New Features that are included in Access 2000
This article summarizes many of the new features in Microsoft Access 2000. It contains the following sections:
? What's New About Data Access Pages
? What's New in a Microsoft Access Project
? What's New About Working on the Internet or Intranets
? What's New About Working with Data and Database Designs
? What's New About the Database Window
? What's New About Securing, Maintaining, and Converting a Database
? What's New About Forms and Reports
? What's New in Replication
? What's New with Sample Applications
? What's New with Toolbars, Menu Bars, and Shortcut Menus
? What's New with macros
? What's New in Programming with Visual Basic for Applications
? What's New About Working with Other Applications
What's New About Data Access Pages
A data access page is a Web page that you can use to add, edit, view, or manipulate data in a Microsoft Access database or a SQL Server database.
? You can create pages that are used to enter and edit data, similar to Access forms. You can also create pages that display records grouped hierarchically, similar to Access reports.
? You can collect and distribute data in several ways with data access pages. In addition to using them within an Access database or Access project, you can use them on the Internet or on an intranet, and you can send them in e-mail.
? You can view grouped records interactively. With grouped pages, you can view only the details you want by expanding and collapsing group headers. You can also sort and filter records.
? You can analyze data and make projections. By using a PivotTable list, you can organize data in different ways to make projections and do complex calculations with a spreadsheet control, and you can view data graphically in a chart.
? You can display HTML text. You can store HTML code in fields in your database and display it as formatted HTML text on the page. For example, if a value in a field includes the HTML tag that formats text as italic (such as text), you can use a bound HTML control on the page to display the value as text.
? You use familiar design tools. In Design view, you can create pages using toolbars, the toolbox, themes, and other features that are similar to the tools you use to create forms and reports.
What's New in a Microsoft Access project
A Microsoft Access project (.adp) is a new type of Access file that provides efficient, native-mode access to a Microsoft SQL Server database through the OLE DB component architecture. Using an Access project, you can easily create a client/server application.
? Working with a Microsoft Access project is very similar to working with an Access database. The process of creating forms, reports, data access pages, macros, and modules is the same. Once you connect to a SQL Server database, you can view, create, modify, and delete tables, views, stored procedures, and database diagrams using the Microsoft SQL Server Design Tools.
? Access projects use the Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE). MSDE is a new technology that provides local data storage compatible with Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. MSDE could be thought of as a client/server data engine alternative to the file server Microsoft Jet database engine. It is designed and optimized for use on smaller computer systems, such as a single-user computer or a small workgroup server.
? You can scale up data and objects by using the Upsizing Wizard. The Upsizing Wizard converts a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) to a new or existing Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 and 7.0 database or new Microsoft Access project (.adp) by scaling up the data and data definitions and migrating database objects.
What's New About Working on the Internet or Intranets
Microsoft Access 2000 provides new features designed to help you easily use the Internet. You need a Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, and a modem, intranet connection, or other network connection to access the Internet and take advantage of these new features.
? You can create data access pages as described in "What's New About Data Access Pages" earlier in this article. Create Web pages that you can use to add, edit, view, or manipulate current data in a Microsoft Access database or a Microsoft SQL Server database.
? You can collaborate over an intranet or the Internet. Use Microsoft NetMeeting to collaborate with others on a Microsoft Access database or Microsoft Access project.
? You can assign hyperlinks to toolbar buttons or menu commands. This provides easy access to a location on your computer, a network, an intranet, or the Internet.
What's New About Working with Data and Database Designs
Microsoft Access 2000 provides many new features that make working with data and designing a database even easier.
? You can use record-level locking. A Microsoft Access database now supports record-level locking, in addition to page-level locking (which locks all records on a 4 KB page). You enable the locking level with the new database option, Open databases using record level locking. To view this option, click Options on the Tools menu, and then click the Advanced tab. The actual level that is used depends on how the Access database is programmed.
? You can find and replace data more flexibly. You can now move freely between the Find and Replace dialog box and the data in the view or window.
? You can view related data in a subdatasheet. Use a subdatasheet to view and edit related or joined data in a table, query, or form datasheet, or in a subform all from the same view.
For example, in the Northwind sample database, the Suppliers table has a one-to-many relationship with the Products table; so for each row of the Suppliers table in Datasheet view, you can view and edit the related rows of the Products table in a subdatasheet.
? You can automatically fix errors caused by renaming fields. Name AutoCorrect automatically corrects common side effects that occur when you rename forms, reports, tables, queries, fields, text boxes or other controls.
