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Merging with Personalised ID numbers?

Discussion in 'Information Technology' started by Ray Murphy, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. Ray Murphy

    Ray Murphy
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Hi All,

    I'm a rank amateur with Access 2003, but need a simple Access data base
    which can be given to a few hundred people for their own data entry.

    The idea is for each person to start with an identical empty data base and
    then key in data and then merge their whole database with any of the other
    users of the program, but it seems the automatically generated ID numbers
    create problems.

    Basically we're just looking at:
    (a) A main page with hundreds of subjects names and their birth dates.
    (b) A sub form (or "file card") for each person where we enter (say) those
    subject's home movie titles.

    Currently I've got a "non-mergable" project working, but I'd like to be able
    to make an extra column for personalised ID numbers for the main page and
    also for the sub form entries so that there can be no clashes when merging.

    For example if a user of the program was named William John Smith, he could
    use a prefix of WJS for all ID numbers, and those ID's would replace the
    Primary key.
    This "WJS" could be entered manually when the program was installed, or
    perhaps it could be built into his program before delivery.

    It seems that if these personalised ID numbers were used, they would need to
    be generated in the normal way and then (in the separate column) have the
    prefix added in front of it.ie: WJS 1222 -- which would then become text
    rather than a number. Presumably this would slow the program down a lot, but
    it probably wouldn't matter for this purpose - as long as we can have
    seamless merging.

    I haven't got a clue at this stage if this is going to be hard or easy, but
    any suggestions are welcome - including email addresses of anyone who can
    knock up something like this for payment (I don't know anyone).

    Direct contact is fine, although I may be away from the PC for a few days
    soon.

    Ray
     
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  3. Joseph Meehan

    Joseph Meehan
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Ray Murphy wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I'm a rank amateur with Access 2003, but need a simple Access data
    > base which can be given to a few hundred people for their own data
    > entry.
    > The idea is for each person to start with an identical empty data
    > base and then key in data and then merge their whole database with
    > any of the other users of the program, but it seems the automatically
    > generated ID numbers create problems.
    >
    > Basically we're just looking at:
    > (a) A main page with hundreds of subjects names and their birth dates.
    > (b) A sub form (or "file card") for each person where we enter (say)
    > those subject's home movie titles.
    >
    > Currently I've got a "non-mergable" project working, but I'd like to
    > be able to make an extra column for personalised ID numbers for the
    > main page and also for the sub form entries so that there can be no
    > clashes when merging.
    > For example if a user of the program was named William John Smith, he
    > could use a prefix of WJS for all ID numbers, and those ID's would
    > replace the Primary key.
    > This "WJS" could be entered manually when the program was installed,
    > or perhaps it could be built into his program before delivery.
    >
    > It seems that if these personalised ID numbers were used, they would
    > need to be generated in the normal way and then (in the separate
    > column) have the prefix added in front of it.ie: WJS 1222 -- which
    > would then become text rather than a number. Presumably this would
    > slow the program down a lot, but it probably wouldn't matter for this
    > purpose - as long as we can have seamless merging.
    >
    > I haven't got a clue at this stage if this is going to be hard or
    > easy, but any suggestions are welcome - including email addresses of
    > anyone who can knock up something like this for payment (I don't know
    > anyone).
    > Direct contact is fine, although I may be away from the PC for a few
    > days soon.
    >
    > Ray


    I am not certain of exactly what the environment is. It appears you
    have more than one person entering data. Are they all entering data on the
    same machine, or their own machines or are they all accessing the same
    program via a LAN?

    Assuming they are all working on their own machines using their own copy
    of a database, are you using replication?


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
  4. Ray Murphy

    Ray Murphy
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:uOTaf.84314$Hs.48476@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
    > Ray Murphy wrote:
    >> Hi All,
    >>
    >> I'm a rank amateur with Access 2003, but need a simple Access data
    >> base which can be given to a few hundred people for their own data
    >> entry.
    >> The idea is for each person to start with an identical empty data
    >> base and then key in data and then merge their whole database with
    >> any of the other users of the program, but it seems the automatically
    >> generated ID numbers create problems.
    >>
    >> Basically we're just looking at:
    >> (a) A main page with hundreds of subjects names and their birth dates.
    >> (b) A sub form (or "file card") for each person where we enter (say)
    >> those subject's home movie titles.
    >>
    >> Currently I've got a "non-mergable" project working, but I'd like to
    >> be able to make an extra column for personalised ID numbers for the
    >> main page and also for the sub form entries so that there can be no
    >> clashes when merging.
    >> For example if a user of the program was named William John Smith, he
    >> could use a prefix of WJS for all ID numbers, and those ID's would
    >> replace the Primary key.
    >> This "WJS" could be entered manually when the program was installed,
    >> or perhaps it could be built into his program before delivery.
    >>
    >> It seems that if these personalised ID numbers were used, they would
    >> need to be generated in the normal way and then (in the separate
    >> column) have the prefix added in front of it.ie: WJS 1222 -- which
    >> would then become text rather than a number. Presumably this would
    >> slow the program down a lot, but it probably wouldn't matter for this
    >> purpose - as long as we can have seamless merging.
    >>
    >> I haven't got a clue at this stage if this is going to be hard or
    >> easy, but any suggestions are welcome - including email addresses of
    >> anyone who can knock up something like this for payment (I don't know
    >> anyone).
    >> Direct contact is fine, although I may be away from the PC for a few
    >> days soon.
    >>
    >> Ray

    >
    > I am not certain of exactly what the environment is. It appears you
    > have more than one person entering data. Are they all entering data on
    > the same machine, or their own machines or are they all accessing the same
    > program via a LAN?


    Many people in different countries will get the program on CD by snail mail
    and presumably they will be able to operate it with the free version of
    Access if they don't have the full version.

    > Assuming they are all working on their own machines using their own
    > copy of a database, are you using replication?


    I don't know what replication is unfortunately.

    > --
    > Joseph Meehan
    >
    > Dia duit


    Ray
     
  5. Joseph Meehan

    Joseph Meehan
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Ray Murphy wrote:
    > "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:uOTaf.84314$Hs.48476@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
    >> Ray Murphy wrote:
    >>> Hi All,
    >>>
    >>> I'm a rank amateur with Access 2003, but need a simple Access data
    >>> base which can be given to a few hundred people for their own data
    >>> entry.
    >>> The idea is for each person to start with an identical empty data
    >>> base and then key in data and then merge their whole database with
    >>> any of the other users of the program, but it seems the
    >>> automatically generated ID numbers create problems.
    >>>
    >>> Basically we're just looking at:
    >>> (a) A main page with hundreds of subjects names and their birth
    >>> dates. (b) A sub form (or "file card") for each person where we
    >>> enter (say) those subject's home movie titles.
    >>>
    >>> Currently I've got a "non-mergable" project working, but I'd like to
    >>> be able to make an extra column for personalised ID numbers for the
    >>> main page and also for the sub form entries so that there can be no
    >>> clashes when merging.
    >>> For example if a user of the program was named William John Smith,
    >>> he could use a prefix of WJS for all ID numbers, and those ID's
    >>> would replace the Primary key.
    >>> This "WJS" could be entered manually when the program was installed,
    >>> or perhaps it could be built into his program before delivery.
    >>>
    >>> It seems that if these personalised ID numbers were used, they would
    >>> need to be generated in the normal way and then (in the separate
    >>> column) have the prefix added in front of it.ie: WJS 1222 -- which
    >>> would then become text rather than a number. Presumably this would
    >>> slow the program down a lot, but it probably wouldn't matter for
    >>> this purpose - as long as we can have seamless merging.
    >>>
    >>> I haven't got a clue at this stage if this is going to be hard or
    >>> easy, but any suggestions are welcome - including email addresses of
    >>> anyone who can knock up something like this for payment (I don't
    >>> know anyone).
    >>> Direct contact is fine, although I may be away from the PC for a few
    >>> days soon.
    >>>
    >>> Ray

    >>
    >> I am not certain of exactly what the environment is. It appears
    >> you have more than one person entering data. Are they all entering
    >> data on the same machine, or their own machines or are they all
    >> accessing the same program via a LAN?

    >
    > Many people in different countries will get the program on CD by
    > snail mail and presumably they will be able to operate it with the
    > free version of Access if they don't have the full version.


    There is NO free version of Access.

    There is a runtime version that can be used with programs developed
    under the Developers Toolkit (I can't remember exactly what it is called
    now). You will need to own that kit and it is not cheap.

    >
    >> Assuming they are all working on their own machines using their
    >> own copy of a database, are you using replication?

    >
    > I don't know what replication is unfortunately.


    It is the tool used in Access to keep the problems that normally arise
    when doing this kind of thing as straight as possible. You can look it up
    under replication in the Access help file

    I suggest you review replication and how you are going to approach the
    question of those without the Access program available on their machines
    before you get too far into development of an Access database.

    There are other options to sharing data you may wish to consider. It is
    possible to set up Access on the internet. That might be a good solution
    for you. I have never worked on it, so I can't offer much advice, but I
    would look into it. I wish I had known about it before I retired. I had
    several projects that could have greatly benefited. You also may want to
    consider using Excel spreadsheets as your intermediate. Far more people
    have access to Excel than to Access. While I don't think Excel is a great
    tool for what you appear to be doing it may prove to be the tool of chose if
    you have a problem with users not having Access on their machines and the
    Developer's kit is not a option for you.


    >
    >> --
    >> Joseph Meehan
    >>
    >> Dia duit

    >
    > Ray


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
  6. Ray Murphy

    Ray Murphy
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:H92bf.85072$Hs.67777@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
    > Ray Murphy wrote:
    >> "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:uOTaf.84314$Hs.48476@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
    >>> Ray Murphy wrote:
    >>>> Hi All,
    >>>>
    >>>> I'm a rank amateur with Access 2003, but need a simple Access data
    >>>> base which can be given to a few hundred people for their own data
    >>>> entry.
    >>>> The idea is for each person to start with an identical empty data
    >>>> base and then key in data and then merge their whole database with
    >>>> any of the other users of the program, but it seems the
    >>>> automatically generated ID numbers create problems.


    [BIG SNIP]

    >>> I am not certain of exactly what the environment is. It appears
    >>> you have more than one person entering data. Are they all entering
    >>> data on the same machine, or their own machines or are they all
    >>> accessing the same program via a LAN?

    >>
    >> Many people in different countries will get the program on CD by
    >> snail mail and presumably they will be able to operate it with the
    >> free version of Access if they don't have the full version.

    >
    > There is NO free version of Access.
    >
    > There is a runtime version that can be used with programs developed
    > under the Developers Toolkit (I can't remember exactly what it is called
    > now). You will need to own that kit and it is not cheap.


    Ah the runtime version of Access; yes that's what I used to run a commercial
    data base that I bought a few years ago.
    I have since acquired Access 2003 which was included with the MS Office
    package for personal use, and until your reply arrived had assumed that the
    full version of Access (about $700 AU) could be used to make and distribute
    the type of program I mentioned in this thread, but it sounds like I would
    need something bigger than that.

    >>> Assuming they are all working on their own machines using their
    >>> own copy of a database, are you using replication?

    >>
    >> I don't know what replication is unfortunately.

    >
    > It is the tool used in Access to keep the problems that normally arise
    > when doing this kind of thing as straight as possible. You can look it up
    > under replication in the Access help file


    > I suggest you review replication and how you are going to approach the
    > question of those without the Access program available on their machines
    > before you get too far into development of an Access database.


    Thanks, I've just now had a look at the Help file, and can see that
    replication (identical data bases) wouldn't be needed in this case. Ninety
    per cent of the users of this simple program would be uploading data to the
    other 10% on a random basis - according to who they wished to share data
    with.
    The idea is for most of the users to contribute data to those doing the
    research with it.

    > There are other options to sharing data you may wish to consider. It
    > is possible to set up Access on the internet. That might be a good
    > solution for you. I have never worked on it, so I can't offer much
    > advice, but I would look into it.


    Yes, that was my original focus, but everyone I spoke to who knew anything
    about them kept giving me reasons why it was all too hard. I quickly
    realised that I was going nowhere, so decided to set up exactly the same
    data entry system - but on each participant's desktop instead of on an
    internet site.

    >I wish I had known about it before I
    > retired. I had several projects that could have greatly benefited.


    I suppose there's immense potential if data is being collated 24 hrs a day
    into one database on the net.

    >You
    > also may want to consider using Excel spreadsheets as your intermediate.


    Another good point, although I've never used Excel myself.

    > Far more people have access to Excel than to Access. While I don't think
    > Excel is a great tool for what you appear to be doing it may prove to be
    > the tool of chose if you have a problem with users not having Access on
    > their machines and the Developer's kit is not a option for you.


    Once again newsgroups have saved a lot of time and money - with good advice
    like this. Thanks.
    I suppose if it all gets a bit complicated, a VB stand-alone program would
    solve all the problems for everyone involved, even if it is a lot slower
    than Access to do queries.

    > --
    > Joseph Meehan
    >
    > Dia duit


    Ray
     
  7. Joseph Meehan

    Joseph Meehan
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Ray Murphy wrote:
    ....
    >
    > Once again newsgroups have saved a lot of time and money - with good
    > advice like this. Thanks.
    > I suppose if it all gets a bit complicated, a VB stand-alone program
    > would solve all the problems for everyone involved, even if it is a
    > lot slower than Access to do queries.
    >
    >
    > Ray


    Excel may be a good choice as many people have it and are at least
    reasonably comfortable with it. You can set up a data entry system on it
    and then easily import the data into Access.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     
  8. Ray Murphy

    Ray Murphy
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:8D4bf.188347$lI5.177758@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
    > Ray Murphy wrote:
    > ...
    >>
    >> Once again newsgroups have saved a lot of time and money - with good
    >> advice like this. Thanks.
    >> I suppose if it all gets a bit complicated, a VB stand-alone program
    >> would solve all the problems for everyone involved, even if it is a
    >> lot slower than Access to do queries.
    >>
    >>
    >> Ray

    >
    > Excel may be a good choice as many people have it and are at least
    > reasonably comfortable with it. You can set up a data entry system on it
    > and then easily import the data into Access.


