By Bonnie Bills | Thursday, July 8, 2010
lynda.com has been rolling out courses on Office 2010 since the suite launched in May, and there are already more than 50 hours of Office 2010 training in the lynda.com Online Training Library® covering all the core applications and SharePoint! I have been talking with our incredibly talented and enthusiastic group of Office 2010 authors about their experiences with this latest version. Today’s Q&A, the last in the series, features Alicia Katz Pollock, author ofAccess 2010 New Features, Access 2010 Essential Training, and Access 2010 Real World Projects.
Q: Access 2010 is touted as a simple product that you can use even if you’re not a database expert. What features can inexperienced users take advantage of to get up and running with Access?
A: While getting started with Microsoft Access isn’t as easy as sitting down and typing a document in Word, Access provides you a variety of tools to get started building your own database solution. First, take advantage of the sample database templates, such as the contact management tools. If you’re starting from scratch, Access’s Application Parts and Quick Start menus have predesigned tables and forms to provide the most common fields and configurations. And last, a new feature is that field data types and validation options are now available right on the Ribbon so you can easily see them and take advantage of proper database techniques.
Q: An issue most businesses wrestle with is how to get data out of databases and into the hands of busy managers in a format they can use and understand. What kind of tools does Access 2010 have for presenting data to the decision makers who need to act on it?
A: It’s easy to create an attractive, modern-looking report just by clicking a few buttons. Click on a table or a query containing the information you want on the printed report, and click the Report button. Voilà, a report ready to send to the printer. And if you want more control, including subtotals or your logo, click on the Report Wizard and answer its questions. Once you’re done, you can further refine the appearance by dragging the reports table cells to rearrange and resize them. Last, if you need the data moved into another data reporting tool, it’s easy to export into .xls, .csv, .txt, .xml, and .html using the Data ribbon.
Q: For users migrating from Access 2003 to Access 2010, they’ll have a new interface experience. What can you tell folks who might be nervous about the Ribbon interface? How has the Ribbon improved from 2007 to 2010?
A: The Ribbon is one of the best things to ever happen to Microsoft Office. In fact, when Microsoft polled users about what features they wanted to see, 90 percent of them were already in the program, but buried three menus deep. The Ribbons give you instant access to just about every feature in the program, yet are nice to look at and easy to understand.
One of the best Ribbon improvements from 2007 to 2010 is that they unburied all your table-building tools, so that you don’t have to go into Design view to use techniques like data types and validation rules.
Q: What’s your favorite feature in Access 2010 and why?
A: My favorite feature in Access 2010 is the new Record Validation tool. You’ve always been able to determine if acceptable data was entered into one field, but now you can compare data within two fields in a record to make sure your data was entered correctly. For example, you can now confirm that the “End Date” is after the “Start Date.” For us nitpicky data analysts, that brings comfort and security.
But on second thought, my favorite feature may just be the new and improved Macro builder interface. You no longer have to know code to build macros!
By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, January 4, 2015
It’s a fact. New year’s resolutions fall into two categories: want to and have to.
We want to do fun things like create stuff, tackle projects, pursue our interests, and master new toys. But we have to make time for the basics—like exercise.
The clever lynda.com fans you’re about to meet have all found a way to combine those two things: to check off the unavoidable have to of exercise while indulging in the gratifying want to of learning.
And some of them have even lost weight doing it.
By Starshine Roshell | Friday, December 26, 2014
At a time of year when many of us are filling our homes and our bellies with an abundance of delicious treats, Jules Rugwiro is fighting hunger in Rwanda.
Jules is a database manager with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian agency that addresses hunger.
“The work that we do includes providing food and/or cash for refugees, responding to emergencies, feeding school children, and connecting farmers to markets,” says Jules, a Rwandan who lives and works in Kigali, the nation’s capitol. “I collect information on whether food is available and accessible, and how it’s utilized by people in different parts of the country. Once we have this information, we identify who the vulnerable people are (i.e. those who are ‘food insecure’), where they live, how insecure they are, and why they are insecure. WFP bases its interventions on these results.
“If my job is not done properly, the most vulnerable people would not be identified and thus not assisted.”
How does he make sure his job is done properly?
“I learned most of my programming and database management skills through self-study and the material available on lynda.com,” says Jules, who studied information technology in school.
By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, August 31, 2014
Three years ago, David Sumler was driving a car without a hood on it.
“Some lady ran a stop sign and hit me, and I didn’t have the money to fix the car, so I drove it without a hood,” he says. “I’d park as far back as I could in parking lots when meeting friends, so they didn’t see it.”
But that wasn’t the worst of it.
“I was buried in debt,” says David, 32. “I could barely keep up with my bills and I couldn’t buy nice things for my kids or my fiancée. I had no health insurance so I just never went to the doctor. If one disaster had happened, I would have been on the streets—and I came very close a few times.”
Then opportunity knocked.
By lynda.com | Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Building and managing databases can be a chore. Save time and effort with these five Access tips, from the expert instructors at lynda.com.
A well-crafted database can give you insight into trends and opportunities. Learn its five key components.
By Cris Ippolite | Wednesday, December 11, 2013
After 20 months of anticipation from the product community, FileMaker Inc. finally unveiled its next-generation platform for business productivity: FileMaker Pro 13. Having worked closely with FileMaker 13 for several months prior to launch to prepare for my new course, FileMaker Pro 13 New Features, I can tell you there are plenty of improvements in this release to satisfy any level of FileMaker developer or end user. For new FileMaker users, the platform makes it much easier than ever before to create beautiful app-like databases—and it offers some long-awaited features that FileMaker fans won’t be able to live without.
Chief among the more than 50 new features are
The marquee feature of the new FileMaker 13 is a web-sharing technology called WebDirect, which allows you to share your FileMaker database through any HTML5-compliant browser—with no web development skills required.
By Tom Geller | Friday, February 15, 2013
You do back up your computer, don’t you? It’s an easy process, even if you don’t use a utility like the Apple Time Machine: you simply move a bunch of files from your one place to another.
But if you try that with your Drupal site, you’ll leave out the most important part—your site’s content and configuration. That’s because those parts live in your site’s database, which is stored far away from the site’s files. The solution is to export the database as a file, then save that file along with everything else. Doing that manually can be a pretty awkward procedure, but the Backup and Migrate module makes it easy. Here’s what I do:
A conservative strategy: Backup and Migrate set to save six months of backups.
One last step: Be sure to practice restoring from that backup to make sure it works, as a bad backup is the same as no backup! Note that this is not the same as a straightforward MySQL export: you’ll need to use the Drupal Backup and Migrate module itself to reestablish your site. But while unusual, I’ve found this procedure to be far easier (and more foolproof) than noodling with my site’s Drupal database manually.
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