo method can modify the groups and category with which your objects are displayed. The LockNavigationPane method will convert the Navigation Pane to a read only element of your application. Last but not least you can utilize the SetDisplayedCategories to adjust the categories displayed when clicking the top Navigation Pane bar. All three methods can be set as actions within a Macro or directly within VBA. The LockNavigationPane method only has one argument which takes a boolean value.

One string value for the category and one for the group you want to navigate the Navigation Pane to. This action could be beneficial if you have some sort of evaluation process build into your application and you directly want to present certain user groups with their objects.

In our little example you could run something like the following: The SetDisplayedCategories method can show and hide groups from the top selection bar of the Navigation Pane. Sticking to our small sample you could run this code: SetDisplayedCategories False, "Supervisor Objects" If you executed that line and look under the pull down of the top bar of the Navigation Pane you should recognize that our Supervisor Objects group is no missing.

Similar to the NavigateTo method this can be very useful in a customized environment. This finishes our little tutorial of an introduction of the new Navigation Pane. We have learned basic usage and customization in a manual and coding manner. Just as the new Ribbon interface the Navigation Pane takes some time getting used to. However reading through this tutorial you might have recognized its powerful and useful features that you can take advantage of as a developer.

It is a good alternative to the limited, build in Switchboard Manager and can be a tremendous user experience in combination with Ribbon customization.

In this tutorial we will look in detail at the new Attachment DataType introduced in Access We will go through examples demonstrating the usage of the new DataType and illustrate why it might benefit developers. Furthermore, we will work with manual as well as programmatical implementations of the Attachment DataType.

General Information about the Attachment DataType: As discussed in some of the earlier tutorials Access implements a new, very useful DataType. The Attachment DataType works as a multi-valued field which you might think breaks normalization rules. The main purpose of the new DataType is to eliminate the bloating issues the OLE Object DataType exposed when embedding external files within your application.

In all versions prior to Access it was almost always suggested to link to external files with a Text DataType.

Using a Text DataType field which holds the full string directory path and file name of the external file at the Table level would enable you to work around the bloating issue and still utilize external files within your application.

However, one of the drawbacks of this set up is to always depend on an external folder holding your files which itself always needs to be moved along side the application. The Attachment DataType can eliminate this set up by allowing you to directly embed files within your application. If the files are not already compressed Access will store them in a compressed manner for you to keep the ACCDB file size as small as possible. Though the 2GB file size limit still might stir you in a direction of a set up mentioned earlier with storing the files externally and linking to them.

One scenario where either of those methods might be more suitable could be the plan to utilize an extremely large amount of files within your application or the file size of individual files being somewhat large. Manual usage of the Attachment DataType: Add an Attachment DataType field to the design. Your Table might look similar to what is shown in Picture 7. Table Design including Attachment Field. We can now switch to Datasheet View and just add a couple of records including several attachments.

Double left clicking on the Attachment field will invoke the Attachments dialog which will allow you to Add… images to the multi-valued field. You should also see further options to individually save the attachments back to a file or do so with all of them as well as opening and removing them from the field see Picture 7.

Attachments Dialog with Different Choices. Now that we have set up a sample Table holding sample data we can keep moving. If you just click the Form Ribbon button of the Forms group behind the Create Ribbon tab while having the newly created Table selected in the Navigation Pane you might see something similar as shown in Picture 7.

If you double left click on the image displayed you should receive the earlier discussed Attachment dialog which allows you to interact with the attachments. Single left clicking on the image invokes a little navigation bar at the top of the control which allows you to navigate through the attachment values or launch the Attachment dialog see Picture 7.

Browse through Attachment Values. So what if you wanted to actually display all attachments that one particular record holds on your Report. We can achieve that as well. In the Show Table dialog pick the Table you have created that holds your attachments. Now you should see in the Field selection area of the Table you picked that the Attachment DataType is actually split up in three different parts see Picture 7. The FileData is the actual binary data that Access stores internally. The FileName is the name of the original document and the FileType holds the extension of the original document.

If you now run the Query you should see a separate Record for each attachment value the multi-valued field holds see Picture 7.

You can now create a Report with specific grouping which will show you all values returned by the FileData field per record.

You might find it interesting that the Image Control now supports a Control Source property like any other control. Programmatical usage of the Attachment DataType: There are several methods of the Data Access Objects library DAO that you can use to interact with your attachments in the multi-valued field. The LoadFromFile method can import a file from you local hard-drive into an attachment field within your application.

The SaveToFile method does the complete opposite by allowing you to save an internally stored attachment to a file on your hard-drive. You might want to allow the users to import additional images to the record field.

For simplicity I will hard-code the path to the external file being imported. If you want to implement a browse feature then check the code provided at: The function wrapped around the API call utilized in that code will return the full string path and file name to the file selected. You can store that in a variable and pass it along to the LoadFromFile method instead of using a hard-coded value as described in Code Example 7. You can add the code to the on click event of a command button which is on the same Form that houses the attachment control that is bound to your Table attachment field.

The only requirement is that the file does not already exist in current record of the multi-valued field. If it does and you try to execute the code you will receive a Runtime Error The error handling code included in Code Example 7. Now to reverse the action we just took we can re-save our internal file back to some local directory. If you want to include the ability for the user to browse to a directory and specify a new file name you can implement the earlier mentioned API call.

In this small sample I will again just save the file to a predefined hard-coded location on my local drive see Code Example 7. Saving an Internal Attachment Back to a File.

If the file already exists in the specified directory you will receive a Runtime Error which the error handling code should trap. The file will be saved to the exact same file name it used to have when it was embedded into the attachment field.

Removing an attachment from your attachment field with code can be as simple as utilizing the DAO Delete method with the RecordSet you have opened based on the multi-valued field. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation to buy to residents in jurisdictions in which property transfer requirements have not been fulfilled; this website and its contents are intended for information purposes only.

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