Senin, 11 Juli 2016

Re: [MS_AccessPros] Am I in over my head?


Zach (now that I know your name!),

I failed to mention that after my downloads I did all of my analysis and reporting in Access since it was easy  to set up a basic set of reports and then choose different queries as needed. There are plenty of real experts here (not me for sure!) who can help you with that.


On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 2:21 PM, James McAlister <> wrote:
John has give you an authoritative answer on using Access for your project and also mentioned Filemaker as a potential but expensive option. So let me make a few comments about Filemaker.

Filemaker will do exactly what you want, and you can download a 30-day free trial of Filemaker Pro to just check out the the basic capabilities. To do any real programming, however, you'd need Filemaker Pro Advanced, and there's no trial available for it. To deploy on mobile you'd also need their Filemaker Server product and the hardware and expertise to set it up properly and keep it running or else rent space from a company that specializes in Filemaker hosting. Then you could deploy to mobile after all of the necessary database design for layouts suited for the mobile devices which will have access. Once all of that is done properly mobile access is easy and effective. The Filemaker website has lots of videos describing all of this, and you can pick up some ideas there. Plus, there's a pretty good (and free) customizable template at Given that you're only working there for the summer, I wouldn't go this route because of the learning curve and initial investment. Long term, however, it could be viable.

On the other hand, you might be able to do something with free Google Sheets (easily deployed on mobile) for basic data collection and regularly download the data for analysis, reports, etc., in Access. Or you might do something similar with Airtable ( 

Even though I use Filemaker daily for a variety of tasks, I opted for Google Sheets (quick and easy and free) this spring to deploy voter lists to a large number of field workers to mark up as they had made their contacts. Afterward I would download the marked version and prepare reports for the candidate. Not ideal, but it worked well for the short term.

Whatever you do, security of your data is always an issue.

Just my two cents worth. :-)


On Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 1:23 PM, John Viescas [MS_Access_Professionals] <> wrote:

Short answer: YES!

The trick is getting it on mobile.  FileMaker can do it - but it's expensive.  Access *might* be able to do it with a web app, but you'd need a Windows Sharepoint server at your disposal.

Sorry to be such a downer, but IMO the technology isn't there yet to make it easy to build a mobile solution using Access.

John Viescas, Author
Effective SQL
SQL Queries for Mere Mortals 
Microsoft Access 2010 Inside Out
Microsoft Access 2007 Inside Out
Microsoft Access 2003 Inside Out
Building Microsoft Access Applications 
(Paris, France)

On Jul 11, 2016, at 4:33 PM, [MS_Access_Professionals] <> wrote:


Completely new to databases here but I think that their application can be pretty useful and would make for a cool summer project. I'm interning for a construction company over summer break right now and one of my tasks is to log expenses and labor hours. I think I can leave a pretty good impression if I'm able to pull this off and I would appreciate any help/ pointing me in the right direction/ useful resources. When I'm not interning the guys onsite have to do this task which is pretty time consuming alongside their other duties. I'd like to make timesheet entry and purchase tracking as fast as possible, and get it on mobile for them. The process for tracking a cost at my company goes like this:

We have many projects, which have a project number and project location. From there we have different jobs within the project. (Project logistics/ concrete/ different categories of what is going on in the project. Each job has a description and a job number. Beneath project jobs we have phase codes, which are different tasks within a job. Each phase code has a number and a description. 

Now we get into purchase orders. Purchase orders are "slips" from different vendors that are assigned to the phase codes. However, one purchase order can have multiple phase codes. I.e. a purchase order for the concrete job of the library project can pertain to concrete slab formwork, and wall formwork. Then, inside each purchase order you have the individual purchases with their quantity and total cost.

For now, I would like to get a form going that allows the user to select which job they're submitting (but without having to think about the project number/ location) from a list, select the job from a list without having to worry about the number, select the phase code without having to think about the number, then put in a new purchase order that automatically has a number assigned to it and just put in their name, the vendor, then put in all the items purchased.

All I have available to me is access right now. But I am a student and I feel I could get quite a bit of software for trial pretty easily. I've read Crystal Long's documents in the side bar and tried to show a design on vertabelo here:

Certain phase codes also have labor input. I'd like to figure out how to generate a report on a weekly basis on how many hours each employee spent on a job& phase code, but also generate a report on how much total time from all employees was spent on a specific job&phasecode.

Any help would be appreciated, and if this is the wrong application for an access database let me know! 

Thanks guys.


Posted by: James McAlister <>
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