Microsoft Access Programming by Cambria Access Experts
The key message of this page is that we provide MS Access Consulting Services and MS Access Programming for our clients and friends. If you need an Access Expert come to us. We have been doing this for 23 of our 35 years and by now we have gotten pretty good at it. If this is a service you need we invite you to press the Contact Us link and tell us about it.
Spreadsheets often precede Microsoft Access Development Projects
New underfunded companies do things for themselves. They do not get far before the need arises to store data on their operations and get to it later. Client names, phone numbers, sales history and so on. Cell phones are not bad for storing names, phone numbers and notes. A next step is to use spreadsheets to store operations data. They are easy for any novice to learn and excellent at manipulating the data.
But you do not need us to explain the limitations of spreadsheets when they grow large. You probably know them. If not, a check on Google will be enough to find out. Accidental copy-paste, the wrong sign on a number, the lack of error checking of data soon make a spreadsheet unreliable for any serious record keeping in complex operations where one type of data is related to another.
Access Database Development
The next step is a database management system (DBMS) of which Microsoft Access is one. This gives the older but wiser spreadsheet user the ability to store, extract, and update any kind of data, and tools such as a query builder to help zero in on the data you need. These systems also give the user the ability to create simple reports such as comparing sales of a class of items over time. And they are easy to learn and use. Big-time DBMS systems such as Oracle, SQL Server and others can easily handle all the data any company could ever hope to generate.
The DBMS we are concerned with here is Microsoft Access. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to install on a laptop or desktop computer. On a local area network, the data can be accessed by anyone in the office. It is a natural for users of the most popular spreadsheet, Excel, and there exist wizards that will easily import spreadsheet data into Access. MS Access is, in a way, the end result of a series of experiments in the 1970s and 1980s to develop database systems that could be used by non programmers. One of the best was FoxPro and when they purchased Fox in 1992 Microsoft quickly made use of its Rushmore optimization techniques to give Access a significant speed advantage over the earlier low end database systems.
The bottom line is that Microsoft Access is easy for a non-programmer to install and use and can form the basis for any developing company to store and use it operations data. See this link for more on the advantages of MS Access Programming.
Programming Microsoft Access
Alas, sooner or later, the non ms access computer programmer will run into the need to add programming to the system. This can arise, for example, from creating special routines to protect the integrity of the data that is entered into the system. It can arise from the need to keep some data more secure than other data. At this point the non-programmers can choose an Access Consulting Company like Cambria to help them with this chore or learn to do it themselves.
Doing it yourself is not so daunting, really. But it does take time. Any logical mind can understand data tables, and the programming language that Microsoft Access has chosen as its native language is a variant of Basic which has been proven over the years to be relatively easy to learn. It is also at the heart of other Microsoft products such as Visual Basic and .Net. Still, many serious people will view it as a misuse of their time to learn programming when they can hire the service of an expert MS Access Developer such as our company can provide. If that happens to you we hope you will consider Cambria.
Limitations of and Prejudices about MS Access Programming
Custom programmers are, of necessity, specialists to help others run the show rather than run it themselves. As compensation to our ego we sometimes develop strong prejudices toward computer programming languages and database systems. This often leads a developer do denigrate a system so easy to use as an Access Database and to scorn a language so easy to learn as Basic.
To a few the only language choice is something like C/C++ which is so difficult to use that it has the only journal whose leading pages feature a monthly programming excerpt and challenge readers to understand it! And because an Access Database breaks down if there are too many users and too much data they may sneer at Access as a toy system. It is as if ease of use is a defect in a product!
Don't believe any of this. Microsoft Access is a fully professional system that, within its limitations, is good enough for any purpose. It's main limitation has to do with losing steam if the database gets too big but this is easily overcome by using Microsoft wizards that will transform the database from an Access MDB to Microsoft SQL Server, a database powerful enough to handle the needs of any business. And the work already done by the MS Access Consultant will continue to function with only minor changes. Naturally, the Ms Access Consultants at Cambria can help with this task when and if needed.
Microsoft Access Development at Cambria
Cambria MS Access programmers have been writing applications for our clients since 1984 and has made it one of our specialties since it was introduced. Our programmers have developed hundreds of applications - from simple mailing lists and other programs using the built in Access database for complex data analysis and accounting systems where the Access Basic language is used but where SQL Server replaces the Access database.
Our Access Programmers in Person
Romeo Acidera is our most experienced microsoft access developer in Cambria's offshore Philippine office and, with 9 years at Cambria, is a veteran ms access developer in his own right. He is supported by full time access consultant Chelle Corpuz and others who work with access as part of their other programming duties.
