Book review: “Access 2013 Bible”,
Michael Alexander, Dick Kusleika
ISBN: 978-1-118-49035-8
1296 pages
May 2013


The books in the series “Bible” is the best buy you can do as part of the software, because they contain all the relevant information all kinds of users: from the novice to the expert.

In the case of “Access 2013 Bible” in the nearly 1,300 pages of which it is composed are topics that deepen the knowledge of the various objects and many features of Access 2013 to enable us to use this product in the best way.

The neophyte will find lots of useful information to start using it, while the expert you will surely find many tips and tricks to improve the structure and functionality to enrich your Access database applications.

Of course, many chapters are devoted to programming, using the Macro in Access but also the language VBA. Data access (in Access and SQL Server) is made with the ADO and DAO libraries, in order to meet your needs. The information provided allow you to create real applications that run through the same Access or free runtime of Access (downloadable free of charge from the following address: 39358).

There is also a section devoted to the interaction of Access with SharePoint services, for those who have the need to create high-level business applications.

On the web page ( you find:
– Correction to Chapter 14, pages 411-414
– Examples of the book
– 3 sample database

In conclusion, this is a book which can not miss the “toolbox” of the user and the developer of the Access database.

Here is the list of the 36 chapters of the book (plus 4 appendices):

Part I: Access Building Blocks  1

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Database Development  3

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Access  19

Part II: Understanding Access Tables 31

Chapter 3: Creating Access Tables  33

Chapter 4: Understanding Table Relationships  89

Chapter 5: Working with Access Tables 129

Chapter 6: Importing and Exporting Data 167

Chapter 7: Linking to External Data 201

Part III: Working with Access Queries 227

Chapter 8: Selecting Data with Queries 229

Chapter 9: Using Operators and Expressions in Access 261

Chapter 10: Going Beyond Select Queries 301

Part IV: Analyzing Data in Access  337

Chapter 11: Transforming Data in Access 339

Chapter 12: Working with Calculations and Dates 363

Chapter 13: Performing Conditional Analyses 389

Chapter 14: Fundamentals of Using Access SQL 407

Chapter 15: Subqueries and Domain Aggregate Functions 427

Chapter 16: Running Descriptive Statistics in Access 451

Part V: Working with Access Forms and Reports 469

Chapter 17: Creating Basic Access Forms 471

Chapter 18: Working with Data on Access Forms 509

Chapter 19: Working with Form Controls 541

Chapter 20: Presenting Data with Access Reports 575

Chapter 21: Advanced Access Report Techniques 631

Part VI: Access Programming Fundamentals  675

Chapter 22: Using Access Macros 677

Chapter 23: Getting Started with Access VBA 715

Chapter 24: Mastering VBA Data Types and Procedures 757

Chapter 25: Understanding the Access Event Model 799

Chapter 26: Debugging Your Access Applications 821

Part VII: Advanced Access Programming Techniques 853

Chapter 27: Accessing Data with VBA Code 855

Chapter 28: Advanced Data Access with VBA 897

Chapter 29: Integrating Access and SQL Server 915

Chapter 30: Customizing the Ribbon 957

Chapter 31: Preparing Your Access Application for Distribution 993

Part VIII: Access and Windows SharePoint Services   1037

Chapter 32: Understanding Windows SharePoint Services 1039

Chapter 33: Integrating Access with SharePoint 1045

Chapter 34: Understanding Access Services 1059

Chapter 35: Deploying Access Applications to SharePoint 1067

Chapter 36: Using Access Data Macros 1089

Part IX: Appendixes 1109

Appendix A: Access 2013 Specifications 1111

Appendix B: Optimizing Access Applications 1117

Appendix C: Understanding Query Performance and Database Corruption 1139

Appendix D: Function Reference for Data Analysts 1147

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25 free books from


You can find many free articles on the web that allow you to learn a programming language or a new programming technique.

Unfortunately, the articles are published in bulk and on many different sites. Furthermore, not all the articles are well written and sometimes provide inaccurate, incomplete or even wrong information.

For those who are starting from scratch, one possible solution is to buy a book on a specific programming language or a specific technique.

Usually, they are books of several hundred pages, and also very expensive. Just to give an example, I have published several books on programming. One of these, concerning Visual Basic 2010, is composed of approximately 800 pages. However, I am aware of books on the same subject that are 1400 pages and more!

Writing a book of this size is a complex task that requires several months of work. This results in a high cost for the book, readers will need much more time to read it, and the book may quickly become obsolete given the speed with which new versions of software come out (just one year lapsed between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013).

