Tech Networking
  |  Home |  Articles |  Free Downloads |  Free Code |  Access Links |  SQL Azure |  Login  |  Register |  Contact Us |   

Gaining Access Technologies - Database Business Solutions

Our Custom Software Development Specialties:

  • Syncing Microsoft Access data as Outlook Appointments
  • Access and SQL Server/Azure SQL Database development

I am a perfectionist in my custom software development.

We do custom software development for $140/hour.

How We Sync Access and Outlook Appointments

A Business Problem

I got a call from a business owner. He needed a way to let workers in the fabrication plant know when customer orders were due so they could complete them on schedule. The fabrication plant was in a separate building and the methods they were using to communicate were taking valuable time away from getting work done. Changes in the job orders or schedule ate up more time. They need a solution that was the right fit for their business.

Our Solution

The solution we provided used the Office 365 they already had. The data automatically appeared in a shared Outlook Calendar the workers in the plant could see online using a PC, tablet, or phone. In the office, all they had to do was to save or update an order as usual. The Outlook Calendar Appointments would automatically display the changes online. Because we were able to add code to their existing Access Database they did not have to buy new software or loose valuable time learning to use new software.

Syncing Access and Outlook Appointments

You would think it would be simple and easy for Office users to sync Access and Outlook Calendar Appointments. Unfortunately this is not the case. Although it is fairly easy to link to an Outlook Calendar in Access the linked table contains no Start or End Dates or Times. You could try the Outlook View Control but Microsoft tells us there are problems with it. Microsoft also advises us not to use the View Control outside of Outlook so we do not use it in Access.

Use the Office 365 You Already Have

The general consensus among Access developers is to use Outlook Automation. We use Outlook Automation by adding VBA code in Access to run Outlook. This means you can keep using the Office 365 Subscription you already have. We can add the code to your existing Access Database.

What we can do using Outlook Automation:

  • Use your existing Access Database and Outlook Calendar
  • Sync Access and Outlook Appointments Automatically
  • Export Appointments from Access to Outlook
  • Import Appointments from Outlook into Access
  • View and Share Appointments Online


  • Reliable, proven technology
  • Less expensive than other solutions
  • Keep using your existing Access Database
  • Keep using your Outlook Calendar
  • No new software to purchase or develop
  • Avoid time and expense training to use new software
  • Use the Office 365 subscription you already have

How to Create a Read-Write Desktop Database from Your Access Web App

Access will automatically create an Access Reports Desktop Database for you that is Read-Only but you are not limited to just that option. With a little code you can easily change those linked tables to Read-Write tables. You can enjoy all the rich features and flexibility we all have come to love with Access. It is good to know that using an Access Web App does not limit you to having that as the only tool in your developer tool belt.

Since Web Apps are new to many of us I am going to start from the beginning and show step-by-step how to create an Access Desktop Database with Read-Write linked tables to your Web App's Azure SQL Database.

Read More

The Two Best Access Tools I Have Ever Used

Some time ago Luke Chung of FMS gave me two FMS Tools for Access and asked me to let him know how they worked for me. I am so pleased with the FMS applications I decided to make my report public and this is it.

Read More

Using Microsoft Access to Manage SQL Azure Database Users and Roles

One of the best things about SQL Azure is how easy it is to manage User security. In this article we will show you how you can use Microsoft Access to add individual Users to Database Roles which makes managing User security much easier.

Read More

How to Create SQL Azure Database Users With Microsoft Access VBA

We are going to show you how you can use a pass-through query in Access to create Azure SQL Database Users using Access VBA. Why do we need SQL Azure Database User Accounts? User Logins alone do not allow you to access Database Objects such as Tables, Views, and Stored Procedures. So before your database is ready for distribution, a Database User Account needs to be created for each individual Access User. We can do that with VBA.

Read More

How to Plug Microsoft Access accde and mde Security Leaks

I was shocked. I had heard that Constants and Variables could be seen by opening an accde or mde file with a hex editor but when I opened my file I was stunned to see so much of my data, objects, and code in plain text. I am not an Access Security expert, but I decided to take on the challenge of this security issue and when I was through I was very pleased with the results. In this article we will examine the security risks of accde and mde files and present some ways you can greatly improve the security of your files.

Read More

How to Use Microsoft Access to Create Logins in a SQL Azure Database

In this article we will demonstrate how you can use a Pass-through query in Access with VBA code to create SQL Azure Logins. You can use the Login and Password to gain access to SQL Azure Tables, Views, and Stored Procedures. We will create a Login using SQL similar to the following Transact-SQL (T-SQL):

CREATE LOGIN MyLoginName WITH password = 'zX/w3-q7jU'

Thankfully, a user would never have to memorize that password! Because this Login and password would only be used by my Access application the user never sees it and does not even know it exists.

