Virtual Access DevCon 2020
Date April 23+24, 2020
Attendance fee 0,- € or $, contactless only ;-)
Platform Microsoft Teams, we had 250 registrations from 30 countries (map shows people who stated their country)
Organizers Karl Donaubauer (CEO), Peter Doering (CTO)
Recordings ~8 hours of video and download links for slide decks, demo files etc. are available below
Access Update by the Product Team  Ebo Quansah, Microsoft, Redmond, USA

Where does Access stand today?
The latest news about features in Access, community involvement and the Access ecosystem.

Ebo is a Program Manager at Microsoft and has become the product lead for Access in July. Prior to this role, he spent two years at Microsoft in a rotational program.

He received his Bachelor's degree from Princeton University as an Operations Research and Financial Engineering major.

Ebo has always been very passionate and energetic about creating the greatest experience for customers, especially from his time in the field, and he is excited to play an active role in making the Access experience its best across our millions of customers.


Access Help Content Deep Dive  Jeff Conrad, Microsoft, Redmond, USA

Access help, love it or hate it, is an integral part of the product. A key goal in my work is to have you love it a little more each day.
In this session, we will do a deep dive into the various aspects of the Access Help system. You will learn about the various audience targeted content sites, how we work with the product team on new features, how content gets published, and how we measure the effectiveness of the content we produce. We will spend time going over in detail:

• The various types of content we create
• The improvements we have made to our top search intent content and context sensitive help
• Our content consolidation efforts to reduce duplication
• How the content we produce gets localized into different languages

You are all data people so of course this session would not be complete without showing how we measure our content and gain insights into further content improvements through our various PowerBI dashboards.

Jeff has worked at Microsoft for the past 13 years. He joined the Microsoft Access Services Team as a test engineer, working on the Access 2010-2016 releases before moving to the content organization 5 1/2 years ago. Jeff is now a Senior Content Experience Manager on the Modern Assistance and Support Experience team. His team creates end user focused Help content for a portfolio of Office applications and services including Access.
Jeff has authored three books on Access: Microsoft Access 2013 Inside Out, Microsoft Access 2010 Inside Out, and Microsoft Office Access 2007 Inside Out. Before joining Microsoft in 2007, Jeff was a Microsoft Access MVP from 2004 to 2007.


Remote access to Access  Luke Chung, FMS, Vienna (Virginia), USA

We all know shortcomings of Access applications such as installing Access on each user's machine, running it from a Mac, running it from poorly connected machines like WANs, deploying new versions etc. Therefore Access developers should know about remote hosting platforms and technologies. There are different approaches depending on whether the host is internal or in the cloud, and whether the backend is Access or SQL Server.

•  RemoteApp, Remote Desktop, Terminal Server, Virtual Machines on Azure
•  Fundamentals, pros and cons, demos to learn what fits for you, your application and your clients
•  Up to date information on the ever-changing licensing rules
•  How to optimize your Access application for remote use and how to avoid pitfalls

Luke founded FMS in 1986. He is the primary author of many FMS tools including Total Access Analyzer/Detective/Emailer/Statistics. He has also personally provided consulting services to a wide range of clients.
Luke is a Microsoft Access MVP. He is a graduate of Harvard University with a Bachelor degree in Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a Master in Physical Oceanography.


slides at FMS website
Who, What and When
Access and SQL Server Temporal Tables
 Kevin Bell, msaccesstocloud, Redmond, WA, USA

At some point in every database developer's career, a customer is going to ask to see who changed what in a table. Tracking the "who" and then "when" a record in a table was last changed is pretty simple, but providing a detailed history of "what" the field changes were, has always been more challenging.

SQL Server 2016 introduced System Versioned Temporal Tables which provides a simple way to track each record's history and run point-in-time queries of some, or all of your tables. In this session we will look at

•  A quick review on some of the traditional ways to implement an audit log
•  How to easily implement Temporal Tables in your SQL Server database
•  Explore the SQL Server Temporal Queries we can use in Access applications to travel back in time

Kevin started working professionally with Access in version 1.0 and has been working with SQL Server since version 4.21. For 15 years he ran a small consulting firm in Colorado that specialized in creating custom data driven applications on Access and SQL Server. In 2008 Kevin joined the Microsoft Access Team as a test engineer, working on the Access 2010, 2013 and 2016 releases. Kevin is now helping companies migrate their Access backends to the cloud. In his free time Kevin enjoys traveling the world searching for the perfect pint of ale.


Access to Health Care  Davide La Mantia,, Palermo, Italy

Demo of a complex real-world situation where Access holds things together

When you have to manage multi-part healthcare services with large quantities of patients, you have to handle multiple queues with a low impact on patients and staff. Likewise, you have to run detailed billing reports for the services provided. This means different applications that communicate with other systems within the healthcare facility, medical machines (radiotherapy), billing software etc.

In a mix of live presentation and video I'll show how Access allows to manage the different aspects of this work cycle:

•  A kiosk application that interacts with the patient, accepting user input via the touchscreen, reading barcodes, checking the patient's situation on the central SQL Server database and possibly issuing a waiting queue ticket and/or talking to the user.
•  The centralized management application analyzes and shows the patient's status and allows to make a call on the informational display.
•  The reporting application connects the services provided and transmits them to the billing application.

Davide is an IT consultant and developer registered in the Italian professional register of technical industrial experts.

