This month we tackle a few issues that cut across all the major versions of Access. While developing Total Access Statistics for his company, FMS Inc., Luke Chung ran into a number of mathematical calculation anomalies that could prove troublesome for developers creating applications that perform subtraction or division using real numbers. These problems—which are still present in Access 97 and appear to also affect VB and other Office applications—are more than simple rounding errors. Fortunately, Luke offers some workarounds that you can use in your own applications. Let’s hope Microsoft realizes the importance of fixing these problems soon, or else I’ll have to dust off my old Pentium math jokes.
In a short but important article, Stu Alderman attacks a common issue: how to deal with discontinued data. Although you may be inclined to think this is a non-issue, Stu makes it clear that it’s something you need to consider if you have dependent records or the need to continue to display records containing discontinued data.
A new writing team, Michael Keller and Karen Clark, address an age-old subject: the presentation of complex data summarizations. Michael and Karen have discovered a class of common reports that they just can’t produce using a standard crosstab query. Fortunately, they’ve come up with a solution to share with you in this insightful article.
Contributing editor Ken Getz takes on another common topic: sorting arrays. In his monthly "Access Answers" column, Ken shows you how to sort arrays using three different techniques: one uses the Jet engine, another uses the popular quicksort algorithm, and the third uses a hidden Windows list box.
Not everything in this issue is old news, however. Microsoft technical writer David Shank has written a detailed article on using Automation to control Microsoft’s newest Office member, Microsoft Outlook from Access 97. David presents a nice overview of the Outlook object model and shows us how to—with a few lines of code—send e-mail messages, create appointments, and add entries to Outlook’s contact list.