Customer reported that they maintain employee data in three locations within their department, an Access database which is used for basic reporting, an Excel spreadsheet which is used as input to an outside reporting procedure, and a separate Excel spreadsheet which is used for external reporting. Two people maintain three sets of data which results in duplicate efforts and sometimes disparate results.
We suggested that the existing Access database should be modified to produce the two Excel spreadsheets used in reporting. Now the data is maintained by only one employee, and both employees have access to the data for reporting. We were also able to add a new section to the employee database to maintain information regarding employee training — something that was missing altogether in the original scenario but was desperately needed.
Complete solution design
Customer requested a custom product that would interface with Microsoft Word to assist scholars in writing research. They wanted a modern design and the ability to sell the product at retail.
We suggested developing a .NET Windows Forms application which could be distributed via diskette or over the web using Windows Installer resulting in a secure obfuscated executable product. The design we suggested followed our simplistic design philosophy "whenever possible a product's design should enable the user to operate without needing instructions." This type of simplistic design is based on the fact the most users are familiar with popular products. Sticking to typical functions that follow widely used designs provides the user with a familiar and easy to use/learn environment.
Customer had a sample desired output in Excel format for CRM information. They wanted an Access database that could be used by multiple users that resulted in report outputs like their sample.
We designed and developed a normalized Access database with lookup tables for standardizing and easily changing inputs. Each customer could belong to one or more parent companies and have one or more projects that were in different phases of sales. A single Access database can be reliably accessed across a network by giving each user their own local front end and connecting to a single back end residing on the network.
We believe that Microsoft Access applications, properly developed and deployed, provide a cost effective, reliable solution which can be quickly developed and easily modified. That said, there are instances where a Windows Form EXE solution is a better fit for your organization. An executable is generally more secure and can take advantage of the newer Windows Presentation Foundation controls like the Carousel and Ribbon. If you need a database, we can make use of SQL Azure. This has the added advantage of being accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.!
Interface with your existing systems
Most modern software systems can be interfaced to avoid multiple data entry and increase efficiency. We can work with your existing retail systems and help them talk to your peripheral support, accounting, and reporting systems.
For one customer, for example, we provided an interface between their Saas Transportion system and QuickBooks online, using Microsoft Excel. This enabled the manager to quickly manipulate a weekly export into both a needed Excel report and a QuickBooks ready upload.
Whether your installation is as simple as unzipping an Access database to a folder on a single desktop and creating a shortcut, or as complex as a for retail sales software product, we will assist you to the degree you want/need.
We can set up Windows Installer installations, provide scripts to keep each user's local copy of Access software current, and handle both large networks and terminal server environments.
Changes to existing software or the addition of new software often causes anxiety for the product's users.
Besides following a simplistic design philosophy "whenever possible a product's design should enable the user to operate without needing instructions," we can provide individualized onsite training that works for each user. If desired this can include onscreen help functionality and/or traditional product documentation.
Followup support is available via email or phone during normal business hours. We promise a 24 hour minimum response time although we usually get back to the client within a matter of minutes or hours. If your business warrants more robust support, we would be happy to arrange it.
See our client testimonials for examples of customers who are very happy with support provided.