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Home > Courses > Access > Templates > ABCD > Part 1 >
Access Business & Contact Database
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   12 months ago

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Introducing the ABCD

The Access Business & Contact Database (ABCD) is designed to be a professional, full production-quality database to cover all of your information management needs. I have been building and teaching Access databases for over 25 years. Now, I'm finally building a solid, professional database system that you can use to run your business.



ABCD Part 1: Core

  • Entities (People, Organizations)
  • Multiple Phone, Address, Email Addresses
  • Helper Data (Prefix, Suffix, Title, Gender, Marital Status, etc.)
  • Entity List, Main Menu
  • Custom Entity Code

ABCD Part 2: Core

  • Helper Data Edit Popup Form
  • Helper Data Editor
  • Groups (Students, Employees, Parents, etc.)
  • Relations (Parent/Child, Co-Worker, etc.)
  • Automatic Reverse Relations

ABCD Part 3: Core

  • Misc Data (Shoe Size, Favorite Sports Team, etc.)
  • Required Misc Data
  • Free Text Entry or Pick From List
  • Admin Menu & Simple Security
  • Open Form Right
  • Group Editor
  • Slide Out Sections for Tabs

ABCD Part 4: Core

  • Sorting & Filtering the Entity List Form
  • Search on Helper Data Fields
  • Search on Related Data (Address, Email, Phone, etc.)
  • Search on Misc Data (Baseball Team, Rank, etc.)
  • Printable Report

ABCD Part 5: Core

  • Document Management
  • Create a Profile Picture
  • Select a File, Copy to Server Folder
  • Conditional Format Expiration Dates
  • Custom Image Thumbnails
  • Add Multiple Documents

ABCD Part 6: Core

The ABCD Part 6 is currently under development. Enroll now you can join in, watch videos as they're released, ask questions, and make suggestions!

ABCD Add-On Modules

After the Core package is finished, I will be releasing new Modules on a regular basis. These will be designed so that you can pick and choose which features you want and don't want in your database. Install only what you need. Some of these will include:

  • Contact Management
  • Letter Writer (Bulk Email, Print)
  • Task Management
  • Schedule & Calendar
  • Importing & Tracking Leads
  • Orders, Quotations, Invoicing
  • Recurring Memberships
  • Employee Time Tracking
  • Inventory & Barcoding

Plus, the ABCD will eventually have full enhanced search capabilities, split database options, possible cloud-based data storage, and full security to lock the database down. I'll be adding these and a lot more features - pretty much everything I've covered in my classes - to the system, eventually.

I'll even be adding custom Modules for specific vertical markets like insurance (tracking clients, leads, policies), automotive (vehicle & fleet maintenance), schools (students, attendance, grades), budgeting, and lots more. 


I am recording videos showing how the database is built, but mostly so that you can understand the construction and be better equipped to make any modifications or additions you may need on your own. This will be marketed as a finished database without the need for any enhancements, but, of course, one of the main reasons to use Access is so that you can make changes yourself. The videos will be a quick run-through of how each feature is built, as I'm building it. I will be using advanced features like SQL and VBA from the start, so you may want some SQL or VBA Developer Lessons under your belt if you're going to try to follow along. This is NOT a teaching database. Free Technical Support will NOT be offered.

Tech Support

There is NO free Technical Support provided on the ABCD if you have not taken ALL of my previous Developer lessons. There are a lot of very difficult, advanced programming concepts used in the construction of this database. I do not have the time to provide free support if you get stuck trying to make modifications. All I will do is point you to the appropriate Developer lesson(s) that cover the issue. There is a reason why (a) I say this is NOT a teaching database, and (b) there are pre-requisites. Feel free to ask questions, but I can't spend half an hour explaining concepts that are already covered in my other lessons.


Unlike my other courses and seminars which provide you with royalty-free databases that you can modify and distribute yourself, the ABCD does NOT come with a royalty-free license. You may only customize the database for your business needs and for use within your organization. You may not resell or distribute it to others without express written permission. In addition, if you are using it in an organization with more than 10 users, you must purchase additional licenses. Contact me for additional information. I will post additional details when the Core database is completed.


There are two purchase options available for the ABCD.