? You can take advantage of Unicode to use the characters of any language that Unicode supports in your data. Unicode compression can offset the effect of Unicode's increased storage space requirements. You can take advantage of dual-font support by specifying a substitute font that you can use in addition to your default font to display all of the characters in your data properly.
? You can work with the euro. To display euro amounts easily with other currencies, you can use the euro setting (#,###.##) of the Format property to indicate a euro amount. Alternatively, you can enter the euro symbol (?) by pressing ALT+0128 on the numeric keypad with NUM LOCK on. When you paste or import data that contains the euro symbol (?) from Microsoft Excel 2000 into Microsoft Access 2000, Access stores the euro symbol regardless of the currency symbol defined in Regional Settings in Windows Control Panel. Finally, you can use the EuroConvert function to convert one currency to another by using the euro as an intermediary.
? You can print a report showing the relationships in your Access database as they appear in the Relationships window.
? You can use the keyboard to manage relationships by creating, editing, and deleting relationships and joins.
? You can use Microsoft ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) to access and manipulate data in a database server through any OLE DB provider.
What's New About the Database Window
The Database window in Microsoft Access 2000 provides a variety of options for viewing and manipulating database objects.
? You can use the Database window toolbar to find commands quickly for creating, opening, or managing database objects.
? You can use the Objects bar to view database objects; its vertical orientation makes it easier to use.
? You can organize database objects into groups. Click the Groups bar to view your groups, which can contain shortcuts to database objects of different types.
? You can use new object shortcuts. In the Database window, you can quickly create a new database object by using a wizard, or open a new database object in Design view.
? You can customize how you select and open objects in the Database window. If you want, you can change the default behavior so that you select a database object by resting the pointer over it, and open an object by single-clicking it.
? You can select an object by typing its name. For example, click the Shippers table while viewing the list of table objects by typing Sh.
What's New About Securing, Maintaining, and Converting a Database
Microsoft Access 2000 includes improved tools for maintenance and security.
? You can secure your Access database with the User-level Security Wizard. The User-level Security Wizard is now much easier to use and is the preferred method for defining user-level security on a Microsoft Access database for most common security schemes.
? You can protect your code with Visual Basic for Applications password protection. Standard modules and modules behind forms and reports are now protected by a Visual Basic Applications (VBA) password that you create in the Visual Basic Editor; they are no longer protected by user-level security.
? You can use the improved Compact utility that combines compacting and repairing into a single process, and is safer and more effective.
? You can select Compact On Close to automatically compact a Microsoft Access database or Microsoft Access project when you close it.
? You can convert an Access 2000 database to Access 97 file format.
What's New About Forms and Reports
Microsoft Access 2000 provides new features to make it faster and easier to create great-looking forms and reports.
? You can group text boxes and other controls. Use the Group command on the Format menu to group related text boxes and other controls on a form or report.
? You can define conditional formatting rules for text boxes and other controls. Use the Conditional Formatting command on the Format menu to define the font color, font size, control background color, and other visual information that gives feedback to users as they enter data on a form.
? You can create forms and reports for SQL Server databases. In a Microsoft Access project, you can create forms and reports for a SQL Server database with the same tools that you use to create them in a Microsoft Access database.
? You can distribute reports to users who don't have Microsoft Access. Export Microsoft Access reports to report snapshot (.snp) file format. You can use Snapshot Viewer to view, print, and mail report snapshots.
What's New in Replication
Replication commands on the Microsoft Access Tools menu in a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) and in a Microsoft Access project (.adp) allow you to create replicas and synchronize them on demand as you work in Microsoft Access.
? You can replicate data in an Access project by creating publications and subscriptions.
? You can use Jet and Replication Objects (JRO) to replicate and synchronize databases and Access projects programmatically.
? You can work on files even when you are no longer connected to a Web server by using Web server replication.
? You can use Replica priority to resolve replication conflicts. A replica in a replica set is assigned a priority when it is created. The highest priority replica is used in the case of a synchronization conflict.
? You can prevent users from deleting records in a replica by using the Prevent Deletes option.
? You can create local replicas and anonymous replicas. Local and anonymous replicas can synchronize only with their parent, global replica. Anonymous replicas are recommended for Internet applications if you need a large number of replicas.
? You can use the Conflict Viewer to reconcile and resolve synchronization conflicts; it is the default tool in Access for this purpose.
? You can use the ConflictFunction property as an alternative to the Microsoft Access Conflict Viewer to provide a customized procedure that assists users in resolving synchronization conflicts.
