12.11. Project Summary

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By design, there was not much detail of how to code this project, except for the part about using the tab control that was first introduced here. As stated previously, the completed project is available on the O'Reilly web site with the rest of the code samples. I suggest attempting it first by yourself and comparing how each item is done in the code sample. As long as your application works, there are no right answers for how to accomplish each task. I just think it would be useful for you to see how your solution differs from my recommended solution.

You can learn a lot by looking at how other people solve programming problems. Even if you don't use the same method, often you see something that you can use in other situations. Sometimes when you are confronted with a problem, you create a solution that works, and you later find that someone else was confronted with the same problem and solved it very differently. By seeing how others have solved the problem, you often gain insight into the thought process used in the solution. For example, one person uses an array, while another uses a collection. Both may have very good reasons for their decisions, but understanding how to do both and thinking through the pros and cons of each method allows you to really develop your programming skills.

The last thought to keep in mind is any time you can make your solution table-driven to enable changes without programming, the amount of maintenance required drops, and ultimately customer satisfaction goes up. As you develop your solutions, you should continually ask yourself, "What happens if this changes?" and figure out the best way to allow the change without requiring additional programming. Also, as you develop code that uses tables and code together to solve problems, I suggest that you keep the code and the empty table in an easily accessible place so that you can use it in other applications.

If you built this project from scratch, the best way to determine how you did is to have another person try to use it. See what questions she asks and find out whether you can accomplish it. I've probably learned as much about programming from trying to figure out how to meet a client requirement as I have from learning specific programming concepts in books or classes. Depending on the amount of time that you want to spend working on this, you could also attempt to answer business questions with queries such as past due customers, customers with single purchases, or expenses by month. With those queries, you could create automated form letters, produce graphs, etc.

Now that you have put some of these skills to use, you will likely find many other opportunities to integrate Excel and Access in a work setting. I suggest that each time you do this, you keep the used code in an accessible location so that you can reuse it in the future. Not only will this save you time, it will also give you access to code that has presumably already been tested, so you will know that it works.

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    Integrating Excel and Access
    Integrating Excel and Access
    ISBN: 0596009739
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 132

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