  • You can purchase a fully editable and customizable copy of the database in addition to the video tutorials that show how it was built. This is the option you should pick if you want to make changes to the database for your own business needs, and you want to learn how the database was constructed to assist you. As a reminder, these are not teaching videos. They are simply provided to show you how the database was built. Free support is not guaranteed if you have questions. I do my best to answer questions, but I can't promise anything. You must purchase any pre-requisite parts or modules required. For example, you may not purchase Core Part 4 without first having parts 1 thru 3.
  • Once the Core is finished, you can optionally purchase a use-only version of the database. This is the best option if you only plan on using the database for your personal or business needs, but do not intend on modifying the structure of the database. Free instructional videos will be provided to teach your staff how to use it.

Your Feedback

I will be releasing new Core features and modules on a regular basis. You can see the list of features that are scheduled for development on the Coming Soon page. I would very much like your feedback on what features you think should be available. If you have a specific interest for your business type, let me know. 


Part 6 Coming Soon Upload Images   Link 
Richard Rost 
4 days ago
Hey guys. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have been working on different stuff for the ABCD. I'll be releasing Part 6 in the next week or two.

A lot of projects that I have been working on as stand-alone databases are ALSO going to be integrated into the ABCD. For example, right now I'm putting the finishing touches on my Task Manager which is going to be released as a standalone template AND as an add-on for the ABCD. Read More...
Richard Rost
4 days ago

Richard Rost
4 days ago
There's LOTS of cool stuff in there, and it's the database I've been using to manage my own task lists for the past year or so. It's just one of the things that I'm planning on integrating in the ABCD. So hang in there. A lot more is coming. Part 6 is going to include a tool to split the database, auto-relink the tables, and even allow you to switch to a different data set (multiple sets of back-end tables, in case you run multiple companies). Full contact management is also going to be added - I can't really call it the Access Business CONTACT Database without that, right? LOL. Lots more too.
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Screen Fragment Observation Upload Images   Link 
Scott Axton 
41 days ago
I was re-watching Core 2 again today.  You kept mentioning the annoying screen fragment when one of the screens loaded W/O data.  
Any way long story short in Lesson 4 - Groups at 46:18 that fragment is there.  Then when you moved the labels out of the header to above the subform at 47:25 it's gone. Read More...
Richard Rost
41 days ago
OK. I'll look at it ASAP. Getting ready to head out for dinner soon.
Scott Axton
41 days ago
Nothing important - just an observation like I said.
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Transfer Data Upload Images   Link 
Harold Sheats 
4 months ago
how to transfer data to each new model
Scott Axton
4 months ago
Using the knowledge you gained through the courses.  Or just start typing.
Scott Axton
4 months ago
OK I realize that answer was a bit flippant.  Sorry.
However, as short as it was it's accurate.  You will need to link to,  or import your current data.  Then, through one or more queries, you would need to clear out the "test" data, and then append your actual data.
Without some pretty strong understanding of queries, relationships, etc. that you develop in the courses it would be a pretty daunting task for a brand new user.
If this is the case and you are just looking for something to use you might consider paying one of the developers that have listed themselves for consulting here:
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Subform vs Tab Control Upload Images   Link 
Jonathan Rivera 
7 months ago
Hi Richard,
I am trying to find where you showed how to build the subforms that look like the tab control. Where can I find where you show how to do this?
Alex Hedley
7 months ago
ABCD has this.
Richard Rost
7 months ago
Yeah this is a more advanced concept. It involves VBA programming and swapping out different forms into a subform control. Definitely beyond Beginner level, even Expert level. I might show it in a Developer class.
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HelperT question Upload Images   Link 
Ron VandeVelde 
7 months ago
Mr. Rost,
Is there a point that you are better off creating a table instead of adding HelperValues to the HelperT? For instance, if you have multiple facilities and you want to indicate which facility each employee works at, is there a number of facilities where you would be better off creating a table? Or would it depend more on something like how much data you want for each facility?
Richard Rost
7 months ago
Totally up to you. The HelperT wasn't really meant for data that's going to change a lot. I'd keep it for things you rarely make modifications to. If it's something like that, I'd probably consider a separate table - unless your list of facilities doesn't change often. A college, for example, might have 12 buildings and they almost never add more.
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Turning Off Fields Upload Images   Link 
Harold Patton 
8 months ago
Hi Richard, I hope all is well you these days.  I am wanting to know what it would take to put some switches into the database program so that a person can turn off many fields from being shown to the user.  What I'm getting at is there are way too many fields the input clerk needs to tab or click through to complete an entry for an entire file to input.  It just takes up extra time in my point. Read More...
Richard Rost
8 months ago
I don't think I'll work in that level of complexity as far as making it a feature for EVERYONE to turn on and off specific fields, but YOU can certainly hide the fields you don't want in YOUR database. Just set the visible property to FALSE for fields you don't think you'll ever need. The rest of the database should work fine. OR, you could always just take them out of the tab order (tab stop property = FALSE).

