Microsoft Access Software Development

Discover how a custom MS Access database can improve your company's data visibility or connect to data saved in other applications and databases.

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What is a Custom MS Access Database?

Microsoft Access is a database management system (DBMS) by Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software development capabilities.

Microsoft Access uses its own data format, which is based on the Access Jet Database Engine. It may also immediately import or connect to data saved in other apps and databases.

Microsoft Access can be used by software engineers and data architects to create application software. Access, like other Microsoft Office programs, is supported by Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), an object-based programming language that can refer to a wide range of objects, including traditional DAO (Data Access Objects) and other ActiveX components.

In the VBA programming environment, visual objects used in forms and reports reveal their methods and properties, and VBA code modules can declare Windows operating system activities.

Microsoft Access Databases vs Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets

New, under-capitalized businesses do things for themselves. They don't go very far before they realize they need to save data about their activities and access it later. Names of clients, phone numbers, sales history, and so forth.

Mobile phones are useful for storing information such as names, phone numbers, and notes. The next stage is to store operational data in spreadsheets. They are simple to learn and extremely effective at data manipulation.

But you don't need us to tell you about the limits of spreadsheets when they increase in size. You've undoubtedly met them. If not, a quick search on Google would suffice. Accidental copy-paste, the incorrect sign on a number, and a lack of data error checking quickly render a spreadsheet untrustworthy for any meaningful record keeping in complicated procedures where one sort of data is connected to another.

Microsoft Access Database


  • Databases make it simple to save information in one place and refer to it elsewhere. For example, client information could be stored in a customer table that includes the customer's name, address, phone number, and email address. It is subsequently used in other locations like queries, forms, and reports. If a customer's information changes, the new information is automatically updated in all linked systems.
  • Regardless of how the data is stored or organized in the underlying tables, Microsoft Access queries and reports allow you to manipulate it and show it in detail or summary form. It gives you a lot of power and versatility when it comes to analyzing and presenting findings. It's simple to display aggregations using groupings as data changes and groups are added or withdrawn.


  • Unfortunately, the versatility of spreadsheets comes at a cost. While it is simple to construct formulae, reference cells, copy and paste data, and link worksheets and spreadsheets together, spreadsheets become increasingly difficult to update and maintain as the task becomes more complicated. While spreadsheets are great for one-time analysis, they become troublesome when data accumulates and develops over time. As new rows and columns get added, summary ranges and formulas may need to be modified or new ones created, data and formulas aren't consistently updated, and these mistakes lead to poor results.

The difficulties with spreadsheets stem from the difficulty of keeping them accurately over time and growing the amount.

Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets


  • Excel has a very low learning curve, so it's simple to start using it and be productive straight away. It is uncommon for IT personnel to generate spreadsheets that Information Workers can construct on their own.
  • Excel makes it simple to save data, conduct numerical calculations, format cells, and modify layouts in order to create output and reports that can be shared with others. Subtotals, power pivot tables and pivot charts, an analysis toolbox, and several templates make it simple to do a wide range of jobs. It can even interact with SQL Server's Analytic Services (Business Intelligence). It's also extremely simple to tweak the results to obtain the precise layout, fonts, colors, and so on that you desire.


  • The learning curve for establishing a database, writing queries, and developing report layouts may appear to be extremely steep. It can be difficult to figure out how to build normalized tables, link them together, and arrange the information so that it is easy to update, query, display, and report.
  • A database is more sophisticated than just entering data into spreadsheet columns. A database is intended to create large volumes of data and reports without having to customize each one individually. Excel has some data analysis tools, such as power pivots, but Access does not. Excel's charting tools are also more powerful and newer than Access's, thus the result generated by Excel can look superior.

Access Database Programming Language

Creating a Microsoft Access database management system allows the older but wiser spreadsheet user to store, extract, and update any type of data, as well as features like a query builder to help you focus in on the data you need. These systems also allow the user to produce basic reports, such as comparing the sales of a group of goods over time. Large-scale DBMS systems like Oracle, SQL Server, and others can readily handle all of the data that any organization could expect to create.

