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Access 2010 & Visual Studio

Posted on 2010-09-21
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I use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and Microsoft Office Access 2010.  Is there any way to program Access through VS?  I'm used to creating Excel workbooks, add-ins, etc. in VS and I just assumed that I could do the same with Access.  Is this not possible?  For example, can I create forms in Access using VS?
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Question by:christopher_perry
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by:rockiroads
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Yes you can. You could do this in earlier versions of vs/vba as well. Treat it is an object like you do with Excel.
Here is an example of creating a database http://www.freevbcode.com/ShowCode.asp?ID=5797

What is it exactly you want to do?
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by:christopher_perry
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I think some history about our company will help!  We are pretty much a data company.  We get a lot of data from our clients, format and transform it, and then make business decisions based upon the results (I guess that describes most companies, huh?).  One of our business units is run by a few old-school guys who are very resistant to change.  Even though all of our data is stored in SQL, these guys like to download specific data pieces into Access databases.  These databases have custom queries, forms, and macros to analyze and format data.  Currently, I have zero control migrating these guys to our enterprise system, but I am expected to maintain these DBs.

There is a "master" DB that contains the newest business logic, queries, etc.  This particular business unit downloads data into one of these shells and then performs whatever queries and macros necessary to manipulate and format the data.  Recently, they have requested many changes (small in scope).  These changes include, for example, including additional columns in queries or making a minor mathematical calculation changes.  We use TFS 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate for all of our other development activities.  My hope was that I could source control this "master" DB, program changes to the DB in VS, and then use some sort of deployment method to release changes.

Although creating an Access DB as an object is one possibility, I'm lazy and don't have the time to support such an endeavour.  Writing code for everything just isn't within our budget and timeline.  I am used to creating Excel and Word documents, using the templates that VS provides, to create and edit functionality.  I was hoping something similar could be accomplished with Access!  On a side note, maybe I'm asking too much, since Access 2010 still doesn't support the bigint type... ;)
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rockiroads earned 250 total points
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So could you not store the db itself then issue that? Maybe use some versioning which checks for the latest version on the network then inform user or copy latest (maybe via a batch script, always copy over whats on the network).

Another common method would be to split the frontend/backend so frontend is code only, backend is data only. Same issue with deploying the front end though.
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by:Norie
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I really don't think programattically manipulating Access to create tables, queries or whatever is a good way to do this.

Mind you that's only going on what you've told us so far.

Some of the changes you describe sound as though they could easily be done manually.

If you are going to do anything then perhaps you should rejig things to take into account possible changes.

eg give the user the ability to create their own queries

That probably just sounds like recreating the existing functionality of Access but you could tailor make it for your needs, using Access itself as a template if you like.
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I'm with imnorie on this one: You could possibly manipulate some of the Objects, but overall if you must maintain a full Access database (Forms, REports, etc), then you'll have to do this directly in Access. If your current "old-school" guys are comfortable with Access, then I seriously doubt you'll get them to work with VS. It's a pretty big jump for most Access users (even if they're power users).
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by:christopher_perry
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Apparently you can't use VS to create MS Access projects.
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