Deploying MS-Access Table Design Changes to Remote Files

A New Challenge for Access I designed a Microsoft Access database for one of my clients and it’s split into two files – a front-end file with all the forms, reports and code and a back-end file with the tables. That’s pretty standard. During the development process, I needed to make adjustments to the table…

What is Referential Integrity?

One of the fundamental differences between an Excel spreadsheet and a Microsoft Access or SQL Server database is the database’s ability to group data by subject into tables and create links between that information.  This type of organization enables the user to store large amounts of data and retrieve specific information quickly by writing queries that…

Calculated Fields in CiviCRM

One of CiviCRM’s strengths is the ability to add custom fields to hold specific information about your contacts. One thing it doesn’t offer (yet) is a calculated field type that will present the results of calculations of other fields.  While calculated fields are generally discouraged in relational database design, they are sometimes necessary within a…

MySQL User Defined Function Example: Data Cleanup

(Updated June 9, 2016) The Challenge One of my current projects involves migrating a large amount of data away from an old custom Borland Paradox application into a new CiviCRM system. As with too many quickly-constructed apps, this old Paradox database wasn’t especially well designed and, among other the other challenges in salvaging the data, there were…