Lesson 1.2. What's New in Access 2003
Figure 1-3. One of the most significant features of Access 2003 is its ability to display database object dependencies.
If you're upgrading from either Access 2000 or Access 2002 to Access 2003, you're in luckin most respects, Access 2003 looks and works almost the same as both Access 2000 and Access 2002. One of the most significant features of Access 2003 is its ability to display database object dependencies, as shown in Figure 1-3. For example, you can see which queries, forms, and reports are based on a particular table. Table 1-2 shows what's new in Access 2003 (and if you're upgrading from Access 2000, what's new from Access 2002).
Table 1-2. What's New
View object dependencies
Perhaps the most useful and welcome feature in Access 2003 is its ability to let you view information on dependencies between database objects, which can dramatically save development time and reduce errors. For example, before deleting a query you can find out which forms, reports, and queries in the database use the query. You could then either change the record source of the dependent objects, or delete them, before deleting the original query. Macros, modules, and data access pages are not searched for dependencies, however.
Microsoft has drastically increased the in Access 2003 by setting the macro security level so that you are prompted every time you open a database containing Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code in an Access database. Many databases contain macros and codeand while this new setting certainly increases security in Microsoft Access, most users will probably find it annoying. No problemyou can change the security level in Access to suit your own work environment and personal tastes. You can also automatically run macros based on whether they are digitally signed by a developer on a list of trusted sources.
Propagating field properties
Yet another helpful feature! In previous versions of Microsoft Access, whenever you modified a field's inherited property, such as its formatting property, you had to manually modify the property of corresponding controls in every form and report. Now, when you modify an inherited field property in Table design view, Access displays an option to update the property of all or some controls that are bound to the field.
Error checking in forms and reports
Microsoft Access 2003 automatically checks for common errors in forms and reports. Error checking points out such errors as when the width of a report is greater than the page it will be printed on, and two controls being assigned to the same keyboard shortcut.
SharePoint Services support
Microsoft's SharePoint Services makes it easy for users to collaborate and work together. Access 2003 can import, export, and link to information on a SharePoint Services list.
Access 2003 is better integrated with the Web with its new Office Online tools, which give you access to templates, articles, and tips on using Access 2003.
Office XP has a new look and feel that improves the user's Office experience. This includes removing visually competing elements, visually prioritizing items on a page, increasing letter spacing and word spacing for better readability, and defining foreground and background colors to bring the most important elements to the front.
Perhaps the biggest new feature in Access 2003 is context-sensitive smart tags, a set of buttons that provide speedy access to relevant information by alerting you to important actionssuch as formatting options for pasted information, formula error correction, and more.
The appears on the right side of the screen and lets you quickly perform searches, open or start a new database, and view the contents of the clipboard.
You now have the ability to undo and redo multiple actions in Design View in all objects in your Microsoft Access databases and in views, stored procedures, and functions in your Microsoft Access projects.
Multiple Cut, Copy, and Paste Clipboard
An improved lets you copy up to 24 pieces of information at once across all the Office applications or the Web and store them on the Task Pane. The Task Pane gives you a visual representation of the copied data and a sample of the text, so you can easily distinguish between items as you transfer them to other documents.
PivotTable and PivotChart Reports
Microsoft Access 2003 introduces PivotTable and PivotChart Views to tables, queries, and forms. PivotTables and PivotCharts summarize information into an organized and meaningful format and are great for analyzing data.
XML is quickly becoming the new standard for exchanging data between different programs. Access 2003 can now import and export information to and from XML file formats.