Microsoft Access is the DBMS in consideration here. It is reasonably priced and simple to install on a laptop or desktop computer. Anyone in the office can view the data on a local area network. It is a perfect fit for Excel users, and there are wizards available to effortlessly load spreadsheet data into Access. MS Access is, in some ways, the culmination of a series of experiments conducted in the 1970s and 1980s to build database systems that could be used by people who were not programmers. One of the finest was FoxPro, and when Microsoft bought Fox in 1992, they immediately used its Rushmore optimization techniques to offer Access a substantial speed advantage over previous low-end database systems.

The bottom line is that Microsoft Access is simple to install and use for non-programmers, and it can serve as the foundation for any emerging firm to store and utilize its operational data.

Macros Fundamentals

A macro is a tool for automating processes and adding functionality to forms, reports, and controls. When you add a command button to a form, for example, you connect the button's OnClick event property with a macro that includes the commands that you want the button to execute each time it is clicked.

Consider Access macros to be a simplified programming language in which you write code by creating a list of actions to do. When you create a macro, you choose each action from a drop-down list and then put in the necessary information for each action. You may use macros to add functionality to forms, reports, and controls without having to write code in a VBA module. Macros give a subset of the instructions accessible in VBA, and most users find creating a macro easier than writing VBA code.

VBA, like macros, allows you to add automation and other features to your Access program. VBA may be extended by using third-party controls, and you can build your own functions and processes to meet your unique requirements.

To get started with VBA programming quickly, create an Access macro and then convert it to VBA code. This functionality generates a new VBA module that executes the macro's corresponding operations. It also launches the Visual Basic Editor, allowing you to begin altering the code.

Custom programmers are, by definition, professionals who assist others in running the show rather than running it themselves. As a form of ego compensation, we may acquire strong biases towards computer programming languages and database systems. This frequently causes a developer to disparage a system as simple to use as an Access Database and to dismiss a language as simple to learn as Visual Basic.

To some, the only language option is C or C++, which is so tough to learn that it has the only publication whose front pages include a monthly programming sample and challenge readers to comprehend it! Because an Access Database can fail if there are too many users and too much data, people may dismiss Access as a toy system. It's as if a product's simplicity of use is a flaw!

Don't trust a word of it. Microsoft Access is a completely professional system that is adequate for any use within its constraints. Its primary drawback is that it loses steam if the database grows too large, however this is easily addressed by utilizing Microsoft wizards that will convert the database from an Access MDB to Microsoft SQL Server, a database robust enough to meet the demands of any organization. And the MS Access expert's previous work will continue to perform with very small alterations. Naturally, Cambria's MS Access experts can assist with this process as needed.

Of course, no tool is perfect for every job, and Access is no exception. When an Access database becomes too large for optimal performance, it is time to consider upgrading to a database such as Microsoft SQL Server. If necessary, we can assist in converting the access database to SQL. It is not unusual for customers to want to take functionality from their current access software and put it on the web. A Cambria Microsoft Access programmer can also assist with this type of problem. Of course, you are not required to utilize Access at all. Other sections on this website describe our services for various types of programming.

Microsoft Access Development Company

This page's main message is that we offer custom MS Access Consulting Services and MS Access Programming to our clients and friends. Come to us if you require an Access Expert. We've been doing this since MS Access was first introduced and have grown fairly good at it by now. If this is a service you require, please click the Contact Us button and let us know.

Cambria custom MS Access experts have been developing programs for our clients since 1984, and it has become one of our specializations since its introduction. Our programmers have created hundreds of applications, ranging from basic mailing lists and other programs that use the built-in Access database to complicated data analysis and accounting systems that employ the Access Basic language but replace the Access database with SQL Server.

