Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Point of Sale system in Microsoft Access

Friday, December 17th, 2010

We have done some strange Access development but this must be one of the most unusual. We helped a sandwich shop in Tokyo develop a Point of Sale system in Access. Just to prove it really happened, they sent us the before and after pictures.
This is what happened in the past. All the orders were handled manually.

POS system in Microsoft Access

This is the screen displaying each order, the quantity of sandwiches ordered and made for the day and delivery schedule.

POS System in Microsoft Access

The POS system also calculates total cost, generates invoices and lots more.  If you are ever in Tokyo to “The Earl” sandwich shop and see Microsoft Access POS system in action.

Australian contributes to F1 Title

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Before we end the year, let me drop in a personal story.  Being a Formula 1 nut for many decades, it was sad to see an Australian – Mark Webber – come so close to winning the title.  There was another little known Australian also involved with Red Bull.  Many years ago I met the son of a colleague.  I think he was about 14 at the time.  He told me when he grew up he wanted to design F1 cars.  Like most things a 14 year old tells you, I thought “that is this week”.  I was wrong.

His parents made lots of sacrifices so he could study aerodynamics. Stephen wrote to every F1 team and asked them about what he needed to do to eventually work in F1.  Some teams actually replied with advice as to what he needed to study.  With his degree under his arm he took himself off to the UK.

After knocking on the door of every F1 outfit he got a job offer from Red Bull.  I remember hearing his first job was to evaluate 20 designs for rear view mirrors.  He is now designing more than mirrors.  In fact he has become one of their key design people.  The design team’s work was rewarded this year with the constructors championship and the drivers championship.  The photo below is Stephen Dibb with the silverware.

Stephen Dibb

The moral of the story is that there are young guys and girls out there who know what they want and will go after it.  Don’t think because a 14 year old tells you something they want it is not necessarily going to happen. Congratulations Stephen.  You are an inspiration to us all.

Project Administrator with SQL Server

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

In the most recent release of our Project Management software, we have carried out some changes to allow you to upsize to SQL Server using the Access upsize wizard. Whilst most people will not need to do this, it is now an option. For more information click here.

Stoplights in Microsoft Project

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Some time ago Brian Thompson from Capgemini in the US wrote a white paper for us on adding Stoplights to Microsoft Project. We continually get questions about it, and people wanting to have some sort of variation.  We had one such request last week.  I copied Brian on the request, and when I did not hear from him, and received another urgent email from the person seeking help, I put together the example and sent it to him.  Not only that, Brian had worked out how to achieve the same thing and sent the code to the requester.  We provide service way beyond the call of duty.  Two solutions from two people in one day.

Brian and I were chatting and he has kindly provided some more information on his white paper.  Here is Brian’s supplementary information. I suggest you read the original white paper Stoplights to Microsoft Project before the additional information below.

Microsoft Project Stop Light Additional Information (Covers two different models for reference)

Original Code (Model 1):

IIf([Duration]=0,(IIf([% Complete]=100,2,IIf([Finish]<Now()+7 And [% Complete]<100 And [% Complete]>=80,3,IIf([Finish]<Now()+7 And [% Complete]<80,4,1)))),IIf(([% Complete]=100 Or [% Complete]>100*(Abs((Now()-[Start])/([Finish]-[Start])))),2,(IIf([Finish]>Now(),IIf([Start]>Now(),1,3),4))))

Blue section applies to milestones, orange section applies to tasks.

This code provides a model that enables the following:

1)        If a task or milestone is =100% complete then green light
2)        If a milestone is due in the next 7 days or past due (the 7 days can be changed to suit your requirement by updating the ‘7’s’ in the formula above) and is 80% or more complete then yellow light (can be changed to suit your requirements by updating the ‘80’s’ in the formula above)

3)        If a milestone is due in the next 7 days or past due (the 7 days can be changed to suit your requirement by updating the ‘7’s’ in the formula above) and is less than 80% complete then red light (can be changed to suit your requirements by updating the ‘80’s’ in the formula above)

4)        If the current % complete on a task is better than the current rate of progress of a task (i.e. ahead of schedule on a task) then green light

5)        If the start date of a task is a future date then white light

6)        If the start date has passed but the finish date is a future date and % complete is behind the current rate of progress then yellow light

7)        If the finish date is past due then red light

Microsoft Project Traffic Lights

IIf([% Complete]<100,IIf([Finish]>(Now()+14),1,IIf([Finish]<=(Now()+14) And [Finish]>=Now(),3,IIf([Finish]<Now(),4))),2)

Code applies for both milestones and tasks.

This code provides a simple model to enable the following:

1)        If a task or milestone is =100% complete then green light
2)        If a task or milestone is <100% complete and is due within the next 14 days then yellow light
3)        If a task or milestone is <100% complete and is past its’ finish date then red light
4)        If a task or milestone is <100% complete but is not due for 15 or more days then white light

Note: The 14 day planning fence can be changed to suit your requirements by updating the ‘14’s’ in the code above.

The Graphic Indicator logic remains the same for both models:

Microsoft Project Traffic Lights

Microsoft Project Traffic Lights

Free Access Database compare tool

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Recently we wanted a tool to compare two Access databases and identify what fields and indexes were different.  Looking at what was available to purchase was a price shock.  It should not be that expensive to buy a tool as simple as a database comparison.

The answer was to write the program ourselves.  For all you Access buffs out there, you can download the tool for free from here.  If you try it out, give us some feedback.