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Access 2010 Add-in - Your opinions please on this one......... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I found the following add-in from a company called FMS, Inc. called Total Access Components. Here is a link to the web page that describes the product:

    http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/Controls.html

    I use Access 2010 32-bit version........

    I'd appreciate anyone's feedback who might have experience with this companies products and the quality, usability, ease of use, etc. of the products you might have got from them.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:47 PM

Answers

  • Steven

    There is a wealth of code, all with examples, and you can easily add more code to it. Over the years I've saved all my code as .bas files, but they became too hard to search. The SourceBook is perfect for searching.

    Yes, $400 is a lot. You might want to wait until you really need it. There are lots of free code samples floating around the web that you can use/read until you get your feet wet.

    You mentioned the Code Tools. That's a different add-in. I don't use that. I've found mzTools (http://www.mztools.com) and SmartIndenter (http://www.oaltd.co.uk/Indenter/IndentPage.asp ) to be all I need in that area and both are freeware.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    • Proposed as answer by danishani Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:05 PM
    • Marked as answer by Steven Schuyler Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:27 PM
    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:57 PM
  • I've used several of FMS's products, but not the Components. I stay away from third-party controls. But the ones I've used have been very good. Total Analyzer is very thorough. That's one I use all the time on databases I've inherited.

    The Visual sourceBook is excellent, too if you write a lot of code. I wrote a review on it here: http://thatlldoit.com/FMSInc_TotalVisualSourcebook.aspx


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:04 PM
  • Bill: Thanks for your reply. Why do you stay away from third party controls ?

    And, what all products have you got from them ?

    I'm not stuck on the idea of getting these components, but it is a big investment for any of thier add-ins and I just want to be sure that I am getting my monies worth.

    To be honest, I am an intermediate programmer and have not ventured into VBA coding yet very much but I am looking forward to learning more about it and I wanted to have some tools that would simply make the process simpler. And, I thought that these components look kind of cool.

    With this in mind, if you were me, if you purchased any of FMS's products at all, which ones would you buy ?


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:14 PM
  • Bill: Thanks for your reply. Why do you stay away from third party controls ?

    And, what all products have you got from them ?

    I'm not stuck on the idea of getting these components, but it is a big investment for any of thier add-ins and I just want to be sure that I am getting my monies worth.

    To be honest, I am an intermediate programmer and have not ventured into VBA coding yet very much but I am looking forward to learning more about it and I wanted to have some tools that would simply make the process simpler. And, I thought that these components look kind of cool.

    With this in mind, if you were me, if you purchased any of FMS's products at all, which ones would you buy ?


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Steven

    I stay away from 3rd-party controls because they require registration on each user's computer and verson conflicts often arise. If you are building Access applications to sell individually and don't mind the added work these might be worth buying. But to me these kinds of controls are all bells and whistles. I develop business apps so my users like things standard and clean.

    As to which products I've got from FMS, I have the Developer's Suite. Out of those products, I use the SourceBook, Analyzer, and the Detective listing the most used one first. I've purchased all three in the past and think they are well worth the money.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:34 PM
  • Thanks Bill:

    I think with your comments i mind, I might look at the Total Visual Code Tools package that they offer. The problem for me is that it is $400 !!!!!! Yikes!!

    But, if it makes adding robust code to the projects I create for my clients, its all that much better both for my own experience and the client's benefit, right ?


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:41 PM
  • Bill: Thanks for saving me $400 !!! I will go out and try this mzTools and smatIdenter as you suggested.

    I'm sure that FMS products are great, but too rich for my pocketbook. If I did buy from them, I would be going way out on a limb financially as I do not yet have that many paying clients to warrant the expense.

    I guess you could say that these would be "nice to have toys"....


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:03 PM
  • Bill:

    Pardon my ignorance, but I just went to MZTools and they have two versions of the add-in to download listed as:

    Which one of these is appropriate for Access 2010 32-bit version ?

    Thanks,

    Steven


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:10 PM

All replies

  • I've used several of FMS's products, but not the Components. I stay away from third-party controls. But the ones I've used have been very good. Total Analyzer is very thorough. That's one I use all the time on databases I've inherited.

    The Visual sourceBook is excellent, too if you write a lot of code. I wrote a review on it here: http://thatlldoit.com/FMSInc_TotalVisualSourcebook.aspx


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:04 PM
  • I haven't used FMS's stuff in A2007 or A2010, but when I did, I found them to be high quality and usually very responsive to problems.  I think their price is too high to buy on a whim, but if you really need their products, the price is reasonable.
    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:12 PM
  • Bill: Thanks for your reply. Why do you stay away from third party controls ?

    And, what all products have you got from them ?

    I'm not stuck on the idea of getting these components, but it is a big investment for any of thier add-ins and I just want to be sure that I am getting my monies worth.

    To be honest, I am an intermediate programmer and have not ventured into VBA coding yet very much but I am looking forward to learning more about it and I wanted to have some tools that would simply make the process simpler. And, I thought that these components look kind of cool.

    With this in mind, if you were me, if you purchased any of FMS's products at all, which ones would you buy ?


