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Access / Database / Visual Basic / SQL Server
Microsoft claims that Access provides a powerful set of tools that are sophisticated enough
for professional developers, yet easy to learn for new users. As an advanced
Access programmer, I have found that this is true, yet many people
have begun projects and while quite pleased with the speed of forms creation, often get tangled
up in the area of queries that are beyond one table in scope.
Access, when used within its limits is quite capable of creating powerful database solutions that
organize and share information among up to 15 or 20 simultaneous users. If you outgrow that, there is
an easy path (i.e. the Access Upsizing Wizard) to upgrade your data to a SQL Server database while
preserving your front-end investment (forms, queries, reports).
Microsoft Access Programming
Access programming has been my exclusive database development platform since 1994 includes all
versions: starting with Access 2.0, Access 95, Access 97, Access 2000, Access 2002, Access 2003,
Access 2007, Access 2010, and Access 2013
As an Access programmer, I am a regular member and presenter at the DotNet Developer's groups that meet in Portsmouth, NH and at Microsoft's Waltham offices. I read (analytically) several current journals, visit technical websites, and take advantage of the wide variety of developer support for Microsoft Access. Abstracts of my major projects follow.
Chaston Associates North Andover, MA
Created a very involved Access 2013 system to capture and report on loan activity for client banks. This allows Chaston to do a very thorough review of bank risk levels prior to a regular planned SEC audit. The app is heavy on the analytical side with over 20 complex reports,Contact: Joe Santora or Diane Duff 978-686-3688
Brandywine Materials Bellingham, MA
Brandywine is a distributor of disposable plastic static mixers, pneumatic and manual dispensing guns, dual cartridges, syringes, meter-mix-dispense equipment and accessories. They are used for mixing and dispensing epoxy, silicone, polyurethane, acrylic and other adhesives and sealants. I developed a complete management application in Access 2013 for this firm.Contact: Ed Stein 617-447-0960
Custom Electric Merrimack, NH
Developed a complete business management application in Access 2013 for this Electrical Contracting firm. A very big feature for this client was getting this to work remotely through Windows Remote Desktop being hosted at a local IT company. Client contractors can go to jobsites with their tablets and using wireless connections to a shared data source (in Access) can input data to the central data tables. In effect, this is classic Access but on the Web!Contact: Jeff Kibbie 603-424-7557
Becton Dickinson - ADC Andover, MA
Created a complete Inventory Tracking system in Access 2013. The app's workflow is Receipts-->Inspection--> Transfers of parts to various locations. Reporting consists of a number of queries that include showing all Part quantities at all locations .Contact: Andy LaBranche 978-901-7344
Novo Nordisk West Lebanon, NH
Developed an Access 2013 system to handle Purchasing and Receiving of medical parts. This app prints a complex Purchase Order and tracks incoming parts and transfers to various locations.Contact: Timothy Parker 603-298-3123 or Mike Mayo 603-298-3120
Vartanian Cabinets Palmer, MA
Created a quoting/proposal utility that replaces those done before in Microsoft Word. Users can select from many categories and materials, some with images and some with extra notes to produce an attractive Proposal with attached Contract for acceptance and signature.Contact: Aram Vartanian 413-531-5701
American Plant Maintenance Woburn, MA
Took on support of an Access program that has been in use for several years, but was left in a
compiled (.mde) state with no source code to be found.
I was able to locate a company in the UK that reverse engineered the front-end file for a reasonable price
once all authorizations were signed.
MacNichol Electric, Inc Lynnfield, MA
Upgraded full-featured business management app from Access 2003 to Access 2010. Fixed several bugs that had been bothering the owner and family staff for years.Contact: Stephen MacNichol 781-760-7196
TEK Microsystems, Inc Nashua, NH
TEK Micro designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of advanced high-performance FPGA based sensor I/O processing products for embedded real-time computing systems. I imported their Excel data and wrote an Order Entry and processing system in Access 2010.Contact: Renee Griffin 978-328-5944
Valescent Health (div of Apria Healthcare) Nashua, NH
Wrote an Access 2010 application to track Patients, Clients, Procedures and Providers. The schema was of medium complexity with 16 tables but some of them immediately grew to well over 1 million records. As a result, speed of query optimization was identified as being critical. I migrated all data to SQL Server and performed stress testing before turning the project over to the users.Contact: Geoffrey Keegan 603-880-4464
Leggat McCall Properties Boston, MA
LMP delivers complex real estate projects as investors, project managers, and advisors. I developed an Access 2010 program to handle their large real estate projects. In addition to the tracking of Projects, team members, and allocation of staff time, I developed an extensive reporting scheme.Contact: Allison Nunn 617-820-2147 or Don Birch 617-422-7007
Rhode Island Hospital/Mt Sinai Hospital (Bruce Sands, MD) Providence, RI
Before we began this project, code-named OSCCAR, I first had to get HIPAA certified. This is a ten-year medical research project under a grant to study around 500 patients that suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis). We imported all existing data for the first three years and incorporated it into an Access 2010 dual file format. Patients must undergo phone and in-person followups of their treatment until 2018 and all details are tracked to satisfy grant requirements for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. Followup tracking and many other reports along ethnic, race, age and cooperation lines were developed.Contact: Renee Bright 401-644-8510 or Meaghan Law 401-444-4143
Costa Fruit and Produce Boston, MA
Costa is the largest supplier of products to stores and restaurants in the Greater Boston area. I wrote a complex Costing program in Access 2010 to replace an aging Wang application. It is very much like a Bill-of-materials task incorporating products at 3 to 6 levels of assembly. Labor, waste, packaging, and even down to the label are handled.
