How to Customize Access Databases – Follow Up

How to Customize Your Access Database Applications – Follow Up

In an earlier access tutorial I showed how to create a customized start ‘splash’ screen or pop up window that was set to open when the database application was opened. Now I will give a follow up to that which shows how to further customize your access database application. So, the first thing that you will want to change or customize is the title of the database, which appears in the upper window. By default, Access places simply the file name of the database in the title bar, but you may want something other than that, so here is how to change that. First click on the ‘Home’ tab at the top, and from the home tab, click on the ‘options’ menu on the left hand side of the screen. Now on the options menu that pops up, the first thing to do is to click ‘current database’ to make sure that you are making changes to the current database. Here is what the menu looks like:

Access - Shane Zentz

Access – Shane Zentz

Here is where you can change the text in the title of your application, simply add your own text. Also you’ll notice that you can also add your own icon for the current database. If you have a 32 x 32 pixel .ico file that you would like to see in the taskbar area when your database application is running, then just click on the box and navigate to it and Access will add it automatically. You also have the option to make this icon the icon for the forms and reports in your database. These two things go a long way in allowing you to customize your access database application.

One more thing you can control from this screen is whether you want the user of your database program to have access to the navigation pane on the left hand side of the database application. This navigation pane is displayed by default and contains menus for tables, forms/reports, and queries. However there are times when you do not want a user of your access database application to have access to these things. The solution is to de-check the ‘display navigation pane’ checkbox as seen here:

Access - Shane Zentz

Access – Shane Zentz

This does not block the user completely from, say, opening up a table that you don’t want them to access and altering data, but most users will be unsavy enough to never realize that they can simply open the options menu for the database and check the ‘display navigation pane’ checkbox to have access to the navigation pane. So this will be an easy and effective way to block access to things like tables and forms that you dont want other users figeting around with.

Thanks for reading this post,
Look for more Access Tutorials to come soon……………………………………

How to Password Protect a Form or Report in Microsoft Access

How to Password Protect a Form or Report in Access

by Shane Zentz
Microsoft makes doing a lot of things with databases very easy. And password protecting a form or report is no exception. With just a few lines of code in the right place you can prevent unwanted users from opening and viewing or editing data in your form or report. Just as an aside, this is not the most secure method and in fact is not really secure at all. But in order for someone to find the password (which is hard-coded into the application) they would have to have at least basic knowledge of access from the design and programming point of view, so if they are just users then chances are that they will never discover the password (by looking at the code behind the program) unless someone tells it to them or they discover it written down somewhere. Having said that, this method is still pretty useful for just average applications, like I said it is not really the most secure method, so if your application contains really sensitive data (like social security numbers or bank account numbers) then I would advise using another more secure method. But if you just need a basic password protection to protect just one or a few forms from average users then this method will work and it is also quick and very easy. So read on to see how this is done.

Open the form or report that you want to password protect in design view and find ‘form’ in the properties field (see photo 1). Then switch to the events tab. Under the events tab you will see a field called ‘on load’ (see photo 1), this is the field that controls what the form or report does when it is first loaded or opened. Here we want to add some code to the on load event so that it will first prompt the user for a password. So click on the tiny icon with the three little dots on it and on the window that pops up, select ‘code builder’. This will bring up a Visual Basic window (see photo 2) which will have a method for the ‘onload’ event preloaded. All we need to do is to add the code to this section.

 

Here is the code:
Dim PassWord As String

PassWord = InputBox(“Enter Password”)

If PassWord = “whatever password you choose here” Then’

Open FormDoCmd.OpenForm “name of the form that you want to password protect”
ElseMsgBox (“Wrong Password?”)

DoCmd.Close acForm, Me.NameEnd If

Save the code and exit and also save the changes to the form. Now try to open the form and you will get a password box before the form will open. If you enter the correct password then it will open, otherwise it will not. Another thing I should mention is that the text for the password is not dotted out or starred out like is usually is with password protection forms. I think that this can be changed but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial.
This code is pretty basic. To use this you will need to change the line that says “whatever password you choose here” to whatever you want the password to be. And then change the “name of the form that you want to password protect” to the name of your form. Now, you can change “Enter Password” to whatever message you want to appear when the password box comes up, and likewise, you can change the “Wrong Password?” part to whatever message that you want to display when the user enters the wrong password or does not enter any password at all.
So there you have it, a pretty easy and basic password protection system to password protect a form or report in Microsoft access. This will work with just about any version of Access, so give it a try. Just remember that this is not really completely secure becuase anyone who knows how can just look at the form in design view and then check the ‘onload’ event code to discover the hard-coded password, but the average user will never know how to do this anyway, so this is a reasonably decent solution.
Thanks for reading this tutorial on password protecting a form or report in a microsoft access database.

How to Create a Switchboard (or Splash) Screen in Access 2010 by Shane Zentz

When creating a database application in Access 2010, you will sometimes come accross a situation where you will want to present several options to the end-user to choose from. For example you may have one form for data entry and one report, or you may have several forms and reports. This is where the idea of the ‘switchboard’ or ‘splash screen’ comes in. This handy switchboard can be used to present several choices for the end user to choose from. So this is what this tutorial is all about. And this is only the first part. In this part we will create the switchboard or splash screen (which will display as a pop up window when the user opens the database file), but in the next part of this we will fill the switchboard with photos and clickable (usable) buttons which will open forms and reports. So open up Access 2010 and get ready to create a switchboard!

The first step is simple. Just create a new form in design view. Resize the area to your liking and then click on the ‘other’ tab in the form’s properties. Change where it says ‘pop up’ from no to yes. Now switch to the format tab of the form’s properties. On this tab you will want to change ‘record selectors’ and ‘navagation buttons’ to NO and also set ‘control box’ and ‘close button’ to NO, and finally set min and max buttons to ‘NONE’. Now save your form and switch to display view. You should just see an empty window with no record selectors and no min,max,or close buttons, just like this:

OK, if you have something that looks like that then you are on your way. So close this switchboard out (right click somewhere in the popup window and select close). Now lets make this switchboard open automatically when this database is opened. To do that just go to the File tab and from there select the options tab towards the bottom, which will open up the database’s properties window, like this:

On the “current database” tab, you can set the title for the switchboard and even select an icon for the database itself. Just below those options is the one that will open the form when the database is opened. It says “Display Form” and you can select any form that you created in your database. The form that you select will open automatically when the database is opened. So choose the form that you just created, pick a title for it, then save these settings.

 

Close the database and reopen it. And when you do you should see the (blank) switchboard that we created earlier.

Not much here, just an empty window, but you can add whatever title you want and whatever graphics or photos to the background, and of course buttons to open forms or data entry. So this is just the starting point. Check the Switchboard’s properties add photos and other funcionalities to it.

Just be aware that you can even set this switchboard to open after a certain interval (or close after a certain interval) with some of the forms properties. But that is a little beyond this tutorial, but if you are interested in this just google it man.

O.k., next we will add some real functionability to this switchboard and even decorate it a little to make it look even nicer. So check back for part two of this tutorial.
Thanks for reading this blog!

Shane