The non-MS Access computer expert will eventually need to add code to the system. This can result, for example, from the development of specific routines to safeguard the integrity of data submitted into the system. It can occur as a result of the requirement to keep certain data more safe than others. Non-programmers can now hire an Access Consulting Company like Cambria to assist them with this task, or they can learn to do it themselves.

It's not that difficult to do it yourself. It does, however, take time. Data tables can be understood by anybody with a logical mind, and the programming language that Microsoft Access has selected as its native language is a form of Basic that has been shown over the years to be very simple to learn. It also serves as the foundation for other Microsoft products such as Visual Basic and .NET. Even yet, many serious individuals would consider learning programming to be a waste of time when they can engage the services of a professional custom MS Access Developer, such as those provided by our firm. If this occurs to you, we hope you will think about Cambria.

Cambria Custom MS Access Experts

Access is the ideal programming tool for many applications, but the non-expert frequently encounters a "brick wall" in moving a notion from the wizards to real execution. You need the phone number of an expert Access developer in your database right now. We frequently consult with clients who want to perform some programming themselves. "How come this query doesn't work?" "How should I organize this report?" "How can I make my user interface more intuitive?" "How can I make this go faster?" We regularly counsel on topics such as "How can I convert Access macros to Visual Basic code?" At times, we are handed a damaged or incomplete Access database and requested to repair it, as well as add new modules or reports.

More fundamentally, consulting in general entails suspending one's own preconceptions and viewing an issue via the client's eyes in terms of what he wishes to achieve. Many of our programmers are experts in other fields of programming, as seen by the other sections on this site. However, we are not experts in everything, and if your project requires anything other than what we provide, we will not tilt our recommendations toward our own strengths. Our employees are first and foremost Microsoft Access experts, and then programmers. If Access is not the best tool for the job, our specialists will let you know.

Romeo is our most experienced Microsoft Access programmer at Cambria's offshore Philippine office, and he is a veteran custom MS Access expert in his own right since joining Cambria. He is assisted by Chelle, a full-time Access programmer, and others who work with Access as part of their regular programming responsibilities.

Custom Access Programming Services & Examples

Cambria custom MS Access programmers have extensive experience in Access Programming projects. Norquist Salvage Firm, for example, is a company that handles charity donation drives - the people who contact you and ask if you have any household items or clothing to place on your curb for pickup on a specific day. The Access database stores home addresses, phone numbers, contact center posts, reminder postcards, driver route sheets, payments, and prior contributions, as well as locations where households could deposit unwanted household goods.


RedProTrac is a Real Estate Development Project Tracking System designed for TynanGroup, a national development business. It keeps track of large-scale construction projects from start to finish, including budgets, contracts, change orders, buying, and owner drawings. This accounting and project management application came to life after many months of programming and close collaboration with the customer. Microsoft Access Programming was selected to save costs and shorten the time it took to get the software up and operating.

Pacific Media Associates

We created an analytical and forecasting tool for Pacific Media Associates, a market research firm with offices in New York, Tokyo, and the San Jose area, with the front end in Access and the back end in SQL Server. The majority of the reports contain weighted computations that are exported as structured Excel files. This has been a big custom programming project for our Microsoft Access specialists for many years.

Sequoia Center

Our MS access custom programmers were charged with developing a patient billing and treatment tracking system for the Sequoia Clinic, a Silicon Valley alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment center. In it, we aspire towards a paperless workplace that respects patient privacy while also maximizing case worker productivity. Following intake, the Access database system monitors in-patient and out-patient treatments with customized billing to insurance companies using the insurance company's own nomenclature and approved codes via UB92. It also performs the accounting processes for private pay and accounts receivable.

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About Cambria Software

We have been providing custom software development services since 1984, offering expert programming in multiple languages to build high-performance websites and applications for our clients.

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Our experts in various programming languages and tools enable us to provide custom programming services that create tailored software solutions for our clients, ensuring the highest quality of service.

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