Metro style UI for Microsoft Access Application.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Microsoft Access.  But today we shall discuss about it and its future UI designs.  As you can see below, Microsoft Access adapts Windows 8 Metro style.

I will be using this style for one of my client (Third Party Logistics Warehouse Management System) for Innosoft Solutions in preparation for the new Windows operating system (Windows 8).

It is amazing how Microsoft Access adapts to the new ways of UI designs.

To be able to do this all you need to do is to go to http://www.syncfusion.com/downloads/metrostudio and download their latest product for free.

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Software developer living in the Philippines.

Posted in Microsoft Access
18 comments on “Metro style UI for Microsoft Access Application.
  1. Nico says:

    Nice blog, just downloaded the Syncfusion Tool, thx for that url!
    Just a quick question, did you made this with Access 2013 ‘normal’ forms or the new ‘Access Preview’ feature?

  2. ronnie valero says:

    Good day to you bro! am I allowed to share and reply to your blog using mixed cebuano bisaya? I’m from davao city and also an access die hard.

  3. ronnie valero says:

    Tnx for responding Glenn, Ive been using Access since late 1995. To sum it up, my technical background was Autocad Mapping Apps. During that time GIS mapping was very young in our country, (linking cad-mapping objects to database). The company i’ve work with has an in-house developer using clipper ’87 and foxbase.That time our OS was win 95 and we are using Autocad 12 for windows.It was a bad experience switching from windows ui to dos ui without mouse support. So, we requested the programmer to add mouse support in his custom app…but he responded to me “Ako nalang anak mo buhat ana kay kapoy nako tuon”. It was then a great challenge to me after hearing those chilling words..searching and trying from turbo pascal,delphi,foxpro,vb3,rbase then i found Access 2.0. for one reason REPORT WRITER. In short, im a programmer by accident..”NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF ALL CREATIVITY”.

  4. ronnie valero says:

    tnx glenn, Yup, since then Access paid my bills. Most of the programmers hated Access but we know much more than them because we used and pushed Access to its limit. PNU- Agusan Campus Enrollment, Assessment, Cashering runs in pure ms access setup fe/be 15 users on peak enrolment days and minimum of 8 during regular period. to my recollection since 2004 til now I only have 2 db corruption case due to faulty netrwok switches. Compact and repair is the life blood of jet /Ace db. Most of my multi-user setup nowadays are in terminal services either jet/ace or sql server backend to maximize old hardwares and minimize cost and maintenance issues esp on update, backup and distribution.

    • hgminerva says:

      Nice to hear from a fellow access developer, we have over 200+ access application installation ranging from small enterprise to extremely large enterprise. We also do Access to SAP/Oracle and MS Navision integration. But we have some web application requirement that’s why I am also migrating some application to .Net, hence, there is Lightswitch. Maybe we could collaborate on some development, we have installations in Davao as well as in General Santos City.

      • ronnie valero says:

        Good day bro, sure why not! its just a matter of scheduling.Talking back on Access, if only Access had a distribution capability as VFP or RBase then surely Access is beyond reach now and way way ahead vs other RAD DB devt tool. By the way Glenn, Did you use SAGEKEY for your 200+ Access apps distribution? Can you share some of bugs you detected in Access 2010? I’ve tried VS Lightswitch but I was not impress the way it was implemented…imagine a rad db tools without built-in report writer? Im also doing some devt in vb.net and access hybrid esp on reporting, For me, VS reportViewer is no match to ad-hoc reporting capability of Access. Tnx more power…”NO ONE CAN EVER LET YOU DOWN IF YOU ARE NOT LEANING ON THEM”

      • hgminerva says:

        We don’t use distribution packages, we install the application manually.

        Most of our applications are canned, in fact if there are requirements that are not yet canned by our application, me and my partner handle the entire SDLC personally. We already have canned application from POS to Production. Canned application with proven working procedures and business rules eliminates bugs and streamline delivery by bypassing SDLC.

        I agree on the Query (SQL) + Report + VBA is the most powerful feature of Access which is not found in Ligthswitch, but there is an alternative, it might not be as customizable as the Access Report (unstructured ad-hoc reports) but if you structure your report thoroughly your application can still provide the necessary punch to the user requirement. We’ve done this for three projects already, so far so good except for version 2012, no third party reporting tool yet available.

        If only Access has a UI for Browser I wouldn’t need to shift to .NET, I have all what I need from Access, the problem is, clients, because of the cloud hype, tends to require browser based application.

  5. ronnie valero says:

    Thats true gleen. I remember Access 2000 where it introduces Data Access Pages (DAP), it was a humble approach and beginning for Access to web but sad to say MSTF trash it in favor of .NET, because they envy to much the java implementation which is a create once and run anywhere fiasco. I think, between desktop and web implementation in the near future is not an issue.I have no pure web requirements yet from my clients but I’m looking some alternative like THINVNC which enable us to run RDP on browser. Cloud hosting too is also starting to accelerate nowadays like accesshosting.com. Or maybe we can buy our own server and host our apps there to tame those hard paying clients hehehehehe.

