Last Updated: 9:35 AM 5/1/2016

Starting Message 10 - Spring 2016

ITSC1309 Windows Applications I (Office 2013)

See below for Important Stuff

Please be sure to read everything on this "Starting Message" page every time you open it, or whenever you are notified there is a change. Review it in detail for each starting message change made because even if it looks similar it may not be. The date located in the upper left corner tells you the last date and time that it was modified

You are responsible for knowing the procedures being used in this class, and our communications rules especially Web Mail rules.

Welcome to the current Session of ITSC1309 "Windows Applications I".
Be sure and scroll down to read all the material and locate items for later reference. Always check the open Lab Schedule link at the top of this page. You should be able to select a convenient time and place for tutorial assistance.

> We will be reviewing the material prior to the final exam. This will be done by a mock exam process. Try to be on time, as time is limited, and we will be unable to go back and repeat any part of the practice

Access is the last module before the Final Exam it cannot be sent late. The Access database tool creates application objects using a totally new concept as it works with "user created applications" rather than a document as such. Be sure you understand the conceptual material before proceeding. Terminology is all new for Access and you will need to learn it. In Access you will be working with groups of embedded objects, and must learn to work with the navigation pane views as well as the new ribbons.

In Access2013, as usual, the first few steps are a guide to what you are expected to learn. You should open and watch each of the embedded linked presentations. Especially the one not included in the text. Again I would remind you that because of the size of some presentation modules they may take a while to load, (Very slow on DSL almost impossible on Dialup) so please be patient. Once again if you don't know or it does not work please write the class and ask

Access is fascinating, and as I said, the ribbons are not the same as for the other products. The first chapters deal with Terminology and the concept of a database, most of which is all new for Access and you will need to learn it.

One especially important concept that is not covered well in the text is the concept of the special value called "NULL";

  • "NULL" is the absence of a correct piece of data
    "Type or Value"
  • "NOT NULL" is the presence of any correct data
The use of these terms can help find missing data in a table

Navigation between objects such as Tables, Queries, Forms, and Reports can also be confusing. As I mentioned there are several different views of the objects available to you by using the pull-down arrow on the Navigation Pane. Try them to see which one fits your style. It is here you will be working with groups of objects, and you must learn to work with those pane views as well as the ribbons. As already stated, my favorite view in the panel is the All Access Objects by Object Type however other combinations can be set. Some will as I said be more efficient than others, After working with both the "Worksheet View" and the "Design View" to create tables, which do you prefer. Remember either method works, it is the end result that really matters. The text will do most of the Report and Form tasks using the Design Views, but be sure and learn how each of the Wizards function especially for the creation of Forms and Reports objects.

Another new element is Queries and the application of criteria to these "Queries" (Short for Inquiry). The "Criteria" are used to filter the data so you only see what you want. Criteria when properly applied to a query allows us to restrict or limit things to specific values, sets, or Ranges. The application of criteria follows the rules for Boolean Algebra which you should have learned in your Algebra class. A logical Test to the criteria is made, if the result is satisfied than the condition is called TRUE, and only all the records that meet the criteria are viewed in the Dynaset (Table view of results). If it is FALSE the record is not displayed, and this also implies that it is possible to write a query which returns no records (It often happens and could happen on an exam). Be sure to watch the videos and read the notes on Access.

You should also note during the exercises some of the rules associated with entering criteria on the design view grid. While you do not have to enter the "Quotes" on text value queries, it is good practice to do so. Values are entered into all types of numeric fields including Currency without editing or punctuation except for decimal points. Dates are a special case and if entered in a field which is a date/type, will be enclosed automatically with the # symbols such as #7/29/2009#.

Make sure you study the rules for creating calculated fields in a query report, or form. Note that No Calculated fields are EVER stored in the actual tables, but results are created as a computed value in a Query field or Unbound Controls within “Forms”, and “Reports”. As a general rule, it is better to do them in queries. The formula is expressed as field expression in a query either as a named or an un-named field. Note the use of the colon in the syntax for the calculated field name, and the square braces when pasted into a query expression. Be sure you understand how to use the Expression Builder.

Finally you are introduced to the use of the Wizards in creating “Reports” and “Forms”. The ability to design and use “Reports” based upon grouping (Also Known as Control Breaks) is cool. In the real world, most reports start with a design on paper, are then generated using the Wizard and tailored after the fact. Be sure you select a proper layout Portrait or Landscape, and understand how the styles affect appearance you must Know the difference between Layout and Style. You should learn to use the Layout View to manage the positions and sizes of your controls. Remember the Layout lock must be turned off before you can move controls. Be sure you understand the concept of a Bound and Unbound control and Labels.

If you are interested in more about Databases consider taking the ITSE1346 "Introduction to Database Concepts" class and the ITSW2337 Database Applications Class, both of which are offered on-line.

Remember this please, when asking questions be sure to follow all the rules for communications with your class and the instructor. In a traditional class, I will send to an e-mail list unless you ask me not to include you. In answering mail I will usually reply to e-mails within 24 Hours or less except over weekends and holidays, so check your mail often. Because of some restrictions in some mail servers, it is important also that you do not send an e-mail containing an attachment without including a short message in the body of the e-mail itself.

This course is important to all college students because it provides some very important background skills used in our business and educational environment today. The things you learn here will help you in almost any career you choose for yourself.

WARNING: Since many of you may have already had some experience with computers, Such as Windows98, or an older version of Office you may think you are already familiar with all the details of this material, but I can assure you that you are not. We all learn something new in this course even after many years I am still surprised to learn new things as I do the exercises. Always check out the videos and do the tutorials even if all the material does not seem to apply to you.

Schedule of Event Completions:

Color Code:

Green = Should be done.
Red = HOT, you should be completing this now.
Blue = Work ahead if possible.

Cut Off Date Item
PRESENTATION WEEK OF 4/25 & 4/27 Personal Project using PPT
Access2013 Module
5/9-5/11 Final Exam Starts 5/9 Open until 5/11



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