Book recommendations for Access 2010

Posted on 2011-02-12
Last Modified: 2012-08-13

I still have on my bookshelf the 2-volume Access 2002 Developers Handbook by Litwin, Getz, and Gunderloy, and while it is excellent it is also now, um, very dated :)

What Access 2010 books do my fellow Experts recommend?


Question by:Patrick Matthews
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LVL 75

Accepted Solution

DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform) earned 167 total points
ID: 34880459
Book(mark) >>> silly !

I generally do not buy books any more, however this book does have contributions by many folks we know ...

Access 2010 Programmer's Reference

Probably ... IF ... I was going to buy one ... it would be:
Microsoft Access 2010 Inside Out by Jeff Conrad and John Viescas - 2 Access MVP's

btw ... the Getz book will never really be outdated ...
LVL 75
ID: 34880478
I just went through 10 pages on Amazon on A2010.  A LOT of books by a LOT of peeps I've never heard of ... and I've heard of ... a lot of people.

No matter what, I would head down to B&N ( and do a touch and feel ... look at real books, see how much time is spent on the subjects you are interested in ... then make a choice(s).  In fact, I might just to that this afternoon.

Aside from A2010 ... fwiw ... these are my favorite books ... that I have found VERY useful - and of course a large % still applies in A2010.

The defacto standard:   Must have.

VBA Developers Handbook:

"Fixing Access Annoyances"
Phil Mitchell and Evan Callahan

In the back ... there is a great reference appendix ...with functions, macro actions etc.

PLUS ... the book itself is VERY cool  
list price $20

Also ... another cool book ...

"Access Hacks"
Ken Bluttman

SQL Queries for Mere Mortals - Second Edition
by John L. Viescas; Michael J. Hernandez

And Finally:
"Microsoft Jet Database Engine Programmer's Guide "


LVL 75
ID: 34880496
One last comment.
The book MUST have a cool looking cover lol.
But seriously, the layout inside to books matters to me.  Some books are VERY hard to read because of they way they are laid out ... toooooo much text and not enough images, etc.

Anyway ... good luck.

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LVL 92

Author Comment

by:Patrick Matthews
ID: 34880516

Thanks for those!  I'll leave this open for a bit to see if anyone else feels inclined to opine :)

LVL 75
ID: 34880521
I'm sure you will get more response ... I would be interested to see if anyone has a book they LOVE!

LVL 85

Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 167 total points
ID: 34880639
There's not a lot out there for 2010, of course. I too like the WROX book (got a copy of it, in fact). It should work pretty well, even for you Excel-type people :)

LVL 75
ID: 34880878
Check out Access for Excel Dummies :-)

LVL 75
ID: 34881434
So, I looked at about 20 of the A2010 books on Amazon, reading table of contents, reviews, 'Look Inside', etc.

Personally, based on this exercise, I probably would not buy any of these books.  The 'negative' reviews generally indicate that ... the books really do not go into enough depth on any one particular subject ... certainly not subjects I would be interested in (your results may vary). This has been my experience in the past, except for the Getz books, and the ones I listed above.
Also, many of the very positive reviews are clearly by 'friends' of the author ...

I feel most of the info I would need is available on line, either here on EE or elsewhere, like Allen Browne's site for example (

I will however ... still make the trip to the local Barnes & Noble

But, I am probably coming from a different place that you ... so, you may still find one or more of the books useful.

Other example of on line references - in this case that give specifics (to some degree) of what is new in A2010 ... are:

Access 2010 Developer Reference

Access 2010 Technical Articles

Access 2010 Visual How Tos

Microsoft Office 2010

LVL 75
ID: 34881439
Oh ... and you have probably seen this:  (excel)

LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:Richard Daneke
Richard Daneke earned 166 total points
ID: 34883872
The web page base for exploring Access 2010 on the microsoft site is :  and continues to some earlier references.   Of course, a good recommendation would take into account your background and knowledge.  You don't want a book to basic nor to complex for your current developments.
I have always loved the O'Reilly books.  The ...missing manuals, ...hacks, and Access Database: Design & Programming have helped me personally.  With the new features of 2010 using stored macros, working more with SharePoint, and even building WebPages, the new Access 201 Missing Manual explores some new territory.  It is at this link:
LVL 75
ID: 34883932
The Missing Manual does look interesting, and I'm going to check it out this afternoon, but two of the reviews on Amazon concerned me ....

