Book Review - Fixing Access Annoyances by Phil Mitchell and Evan Callahan
I consider myself fortunate that I converted my last regularly used database off of Access awhile back. While the software served me well in learning about database systems when I first made the move to PCs, I always found myself fighting with things that should have been easier than they were. Now I find out that it wasn't just me. Phil Mitchell and Evan Callahan have put together a great book titled Fixing Access Annoyances. If you spend any time in Access, this ought to be on your bookshelf.
Contents: Access Basics; General Annoyances; Performance, Versions, Security, and Deployment; Data, Tables, and Database Design; Queries; Forms; Reports, Mailing Labels, and Charts; Expressions, Macros, Code Modules, and Custom Controls; Appendix; Glossary; Index
The Annoyances series is set up in such a way that each chapter covers a series of "questions" posed as to why a particular software package behaves in a certain way. The questions range from minor "why does Access always do x" to "my #$@%@ database is corrupted!", and the conversational tone between the questioner and the authors is fun to read. After reading some of these things, you wonder why *anyone* would use Access! Mitchell and Callahan, although experts in Access, maintain a healthy cynicism towards the product's features and foibles, and all it would take is for you to find three to five annoyances that bug you to no end in order for you to think this is the best money you've spent in a long time. They also try and cover a range of things, from beginner to advanced level gripes, so that you should see value wherever you are in the continuum of Access experience.
If I had this book available to me a year ago, I might still be running my reading log database in Access instead of in Notes. I certainly would have experienced far less frustration than I did. After making sure you have a solid Access reference guide on your shelf, this should be your second purchase on the subject...