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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Red face Unanswered: Is Access the best program for what I want to do?

    I work for a company that manufactures cable ends (that see sea pressure). Every cable we make has its own individual "Shop Traveller" (a Word document) that step tracks the manufacturing process for that particular cable - and a lot of cables have other documents that state previous discrepencies and "helpful hints", and other things along those lines. Every cable is given a serial number and each cable type has a name.
    Hopefully that part makes sense to someone.

    What I am looking to do is find a program (database) - I'm not computer-lingo savvy - that can store all the cable information in one main place - but still have the travellers seperate from the engineering notes and helpful hints, along with a main log of the serial number listing.
    So - I open something up and I can either search by the cable type - so I can print off the shop traveller belonging to that serial type, and then I can open up the serial log & add in the new cable's serial number and basic information (type & who it is going to) - and then be able to pull up that cable type and see if there is any additional information that may have been added to the database that would be helpful to making the cable .

    Is Microsoft Access a program that will do this? And if it is - is this something a regular person can (eventually) figure out , or does it involve some intense stuff that wont be found in tutorials or by playing around with it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    Provided Answers: 59
    Yes Access can hack it, and given its intergation with other Office products managing other documents is doable.

    the main issue you need to get your head around is the document management. some would suggest storing the documents withing Access, most woudl suggest outside Access.

    the advantage of storing within Access is that the data is controlled from within Access. so no body can modify it outside of the application (but bear in mind they can still editt the orginal document elsewhere and there is a risk that your managed document is not the most up to date document set.
    the problem is that storing blob data causes Access databases to bloat and has been a cause of file corruption

    if you store outside the db then you don't have the bloat problems but you do have the security problems. you would store a URL to the file(s) required within Access. you'd control the security of the document by network access. a suggested route would be to have a read only directory for most users and the ability to write restricted to one or two users

    you then need to develop the procedure that handles how your managed documents are sent to the read only directory what you could do is set up a transfer directory
    users inform the the application that they have saved a new file, whether thats an update or new document is upto you. the access application verifies that if its a new file then it doesnt' overwrite an existing file. or if its an update you need to decide if you allow overwriting or creation of versions. assuming the access app is happy it coudl then copy the file(s) to the transfer directory which then gets stripped out by copying to the read only directory by another (access or vbscript process). your network trolls should make the transfer directory only visible during a specific access session. so users cannot see the directory unless they are running Access.

    of course you use a versioning system sinilar to subversion to do all the file handling for you in a managed repository
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Richmond, Virginia USA
    Provided Answers: 19
    Quote Originally Posted by crashderby View Post
    ...Is Microsoft Access a program that will do this? And if it is - is this something a regular person can (eventually) figure out , or does it involve some intense stuff that wont be found in tutorials or by playing around with it
    As our friend, who prefers two wheels to four, has said, Access is more than able to perform this task. But I think there are two things you should be warned about:

    Despite the hype that Microsoft has always used to promote it, that 'anyone can create a database using MS Access,' it is not the software world's answer to 'Plug and Play!' It is a large and complex app, and in order to anything but the simplest of tasks, will require more than reading one or two tutorials and watching a single video!

    And the app you're describing here is not the 'simplest of tasks!' It is going to require your doing some serious studying of Access/VBA. The same thing, of course, would be true of any database development program you chose, and of those available, Access facilitates the quick development of a db better than any other. And, of course, you have access to all of the 'old Access hands' here and elsewhere on the web!

    Good luck with your project!

    Linq ;0)>
    Hope this helps!

    The problem with making anything that fools are so darn ingenious!

    All posts/responses based on Access 2003/2007

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