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Microsoft Access 2010

What’s New For Access 2010’s Ribbon

So what’s new in the Access 2010 version? Actually, plenty! The first thing that is readily available is the FILE menu. Microsoft brought it back for us! Unfortunately though, it is almost identical to the ribbon, as most of the features that are located in it are the same as those that you will find in the 2007 version of Access under the ribbon menu. One thing to watch out for though, is the fact that in some office programs, the "developer" tab is not included in the ribbon by default. To make it visible, simply go to the options menu under the "customize ribbon" tab and put a check mark next to it.

But on to Access related topics…

You may notice now that you can output most of your objects to PDF and XPS formats. PDF export functionality was also available in 2007, but the availability of this technology required add-in modules from Adobe software. That is not the case now. It is simply a part of the "External Data" tab options. But what is an XPS file? Well, if you want the truth, it’s really nothing special. Unfortunately, it represents Microsoft’s attempt to boost their competition with Adobe’s extremely popular PDF document. In simplistic terms, XPS is a graphical representation of XML code. So what does that mean? Nothing, really. XML is most likely going to be the universal "harmonic" language of the future for the internet, but that doesn’t mean that it has any special meaning in other scenarios. If you do use this new export feature, make sure you get some use out of it, because there aren’t many features that XPS exporting provides that simple PDF exporting doesn’t.

Another feature that has proven to be useful in 2010 is the "application parts" option under the "create" tab. Notice that, under the "quick start" portion of this feature, you can import template objects from a pre-written template. The best part about this is the fact that the wizard allows you to integrate one of your current tables into a new relationship with the imported template table! Here is an example:

Click on "application parts" and choose the "Users" template:

Since I already have a "many" table in my database, I am going to select it as the right side of my relationship:

Now, on the last screen I can specify the field name for Access to create in my current table, which will create a one-to-many relationship on the newly-imported "users" table that it generates:

And there you have it! The relationship is created, and in this particular instance, so are two additional forms that can assist you with data entry for this relationship:

And don’t forget the other useful templates that are in this menu. One of the best ones to me is the new fancy looking message box that you can use. It only takes a little bit of coding to make it work, and the interface is pretty cool:

And there you have it…everything the ribbon has to offer you!

The Author

Adam Evanovich lives in Iowa in the United States and frequently works on contract in various industries. He started using Access in 1997 to record notes in a small database for a marketing program. Since then he has continued to explore the models that are available in Access and often uses them to streamline various small business operations.

Adam's database skills also include MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server implementations. He also enjoys spending some of his free time understanding the history of technology. In his off hours he enjoys exercising, spending time friends and family and exploring the mountains and forestry.

If you'd like to contact Adam, you can reach him through his email address: