Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keep your data "your" data

InfoCore's mission is to help you manage your data, keeping it well organized and easily accessible. But what about keeping your data safe and making sure that your data stays YOUR data and isn't either lost or even worse, stolen. The loss of data could have a huge impact on your company. Here are some quick tips that even the least techy person could do to make their data safe. 1. Make sure you back up your data.

There are two things to keep in mind when backing up your data. One is that you want to do it at a regular schedule. The second is that you would like your backups stored at a different location. Once such company, DataDepositBox makes instant online backups whenever your files change. Instead of scheduling your backups once at night, this service actively monitor the directories that you set and makes backups of the files that change as they change. Simply set it and forget it. You'll never have to worry about your backup again. The best part is, that you can retrieve these files from any computer with internet access and the files are stored office site at a secure location.

2. Install a firewall

Although this does sound scary, its really very easy to do these days. Most routers come with a firewall built in. Make sure that your cable or DSL modem is connected to an access point or a wireless router and not directly to your computer.

3. Update your anti-virus software

Make sure you pay for updates and select your virus software to automatically check for updates. Remember, those creating virus, ad-ware, mal-ware, and the such aren't taking breaks and neither can you. Installing your anti-virus software once and then not updating it just wont do these days. Make sure your anti-virus software comes with some kind of spy-ware/ad-ware scanning as well. These spy-ware program can be even more detrimentally than a virus as it most likely will leak your data instead of just destroying it.

4. Don't let your data just get up and walk away.

One of the most common types of data theft is from stolen laptops. Laptops are becoming more and more common and its scary how much data you probably keep on your laptop. After all, you need that data everywhere you go. If your laptop is stolen, that data is in the hands of someone else. One good feature is making sure your laptop is set up with a user login. It won't stop a good thief, but it will make your data more secure from just anyone happening upon your computer and taking a look at your data. When setting up a login and password, make sure your password is secure enough. Use a combination of letters and numbers and don't use your birth date. The use of the word "password" as your password also isn't as tricky as you might think!

Keeping your data securely "your" data is a constant task. By following these basic steps you will have a good start at protecting yourself against system crashes, corrupted files, or computer crimes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Simple way to add Email Capability to your Access Database

So you have an Access database and are beginning to store records in it. You quickly realize the power that Access can give you but you also quickly hit a wall in your learning curve. You know there must be more you can do, but don’t know how to do it. Well why not add some email capabilities to your database? Using the SendObject command is an easy way to get this done.

If you’ve really just begun to use Access then using a macro is probably your best bet. You can then run your macro from a command button on your form. Form my example; I will use a form called AnyForm. AnyForm is a form that is bound to either a table or query. It doesn’t really matter is the form properties are set to single form or continuous. The table or query must include a field to hold email and name. My field is called txtEmail and txtName.

Use the toolbox and add a command button to the detail section of the form. Name this command button cmdEmail, and set the caption property to Email. In the “On Click” event of the events tab, click on the ellipse (…) button to the right and choose Macro Builder. Then click OK. When prompted, name the macro, EmailMacro. In the Action column of the macro, use the drop down and select SendObject.

The SendObject action has a number of arguments; Object Type, Object Name, Output Format, To, CC, BCC, Subject, Message Text, Edit Message, and Template File. You can use this action to email an object (table, query, report, etc.) as an attachment, but you can also leave it blank. For my example we will leave Object Type, Name and Format blank. We will program the To argument to be filled in automatically from your form. We can do this by typing in the To argument, [Forms]![AnyForm]![txtEmail]. For the Subject argument type in “Message from (your name)”. Message Text can be filled in the same way, but to personalize it, type the following “Dear “&[Forms]![AnyForm]![txtName]. Change the Edit Message property to Yes. If you leave it as no, the email will send without you being able to edit it. By setting the property to Yes, we will be able preview and add more text to our message before we send it.

Save and close your macro. Now open your form in Form View and click on your email command button. This event will open your default mail client, open a new mail message and populate the To, Subject, and the first line of your email!

If you have some experience with Access and prefer to use VBA, you can do this as well. For you VBA users, instead of selecting Macro Builder, choose Code Builder. The syntax would then be:

DoCmd.SendObject (Object Type, Object Name, Output Format, To, CC, BCC, Subject, Message Text, Edit Message, Template File)