Thicker Than A Length of 4be2

Being a developer can be addictive fun. Sometimes you just get into the swing and before you know it is midnight and the house is eerily quiet. But it can also be hugely frustrating. Yesterday I had just such one of those days. I spent a whole day on a task that should have taken an half an hour maximum.   I have inherited the maintenance of a small application that that creates Word documents from a set of inputs in an Excel form and spreadsheets. Now being a good coder, the original developer created Word templates with a series … Continue reading Thicker Than A Length of 4be2

Cutting Edge BI

I went to the SQL Server 2008 R2 launch in London on 15th April 2010 (a while ago I know, but I have been away for a week :-)). I am not a SQL Server DBA or anything such, I went specifically for the BI sessions, PowerPivot and Reporting Services. I have to say that I enjoyed the day enormously, much more so than the Visual Studio 2010 launch the previous Monday (the Visual Studio day was informative, but a bit dry in comparison), but the reason for this post is to talk about the case study that was presented … Continue reading Cutting Edge BI

Deploy Me Simple

Excel 2003 Addins In Excel 2007 Excel 2007 and 2010 is so different in concept to Excel 2003 and before that there are many new challenges in providing solutions that can be deployed in either version. One challenge that I have been faced with is creating addins that may be used in Excel 2007 or earlier versions. My addins would usually have a menu and/or a toolbar to provide access to the functionality within the addin. In previous versions of Excel, this has been an elegant solution as most people are familiar with the menus and are easily able to … Continue reading Deploy Me Simple

The XML Is On The Kid

I recently wrote about a database tool that I have built to facilitate adding stored procedures to databases, SP Builder.   XL-Dennis made a couple of comments, one of which was with regards to the medium used for the script file. He talked about XML files, and whilst I had used an INI file when I originally built it I had thought about using XML but dismissed it at the time as my XML skills and knowledge were minimal to put it mildly (oddly, I have been aware of and using XML for over 12 years now, mainly as a … Continue reading The XML Is On The Kid

The Kid Grows Up

In a previous post, I talked about building stored procedures (SPs)in an Access database, and calling the same from Excel using ADO. As I mentioned in that post, I am not a fan of the Access GUI. Whilst GUIs can be okay for doing some simple testing, checking whether something works or, I find it far easier to build a script when I need to do similar things over and over (such as building all of the SPs for an application). I am an inveterate scripter (see Autogen’ed Ribbon Code and XML Is Such A Pain); rather than build the … Continue reading The Kid Grows Up

SUMPRODUCT Isn’t The Only SP Kid In Town

If you are a frequent use of SQL Server, or any such enterprise database solution, you are bound to be aware of Stored Procedures (SPs) and the advantages that they bring. In my experience, using SPs is almost de-facto in the SQL Server world.   However, it does not seem so prevalent in the Access databases and applications that I have seen. Presumably, this is because Access applications are very closely bound to the Access database, and the rationale drops off somewhat. But I never use the Access UI myself, although I have created many applications where Access is my … Continue reading SUMPRODUCT Isn’t The Only SP Kid In Town

Typing May Be Good For You

I have written previously about User Defined Types, where I showed what I feel is a good, legitimate use of UDTs, namely the saving of application settings at the start of my procedures, then re-instating them at the end. I have since extended that technique to make it more generic, as follows Public Type ApplicationValues    AppEnableEvents As Boolean    AppScreenUpdating As Boolean    AppDisplayAlerts As Boolean    AppCalculation As XlCalculation End Type Public Function DoSomeStuff() Dim myAppSettings As ApplicationValues     Call AppSettings(State:=”Set”, _                 AppType:=mpAppSettings, _                 AppEvents:=True, _                 AppScreen:=False, _                 AppAlerts:=False, _                 AppCalc:=-1)     On Error GoTo func_error  … main code    func_exit:     Call … Continue reading Typing May Be Good For You

One King Bearing Gifts

I got a new laptop on Friday (my old one gave up the ghost as explained here). One of the major pains of a new laptop is re-installing all of those applications. It takes so long, and inevitably you will be working and you realise that you need another utility, which means you have to interrupt your flow to grab it and load it. I was more prepared for this installation than I usually am, I had compiled a list of those applications that I wanted, my directory structure, and URLs to the files, but I missed plenty (you just … Continue reading One King Bearing Gifts

You Say CustomUI Editor, I Say TextPad

  I have written before about hand-crafting XML so as to customise an Office 2007 ribbon at XML Is Such A Pain and Autogen’ed Ribbon Code   As I have mentioned before, the CustomUI editor is far from perfect. It does allow adding of  image files and to validate the XML, but the editing experience is absolutely awful.   My favourite editor is TextPad, and one of the useful features of TextPad is the facility to incorporate syntax files that are file type dependent, for instance a Visual Basic syntax file for .bas and .vbs file types. The syntax files … Continue reading You Say CustomUI Editor, I Say TextPad

OpenOffice Is Looking Good

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin-top:0cm; margin-right:0cm; margin-bottom:6.0pt; margin-left:0cm; mso-pagination:widow-orphan lines-together; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Arial; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:595.3pt 841.9pt; margin:2.0cm 2.0cm 2.0cm 2.0cm; mso-header-margin:35.45pt; mso-footer-margin:35.45pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} I have blogged previously about what a rubbish job MS have done with Conditional Formatting in Excel 2007, but it seems … Continue reading OpenOffice Is Looking Good