John Raleigh
139 Woodland Road
Hampton, NH 03842
Access database programmer Access database programmer certified

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Access / Database / VBA / SQL Server

Microsoft says: 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, is quite capable of creating powerful database solutions that organize and share information among up to 15 or 30 simultaneous users. If you outgrow that, there is a path to upgrade your data to a SQL Server database while preserving your front-end investment (forms, queries, reports).

To quote Microsoft Access MVP, Dick Moffet, "There will always be a need for an economical database tool for RAD development of “Departmental” databases. I am sooooo sick of knowing that so many out there are limping along with bad user-designed, built and maintained email-based Excel “applications” that scream out for a database to organize it all."

Don't forget to scroll below to view some of my projects with references.

I believe in what noted software architect Juval Lowy writes about-- "The Method = System Design + Project Design". Initial focus on the first part which includes table and field design plus the relationships between tables makes for streamlined and elegant development of the second part.

We have found that following Lowy's Method for development of an Access application is "best practice". Another way of expressing this is to use Engineering principals, the kind I learned many years ago as a Shell Oil Chemical Engineeer. This ensures that the Access system is maintainable, extensible, reusable, and affordable.

Microsoft Access is a great choice of database. It is widely used and is the most popular database package. The ease of use and its wide user base makes it a winner. Additionally, there are a millioon resources on the internet for Access, including tips, training, and tutorials.

Access has VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) as its underlying programming code. However, there is much you can do without using VBA. It was designed so the beginner can make good use of it but at the same time it has enough power for the serious developer.

As part of Microsoft Office, Access is the database program found in most offices throughout the country. I find that it has become the standard by which other database packages are judged. This is hardly surprising considering the dominance of Microsoft in the office software arena.

There have been many instances where, in my role as an advanced Access pro for clients in NH and MA, I have brought my skills to bear on existing projects. In all cases, this involves programming in Visual Basic as "code-behind" to get the job done.

A big competitive advantage of Access developers is their ability to straddle the end user needs with the more sophisticated professional, back-office IT operations. Microsoft Access fills the gap between the flexibility and ease of use in Excel which is entirely controlled by the end user, to the more rigorous demands (and benefits) of database applications.

A great Access programmer has an excellent understanding of their client's requirements, what the data really means, its relation to other data and what it's used for. He/she is also comfortable working with end users in an iterative manner to reach the final solution. Demanding an upfront, detailed design document is nice, but that rarely works because most end users cannot easily provide it -- they simply don't know. But when they see early results, they often can make good suggestions that they could not perceive before. Access provides an environment where rapid application development by a highly experiencced Access programmer (some call it prototyping) can be performed quickly and for minimal cost compared to alternative platforms.

Microsoft Access Programming

Access programming has been my exclusive database pro 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, Access 2013, 2016, 2019 and the Access in Office 365

Specifically, I use Access to...

  • Link to business data in a variety of formats (Access, SQL Server, Oracle, and others.)
  • Program for multiuser access to enterprise data
  • Add ease of navigation via menus, aka "user friendliness"
  • Link to external documents (photos, documents, designs, user guides, MSDS, etc)
  • Optimization for speed of queries and reports
  • Analysis (queries) and reporting

As an Access programmer, I am a regular member and presenter at the developer's groups that meet in Portsmouth, NH and at Microsoft's Boston offices. I also participate in several regular webinars run by Access groups in Chicago (Juan Soto), Denver (Jum Pilcher), and Seattle (Armen Stein)

Please scroll down to inspect some of my recent projects

B&G Foods
Access Programmer

Conslidated four old Access programs into one that is updated for current technology.
Now this major plant on the waterfront of Portland, ME can finally run new Access reports across all product lines and do trend analyses across all years.,

Contact: Bob Proux at 207-772-8341

Cardinal Health
Access Programmer

Working for a consultant to Cardinal Health, created a support system in Access 2016 to enable a world-wide rebranding system for all manufactured goods.
The program is heavy on the analytical side with mny complex reports,

Contact: Bob West at 207-470-0485

Chaston Associates North Andover, MA
Access Programmer

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: Diane Duff 978-686-3688

FPI Inc. (Jonathan Pond, LLC) Newton, MA
Access Programmer; Crystal Reports

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

Brandywine Materials Bellingham, MA
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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.

I was then able to take on support and made some early modifications.

Contact: Collin McGeary 781-281-2420

MacNichol Electric, Inc Lynnfield, MA
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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
Access Programmer

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

Costa Fruit and Produce Boston, MA
Access Programmer

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

State Street Bank Boston, MA
Access Programmer/Developer

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
Access Database Pro/Developer
June 2007 - Now

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.

Upon completion of this application and placing it into production, the client reported that it cut typical trip solve time from 4 hours to twenty minutes and added a higher degree of certainty to each job's profitability.

Contact: Jim Croke 800-641-5387

Maximus Hartford, CT, (also NY)
Access Database Programmer/Consultant
Dec 2006 - Now

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
Access Programmer
Mar 2007 - Now

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
Access Programmer and Consultant
Oct 2006 - Now

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)
Visual Basic/Access Programmer
Jun 2006 - Aug 2006 and
Jul 2003 - Dec 2003

This major mutual fund company hired me to finish the work started by a previous Access 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
Access consultant
Contact: Warren Mackensen 603-926-8085
Jul 2004 - Oct 2004

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
Visual Basic/Access Programmer and Analyst
May 2004 - Jun 2006

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
VB/Access Programmer and Consultant
Dec 2003 - Jun 2004

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 Data Store). Contact: Dierdre Sommerkamp 603-929-2517

Tyco International Exeter, NH, Portland, Maine
Access Programmer (Access 2002)
May 2003 - Jun 2003

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.

Just for fun, I changed some employees' names and ids and published a subset of the data to our password protected .NET website in an editable datagrid. I did this to demonstrate our skills with DotNet and to show the value of centralized, up-to-date, and secure data. Currently, like so many others, Tyco exchanges data between regions via EMail attachment of Excel spreadsheets.

Contact: Jeff Kovach 603-778-9090

Genesys Software Corp, Methuen, MA
Access programmer, Crystal Reports
Jan 2003 to Feb 2003

Program: People Come First -- a Web-based Human Resources program.
As part of developing enterprise reporting solutions, I developed reports using Crystal Reports Developer (Ver 8.5) against a complex MS SQL Server 2000 database.

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
Consultant / Coder ( Visual Basic / Access Programmer
Jan, 2000 to Jul 2001

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.
Contact: Bonnie St. Jean 603-271-3805

...and many other database programming projects going back into the mid 1990s.
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