    • hgminerva says:

      We’ve tried remote desktop also, one client has 5 branches so in effect we allocated 5 workstation in his main office which the branches will just remotely connect to that computer. And so far we don’t have problem with it and it is running smoothly. We tried to offer this solution to our other enterprise client but we have to deal with IT department personnel blockade. They seem to hate this concept, more computer to maintain is the main reason. We really don’t know what the future brings but I believe we must be ready or we will be out of work hehehe, actually this is one of the main reason why I started this blog to document and share my transition. And being a professional Access developer for the last 15 years transition is a nightmare.

  6. ronnie valero says:

    “We’ve tried remote desktop also, one client has 5 branches so in effect we allocated 5 workstation in his main office which the branches will just remotely connect to that computer.”

    Im puzzled here..maybe you mean remote control? Im currently using TERMINAL SERVICES via Remote Desktop Protocol Windows 2003 Server r2 and Windows 2008 R2 (http://www.fmsinc.com/microsoftaccess/terminal-services/remoteapp.htm)

    “We tried to offer this solution to our other enterprise client but we have to deal with IT department personnel blockade. They seem to hate this concept, more computer to maintain is the main reason”

    Why? I’m puzzled again, the above solution I’ve mentioned is the lowest TCO’s a company can have. Its actually server based computing (which is also a thin client computing)

    1) Reduced IT hardware and software costs
    2) Reduced IT management time, costs
    3) Decreased risk of data loss –specially in jet/ace database which hates data to be transported in the wire and wireless environment.

    I have a existing client oldest setup 10 users pentium 1.6Ghz, 256mb ram 2nd hand -cost 4k each

    connected to windows 2003 R2 Terminal Server
    AMD Athlon 2.6GHZ, 2GB ram , running access 2003 runtime -cost 16k

    • hgminerva says:

      Sorry for the delayed response ron, actually when you add the values in quantifiable amount it will turn out to be less expensive but as I have told you before, these guys are hype at, you will expect close ears if you are going to justify this technology to them via cost. And they make the recommendations to their bosses.

      We did not use terminal services. The client doesn’t want to spend additional software licenses and he owns a computer shop, hardware is not a problem.

      As you can see, Access-Desktop technology solution is suitable for owners that is cost sensitive and has no interest in new hype-at technology, this is our niche. But sooner or later your company gets noticed and big corporation are now open for your solutions to stay away from heavy investments on SAP, Oracle and other ERP and thus you need to adapt and change, all of these ERP runs on a browser.

  7. ronnie valero says:

    “And being a professional Access developer for the last 15 years transition is a nightmare.”
    It’s true because we cannot deny the fact that we become fanatic with the tools we used to. And not only that others will experience “BLIND AWARENESS” hehehehe. I’m open to any possibility.

    It’s okey Gleen tnx for your time, yes it’s the reality in a big league but it only comprises maybe around 5-10 percent in the market. Majority is small to medium businesses which Access coupled with thin client is the practical unbeatable solution. It depends on a situation, most of my clients are situated in provinces like rice mills,buy and sells, copra buyers,small shops, national high schools. As developer our goal here is to offer a practical solution or the “WHAT WORKS” philosophy. I did some ASP/HTML development before but it didn’t paid my bills.

    By the way, your LS apps were hosted by what company? and how much it cost? is it possible to host VS report viewer to LS? same as the 3rd party devexpress?

    I did a 3-tier project before using VB 2008, the experience is ok since VB 2008 and 2010 supports also a visual approach to 3-tier implementation. But i doubt if winforms apss can run in a browser like LS.

    • hgminerva says:

      For LS hosting all you only need is a Windows 7 or higher machine with IIS installed on it. You can also host it, approximately $10/month for hosting and $10/month for sql. The third party report is embedded to LS no additional report hosting needed.

  8. ronnie valero says:

    Confirm, Access 2003 SP1, Access 2007 SP2 and Access 2010 can dance and sing with Windows 8 32/64 bit, not only in Test VM but also in live data (production environment). And I was surprised that all applications written on the above-mentioned versions runs amazingly fast compared to Win7 32/64Bit with the same hardware specs. All of my 3rd party ocx’s/dll’s registered and executed without a single glitch. Unlike in Win7 where some of my component failed. My oldest app, a 11-year old POS written in Access 2003 FE and SQL Server 2005 Std BE. I was really2 surprised, So long live Access! thanks Glenn

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Harold Glenn P. Minerva
Software Developer / Tech Enthusiast
Living in the Philippines

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