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Access World News - Whats New in Access 2000

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This month, we review some of the new features in Microsoft Access 2000 that aren't mentioned in this month's articles... (This is worth reading just to see what didnt take off - Garry, I give a star score out of 5 for the success of the new features)
 
A feature that all developers are going to love is name autocorrect: Change the name of a query (or any other object) and it's updated in many (though not necessarily all) places throughout your Access project. *
 
Developers facing internationalization issues will probably find that the new support for Unicode and the Office language packs makes life easier for them. In theory, the language packs mean that developers won't have to install a version of Office for every language they support; now they'll just install one version of Office and add the necessary language packs. ****
 
Subdatasheets let you organize data hierarchically where tables have a one-to-many relationship. Microsoft Access 2000 allows the user to browse hierarchical data in datasheet view so that the information is viewed together. You can, for instance, insert a customer address table into a datasheet that's displaying the customer information. In a purely relational model, the customer information would have to be re-displayed for every customer address record, but subdatasheets avoid that. For the relationally minded, this is a partial implementation of what are called "non-first normal form" databases. ***
 
Jet hasn't been forgotten (though sometimes it seems like it has). In addition to row-level locking, Jet's complaince with ANSI standards has been improved -- a real boon for developers who switch between SQL environments. Another nice touch is the ability to more closely manage autonumbers. You can now specify the value at which you want to start and by what number the field is to be incremented. This eliminates an enormous number of awkward workarounds and lets you use autonumber fields as sales order numbers, customer numbers, and other real data items. Unfortunately, you'll have to write some code to set up the field correctly -- this feature isn't accessible from the table design window. **
 
Finally, there are changes to the database window, including changes to the window's tab layout. Wizards are no longer segregated into dialog boxes: You can now invoke (or ignore) them directly from the database window. It's also possible to put together a tab of objects that you want to look at together, in addition to the regular groups of tables, forms, and so forth. These enhancements are typical of a lot of little things in the new version of Access that aren't mentioned in most reviews -- you can leave the property window for a form open even when in Form view, for instance. ****