    In this case there's a big problem with using anything but an easy to use
    stand-alone program. Most of the potential users may have Excel on their
    PC's, but most wouldn't know how to use it, nor would they try.

    The project could only attract the hundreds of participants required if they
    were able to simply double-click on a program icon to open it, and they
    were then presented with a bunch List boxes for immediate data entry via
    clickable selection (600 categories in sub divisions). I doubt if Excel can
    be made to work like that from the little I've seen of it, but it works ok
    in VB6 and Access - although much better in Access.

    The whole thing has just 2 pages for the user.
    (1) Master list of subjects (Datasheet view).
    (2) File card for each subject (Form with mostly with Listbox selections).

    The original idea was for users to simply upload or snail mail those two
    tables to another user for merging (with unique ID's on every record that
    were relevant to each user).

    It sounds like it would work easily if the final Access program was
    produced by a licensed Developer.

    Does anyone here have any idea what the minimum Developer's Package would be
    called for such a straightforward Access project WHERE the user can be given
    the free Runtime version of Access that would enable the entry of data?
    It seems there are different Developers' kits for different standards of
    work.

    > --
    > Joseph Meehan
    >
    > Dia duit


    Ray
     
  9. Joseph Meehan

    Joseph Meehan
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Ray Murphy wrote:
    > "Joseph Meehan" <sligojoe_Spamno@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:8D4bf.188347$lI5.177758@tornado.ohiordc.rr.com...
    >> Ray Murphy wrote:
    >> ...
    >>>
    >>> Once again newsgroups have saved a lot of time and money - with good
    >>> advice like this. Thanks.
    >>> I suppose if it all gets a bit complicated, a VB stand-alone program
    >>> would solve all the problems for everyone involved, even if it is a
    >>> lot slower than Access to do queries.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Ray

    >>
    >> Excel may be a good choice as many people have it and are at least
    >> reasonably comfortable with it. You can set up a data entry system
    >> on it and then easily import the data into Access.

    >
    > In this case there's a big problem with using anything but an easy to
    > use stand-alone program. Most of the potential users may have Excel
    > on their PC's, but most wouldn't know how to use it, nor would they
    > try.
    > The project could only attract the hundreds of participants required
    > if they were able to simply double-click on a program icon to open
    > it, and they were then presented with a bunch List boxes for
    > immediate data entry via clickable selection (600 categories in sub
    > divisions). I doubt if Excel can be made to work like that from the
    > little I've seen of it, but it works ok in VB6 and Access - although
    > much better in Access.


    While I know Access can do the job, I believe that Excel also has a data
    entry capability that would work. Excel has a lot of features that even few
    Excel people know about. I am not an Excel expert. Again I am not saying
    it will or that it is the best choice. You did indicate that they all might
    not have Excel so I would think that would rule it out.


    >
    > The whole thing has just 2 pages for the user.
    > (1) Master list of subjects (Datasheet view).
    > (2) File card for each subject (Form with mostly with Listbox
    > selections).
    > The original idea was for users to simply upload or snail mail those
    > two tables to another user for merging (with unique ID's on every
    > record that were relevant to each user).
    >
    > It sounds like it would work easily if the final Access program was
    > produced by a licensed Developer.
    >
    > Does anyone here have any idea what the minimum Developer's Package
    > would be called for such a straightforward Access project WHERE the
    > user can be given the free Runtime version of Access that would
    > enable the entry of data? It seems there are different Developers' kits
    > for different standards
    > of work.


    If you have not already checked these out, here is a reference

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/understanding/access/default.aspx


    As I understand it there is only one Developers kit or edition, but the
    name has changes and there may be old and current versions. I could be
    wrong. There are also add on's that include tools for development and
    distribution. Each user will need to have the runtime installed on their
    machine. This could be a problem for some users who may be using a company
    machine and they may not have the authority to install programs.

    You may want to review prior threads about developer or start a new one
    for this question.


    >
    >> --
    >> Joseph Meehan
    >>
    >> Dia duit

    >
    > Ray


    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
     

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