He has worked with Access since 1994 and he also has many years of SQL Server programming experience. He develops and manages IT services for a wide range of purposes, such as billing and business management, factory production control and measurements, datawarehouse analysis and more.


The Power Platform
for database developers
 Alexandru Tofan (LI), Microsoft, Bucharest, Romania

Microsoft's Power Platform is steadily evolving. Database developers need to know the fundamentals in order to assess the options and changes. What does the platform offer us? What interfaces to use where and when? How can we combine our rich Access applications with Power Apps and Automate? And what will it cost in effort, knowledge, time and money?

• Power Platform fundamentals: Environments and Resources
• Common Data Service fundamentals: entities and solutions
• Power Apps Canvas Apps vs. Forms vs. Model Driven Apps
• On-Premises Data Gateway
• What's new in Power Apps and Power Automate
• Power Apps and Power Automate licensing

Alexandru started to use Access at his first job where he had to use a template to create mdb files containing land and building registration data. He has been using Access ever since, both as an end user and developer.

He is currently working for Microsoft as a Senior Technical Support Engineer for Power Apps and Power Automate, helping companies integrate them in their business processes.

Using PowerApps & Access to Help a Hospital manage staff in the Pandemic  Peter Bryant, Corylus Business Systems, Cambridge, UK

(late change)
A UK hospital trust urgently needed a mechanism to let all staff self report their status and location (home, hospital A, hospital B; well, isolation, covering for a colleague). Within 24 hours an app was ready twice (after a major spec revision 6 hours in!). The app is completely isolated (pun intended!) from their existing data structures (no AD, no SQL, nothing). Using:

• SharePoint lists
• the version of PowerApps that is included in Office 365 (Business/Enterprise)
• a central Access database to manage reference data and allow global updates
• a set of standard status values controlled centrally
• every member of staff can self report their status for the week, and view everyone else’s. Filtering can done by department, and the user search by name.

After the presentation, Peter is offering free help (via TeamViewer/Teams) for any attendee who wants to implement this for use in a C-19 pandemic response.

Peter has run his own consultancy since 2004 and specialised in not specialising; he’s worked in many sectors from automotive to hi-fi, reseller to print, financial services to charity.
A Microsoft Access user since the early beta program, his projects are a mix of business problem solving, business process, and developing the software to deliver it. As well as Access/SQL development he has branched into the PowerPlatform (principally PowerApps) to extend business data and processes onto mobile devices. He also provides general IT and Project Management services.


Access and Power BI, a troubled relation  Ynte Jan Kuindersma, bird, Haren, The Netherlands

Every Access developer should know about the Microsoft Business Intelligence tool Power BI. But in real live there is almost no integration or even connection between the two. One can build nice reports in Power BI Desktop using an accdb, but bringing the data to the Power BI service in the cloud is a hassle. The service understands SQL Server, SharePoint, Excel and CSV files but not our beloved Access files. The best solution is to migrate your data to SQL on Azure. If that is no option, then the possible solutions are:

• Manual refresh and publish on a regular basis
• Regularly export your Access data to Excel files and store those on OneDrive/SharePoint
• Hold your data in Sharepoint Online and link them in Access
• Install a gateway to let the Service get the data from your file share
• Update the Power BI datasets through VBA code or Power Automate (streaming versus non-streaming)

I will explain the pros and cons and show demos of the most viable methods.

Since the 80s Ynte Jan has worked as developer and trainer. He's extremely solution-oriented and chooses his tools accordingly, be it Visual Studio, Access, SQL Server, Power BI or not from MS.

He has conducted many trainings and presentations in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Not least very often at our German conferences AEK and SNEK.

Thanks for the
country map, Ynte Jan!



"It's Logical, Captain." Automate Your Application with Azure Logic Apps!  George Young, Dawson Butte Software, Denver, USA

Microsoft has a nice tool for automating application workflow, called Azure Logic Apps. Using a visual designer, with little or no code, you can automate aspects of your SQL-based Access application, such as logging to your database, sending notification emails, and much more.

• Overview of Logic Apps and where they fit in Azure services
• An Access application with an Azure SQL Database backend
• Writing a Logic App which logs database activity
• Writing a Logic App which sends a daily activity email

A look into another way that your Access application can play in the cloud!

George first encountered Access when using the thirty-plus floppy disk versions of Office to teach Statistics and MIS in the early 1990’s. It’s been true love ever since. He has worked as a software developer for the past twenty-five years, half of that time at Microsoft (in just about every group other than Office). He is the founder and president of Dawson Butte Software, working primarily on .NET applications (often with Access somewhere in the mix).
George still has a commercial site or two that is driven by an Access database sitting in the server file system.


New practical Tools Various presenters

A gourmet selection of different tools for/with Access presented by the authors/publishers. As all have been released recently, chances are, that you haven't heard of them yet: a Covid19 supplies tracking database Juan Soto, Access MVP, IT Impact Inc., Chicago, USA


CalendarMaker and Document SQL two free and handy productivity tools Crystal Long, Access MVP, msaccessgurus, Missouri, USA


fact sheet
AccessUI Ribbon & Tree Builder quickly design elegant navigation for your applications Kevin Bell (see above)


Find and Replace for MS Access the new standard as universal Find&Replace tool Philipp Stiefel, Codekabinett, Hofheim, Germany