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  1. #1
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    Introduction (Acess2000)

    Hi List,

    I would like to introduce myself. I am a retired professional mainframe programmer having written my first code in 1969, hence the moniker. I have written in several languages with different DBMS

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    Nobody's going to belittle you around here ... under pain of <img src=/S/warts.gif border=0 alt=warts width=59 height=24> from the powers that be! You'll have to be patient with us though.

    Many, if not most, of VBA programmers learned by doing rather than being specifically trained in it, so your big iron jargon will be just as confusing and meaningless to us as VBA may be to you. Level breaks and MDTs don't mean a thing to me (I've been 25+ years in the PC world), and I'm sure there are a lot of others out there scratching their heads as well. If you want to talk about events and classes and UI objects, we can dig right in. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    I haven't run across a book for COBOL programmers, but I would suggest you post a plea for help on that in the Books/Ezines forum as well, and it wouldn't hurt to look in at VB/VBA/.Net. If you have Access/database-specific questions, this is the place for them, since Access VBA is not quite like the implementations in the other Office apps. And while it's very similar to VB in many ways, it can be teeth grindingly different in others.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    Having been there (I worked on such things as Fortran, PL/I, COBOL, assembler, and various other arcane languages in the late 60s and 70s), it is a very different paradigm shift. In addition, there is a great deal to learn besides programming in VBA to building well designed Access databases. In other words, lots of the things you had to do with main-frame databases have been hidden under the covers of Access, so you don't have to do programming to perform those functions. On the other hand you do have to figure out how to use the tools and work with the various objects. From that point of view Access is both object oriented (the purists will argue that point) and event driven.

    The book you bought covers most of the basic elements of designing an Access 2000 database, but doesn't really deal with some of the more arcane aspects of programming. I would suggest you get familiar with the non-programming side of things such as creating tables, relationships, queries, forms and reports. From there you can graduate to forms and reports. Then do some basic things that create small programs, such as putting a button on a form that opens another form using the wizard. Once you do that you can view the code the wizard created and begin to understand some of the fundamentals. Then invest in a book specifically on using VBA in Access - WROX, Microsoft Press, Que, and Sybex all have decent ones, so pick the one that you find most comfortable from a style perspective and wade through it. It will take several weeks (or years in my case) before you start to feel like an expert.

    But it can be done - we now support close to 100 production Access/SQL Server databases at various clients. Good luck.
    Wendell

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    Hi El -

    I would start with "Using MS Access 2000" by Jennings, just work your way thru it with the idea that you are going to be a _user_ of the db. The online help in access is pretty good, too.

    You might try "Instant Access Databases" by Buczek as a set of examples.

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    Charlotte,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer. While I have been lurking, before I joined the list, I saw some posts to the effect that if you want to write Access/VBA you should learn how. This included a post that stated "If you're serious about VBA, learn to do it right and *don't* use gotos. Theyre holdovers from old linear programming and make code nearly impossible to maintain with any confidence. "

    This I thought was somewhat belittling. I hope to be able to do it correctly, but I may need some help.

    I have posted on the Books Board looking for some help there as you suggested. In the meantime, I will try to "do it correctly". I do have several questions which I will post in a new thread.

    Thanks
    El Dinosaurio

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    Wendell,

    Thanks for the reply. I know how to do most of the things I need to do. I took the Codd and Date courses for DB2 way back when and understand SQL and working with a "cursor".

    My main problems come from a the block mode versus keypress mode processing thought processes. How to clear a field, or "select/highlight" a field so when the operator enters a character the field goes blank? How do you preload a field so that the program thinks it was entered and other MDT type functions that I had access to in CICS?

    Thanks
    ElDinosaurio

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    Peter,

    Thanks for the answer and the references.

    El D

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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    I agree - the shift from a linear program flow to a keypress/mouse click paradigm is quite a change, and requires some time to sort through and be comfortable with.

    Another thing too, is that lots of the things you had to write code to do in the "big iron" world no longer require any code and are done with forms, defaults and things such as that. For example, to select or highlight a field is usually done with the tab sequence for the form, though the user can choose to click with the mouse. By default, the entire field is highlighted when it "gets focus," though with user preferences, you can change that behavior. Default values are typically stored on the form, or are set at the table level, though you can also set them in code. As to clearing a field, the form will normally do that for you as long as it is bound to a record set, when you start to add a new record. It can also be done in code by simply setting the field to Null. The bottom line is that Access will reduce the development time it takes to bring an application to completion, as many of the mundane programming tasks are done for you. However, when you need the power of a programming interface, it has one that is pretty robust.

    You might take a hard look at the Northwind application that comes as a sample with Access - it demonstrates many of the techniques used in Access applications, though it doesn't use a large amount of code. There are some other sample databases that have more code examples that you might be interested in also. Finally, after you've gone through the basics, there is an excellent set of books called "The Access Developers Handbook" by Getz, et. al. and published by Sybex that has lots of good stuff at the intermediate to advanced level. Best of luck in your learning.
    Wendell

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Introduction (Acess2000)

    I didn't intend it to be belittling. I used them back in the early days of Basic when there was no choice, but gotos violate structured programming precepts, even when they aren't being used in event-driven languages. When you mix them with VB or VBA, you get a truly ugly piece of code that is extremely difficult to debug and maintain because it's hard to figure out where and how it's stepping on itself. Since there are better alternatives available in VB/VBA, gotos should be avoided except where you have no choice within a routine, like the On Error Goto statement.
    Charlotte

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