|Access 2016 Programming By Example With VBA, XML And ASP|
Author: Julitta Korol
This brick of a book is an updated edition of a popular title with versions going back to Access 2003.
The book is organized into six parts, and it's worth noting that the first part consisting of nine chapters form the standalone title Access 2016 Programming Pocket Primer, which I found disappointing when I reviewed it. The material makes more sense the context of this extended vook so if you're thinking of buying both titles, just get this one.
The book opens with a chapter introducing Access VBA, the different types of Access procedures and modules. This is followed by a chapter on the Visual Basic editor, followed by Access VBA Fundamentals where Korol introduces data types, variables and constants.
A chapter on built-in and custom functions is next, followed by an introduction to conditionals - If and Case. The next chapter covers the different types of loops, starting with Do..While and Do..Until, then going on to For loops. Arrays are tackled next, including parameter arrays, with a chapter on object collections completing the main material. The section ends with a chapter on the built-in tools for testing and debugging.
Part Two looks at the programming objects you can use to interact with data in Access - Data Access Objects (DAO) and ActiveX Data Objects (ADO). The section starts with a chapter on the two database engines that Access uses (Jet and ACE). The next chapter looks at how to create tables and fields using DAO and ADO. A chapter on defining primary keys, indexes and table relationships comes next. In addition to using ADO and DAO, this chapter looks at how to use objects from the ADOX library to create relationships. Finding and reading records is next on the agenda, with code for both ADO and DAO to open a recordset and manipulate the data within it. This is followed by a chapter on working with records - adding, updating and deleting. Queries from VBA are the subject of the next chapter, though it concentrates on how to put together and run a SQL query from VBA rather than trying to teach you how to write queries to get the records you actually want. A chapter on advanced ADO/DAO features covers options such as disconnecting a recordset, and what a transaction is. The section ends with a chapter on share-level and user-level security.
Part Three consists of five chapters about Data Definition Language, DDL. This is part of SQL, and is useful for programmers who want to use Access but via the SQL subset it supports. DDL can be used for defining database objects such as tables and views, and managing database security. The coverage of DDL starts with a chapter on creating and modifying tables and fields, and is followed by a chapter on enforcing data integrity and relationships between tables. Indexes and primary keys from DDL are covered next, followed by database security. There's a nice chapter on views and stored procedures that brings this section of the book to a close.
Part Four of the book is to my mind the most useful. It consists of six chapters on working with Access forms and reports. If you're programming for Access, the chances are it's because you want to use the strength of the forms and reports that you can create and edit using the Access user interface, then take under closer control from code. There are good chapters on enhancing Access forms, using form events, enhancing reports, using advanced event programming, and programming the user interface.
A short section on macros and templates is followed by a chapter on Access and Active Server Pages, and another on XML features in Access 2016. The ASP chapter covers how to work with Access data from web pages; it's useful information, but probably not enough if that's what you're really interested in.
Overall, this is a useful book that could be more useful if the balance was different. The examples and explanations work well, but I think a developer wanting guidance on getting the best from Access would be left still confused by the number of choices. Despite the maturity of Access in years and versions, the problem for any database developer, and for authors writing books about Access, is deciding which of the multiple choices is best. In particular, questions such as should you choose ADO or DAO, and what about DDL? If a developer is meeting Access for the first time, these are decisions that need to be made, and what's needed is some background on why there are so many options, and advice on which is best. Julitta Korol provides good information on how to use the different options, but doesn't really ever say 'use this here because...'
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 October 2017 )|