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Microsoft Access

MS Access is a highly flexible, robust, and reliable database program. Microsoft Access is the leading relational database management system in the world. We are a Microsoft Access developer company creating database applications for your business.

SQL Server

SQL Server is an enterprise relational database management system from Microsoft. We use SQL Server as the database server for data storage and data retrieval to and from Microsoft Access as well as other software applications, like ASP.NET and Azure.

ASP.NET

Microsoft's application framework for web development produces dynamic web pages. ASP.NET provides web programmers with a platform for building dynamic web sites, web applications (web apps), and web services that require a web solution.

Microsoft Azure

MS Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing service. It is used for development, testing and deployment as well as managing software applications through a global network data centers managed by Microsoft. Azure now features SQL Server called Azure SQL.

We Are Your Microsoft Access Database Experts

The Best Microsoft Access Database Solutions owner, consultant, and principal programmer is Alison Balter - a recognized expert Microsoft Access consultant. Alison is the author of 15 Microsoft Access training books and videos. She is a frequent guest speaker at MS Access conferences and has developed hundreds of applications for businesses of all types.

We know your business data is important; we listen to your concerns, ask questions, and gather information from all stake holders. We discuss your needs and requirements for your database. We find out what you want, why you need various features so we can obtain as much information as possible. Once we have the information we need, we work with you to design the proper database architecture, plus the dashboards, the questions (queries), forms, and reports you need for an excellent database system.

Microsoft Access developer and MS Access development company Houston, TX

Microsoft Applications For You

Your data is important to your business and you need both to enter and retrieve data rapidly. The data stored in your company's database must be clean, secure, and allow for maximum usage. Our Microsoft Access developer team will create your Microsoft Access database for optimium efficiency with all the features you need. After we devleop your MS Access and SQL Server database you will have the capacity to manipulate your data so you get the information you need for every day activities and for making critical business decisions.

We also create websites designed for speed to display your data accurately, using ASP.NET technology. Fast, secure, and robust, our ASP.NET web sites and web applications give you true business tool for finding and displaying information dynamically on the web.

Example Projects

Corporate Database

Microsoft Access front-end and SQL Server back-end database

Access Forms Development

Access data entry form connecting to SQL Server back-end database

Accounting Company

ASP.NET website with SQL Server back-end database

Corporate Reports

MS Access Report created with SQL Server database

Client Comments About Our Work

Best Microsoft Access database developer services in Houston from MS Access Solutions

Sheldon Bloch, Oil and Gas Company

Alison from MS Access Solutions has provided both training and mentoring services to us over the past several years. Our developers use Alison Balter's books on programming with Microsoft Access as a desk reference. They have provided our staff members with much-needed training in Visual Basic, client/server development, SQL Server, and Microsoft Access. This has helped us to ensure that our employees can properly keep up with the ever-changing technologies. MS Access Solutions has also provided our staff with mentoring on an as-needed basis, providing expertise that helped our in-house programmers to overcome various hurdles. More Reviews
MS Access Solutions client who is very happy with our Microsoft Access programmer services

Lisa Dosch, Motion Picture Editors Guild - Local 700

Alison Balter at MS Access Solutions developed the application that helps us to properly service all of our members. This program handles billing, payments, tracking of jobs worked, available list, and other important data about our members. The system automates many tasks that were previously performed manually, allowing our employees to more cost-effectively use their time. This client/server system is used by employees in our Houston and New York offices. MS Access Solutions and their staff worked with us to develop the necessary specifications and design documents, and then programmed, tested, and implemented the application throughout our organization. More Reviews

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When you need a truly expert Microsoft Access database development company to design and develop your mission critical custom database - Contact MS Access Solutions.
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Microsoft Access - More

Microsoft Access - Establishing Referential Integrity

Establishing a relationship is quite easy. Establishing the right kind of relationship is a little more difficult. When you attempt to establish a relationship between two tables, SQL Server makes some decisions based on a few predefined factors:

  • A one-to-many relationship is established if one of the related fields is a primary key or has a unique index.
  • A one-to-one relationship is established if both the related fields are primary keys or have unique indexes.
  • Access creates and indeterminate relationship if neither of the fields is a primary key and neither has a unique index. You cannot establish referential integrity in this case.

What MS Access Referential Integrity Does

Referential integrity consists of a series of rules that Microsoft Access applies to ensure that it properly maintains the relationships between tables. At the most basic level, referential integrity rule prevent the creation of orphan records in the table on the many side of of the one-to-many relationship. After you establish a relationship between a Customers table and an Orders table, for example, all orders in the Orders table must be related to a particular customer in the Customers table. Before you can establish referential integrity between two tables the following conditions must be met:

  • The matching field on the one side fo the relationship must be a primary key field or must have a unique index.
  • The matching fields must have the same data types. For linking purposes AutoNumber fields match Long Integer fields. With the exception of the Text fields, the matching fields also must have the same size. Number fields on both sides of the relationship must have the same size (for example: Long Integer).
  • Both tables must be part of the same Access database.
  • Both tables must be stored in one of the proprietary Access file (either MDB or ACCDB) formats. They cannot be external tables from other sources.
  • The database that contains the two tables must be open.
  • Existing data within the two tables cannot violate any referential integrity rules. All orders in the Orders table must relate to existing customers in the Customers table, for example.
  • Although Text fields involved in a relationshiop do not have to be the same size, it is prudent to make them the same size. Otherwise you degrade performance and risk the chance of unpredictable results when you create queries based on the two tables.