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:14 PM
  • Bill: Thanks for your reply. Why do you stay away from third party controls ?

    And, what all products have you got from them ?

    I'm not stuck on the idea of getting these components, but it is a big investment for any of thier add-ins and I just want to be sure that I am getting my monies worth.

    To be honest, I am an intermediate programmer and have not ventured into VBA coding yet very much but I am looking forward to learning more about it and I wanted to have some tools that would simply make the process simpler. And, I thought that these components look kind of cool.

    With this in mind, if you were me, if you purchased any of FMS's products at all, which ones would you buy ?


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Steven

    I stay away from 3rd-party controls because they require registration on each user's computer and verson conflicts often arise. If you are building Access applications to sell individually and don't mind the added work these might be worth buying. But to me these kinds of controls are all bells and whistles. I develop business apps so my users like things standard and clean.

    As to which products I've got from FMS, I have the Developer's Suite. Out of those products, I use the SourceBook, Analyzer, and the Detective listing the most used one first. I've purchased all three in the past and think they are well worth the money.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:34 PM
  • Thanks Bill:

    I think with your comments i mind, I might look at the Total Visual Code Tools package that they offer. The problem for me is that it is $400 !!!!!! Yikes!!

    But, if it makes adding robust code to the projects I create for my clients, its all that much better both for my own experience and the client's benefit, right ?


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:41 PM
  • Steven

    There is a wealth of code, all with examples, and you can easily add more code to it. Over the years I've saved all my code as .bas files, but they became too hard to search. The SourceBook is perfect for searching.

    Yes, $400 is a lot. You might want to wait until you really need it. There are lots of free code samples floating around the web that you can use/read until you get your feet wet.

    You mentioned the Code Tools. That's a different add-in. I don't use that. I've found mzTools (http://www.mztools.com) and SmartIndenter (http://www.oaltd.co.uk/Indenter/IndentPage.asp ) to be all I need in that area and both are freeware.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    • Proposed as answer by danishani Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:05 PM
    • Marked as answer by Steven Schuyler Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:27 PM
    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:57 PM
  • Bill: Thanks for saving me $400 !!! I will go out and try this mzTools and smatIdenter as you suggested.

    I'm sure that FMS products are great, but too rich for my pocketbook. If I did buy from them, I would be going way out on a limb financially as I do not yet have that many paying clients to warrant the expense.

    I guess you could say that these would be "nice to have toys"....


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:03 PM
  • Bill:

    Pardon my ignorance, but I just went to MZTools and they have two versions of the add-in to download listed as:

    Which one of these is appropriate for Access 2010 32-bit version ?

    Thanks,

    Steven


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:10 PM
  • Bill:

    Pardon my ignorance, but I just went to MZTools and they have two versions of the add-in to download listed as:

    Which one of these is appropriate for Access 2010 32-bit version ?

    Thanks,

    Steven


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA


      MZ-Tools 3.0 for Visual Basic 6.0, 5.0 and VBA

    Bob Larson, Access MVP 2008-2010, 2011

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:25 PM
  • Steven

    There's really no need to mark every post as the answer. :O)

    Another one of my favorites (also freeware) is V-Tools (http:/www.skrol29.com)


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:35 PM
  • Thanks for your interest in our Total Access Components product, and thanks for the kind words about FMS from the other participants here.

    While there may be generic 3rd party controls people use with Microsoft Access and encounter problems, that's shouldn't occur with Total Access Components since it is designed specifically for Microsoft Access. That's what makes it so special. The current version supports both 32 and 64 bit versions of Access 2010 (and earlier versions).

    In terms of redistribution, we also understand how it works for Access developers and include a single EXE that allows you to deploy the controls to your end-users' machines. It's a professional setup program that supports the standard Windows protocol for security, user access rights, uninstall, etc. We've also bundled all 30 controls into one so that it's easy to distribute for Access developers.

    As for price, you'll have to judge the value of what we offer. When you purchase from FMS, you're receiving a professional solution from a very experienced software development team, quality assurance team, and support team. That's what ensures our products can withstand the challenges of professional solutions. Each of our products cost in excess of $100K, so if we're not able to show value for a few hundred dollars, we've really done a bad job. It comes down to what value you deliver to your customers, how they perceive that value, and whether you can capitalize on the additional features, lower cost, and quality deliverables offered by our products.

    Many of the features (controls) in Total Access Components can't be provided through VBA code. If you can amaze your users and get a reputation for delivering Access solutions that are more powerful and visually pleasing than others can, I think it's a pretty small price to pay for such differentiation.

    Have you tried the trial version? That should show you how it works, especially how it integrates directly in your forms and supports bound fields. Good luck!


    Luke Chung
    President
    FMS, Inc.

    Monday, February 27, 2012 7:17 PM
  • Thanks for jumping in Luke.  You tell a pretty compelling story, especially about installing, and I'll have to take another look if there's something I should be using.
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 12:49 AM
  • Are you familiar with our product offer to Access MVPs?


