- How long will it take to receive a completed application?
That depends on the size of the project. We will start out with an on-site review of your business functions, processes, and workflow. I will work on the database at my office, periodically showing you the progress I have made, and reviewing its functionality to be sure that we are on target. The entire process could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, depending on the complexity of your application and your cooperation in gathering specifications and data, plus your availability for testing and review. For applications with many components, we may do interim implementations so that you may begin using your application sooner.
- What if I am located very far from your office?
We can work together regardless of your location, communicating via phone, email, and online networking.
- Will it be easy to use?
Yes, definitely. Easy-to-use buttons will perform the functions that you require on a regular basis. Help tips and instructions will be included.
- Do I need to know how to use Microsoft Access?
No you don’t. We can build into the application all of the functions that you need to perform. But if you would like to know how to run some ad-hoc queries, I can supply some hands-on training. I’ll also instruct you and/or your staff in simple administrative and maintenance tasks.
- Who owns the database application?
You do. This is not a lease. After final payments have been received, the completed database application and all documentation will be your property. Do note, however, that all code generated will remain the property of AzoTek Database Solutions, available for re-use in other applications, just as work from previous projects will be used in yours.
- Why can’t I do it myself?
Are you thinking about providing an in-house solution? Be wary using an inexperienced programmer who is unaccustomed to the complexities of formal software development. You will probably find yourself with a solution that does not contain any program code, relying instead on bound controls and macros. MS Access makes software development seem easy, but many clients find out too late that lightweight solutions ultimately fail to meet their needs, and end up with an application full of design flaws and errors.
You and your business need someone who is uniquely qualified with the technical expertise to provide you with a totally integrated custom solution. Save yourself the aggravation! Get the job done right the first time with a cost-effective application custom designed for your needs. A good understanding of relational database design, as well as VBA coding, is required to maximize the potential of any project.
- What is a database?
A database is a repository of information organized so that the contents can be easily managed, retrieved, aggregated, and analyzed. The software used to manage and query such a database is known as a database management system (DBMS). An example that most are familiar with is your computerized address book, a content management database that keeps track of your contact’s name, phone number, address, company, title, birthday, etc.
- What is a custom built database?
A custom built database application is a DBMS that has been designed specifically for the needs of your organization or business. These applications work the way you want them to, complimenting how you choose to do business. Read More
- What software do I need?
You will need Microsoft Access. You may already have Access if you own MS Office Professional or MS Office 365. If not, you can purchase Access as a stand-alone product.
I primarily design in MS Access 2010, and can support earlier versions such as 2007 and 2003 or later versions such as 2013, 2016 and Office 365. I recommend converting old versions (2002-XP, 2000, and 97) to a more recent version.
- Why MS Access?
Microsoft Access is the perfect choice for any business with a need for a reliable, affordable data management solution that is versatile and easy to use, with the ability to integrate with many other software applications. Read More
- Which Version of Access do you recommend?
Access has gone through many changes over the years. If you already own Microsoft Office, version 2007 or higher, there may not be any reason to upgrade to a higher version. Version 2007 has eliminated user level security, but there are other ways to implement that if you need it. If your needs include a tight integration with Microsoft Outlook, then you may want to upgrade to 2010, 2013, or 2016 to match your Microsoft Office version. During your free consultation, I can best advise you which version will work best for your needs.
- What is MS Access Runtime?
Microsoft Access Runtime enables you to run Access (2007 or later version) applications without the need for the full version of Access installed on your computers. If you need MS Access only to run a customized solution from AzoTek, click on the link below to download a free copy of MS Access Runtime. Note: When running an application in Runtime, you cannot create any ad-hoc queries, or do any functions not built into your customized application.
Runtime 2016 Runtime 2013 Runtime 2010 Runtime 2007
- What are your standard application features?
- Easy-to-use menu based screen navigation to easily locate and select the function needed
- All lookup values use easy drop-down lists or similar selections so that no knowledge of codes is necessary
- Consistent and standardized screen and report design throughout the application
- Internal industry-standard naming and coding practices to ensure better maintainability and longevity
- Open source code so that the client may modify or maintain all aspects of the design and code of the application
- Automatic browsing and re-linking of all Access back-end databases
- Help tips and data/functionality descriptions embedded within the application.
- What is User Level Security?
User level security is the practice of assigning permissions to groups of users based on their roles in the company. For example, human resources may be the only department that can view and edit an employee’s social security number. Users from payroll can view the employee’s salary, but cannot make any changes.
- What is Data Integrity?
With data integrity, your data conforms to certain rules that you apply during data entry. The program will notify the user if the data entered on the form does not comply with the validation rules that you have set, and will not allow the data record to be saved until it does comply. Examples of data validation rules are:
- The data entered must come from a list of values that you supply, such as “low, medium, high,” “red, green, blue,” “NY, NJ, ND,” etc.
- The data must be in a certain format, such as xxx-xx-xxxx for a social security number, or firstname.lastname@example.org for an e-mail address
- A date must be valid (1/52/2016 is not valid), or be either greater or less than today’s date
- The data must be within a size range (so the address will fit on the label)
- The data field may not be left blank (contact name is required)
- Duplicate entries are not allowed, based on one piece of data (contact name) or more than one (date and ID number)
- Why should I split my application and data into separate files?
- Access runs more efficiently when the front-end application is run from the user’s desktop.
- Multiple users can share the same data set stored on your server.
- The front-end can be updated easily without impacting your current production data.
- A utility will be included in the front-end to easily reconnect to the data once a new upgrade has been delivered to you.
- What custom features can I have?
That’s up to you and your business needs. I will work with you (and your staff, if applicable) to analyze the data and functionality needed to achieve your goals and that meets all of your objectives, from data entry to reporting.
- Can additional features be added in the future? What if you’re not available?
Yes, I will be happy to make any enhancements to the application that you need. Often requirements change, or you may just want to add on other processes that you are still doing manually. I believe in leaving the source code open (not locked). Plus every byte of my code is standard, accessible MS Access and includes developer comments. So if I’m not available for any reason, any qualified Access programmer can make the changes you need.