I'd do that for the Document Type field. Just don't make it a tab stop. This way the first field would be the document name and if you WANT to specify a type, you can. Otherwise when you tab it doesn't stop there.

I'm probably going to make a way in the settings for the user to turn on and off the different tabs they don't need. That is coming. Not everyone will want, for example, the Document tab. Not sure what that Append warning is for. I thought I wrapped all of my RunSQL statements with SetWarnings OFF. I'll double-check it.

I'm going to share your comments with the group. Which is where I prefer stuff like this goes to see if anyone else shares your thoughts. If enough other people want a particular feature, I'll build it in.
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Primary Phone Email Etc Upload Images   Link 
David Pierce 
8 months ago
Hi Richard,
I was wondering how hard it would be to include setting the primary depending on user. I have something similiar that you did with Primary in phone, emails and such but i like your code a lot better than what i have. Much easier to understand and use. In any event, an example as follows: Read More...
Richard Rost
8 months ago
That would be challenging, but possible. Talk to me after we add in the User-Level Security, which is coming up soon.
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Reoccuring Dates Upload Images   Link 
David Pierce 
8 months ago
Hi Richard,
I would love to see how you would handle reoccuring dates that would put a message in maybe in a list box on start up page such as credit card, loan payments, and so on where they occur monthly weather variable or fixed. I dont really know how to state it but where you have reoccuring payments, how they are somewhat reset to next month date when paid?
Richard Rost
8 months ago
I cover recurring bill payments in the Payables Seminar. Same concept.
Richard Rost
8 months ago
I will probably be incorporating a lot of what's in the Payables Seminar into the ABCD as a module, eventually. And yes, if you want to learn that stuff NOW, I will take most of what you spend towards it now and apply it to the Payables Module for the ABCD.
Add a Reply
My Project working from ABCD Upload Images   Link 
Ron VandeVelde 
8 months ago
Mr. Rost,
As we have discussed a few times on email, I am working on a project where I need to create a database for tracking employee licenses. Our company has employees that require licensing by some of the States we work in. So here are some of the things I need to add to the database. For starters I will need a way to track each State that requires licenses, I would like to include the following: Read More...
Richard Rost
8 months ago
You could set up each State as an Entity, then all of the info that you need to track (licenses required, etc.) can go into the Misc Data fields.
Ron VandeVelde
8 months ago
Are you saying to add each State to the existing EntityT that holds all of the Employees? Looking at ABCD-after-L7 database, it would be like the entry for EntityCode P265476? If so, then I would just add a new HelperTypeID that reflects 1) # of years of license (ex 1, 2 or 3)? Then also add a new HelperTypeID for the States?

I have added a HelperTypeID for the employment status (ex Full-Time, Part-Time, On Leave etc.). Then I have added columns to the PersonT for EmploymentStatus, HireDate, FireDate, LeaveDate...Does that sound like the best plan? Lastly, do I need to add a StateT table? Then (like the emailT) I could list numerus States for each employee.

I haven't gotten to the video where you change the PersonT to EntityT yet, I assume I will have a better understanding after I get to that video. As always, thank  you so much for the guidance and very quick responses.
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ABCD Template Upload Images   Link 
Timothy Smith 
12 months ago
Hi Richard,

Is the ABCD Template included in the MYOLP Developer?

Just wondering.  Thank you
Richard Rost
12 months ago
No. It's a separate product. The Developer lessons are designed to TEACH you how to program and use things like recordsets, VBA, etc. I take more time covering each example in several ways. The ABCD is NOT a teaching database. The goal is to build a fully-functioning real-world database. I'm recording the build so that you can see how it was constructed so that you can more easily customize it yourself, but I don't spend a lot of time covering concepts. However, Learning Connection members do still get 50% off ALL of my Templates and Seminars.
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Keywords: ABCD access business contact database  PermaLink