"I picked this up a few weeks back so haven't read it completely. Still I think not the best book for anyone experienced with MS Access. There's lots of basics but not a good balance of depth. I recommended taking a read through before you pick it up."

"Maybe I have unrealistic expectations - but so much of the book is devoted to very basic items and so little of the book is devoted to software development. Almost no discussion of Access classes or calling API's; only a token consideration of programming in Access. In my opinion, this book would be excellent for someone not very familiar with Access 2010 that wants to build a database and use standard features to enter data, query it, and produce reports. This book is not quite right for the experienced software developer that wants to use an underlying programming methodology to have precise control and develop professional-looking applications that require no user training."

So ... an up close and person inspection is in order ...


Expert Comment

ID: 34883988
I can confirm what was said earlier: All of the "Access Developers Handbook" editions are career-makers, regardless of the Access version you are using. I have solved more challenges by referring to these books, than any other way.

I was so impressed with them that I dropped a personal note to Ken Getz (one of the authors) complimenting him on the fine book. Alas, he has stated that further editions of the book are not in his plans.

Thanks to the other experts for the additional recommendations.

LVL 21
ID: 34884560
If  I could only purchase on book about Access  the only one I would buy is the "Access Developers Handbook". I have lots of Access books.  I still  grab the Developer's Handbook first. The only time I look else where is when I need to work with the new Ribbon.

I would supplement the Developer's Handbook with good  book on the new Ribbon. I jsut have not found on yet.
LVL 75
ID: 34891104
So, I went to Barnes and Noble.
I looked at all the A2010 books there - not that many compared to web site and Amazon.
Now, clearly my comments are subject.

I'm not a fan of tech books w/o color ... just plain boring. Only two books are in color:
Access 2010 Plain & Simple
Access 2010 Quick Steps.

I looks like these books might have some good tips ... and the presentation is outstanding - lots of screen shots, etc.  I may pickup one of these on Amazon - just to cruise through and look for tips.

But ... as in even the other books, including the ones I already mentioned ... there a lot of basic material - each subject covered briefly - as usual.  Pretty much the only exceptions to this has been the Getz books (including the VBA Handbook).

I looked in each book for a couple of new properties (starting in A2007 I guess)
Order By On Load
Filter On Load
In A2010 Help, there is virtually no information on these properties - no surprising.

I found one very short sentence in the Henning book ... that told me absolutely nothing.  Could not find in the Missing Manual at all.

So, not sure what level you are after Patrick ... but for me, until one comes out with the quality of the Getz books ... probably going to skip it ...  and just find the info I need online ... with the possible exception of the book(s) in color.


LVL 75
ID: 34891127
Oh ... I did by Microsoft Outlook 2010 Plain & Simple, again because of the color and nice layout.

And as I noted, at least at this store, a lot of the books that were on the site were not in the store, for example:

Microsoft Access 2010 VBA Macro Programming (and VBA)

LVL 75
ID: 34891262
Actually, I bought the Outlook 2010 Quick Steps, not Plain & Simple.

btw  ... there were at least ... 3x Excel books compared to Access !

LVL 21
ID: 34892135

there were at least ... 3x Excel books compared to Access !

That makes sense.  From my experience Access in not used near as much as either  Word and Excel.
LVL 75
ID: 34892227
Yeah, that's because Excel is so much easier than Access  ha ha
And everyone thought they could build a database in Excel!

LVL 92

Author Comment

by:Patrick Matthews
ID: 34954130
I ended up purchasing the WROX Access 2010 Programmer's Reference.

There may other purchases in the future :)

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