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Re: Programming Help

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  • Ness Blackbird
    ... The hell of it is, there really are no simple ways, no effective way to set up a database without someone who knows what they are doing. A database is
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 30 9:42 AM
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      >> We are a small agency, with very little technical support available. We have several types of mailing lists set up; some older DOS lists, several in Excel and a few in Access. We would like to standardize in Access and wonder if there are some simple tips for copying an Excel file into an Access file. Or, some very simple books that might be recommended, that cover this specific task.>>


      The hell of it is, there really are no simple ways, no effective way to set up a database without someone who knows what they are doing.

      A database is different from an Excel spreadsheet in that it has a more complex structure. Various tables hold related information. This makes the information more potentially useful: for example, one can relate an arbitrary number of service records with a single client. You can't really do this kind of thing in Excel very well.

      The problem is that it's very easy to do it wrong; and if you do, you
      can end up worse off than when you started. For example, your client
      history can end up with multiple records per service, because of the way people use the database to record multiple notes for one service.
      That'll look fine until you try to count the services, and then you're
      in trouble. I'm obviously simplifying -- but the short of the matter
      is, there are plenty of ways to go wrong.

      My friend Kevin Chambers has prepared a wonderful presentation on "what goes wrong with databases", but it's just in PowerPoint and needs explanation. I'll ask him to get something a little more postable so everyone can read it.

      In the meantime, my advice is -- stick to Excel.

      I'm saying this as a pro who fixes other people's Access databases for a living. You've got more to lose than you've got to gain. Bringing the data into Access is easy -- but making it do anything in Access that it won't do in Excel isn't.

      When I hear you say, "I want a book for an intermediate / advanced
      Access user" -- then you're ready to start!

      (Yes, there should be -- and yes, there one day will be -- a system
      which will do what you need and is easier to use. In point of fact,
      whenever I manage to go back to school and do my PHD I want to design it for my thesis. But it doesn't exist now, and I believe it's not even on the drawing board.)

      --

      Ness Blackbird, President
      Willow Mountain Consulting, inc.
      ness@...
      503 281-0236
    • Wang, Hong
      Such system does exist. Take a look at www.salesforc.com. You can used for customer contact management, salseforce automation, email and marketing, Fundraising
      Message 2 of 3 , May 1, 2005
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        Such system does exist.

        Take a look at www.salesforc.com. You can used for customer contact
        management, salseforce automation, email and marketing, Fundraising and customer service management and more.


        You don't need to set up any database because it hosted by salesforce,
        all you need to is to import your data to the system and start using it on any web browser. And it is simple to use. Best part, it is Free for NON Profits.

        Take a look at this FAQ from salesforce.

        Q. How do I import my existing data into salesforce.com?

        A. Salesforce.com provides an Import Wizard to move your data from
        Microsoft Outlook(tm), ACT!, and any program that can save its data in
        the CSV (comma separated value) file format such as Palm OS(tm),
        Microsoft Excel(tm), and Microsoft Access(tm). The Import Wizard takes
        you step-by-step through the import process, allowing you to specify how your data will be organized once it is in salesforce.com. The
        Administrator and all users in your organization can use the Import
        Wizard to move data into salesforce.com at anytime.

        Hong Wang
        A & B Technology LLC
        Data/Voice/AV, VOIP, Outsourcing,
        Web/Database, Home Automation
        19 Oakland Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
        www.aandbtech.com
        hwang@...
        Office: 617-934-0268
        Cell: 617-230-8494
        Fax: 208-728-2908


        -----Original Message-----
        >> We are a small agency, with very little technical support available. We have several types of mailing lists set up; some older DOS lists, several in Excel and a few in Access. We would like to standardize in Access and wonder if there are some simple tips for copying an Excel file into an Access file. Or, some very simple books that might be recommended, that cover this specific task.>>
      • David Schrag
        Clarification: Salesforce.com is free for nonprofits for up to 10 users.
        Message 3 of 3 , May 2, 2005
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          Clarification: Salesforce.com is free for nonprofits for up to 10 users.


          -----Original Message-----
          >> You don't need to set up any database because it hosted by salesforce, all you need to is to import your data to the system and start using it on any web browser. And it is simple to use. Best part, it is Free for NON Profits.>>
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