? Conflicts are determined at the column level by default. Changes to the same record in two different replicas cause a synchronization conflict only if the same column or field is changed.
? You can use Row Level Tracking if you want. When this table property is set to True, it indicates that conflicts are tracked based at the row level of a table rather than at the default column level.
? You can set a Retention Period to control the number of days nonsynchronized records are retained in the system tables.
? You now use a single mechanism to record and resolve conflicts and errors, making resolution easier. Whenever a conflict occurs, a winning change is selected and applied in all replicas and the losing change is recorded as a conflict at all replicas.
What's New with Sample Applications
The sample applications that you can install with Microsoft Access provide documented examples that show you how to create and customize full-featured Microsoft Access databases.
? The Northwind sample application is designed for users new to Microsoft Access databases. Northwind includes data that you can manipulate, and forms, reports, data access pages, and other database objects you can use as models in your own databases.
? The NorthwindCS sample application includes a SQL script that creates the Northwind database in Microsoft SQL Server, and a Microsoft Access project that you connect to the Northwind database. The Access project includes forms, reports, data access pages, and other database objects you can use as models in your own Access projects.
? The Address Book database can save address and phone information for every member of a family, print address labels, or remind your when it's time to send birthday cards. You can export your address list to Microsoft Word.
? The Contact Manager database can save information on all of your contacts, keep records of calls, send e-mail, set reminders, and print labels. You can export your contact list to Microsoft Word.
? The Household Inventory database can save information about important possessions, keep a permanent record of serial numbers, purchase and replacement information, and list items donated to charity. You can import and export information from other applications.
What's New with Toolbars, Menu Bars, and Shortcut Menus
The toolbars, menu bars, and shortcut menus in Microsoft Access 2000 make it easy for you to organize commands the way you want.
? You can personalize menus and toolbars. Expand a menu to display all commands, and choose a command to add it to a personalized menu. Microsoft Access 2000 adjusts menus and toolbars as you work so that only the commands and toolbar buttons you use most often appear.
? You can position toolbars next to each other. Click More Buttons if there is not enough room on the toolbar for a button that you need. Resize the toolbar if you'd like room for more buttons. After you've clicked a button, it appears on the toolbar with the buttons that you've used most recently.
? You can assign a hyperlink to a toolbar button or menu command. This gives you easy access to a location on your computer, a network, an intranet or the Internet.
What's New with Macros
Microsoft Access 2000 provides new actions you can use to open data access pages and the new database objects, diagrams, stored procedures, and views, in a Microsoft Access project (.adp).
? You can use the OpenDataAccessPage action to open a data access page in the current database in either Design view or Page view.
? You can open a diagram in the current Access project by using the OpenDiagram action.
? You can open a stored procedure in the current Access project by using the OpenStoredProcedure diagram. You can open the stored procedure in Datasheet view, Design view, or Print Preview.
? You can open a view in the current Access project by using the OpenView action.
What's New in Programming with Visual Basic for Applications
The Microsoft Visual Basic Editor (VBE) is the development environment in which you create and edit Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code.
? You use the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor to create and edit the code contained in files that you have created in Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Access databases and Microsoft Access projects. VBE features include the Project Explorer, the Properties window, the Object Browser, and the Code window, and debugging tools.
? Several new language elements, including Objects, Properties, Methods and Events are new in Microsoft Access 2000. Detailed information is available in the Help system by searching for "New Objects" for example.
What's New About Working with Other Applications
Microsoft Access 2000 provides new features for working with other products.
? You can work with Microsoft SQL Server. Create a Microsoft Access project that is easy to connect to a Microsoft SQL Server database, or use the Microsoft SQL Server Database Wizard to create a SQL Server database and an Access project at the same time. Working with an Access project is similar to working with a Microsoft Access database; the process of creating forms, reports, data access pages, macros, and modules is the same. Once you connect to a SQL Server database, you can view, create, modify, and delete tables, views, stored procedures, and database diagrams using the Microsoft SQL Server Design Tools.
? You can create a new Access database from data in another file format. Just open a file that is in another file format (such as text, dBASE, Paradox, or spreadsheet format) in Access; Microsoft Access 2000 automatically creates an Access database and links the file for you.
? You can import or link data from Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange. Use the Exchange/Outlook Wizard to import or link data from Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Server. For example, you might want to link to your Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder and then create form letters and mailing labels by merging the data with the Microsoft Word Mail Merge Wizard.