Searching and Sorting in Microsoft Access
This seminar will teach you just about everything there is to know about searching and sorting data in Microsoft Access. This seminar is for the intermediate to advanced Access developer.
You will learn how to perform simple search and sort operations in Access. You will understand complex query parameters (especially when it comes to working with NULL values). You will gain a basic understanding of SQL, specifically SELECT queries. Finally, you will learn how to create dynamic SQL statements to control form searches and sorts with VBA commands.
Main Seminar Goals
We're going to start out in the first couple of lessons going over basic find, replace, filter, and sort techniques. Even if you consider yourself and advanced access user you should watch these first couple of lessons. You might pick up a couple of tips and tricks you didn't know and some techniques for showing other people how to perform basic searches inside of your Access databases.
Were going to then learn how to work with parameter queries which is having the database ask us for parameter for some criteria. We'll learn how to work with multiple AND/OR conditions and how to use those parameter queries in our forms.
We'll set up some database infrastructure including a Main Menu form, a continuous form to show all customers which will then filter to the show only customers in a particular state. Then we will make a button to open the specific selected customer from that continuous form.
We will learn how to work with form field parameters which is setting a value on one form and then using that as a criteria when we open up another form.
You will then learn about wildcard searches which is specifying a portion of a criteria and showing all the records that "kind of" match. For example, showing all states that start with the letter "N." We will then will cover a very difficult topic for beginner Access developers: how to deal with blank values. If the user leaves a criteria blank, do you want to show the NULL values or not.
Next you'll learn how to make a search combo box. We can simply pick a customer from a list and have the form jump immediately to a specific customer record.
Next we will learn about embedded macros and how they're different from VBA functions. We'll talk about the pros and cons of working with each. Then we will make a single field search button. This will be a button that searches a particular field, such as company name or phone number. Click the button, type in your criteria, and Access finds the first record matching your criteria. We'll design this form first using embedded macros, and then using VBA commands.
Next we will cover multiple field filters. Using some VBA code we can specify multiple parameters in a continuous form. Specify an AND/OR condition, click the Filter button, and Access will show you just those records.
Then we'll build something similar to the previous example, but instead of using filters will use SQL record source changes. Once again we'll see how to deal with blank values or NULL values in our search results.
Next we will learn how to change the sort order of our search results. Would you like ascending or descending sort? We'll change that with some toggle buttons. We'll also learn how to sort based on multiple fields.
We will take a look at how to build a search form that is designed for the novice user. If you have other people that are going to be using your database that aren't experts in Access, you want a way for them to quickly and easily search for information in the database. So we'll build a nice simple search form for them.
However, for you and other advanced users, you want to be able to enter additional search options. I'll show you how to make a button to resize your form show the advanced options menu. We'll learn how to resize a form using VBA code.
If you're like me, you probably have a small group of customers that you deal with on a regular basis. Next you'll learn how to create a recent customer list as part of your search form. Whenever you have a customer that you know you work with often, you can add him to a little mini list of recent customers. Just double-click on that customer's name his record opens up.
Next we will make a multi-table search form. If you're looking for information and you're not sure which table the data is in, you can type information to this form and it will search whichever tables you specify. For example you may wish to find all the people in your database from New York, whether they are employees, vendors, or customers. This form will search all three tables and present you with one single list. Double-click on any item to open the particular form that data is found on.
We we'll then build a form for searching products in a product table. You will learn how to search by vendor or product name but more importantly between ranges of values. For example, you can find all products that were updated between two dates, or find all products that are between a range of unit costs. You might have a particular product and you want find out who the cheapest vendor is. You'll learn how to display summary information on your search results such as the count of items found, the maximum value, the minimum value, and so on.
Next we will build a form focusing and natural language searching. This is where Access tries to determine what you're looking for based on the phrasing of your search terms. For example, are you searching with multiple keywords, or are you looking for a phrase inside of quotes. The search form will actually write custom SQL code based on how you type in your search phrase. This search is performed in as many fields of as many tables that you like.
We will then customize the natural language search form and turn it into a search-as-you-type form. As you are typing in your search phrase, Access updates the results with each character you press. You'll find this is very similar to how Google gives you the instant search results.
Finally we will learn how to take the custom SQL that our forms are writing for us and use that to print a custom report.
Lesson 1: Review the sample database that you can download for this class and we'll see how to perform a simple find and replace operation.
Lesson 5: Learn how to get a parameter from a form field instead of having to use pop-up prompts.
Lesson 23: Begin building a multi table search form we can type in some parameters and then Access will search multiple tables for those values.
This is the perfect seminar for anyone who wants to learn how to search for or sort data in their access databases. There's something for everyone in this seminar - from beginner to advanced. Of course, if you have any questions about whether or not this seminar is for you, please feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
This is a Developer-Level Seminar. There will be a lot of VBA. It is strongly recommended that you have completed my entire Access Beginner and Expert series. My Developer 1 class is highly recommended so you understand the basics of programming in VBA. If not, at least watch my free Intro to VBA video. There will be a lot of SQL in this course too. I don't assume you know any SQL before we begin however, it would be very helpful if you take my SQL Seminar, at least part 1, before taking this course. Helpful, but not required.
I am using Access 2010 in this seminar, however the lessons are perfectly valid for all versions of Access going back to at least Access 2000. It is currently 2022, and I have recently made sure that everything works fine with Access 2019 and Office 365. I also made sure it works with both 32- and 64-bit versions.
If you want to learn how to efficiently search and sort on your continuous forms, but you don't want to sit through nine hours of video in this Seminar, I've taken the most popular feature and created a scaled-down Access Search Template.
Enroll now so that you can watch these lessons, learn with us, post questions, and more.
Please feel free to post your questions or comments below. If you are not sure as to whether or not this product will meet your needs, I'd rather help you before you buy it. Remember, all sales are final. Thank you.
microsoft access search, find, replace, filter, sql, vba, parameter, wildcard, natural language, search as you type
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