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The Perfect Balance

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Peter Vogel          

Every once in a while, I'd like to take the opportunity to let you know what's in store for Smart Access and seek information from you, our readers, to help guide the future editorial direction of the newsletter.
This newsletter exists to provide you with in-depth, technical coverage of every version of Access with real-world code that you can use right away -- plus reviews of cool developer tools and industry insights. This month's issue provides you with a single reference point for all of Microsoft's remote data access strategies. With everything that's happening at Microsoft lately, I was starting to drown in a sea of data access methods. This month's articles take a comprehensive look at all of the alternatives to DAO. There's even a "heads up" on Microsoft's next step in data access: OLE DB.
To further meet your needs, look for articles on the following topics in future issues:

Compacting databases that have tables attached to your application database
Building FMS
Doing requirements analysis for Access applications
Creating reports that mimic the capabilities of word processors
The return of the Access Answers column
Using Access from other applications through Automation

It's fun working with other experts in the field to deliver great technical information on how to use Microsoft Access. But part of the editorial challenge for me is determining how best to meet your needs.
Our readers use many combinations of available tools -- every combination of Access, Windows 3.x to 95, and Microsoft Office 5.0 to 97 (there are 15 different valid combinations). The growing acceptance of Windows 95 and the skyrocketing sales of Office 97 indicate that most new projects will be done in Access 97. I should be grateful: I'm fairly confident that no one is still using Access 1.x.
It's difficult, if not impossible, for every article to apply to all versions of Access (1.0 through 8.0) and still be in-depth enough to be useful. However, our articles taken as a whole will cover the entire range for you. Is the overall balance perfect? That's what I'd like to find out from you, our readers.
Look for a reader survey in an upcoming issue and take time to respond to it. Or, if you just can't wait, let me know what you're using by sending e-mail to me at While you're at it, let me know if there are specific topics you'd like to see covered. If you're going to be at the Advisor DevCon at the end of September, look me up and tell me there, where I'll be presenting on Visual Basic topics. (A number of other familiar Smart Access contributors will be there, including Paul Litwin, Ken Getz, and Mary Chipman.)
Thanks again for your continued support of Smart Access. It's our goal to make this newsletter your most trusted resource for help and advice about Access -- and you're an essential part of that process. Let me know what you think!



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