Microsoft Access Consultants
Access is the right programming tool for many applications, but oftentimes, the non-programmer hits a "brick wall" in taking a concept past the wizards to actual implementation. At this time you need the phone number of an experienced Access developer in your database. Consulting to those clients who wish to do some programming themselves is not uncommon for us. "Why does this query not work?" "How do I structure this report?" "How can I make my interface more intuitive to the user?" "How can I speed this up?" or even "How do I migrate Access macros to Visual Basic code?" are questions we frequently consult upon. Other times, we are given a broken or incomplete Access database and are asked to fix it or to add new modules or new reports.
More fundamentally, Consulting in general means suspending your own prejudices' and looking at a problem from the client's point of view on what he wants to accomplish. If you look at other pages on this site you will find that many of our programmers are expert in other areas of programming. But we are not expert at everything and if your project calls for something different from what we offer we will not slant our advice toward our own specialties. Our staff are Microsoft Access Consultants first and programmers second. If Access is not the right tool our consultants will say so.
And Everything in Between
The programs described above were large projects. a Cambria ms access developer is also no stranger to small ones. Typical is one for Norquist Salvage Company. This company manages donation drives for charities - the folks who call you up asking if you have any household items or clothing to leave on your curb on a designated day for pickup. The Access database maintains household address, phone numbers, call center postings, reminder post cards, and driver route sheets and payments and previous donations where households could leave their unwanted household goods.
Alternatives to Microsoft Access Programming
No tool is for every job, of course, and Access is no exception. There is a point where an Access database is too large for efficient performance and this is the point to consider an upgrade to a database like Microsoft SQL Server. We can help, if needed, to convert the access database to sql. These days it is not uncommon that clients wish to take the functionality in their current access program and put it on the web. A Cambria microsoft access programmer can help with this kind of issue as well. Of course you do not have to use Access at all. Other pages on this site describe our services for other kinds of programming options.
Opportunities at Cambria for an MS Access Consultant
If you are an expert Microsoft Software Developer, have five or more years experience in custom access programming and are looking for another opportunity then please check the "careers" section of this website to see if we are currently hiring MS Access Programmers. Access is a popular product and a day has rarely gone by in the last 20 years that we did not have at least several Access projects in progress to keep busy and we usually have room for more help.
Who is Cambria Anyway?
This is for those with no time to slog through this site but who want to know a little more about us before pushing that contact button. We were started in Palo Alto, California in 1984 by Nancy and Dick Crewdson who offered computer software consulting and programming services themselves and later through the software developers and designers who joined our company on Waverley Street. The Silicon Valley is a great place for a computer programming company but competing with every famous software company for local software development talent is not easy for a small company.
To cope with this problem we started an office in Philadelphia in 1999 and later in 2006 took the leap across the world to the Philippines. In the Philippines, where we had the possibility and means to hire the best talent that exists in this English speaking country of 100 million, we have been astoundingly successful. Today we are a company of 30 or so employees in the USA and Manila offering help in many computer specialties of which the one described on this page is one. With the exception of Helen and Liz our staff are full time Cambria employees working out of our offices and responsible to Dick for supplying high quality service in return for the support and high pay due to the best the Philippines has to offer.
Sample MS Access Programming Projects
"RedProTrac" is a Real Estate Development Project tracking system created for the TynanGroup, a nationwide development firm. It tracks large scale construction projects from inception including budget, contracts, change orders, purchasing and owners draw. It took many months of programming time and close interaction with the client to make this accounting and project management tool come alive. Microsoft Access Programming was chosen to minimize cost and maximize the lead time for getting the program running.
For Pacific Media Associates, a market research company with offices in New York, Tokyo and the San Jose Area, we developed an analytical and forecasting tool with the front end in Access, and the back end in SQL Server. Most of the reports involve weighted computations exported into formatted Excel spreadsheets. This has been a major custom programming project for our Microsoft access consultants and has evolved over many years.
For the Sequoia Center, a Silicon Valley alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment center, our ms access custom programmers were tasked to create a patient billing and treatment tracking system. In it we strive for a paperless office respecting patient privacy and case worker efficiency. After intake, the Access database system tracks in-patient and out-patient services with specialized billing to insurance companies via UB92, using the insurance company's own terminology and authorized codes. It also handles private pay and accounts receivable accounting functions.
1 Cambria Client Roger Williams. The program you use every day is an “executable”. It is created from “source code” written by the programmer. If you own it, anyone can modify the program. If not, you are at the mercy of the vendor. Make sure you own it.