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ABCD Features Coming Soon
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Facebook Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   11 days ago

This is where I'm going to keep my notes for what coming up next in the ABCD development queue.

Speak Up!

If there is something you really want to see added to the database, let me know. Speak up. Make your voice heard! Post a comment below or contact me. I'm building this in the order of highest demand. So if many people want to see, for example, printing invoices, then that will get worked on first.

Bug Fixes, Add-Ons in Next Module

  • EntityF still said "Person ID, Code" in the label
  • The first item entered in Email, Address, Phone subform should be marked primary.
  • Popup form to add/edit Helper Data for each combo box for JUST that set of data
  • Main form with subform to edit ALL helper data (cont form with nested cont form)
  • Searching and sorting on EntityListF. Select different display formats (Org: FL, FL Org, etc.)
  • Searching on other fields like phone, address, email, etc - put in form footer of EntityList
  • Mark people active / inactive so they don't show up in lists. Prefered over deleting people
  • Allow people to be deleted, but need event to delete related records - not using cascade deletes
  • Make the Entity Subform slide out when one of the labels is clicked on. Add a << button to slide in
  • Online Links (like email, address, phone) for FB, twitter, web site, IG, etc. Opens to correct service w hyperlink

Groups & Relationships Module

  • Groups: could be a company, family, organization, etc. Used to group entities together. Can also be used for mailing lists, customer categories, newsletters, etc. Many-to-many with Entities.
  • Group Subform on EntityF to show this person's groups
  • Main Group Form with group details (date created, notes, etc.) and a subform of entities in that group
  • Ability to add people to groups from the EntitySearchF based on the criteria specified in the search parameters
  • Relationships: used to relate two Entities together. Could be personal relationships (spouse, parent, sibling, etc.) or business relationships (co-worker, subordinate, etc.)
  • When one relationship is created, ask to create the opposite relationship for the other person - we may be able to do this by expanding HelperDataT to have a 2nd ID field in it which would represent the opposite relationship. More study on this.

Enhanced Address & Phone Module

  • List of countries to select from. Priority order for commonly used. (US, Can, UK, Aus, etc.)
  • Country table isn't exhaustive. You can add new ones as needed easily
  • Set a default country just like the primary setting for email, phone, etc. above.
  • Country changes labels for other fields (Canada changes State to Province)
  • Country can change rules for entering ZIP codes (Canada 6 for example) or list of states
  • ZIP code lookup - populates state, city, county - add new ones if don't exist - show form if multiple
  • Phone number input masks by country
  • Like with the Relationships above, may be able to store State>Country>ZIP code information in the Helper Table. A 2nd ID field would create that relationship. Experiment with this.
  • Copy address from another entity
  • Possibly SHARE an address with another entity - many-to-many relationship?
  • Potential: store city, state, zip in local database but if it doesn't exist, ask the user to query the web to find it. Need to find a free API to get data from. If not, enter it.

Miscellaneous Data Module

  • Just like the HelperDataT prevents having tons of small tables in the database, the MiscDataT table is going to be used to prevent tons of FIELDS in tables that not everyone might use. For example, if you have data that's specific to your industry that most people don't care about, you can store it in a MiscData field. Things that you may not collect on every person: nickname, shoe size, personalized email greeting, marital status, age of children, number of cats, etc.
  • This will consist of one table MiscDataTypeT that identifies the field and a second table MiscDataT that holds all of the actual data. Think like the HelperT above but with fields instead of whole tables.
  • MiscData will show up as another subform on the EntityF
  • Add capability to search through MiscData in the EntityList
  • You can also collect these fields into data Sets: MiscDataSetT and DetailT will hold a collection of fields that YOU may want to ask for your business. For example, you could have a "default" set that includes fields that aren't part of the ABCD core, but you ALWAYS ask. If you sell insurance you may always ask: marital status, dependents, do you smoke, height, weight, etc.
  • you can also use these sets to create questionnaires. One click on the SET and the questions are automatically populated into the subform for the entity. then you can fill out the data

Modules in Development

This list represents modules that are currently in development. There are two ways that a module gets "fast tracked." Either a large number of people have requested it, or a client has paid a priority fee to have this module developed. In either case, these are currently in development and will be finished first, after the Core enhancements listed above:

  • Contact Management - assigned to one entity, but ability to tag others (group meeting, for example)
  • Letter Writer - printed correspondence, mail merge, mailing labels, send to group or by other criteria (state, etc.)
  • Bulk Email Sending
  • Tasks - priority TO DO list with date due, auto generate at regular intervals
  • Tracking Insurance Policies
  • Accounts Payable
  • Budgeting
  • Importing Leads - track lead source (vendor, ad, etc.)

If you have a need for a database project for your business, contact me. If I think it will be a good fit for an ABCD module, I'll add it to the list. If it's not already on the fast track, you can pay to have it put on this list so it's developed first.

Other Modules

This list is in no particular order. Speak up if you want to see me work on something sooner rather than later.

  • Order Entry, Quotes, Invoices - similar to what is covered in my normal classes, but polished and professional
  • Recurring Memberships
  • Sales reports, forecasting
  • Product Database unit cost, sale price, import products from vendors
  • Vendors - many-to-many with products (products can be purchased from multiple vendors)
  • Inventory management, stock levels, reorder
  • Barcoding - UPC, ISBN, create your own
  • Checking account register
  • Import transaction data from bank, paypal
  • Employee time tracking
  • Employee scheduling

Other Features

These are features that will be built into the database eventually.

  • Split database with instructions on how to set up on a LAN and integrate with AccessUpdater
  • Remote data viewing / editing with disconnected mini DB
  • Full security lockdown (everything covered in Security Seminar)
  • Full external strings manager (so you can call Entity "customer" if you want, and other fields)
  • User preferences (colors, fonts, for forms, reports, etc.)
  • Upscale to SQL Server, local network
  • Upscale to SQL Server, online
  • Upscale to SQL Server as a service (I host and maintain your data)
  • Web-based data viewing editing (for web-hosted data)
  • Full training videos for USERS so that you don't have to explain to non-Access people how to use your database. These videos will be presented in a non-technical way how to USE the database. Save time on training your secretary.

Suggestions, Comments, Questions?

Again, let me know if you have any thoughts, ideas, or features you'd like to see in this database. Post them below!


College Professor Link 
Donald Schuman     
9 days ago
I am a college professor at a major university.

I would like to automate tasks like grading, providing feedback to students, letters of recommendation, etc.

Any plans or ideas in this direction?
Richard Rost    
8 days ago
Hi Donald. Well, as a teacher myself I will say that I will DEFINITELY be putting together modules for stuff like this. I use grading as an example in a lot of my regular lessons. Feel free to post your ideas and a list of what you'd like to see included and I'll try to squeeze in as much as I can.
Add a Reply
ABCD Suggestion - Tabs Link 
Alex Hedley    
10 days ago
For changing colours of the tabs you could add a Tag property to each then use similar code to: so all you need to do is add the Tag to any new tabs and itll update all. The function could then be passed the Tag you clicked so it knows which one is active. Read More...
Richard Rost    
10 days ago
I was already thinking about something like this. When we start getting more and more tabs they're going to be cumbersome to code. I was going to just prefix all of the names with something which would indicate to the code to adjust their color, for example every one of them would start with "EntitySubform_" and then the name of the tab. It could be passed to a function and all of them could still be located. I've never liked using the Tag property.
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