My Skills with Databases

Experience with Access

Big Fish

I began working with Access around 1999. My mission was to create a “Work-Ticket” application for a small manufacturer of fine art for little or no cost. Since we already owned Office 97 I set to work to create an Access application that would can store all the designs for the framed artwork sold by the company and print all the required production schedules which were required by the production staff.

So, I quickly adapted myself to programming in Visual Basic 6 and its implementation Office 97 (Visual Basic for Applications) in Access. Soon I had a relational database of about 300 designs with a graphical user interface that could be used to input orders from various source and generate the “Work-Tickets” and build schedules (print pull lists, molding footage requirements and pull lists, mats, etc.)

This application later was capable of writing to a floppy disk the chop list that was then inserted into the programmable saw automating the whole process of setting the stops for each leg of the various frames and moldings in the order.

This application would later be extended to interface with the Sage, MAS 200 ERP system and 15,000 designs which not only included the schedules but photos as well.

Then around 2005, my expertise was again called upon to update the “Work-Ticket” system. This time the requirement was to make it run under Office 2003 as Office 97 was being phased out by Microsoft in favor of newer releases of Access.

I was able to completely re-do and enhance the system to be compatible with and take advantage of all the new features in Access as well as enhance the graphical user interface to be more intuitive and user friendly for the operators using the application at the time.


Around the end of 2013, my expertise with Access was put to the test in taking over the support of an aging, Legacy, Application for MDOT that was responsible for producing an over 600-page Consolidated Transportation Program for the State of Maryland that goes twice a year before the legislature in Annapolis. With the help of a retiring colleague I was able to learn the system and had to hit the ground running as he retired soon afterward.

I had inherited one system that was configurable into four major systems and each of the four major systems was further configurable with “Mode” dependent business rules. Essentially, nine systems that had to work together across nine different “Modes” (Transportation Business Units) of MDOT. With limited documentation and code comments I was able to get a handle on the system providing support and minor enhancements.

This application had to undergo major upgrades from Office 2003 to Office 2010 and then really “turn on a dime” in the Fall of 2016 when all nine systems needed to be compatible with various installations of Office 365 (Access 2013 and Access 2016) in early 2017.

I was able to do everything asked of me and do it quickly to meet the goals. So now with more than a decade of experience with Access and some very complex applications I am ready to expand my knowledge to other areas of Database Development.

Experience with Access Databases with Non-Access back end

As an experiment on my own I have worked with Microsoft Azure and have been able to convert an Access database to Azure SQL while having an Access front end. So, you can have the best of both worlds. The graphical user interface that many are accustomed as well as the robust and transactional nature of SQL in a Microsoft product.

This would eliminate many of the problems I have encountered and dealt with over the years. Namely delaying the execution of Access VBA to wait on the outcome of a query in an Access back end. This is something I would be interested in looking into deeper.

Experience with Non-Access Databases

Non-Access databases that I have worked with goes back to 1992 error when I learned to master dB2 through db4. I also have experience working with Paradox and FoxPro. Main frame experience goes back to when I worked for a Bank that have a deployment of Oracle for which I wrote queries and was a back- up operator.

I also have experience with Crystal Reports creating reports for Big Fish and on a free-lance basis. So, I am well rooted in SQL and relational principals and design and have relied on FMS Access database tools for both design and troubleshooting.