Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Come back to Office Access 2007!

Some days I love what I do so much I can't imagine any life better than being a professional computer geek. This is one of those days. In the 20 years I've been writing about software, I've seen it go through lots of changes. From the toddler and tantrum stage (read: blue screen of death) to the pimply adolescent stage (awkward stages in Word's growth process) to the tall, slender, self-assured, elegant, and accessible adult (2007 Microsoft Office system). On Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I'd say the 2007 Microsoft Office system is almost self-actualized. :)

For the last couple of days, I've been working with Office Access 2007. Now wait--before you turn away, consider this. What if your data fascination could be channeled in a managable, palatable, and smart way that actually saved you time and reduced (rather than increased) your frustration level? What if you could use a simple-to-navigate interface to get quick answers to questions you used to have to dig endlessly for? What if your database program promises to figure out the whole data-typing thing for you, automatically let you have more than one answer in a field, and include things like file attachments as a file type? Sounds a little better than trying to force your data into a rigid system of rules that rarely produce what you hoped for, doesn't it?

That's what I'm finding in Office Access 2007. From complete, full-featured trackable applications to a super easy Navigation Panel to tabbed windows, Office Access 2007 has given me an excuse to fall in love with data all over again. If you gave up trying to design a database a while back and have been dumping all your data into long lists in Excel, it's time to come back to Access 2007 and give it another chance.

And my favorite feature--you can gather data via e-mail messages using HTML forms or Office InfoPath 2007! As soon as you get the return e-mail from respondents, your database tables are updated automatically. And that's a great feature for a geeky writer like me--think of all the interviews I can do and store up for future books!

If you want to find out more about Office Access 2007, click here. It really will knock your socks off.

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