    After you establish referential integrity between two tables, Access applies the following rules:

    • You cannot enter in the foreign key of the related table a value that does not exist in the primary key of the primary table. For example, you cannot enter in the CustomerID field in the Orders table a value that does not exist n the CustomerID field in the Customers table.
    • You cannot delete a record from the primary table if corresponding records exist in the related table. For example, you cannot delete a customer from the Customers table if related records (for example, records with the same value in the CustomerID field exist in the Orders table.
    • You cannot change the value of a primary key on the one side of a relationship if corresponding records exist in a related table. For example, you cannot change the value in the CustomerID field of the Customers table if corresponding orders exist in the Orders table.

    If you attempt to violate any of these rules and you have enforced referential integrity between the tables, Access displays an appropriate error message.

    When you establish referential integrity in Microsoft Access, its default behavior is to prohibit the deletion of parent records that have associated child records and to prohibit the change of the primary table key value of the parent record when that parent has associated child records. You can override the restrictions by using the Cascade Update Related Fields and Cascade Delete Related Records check boxes that are available in the Relationships dialog box when you establish or modify a relationship.

    Attribution: From Alison Balter's book, Access 2013, Absolute Beginner's Guide, by Que Publishing.

    Why Microsoft Access Referential Integrity Is Important

    As you can see, this relatively small activity for establishing relationships between two tables requires a definite plan or you could seriously damage the integrity of your data.

     

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Microsoft Enters Into First Municipal Partnership With City Of Houston, Texas

*This material first appeared in Biz Journals online magazine Sept. 10, 2018.(see attribution below

Microsoft Corp. of Seattle, Washington, announced a formal partnership with the City of Houston, TX, on May 4, 2018. This is the first agreement Microsoft has entered into with a municipal government in the United States.

The partnership reflects Microsoft's continuing investment in the Houston Texas area. It will expand and increase programs that enhance "The Internet of Things" and STEM programs within the city. The expanded relationship with Microsoft is considered another building block in the growth of the technology business with the city of Houston. From Microsoft's perspective this could be the beginning of mutually beneficial agreements involving Micorosoft and other U.S. cities.

The agreement between Microsoft and the City of Houston is in the form of a "Memorandum of Understanding" that includes specific goals to improve technology programs within the City of Houston. Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston stated, "Microsoft has chosen Houston as its first Internet Of Things official space in the nation. It's doing so exactly because of the ambitious goal we set for Houston to grow technology and innovation as its economic frontier."

Microsoft will not add employees in the city of Houston as a component of this agreement, but will provide these activities:

  • Adopt one or more middle schools or high schools in Houston and focus its computer literacy program on that school or schools.
  • Teach computer literacy to parents, veterans and workers transitioning to one career to another.
  • Host four "digicamps" for between 200 and 400 young people.
  • Offer a program called DigiGirlz camp.
  • Provide software supporting visibility to local tech startups.

Microsoft intends to add the "Internet Of Things" partners to the Houston to augment it's 'smart city initiatives', according to Cameron Carr, who is the Director of Internet Of Things at Microsoft. The Microsoft definition of Internet of Things is the connection of basic objects and their connection to Internet devices. The smart city component uses data collection to manage resources more efficiently.

In the city of Houston, the Internet of Things might be used to improve school safety or weather drones to monitor climate conditions. Other uses might be targeted at improving transportation within the city of Houston. Carr also added, "But there are a multitude of other areas that we can look into going forward,"

Microsoft will also provide cash grants and sponsorships to not for profit organizations as part of the agreement with the City of Houston. Discussions relating to this partnership began approximately one year ago with Microsoft's financial investment in the city starting shortly after these meetings.

Microsoft already has programs in place, including business start up initiatives and technology camps, in several cities in the U.S. Microsoft has been offering some resources to help grow local startups in Houston. This includes Zeus Inc., a facial recognition software firm.

From Biz Journals

Microsoft Access Imports Into Azure SQL

Microsoft Access Programmer Houston TX News

MS Access does work well with Azure SQL. Here is information about a broad range of data sources that Azure SQL can import for cloud based data storage and manipulation. The following article lists a number of data sources for Azure SQL import, including Microsoft Access.

 

Importing Data into Azure SQL Database

By Marcin Policht

Data imports represent some of the more commonly performed database management tasks. When importing data into Azure SQL Database, you can leverage a number of traditional SQL Server data import techniques. In this article, you will get an overview of these techniques and learn about the cloud-specific aspects of importing.