The Costing Engine uses recursive functions to trace through all levels of assembly and packaging. Costs are rolled up and are affected by quite a variety of selectable factors along the way. Also developed an extensive reporting system.Contact: Joe Walsh 617-912-8047 or Kevin Linnehan 617-241-8007
FPI Inc. (Jonathan Pond, LLC) Newton, MA
Jonathan is a nationally known financial planner with close affiliations with AARP. For many years, his firm has produced a very substantial and complete set of financial reports and advice based on extensive questionnaires sent in by conference attendees as well as respondents to public TV presentations. Done in VB6 and Borland, the report generation became very slow compared to current technology, but more seriously was breaking down. They lost support from the prior programmer and I was called. On my advice, the firm purchased new hardware and the current version of Microsoft Office. I set them up with a LogMeIn connection so I could transfer editions of my work to their site frequently. This became a content management project with dependence on complex combinations of responses concerning age, family, investments, retirement plans, risk preference and many other items. In some cases one of 50 possible responses were determined to go into a particular report section.Contact: Jonathan Pond 617-243-0020
State Street Bank Boston, MA
I offer continuing support for Melissa's HR project in Access 2003. Over the past several years, there there has arisen the need to change the way that the study of job functions are compensated. These calculations vary geographically as well as by country and salary band. Heavy mathematical internals prevail.Contact: Melissa Fleming 617-664-5464
Private Business Jets Hingham, MA
This company arranges charter jet trips for high profile individuals and groups from corporation
executives to rock stars. Their distinction is that they are able to draw on their ten years of
experience in order to quote the requestor immediately on hearing the trip's specifications.
Then, they solve by calling carriers of planes/private pilots they have used before, locating
planes setting idle away from their base or with empty legs, and as a last resort hooking up a
single leg via commercial jets.
Maximus Hartford, CT, (also NY)
Maximus is a substantial IT consulting firm serving primarily the government sector. As part of their team working for the State of Connecticut's Department of Social Services (DSS), I created a program in Access 2003 to replace a large and intricate set of Excel spreadsheets that managed Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) as well as Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). There are 12 Agencies involved in this within the Connecticut DSS with names such as Dept. of Children and Families, Dept. of Corrections, Dept of Labor, Judicial, Office of State Treasurer, and so on. Each has many programs and subprograms and is served by many providers. The need was to unify all this data and allow systematic quarterly imports of data from many sources to replace all the manual spreadsheet manipulations that went on before. An additional task was to create complex Access forms that allocate monies from various funding streams to these programs and then estimate what would be required for the following fiscal year. The program also distills all the actual distributions into two formal annual reports named ACF-196 (TANF) and ACF-696 (CCDF).Contact: Rachelle Ussery 215-683-0415
Disetronics Sterile Products Portsmouth, NH
Disetronic is a subsidiary of Hoffmann LaRoche. In a clean-room environment, they manufacture clinical devices, especially insulin pumps for diabetics. They had a pressing need to improve the tracking of numbered work lots to track the entire manufacturing cycle. We divided the4 work into two major tasks: Warehousing and Production. As Einstein once said about hypotheses, "Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler. "Before doing any coding, we spent the first week just designing the data schema needed to support both sides of their world. With this careful analysis, we were able to do the job with a minimal number of tables. The schema was reduced to a core set named tblLotMaster, tblWarehouse, tblItemMaster, tblSuppliers, tblTransactionLog, and just a few other lookup tables. .Contact: Glen Stadig 603-427-5511 Ext 227
Accurate Brazing, Inc, Goffstown, NH
Bud had created a very extensive set of operational and financial programs in Access 95. Deployed on 15 PCs throughout the plant, the code was getting severely out of shape because of the variety of operating systems and hardware that it was being asked to run on. It was overdue for an upgrade. Using my offsite lab, I upgraded 4 front-ends plus 4 back-end .mdbs all the way to Access 2003 with no intermediate versions. As is typical, the data went through this process fine, but there were severe anomalies (reported as VBA corruptions) with the Forms and Reports modules. With care and singling out the bad actors for special treatment, the whole set of programs was put into production within three weeks from start.
