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Lack of Database Documenter for Access 2013 Apps

Posted on 2014-07-24
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Last Modified: 2014-07-29
When editing an Access 2013 App, the ribbon does not include the Database Documenter under the Database Tools tab. I understand that the reasoning behind this situation is that the data tables are being stored in SQL tables on SharePoint, but that doesn't make up for the frustration of not being able to generate the type of documentation which is possible for an Access 2013 Desktop program. Related to this is the lack of being able to graphically view the relationships between tables; again, I already understand that the "relationships" are built in a lookup field that gets values from a related field in another table. But knowing that doesn't solve the lack of being able to view and document what's going on... Any suggestions for documenting an existing Access 2013 App which is running on SharePoint?
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Question by:DataQuest
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 1350 total points
ID: 40218572
Use the tool that lets you work with SQL Server database structures: SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

The most recent version is available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn434042.aspx.

You won't be able to print reports for the documentation as you could in Access, but at least, you will have a good access to the tables structures and to the relations (defined in diagrams in SQL Server).

Note that a SQL Server database requires the proper security credentials in order to be able to access it's structure at the level that you might need. Ask your database manager if he is willing to give you the proper rights.
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LVL 85

Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 150 total points
ID: 40219150
Is this a Web App? Or a Desktop app?

If it's a desktop app, one of the FMS tools might work: www.fmsinc.com. I use Total Access Analyzer, and it is the best documenter you'll find for Access.
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Author Comment

by:DataQuest
ID: 40220558
James,
That link was helpful for pointing me in a direction where I could at least gain some insights. The Access 2013 Apps in Question are being run on SharePoint with an E3 subscription. Do you know whether Microsoft makes it possible to look at those SQL structures with the tool you were referring to?
Thank you.
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Author Comment

by:DataQuest
ID: 40220562
Scott,
It's an Access 2013 App, not a Desktop "app"; my understanding is that the iteration which ran under Access 2010 included the word "Web."
That FMS website was very interesting, I am going to keep that one in mind for future needs.
Thank you.
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LVL 85
ID: 40221304
It's an Access 2013 App, not a Desktop "app"; my understanding is that the iteration which ran under Access 2010 included the word "Web."
2013 can create both Web Apps and Desktop Apps - but it sounds like this was created in 2010 as a Sharepoint-hosted web database.

If so, then the documenter should be able to review the database structure to some degree.

If it's a Web App (i.e. you're running Office365 and you have to "launch" the app from a URL) then I'm not sure what could be done with that ...
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Author Closing Comment

by:DataQuest
ID: 40225820
Okay, it's a Web App. Purchased another book (published by Microsoft) and the distinction was much more clear.
Some points were awarded for suggesting the FMS site as a source of tools/information.
Thank you to you both!
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LVL 85
ID: 40226345
I'm curious - which book did you purchase?
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Author Comment

by:DataQuest
ID: 40227290
The first book, which doesn't (to me) seem to emphasize "Web" App was: Professional Access 2013 Programming, by Teresa Henning, et al.
The second book, which does emphasize (SharePoint hosted) the term Access Web App was: Microsoft Access 2013 Inside OUT, by Jeff Conrad.
Both are very well written, and I am enjoying going through each of them.
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