The most straightforward methods that you can use in order to import data into tables hosted by an instance of Azure SQL Database include:

Transact-SQL statements: You have the option of invoking import directly from the target Azure SQL Database instance by running either of the following:

  • BULK INSERT: loads raw data into a target table from a designated flat file. You can, for example, import content of a blob residing in an Azure Storage account (constituting an external data source). Note that in order to provide security context in such scenario (assuming that the blob is not accessible anonymously), you need to create a new or use an existing database master key (for encrypting secrets necessary to authorize access to the storage account) and a database scoped credential (for authenticating Azure SQL Database to the external data source). When importing data from Azure Storage, such credential would include the target storage account key or a Shared Access Signature token. The credential is part of the external data source definition (which, in this case, would include also the URI representing the location of the Azure Storage blob container).
  • OPENROWSET(BULK...): offers more advanced capabilities (comparing with BULK INSERT), which allow for parsing content of a data source (such as a blob residing in an Azure Storage account) and executing T-SQL statements on returned rows before initiating the load (when implementing the BULK INSERT-based approach, you could use for this purpose a temporary table). Just as with BULK INSERT, you have to define an external data source, including credentials necessary for authorization purposes.

The bcp utility: This command line utility facilitates importing large volumes of data into Azure SQL Database. The bcp utility is part of the package of Microsoft Command Line Utilities for SQL Server, available from Microsoft Download Center and compatible with every current version of 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating system. It is also included in Microsoft SQL Server 2017 tools. The latest versions of the bcp utility support Azure AD authentication (including its Multi-Factor Authentication functionality), in addition to SQL Server authentication.

When performing data import, you either need to ensure that data residing in a source file matches the structure of the target table or you have the option of defining this structure in an auxiliary format file that you reference during import. You should also keep in mind that the bcp utility does not support UTF-8 format (data must be in formatted as ASCII or UTF-16).

Azure Data Factory:This cloud-based, managed data integration service facilitates data movement and transformation. In order to take advantage of its capabilities, you implement pipelines that represent data-drive workflows, consisting primarily of linked services and activities. Linked services represent data stores (containing datasets that are used as inputs or outputs of activities) and external compute resources (handling data transformation). Azure Data Factory also relies on Integration Runtime that constitutes its own compute infrastructure, responsible for data movement and dispatch of activities to other compute services. In addition, Integration Runtime makes possible to execute SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages. When dealing with publicly accessible data stores, you can use the managed, Azure-resident Integration Runtime. In order to handle data residing within boundaries of a private network (on-premises or in the cloud), you need to implement self-hosted Integration Runtime.

One of the simplest scenarios that illustrates the process of importing data into Azure SQL Database by using Azure Data Factory leverages Copy Activity, which executes exclusively in Integration Runtime. To account for possible discrepancies between the data source and its destination, you need to configure schema and data type mapping. Copy Activity also allows for incremental copies, reading and writing partitioned data, as well as interactive and programmatic monitoring.

Azure Data Factory offers a high degree of flexibility, with a wide range of supported data stores, including:

  • Azure data services: Azure Blob, Table, and File storage, Azure Cosmos DB with SQL and MongoDB APIs, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1 and Gen2, Azure Database for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgresSQL, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and Azure Search Index
  • Relational databases: Amazon Redshift, DB2, Google BigQuery, Greenplum, HBase, Hive, Informix, MySQL, MariaDB, PostresSQL, Oracle, SAP HANA, Spark, Sybase, Teradata, SQL Server, Microsoft Access
  • Non-relational databases: Cassandra and MongoDB
  • Flat files: Amazon S3, file system, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, hDFS, SFTP
  • Services and applications: Dynamics 365, Dynamics CRM, Office 365, QuickBooks, Salesforce, SAP ECC, ServiceNow

SQL Server Management Studio: This primary SQL Server management tool available from Microsoft Downloads simplifies imports into Azure SQL Database by offering wizard-driven interface:

Import Flat File Wizard: (included in SQL Server Management Studio starting with v17.3) copies data from a flat file in a delimited format. It leverages an intelligent framework called PROSE (an acronym representing the term Program Synthesis using Examples), which analyzes the input file in order to determine with high degree of probability the intended data format.

SQL Server Import and Export Wizard: supports a number of different data sources, including .NET Framework Data Provider for ODBC, .NET Framework Data provider for Oracle, .NET Framework Data Provider for SQLServer, Flat File Source, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Analysis Services 14.0, Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Oracle, Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Search, OLE DB Provider for SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Native Client 11.0, and Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server (which also allows you to configure Azure SQL Database as the destination of the import process). The wizard relies on SQL Server Integration Services to perform the data copy (it automatically generates a SSIS package, which you can optionally store for future use).

Attribution: By Marcin Policht, Database Journal April 23, 2019.

Microsoft Access works very closely with Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Access can be imported into Azure for cloud based database services. Also, MS Azure can import your SQL Server data and .NET Framework data provider for ODBC. Need more information on how we can help you? Call us at (323) 285-0939 for a consultation with a recognized expert Microsoft Access consultant.