Syncfusion has therefore initiated an interesting project: the company asked various authors at the international level to write books on various topics. These books have an average size of about 100 pages, and are absolutely free.

On the following page you can find the list of books published up to now and the links to download them locally in PDF or Amazon Kindle format:

The small size of these books allows readers to read an entire book in a few hours (maybe during a lunch break), and provide the essential information to quickly start working with a language or a programming technique.

This is also a great starting point for those who are starting from scratch, because these books contain only the information strictly necessary, without the addition of numerous other details that can be researched later through the Internet.

So applaud Syncfusion for its innovative idea in the context of technical disclosure and especially for having made ​​available all of these books free of charge, thus helping many students, many workers, and many fans in software programming.

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My new "newspaper"

A few days ago I started to experiment with the publication of my “newspaper” with news on the .NET world, with a particularly close eye on those related to the F# language (Fsharp).

The journal can be found here:



For the moment I haven’t chose to buy a specific domain for my newspaper. This choice will depend on how much interest I can collect with this new initiative.

If you are interested in staying current on the publication of the newspaper, I recommend clicking the “SUBSCRIBE” button.

Of course I look forward to your suggestions for improving the publication and thus provide a really useful tool for your work and your passions.

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Event IT / Dev Connections – Las Vegas September 30-October 4, 2013 – SPECIAL DISCOUNT!

I announce to you that you can register for the event IT / Dev Connections, an event for developers which will be held from September 30 to October 4, 2013 in Las Vegas.


The agenda includes sessions on:

  • Windows Server & Windows 8
  • SQL Server
  • SharePoint
  • Exchange
  • Platform Development Tools

Among the speakers of international renown is also our very Italian Dino Esposito, with his workshop entitled “Architecting Device-Driven Mobile Web Solutions” and with a session titled “Fast Facts of Social Network Programming




If you want a special discount of up to 100 dollars, you can proceed as follows:

  1. During the recording, enter the following “promo code”: ITDMVP13

  2. When asked “How did you hear about IT / Dev Connections?”, Select “friend / colleague” and enter “MVP: Mario De Ghetto” in the space provided.

I beg you, follow these simple instructions carefully, because you can save $ 100 !

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Reviewer authorized for O’Reilly publications

A short post to inform you that I have been accepted into the “Blogger Review Program” by O’Reilly. In practice, I have been authorized to request copies of books published by O’Reilly and then publish my reviews.

From this moment I can also use this “badge”:

Blogger Review Program

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Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

As is well known, the Visual Studio development team is committed to release periodic updates of Visual Studio that are named “Visual Studio 2012 Update ‘x'”, instead of the traditional service pack (SP1, SP2, …) .

Update ‘x’ are intended to fix bugs reported and add new features that were not previously available, allowing continuous updating of the development environment.


After Update 1 is now the time of the Update 2 (“Visual Studio 2012 Update 2”) that was announced yesterday, in the Somasegar’ blog, with a post that also illustrates the main changes introduced by this update.

Currently, the automatic update of Visual Studio 2012 still does not detect the Update 2, but you can still use a “manual” mode, downloading the installation package from here.

More information can be found in this blog post of the development team (again, with extensive references to the new features introduced by Update 2) and also in the specific page dedicated to the “Visual Studio 2012 Update ‘x’”.

The file that is downloaded is named VS2012.2.exe and multi-language support, so you need to download one update for all languages ​​installed on the machine. The package updates all instances, so if you have installed Visual Studio 2012 in a “full” (for example, Professional or Ultimate) and also the Express editions, you will update everything.

The package has a size of 1.3 Mb, because it is just a “launcher”. Will this executable that will be in charge to download the full installation file. The choice of this method is certainly practical when there is only one machine to update. This is a less convenient if the machines to be updated are more than one: in this case, in fact, it would be more convenient to be able to download the version “full” of the installation package, to be copied on all machines to be updated.

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Changes to license Microsoft Expression


Microsoft announced a major change in the policy of licenses for Microsoft Expression (

In particular, Expression Blend will be fully integrated with Visual Studio 2012. In addition, it is already available in preview support for WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow, and will be released as Update 2 of Visual Studio 2012.

Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Expression Studio 4 Web Professional are no longer sold. For those who have already purchased, will be supported by Microsoft for the entire life cycle.

Expression Design 4, and Expression Web 4 shall become free and no longer have technical support from Microsoft.

Expression Encoder 4 becomes free, while the "Pro" version will be sold until 2013.

In essence, increases the chances for developing applications, thus reducing the costs of acquiring licenses. This fact is certainly positive, especially in difficult times like this.

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