    Luke Chung
    President
    FMS, Inc. Facebook

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 3:54 AM

  • Hi Luke

    LukeChung wrote:

    In terms of redistribution, we also understand how it works for Access
    developers and include a single EXE that allows you to deploy the
    controls to your end-users' machines. It's a professional setup program
    that supports the standard Windows protocol for security, user access
    rights, uninstall, etc. We've also bundled all 30 controls into one so
    that it's easy to distribute for Access developers.

    And here lays the problem. An Access application doesn't have to be installed at ll. In many, even very security aware Swiss banks, an Access application is a document like word. It doesn't have to be installed, and if you use correct setup with a starter application, the users even don't have to do anything else than start these to get the application (FE) locally "installed" and running. These companies - and it are getting more and more - don't allow the user installs anything and don't let them run any setup. Not only for security reasons but also for legal/piracy reasons. If you want to install an application that comes with a setup you get through the IT hell and months long approval/auditing/certification processes. Include such a control in your Access application and you loose all the benefits I mentioned above about Access Applications. Delivering a single MDB or an MDE without any additional setups is far easier. Send it by e-mail and let one users copy it to the master directory. Done. No IT department involvement or centralized installation processes for the workstations required.

    That's the main reason I stay away from 3rd party tools that have to be installed. Some other reasons have been mentioned already like compatibility issues when versions are changing and dependency of 3rd party software where we see a lot of problems coming now when Office will go 64-bit (not with FMS of course ;-))

    Anyway, what FMS is doing for Access is amazing, even not everybody can use/afford or include all the products you are providing. And the controls make sense if the application is developed for internal users only in the company's IT department, that can manage these installs much easier than external suppliers.

    Henry

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:51 AM
  • Hi Henry,

    Thanks for the kind words!

    No doubt, some products aren't going to be appropriate for all situations. If you can't install 3rd party controls then you simply can't. That just means the organization may forgo some functionality or pay a lot more to have it built another way.

    I certainly understand why organizations have such restrictions. They have to consider how these applications are supported well after the original developers are gone. Having 3rd party products "found" on the web somewhere doesn't cut it. 

    That's why we deliver solutions that meet the standards of most enterprises. It's not someone's hobby. We have a legitimate business with real customers, real developers, real quality assurance processes, and live support. We have a track record of delivering updates over time and have been doing it for 26 years. Those go a long way to being on the "approved" list.

    Then it becomes a business decision. Corporate developers should be focused on what's unique to the problem and leverage what's available in the market at a fraction of the cost of building it yourself. Hope that helps.


    Luke Chung
    President
    FMS, Inc.
    Facebook

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 2:35 PM
  • Yes I am - with appreciation.  I took advantage of it way back when I needed it to help me unscramble a mess of an app I had take over.
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:32 PM
  • Luke

    With FMS's presence in the Access world, I don't understand why there would be a problem getting your add-in approved.

    But then I'm not aChief anything any more. I decided several years ago that being a developer was a lot more fun and rewarding than running an operation by somebody else's silly rules.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals


    Friday, March 2, 2012 9:46 PM
  • Mr Chung:

    I am the group coordinator for the Berkeley Access Database Users Group in Berkeley, CA. I would like to discuss this offer you mentioned to see if we can work out some kind of sponsorship arrangement as well as possible discounts to new members of our group to purchase your products.

    Please contact me directly at: sjs94704@comcast.net to discuss this further.


    Steven Schuyler Berkeley, California USA

    Thursday, March 22, 2012 2:24 AM
  • You mentioned the Code Tools. That's a different add-in. I don't use that. I've found mzTools (http://www.mztools.com) and SmartIndenter (http://www.oaltd.co.uk/Indenter/IndentPage.asp ) to be all I need in that area and both are freeware.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Bill, you mentioned you use SmartIndenter so perhaps you have an answer to this question. (an email to the developer went unanswered).

    When I use the function to "Indent Project", it opens each form to get at the code and then does not close the form.  This means that after about 40% of my forms, it crashes my system.

    Any suggestions?

    /Joe

    Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:23 PM
  • You mentioned the Code Tools. That's a different add-in. I don't use that. I've found mzTools (http://www.mztools.com) and SmartIndenter (http://www.oaltd.co.uk/Indenter/IndentPage.asp ) to be all I need in that area and both are freeware.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Bill, you mentioned you use SmartIndenter so perhaps you have an answer to this question. (an email to the developer went unanswered).

    When I use the function to "Indent Project", it opens each form to get at the code and then does not close the form.  This means that after about 40% of my forms, it crashes my system.

    Any suggestions?

    /Joe


    Joe - There is an option to indent the current module. That's the one I usually use.

    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Thursday, March 22, 2012 3:59 PM
  • Bill,

    After a few times, that's what I switched to using as well.  I was hoping you'd have a solution allowing me to use the global one.  It would be great to clean up the code on the old DB I'm working on in one fell swoop.

    /Joe

    Sunday, March 25, 2012 9:05 AM
  • Joe - Since it is probably the number of forms that is taxing the indenting, try importing all the forms into a blank DB and indenting them. Then import them back into the original DB.


    Bill Mosca
    http://www.thatlldoit.com
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MS_Access_Professionals

    Sunday, March 25, 2012 6:52 PM