PAX World Funds, Portsmouth, NH, (also Maine, NY)
This major mutual fund company hired me to finish the work started by a previous Access database programmer. The program tracks commissions owed to brokers all across the country on all kinds of mutual fund transactions. A quarterly import of data is required and I automated this to make life easy for the administrator (Michelle). I later took on Access projects in several other departments including a critical one, Social Screening that is the core of the firm's specialty. PAX continues to use me for general database support.
ProTracker Software, Hampton, NH
This specialized software is marketed nationwide to Certified Financial Planning (CFP) firms. The owner, Warren has an excellent reputation, being a recognized "guru" in the industry and a frequent speaker at conventions. I worked on the internal database issues as well as a significant amount of work on the DotNet ECommerce web site the ProTracker uses to market the product. This included downloading data from a web service, working with common dotnet server controls, linking to the data on a remote SQL Server, and plenty of old-fashioned HTML coding.Contact: Molly Mahoney 800-767-1729 Ext 19
UNITIL Corp, Hampton, NH
Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company supplying gas and electric services. I took up where a previous programmer left off in a complex Access program. This is designed to track the monetary benefits of users who voluntarily upgrade their residential or commercial energy equipment. This program handles frequent vendor data imports in a wide variety of formats, from ascii (.txt), Access (.mdb), Excel (.xls), and dbase IV (.dbf). The vendors as well as the users of the equipment are tracked and energy savings are calculated in this program.Contact: Cindy Carroll 603-773-6532
Fisher Scientific World Headquarters, Hampton, NH
Fisher had a bunch of databases containing the results of multiple Quarterly
Customer Satisfaction Surveys. They needed a programmer to unify this data so it could
be properly queried and reported on and so information across quarters and across
divisions would make sense. I have merged all data into one set of normalized tables
and am proceeding to rewrite all queries and reports to address the new schema. We
are doing this in such a way that an eventual merge of this "seed" data will easily
transform into a full CRM system by means of migration into a Siebel ODS (Operational
Contact: Dierdre Sommerkamp 603-929-2517
Tyco International Exeter, NH, Portland, Maine
A local programming house named Compass Systems and Programming created an Employee
Performance program in Access that is deployed at 100 worldwide regions. There were
two very different versions, one for upper management and one for everyone else. I
merged the two code bodies and reproduced all the pre-existing functionality.
Genesys Software Corp, Methuen, MA
Program: People Come First -- a Web-based Human Resources program.
GSC clients are Fortune 500 companies as well as other sites such as state and county governments who have a need for extensive reporting on a wide range of employee activities. The client installations I worked on were in the area of employee education. We built a central report repository, maintained tight user security, used report scheduling, and sought accurate and speedy report processing.
As part of a tight and highly skilled development team of 5, I helped provide a scalable web-based solution for managing the access and delivery of hundreds of Crystal reports across the enterprise. These client reports had to be carefully constructed and often rested on SQL joins of up to 20 tables. A very important aspect was speed optimization. The query (view) underlying a particular report was written to take advantage of server-side processing. For example, directing that grouping take place on the server and that execution of the reports be based on data saved with the report, rather than suffering multi-user hits to the server for live data every time. This data was refreshed to the report during off-peak hours.
Another optimization was the use of stored procedures as data sources. Although these take time to set up properly, they can be incredibly powerful, especially when running reports off large databases.
In the interest of cross-skills enhancement on the development team, I conducted Crystal Reports classes (Basic and Intermediate.)
State of NH - Dept of Education, Concord, NH
The DOE needed a database programmer in NH to develop a brand new program to deal
with a complex new tracking system mandated by the Federal Dept. of Labor. This
legislation that created this national system was the Work Incentive Act
(WIA) so that is what we named the State of NH response to it.
My program tracks out of work participants and a myriad of details
about them while they are involved in
Job Training and other educational programs to improve their employability.
Many business rules and extensive exporting and reporting at the
state and federal level.
Periodically transmitted the NH data in formatted records of over
3000 bytes to Dept. of Labor main database which collects data
for all the states.
...and many other database programming projects going back into the mid 1990s.