Read More

Microsoft Access DSN-Less Linked Tables:
TableDef.Append or TableDef.RefreshLink?

When it came to creating DSN-Less Linked Tables I had always used a procedure that deleted the TableDef and appended a new one until a problem occurred. The code I was using to save Linked Tables as DSN-Less Tables was not working with some of the Views in SQL Azure. This was a serious problem because the application I was developing would be distributed to clients who would then distribute it to their clients. We did not want to use a DSN file. But now the code that normally worked without a hitch was failing.

Read More

The New Microsoft Access and SQL Azure Information Center for Developers
  Article 51

The biggest problem I faced when I began developing with Access and SQL Azure was finding the information and help I needed. So I am gathering together information, links, tips, scripts, and articles and building a Microsoft Access and SQL Azure Information Center for Developers to save you some valuable time and headaches. We list important links, downloads, articles and blogs, scripts, code samples, tips, and new developments. You are welcome to submit your own tips, code samples, links, comments, and articles.

Read More

Building Safer SQL Azure Cloud Applications with Microsoft Access

The Security Risks of Distributing SQL Azure Applications Using Microsoft Access

When we distribute Microsoft Access applications that use SQL Azure it is vital that we make our applications as secure as possible. Whether we use a DSN (Data Source Name) to link tables and pass-through queries to SQL Azure or if we use DSN-less linked tables and pass-through queries we need to be aware of the serious security risks involved with both of these methods. We need a better way to ensure that our applications are not hacked by company employees or other unauthorized users.

Read More

Learn What SQL Azure and Microsoft Access Can Do for You!

Some of the Many Advantages of Using Microsoft Access and SQL Azure:

  • Multiple user access 24 hours a day 365 days a year
  • SQL Azure User Level Access and Security
  • Lower development costs
  • Faster software develpment
  • No expensive software to buy
  • No hardware to purchase
  • You only pay for the services you use
  • Secure Data Storage at a Microsoft Secure Data Center
  • Data Loss Prevention by Microsoft's redundant backups and Failover protection

There are many advantages to using Microsoft Access with SQL Azure as a back end.

Read More

Download the Free SQL Azure Cloud Demonstration App for Microsoft Access

I have just finished a simple free demonstration application, the SQL Azure Cloud App 1.0, and I have not had time to test it yet but people are asking for it so I am making it available. You can learn more and download the file here. It is just a simple database to demonstrate how Microsoft Access can get data from SQL Azure. Since I have not had time to test it on other machines please let me know how it works for you. It is most important that you read the ReadMeFirst.txt and the Release Notes.txt files before using the application. It was made for Access 2010 but you may be able to use Access 2007. (Update: There is now an edition for Access 2007.)

SQL Azure provides access to your data anywhere your computer can connect to the internet, 365 days a year around the clock. With no startup costs for equipment and affordable management plans SQL Azure provides new possibilities for any size company or organization.

You are welcome to try out the free demonstration application, kick the tires, and take SQL Azure for a spin. Let me know what you think.

Read More

A Free Code Tracker mdb Edition is Now Available

A free mdb edition of the Code Tracker for Microsoft Access® is now available for those who cannot use an Add-in. This Code Tracker mdb edition was developed to help someone whose company policies and practices would not allow them to install an Add-in. You can download the file from our free downloads page.

This edition of the Code Tracker 1.0 makes it easy for you to load the Code Tracker into your database. When you are finished with the Code Tracker you can remove all traces of it from your database by clicking a button, and then deleting just one form manually. Download the zip file and read the Instructions.txt for more information.

Read More

Counted for free by

Who am I?

My name is Patrick Wood, but you can just call me Pat. I decided to make a simple Access® database one day and I had no idea what I was getting into. I learned database development, Access SQL, and VBA. I discovered that I love to develop database applications.

I began to work with other Microsoft Office programs and SQL Server. I learned to develop Microsoft Office Applications so different Office Programs work together to make it easier to use Office and be more productive.

I also decided to develop this website using ASP.Net™ and Visual Basic®.

I am presently developing Access Web Apps with Office 365 SharePoint and SQL Azure applications with Microsoft Access. SQL Azure is Microsoft's Cloud version of SQL Server on the Internet.

I was honored to receive the Microsoft Access MVP 2011 Award which recognizes individuals that provide exceptional free services and assistance to Microsoft software users and developers.

I love to help others and I find satisfaction in developing software solutions that make things easier for others.

I also love the outdoors, history, and trying to play the guitar.

---Pat Wood    

Return to Top