Overview of the ms access switchboard (part 1)

The ms access switchboard is one of the most under-appreciated features open to users and developers. The MS-Access 2007 switchboard comprises four main components. The first component of the ms access 2007 switchboard is the ‘Switchboard Items table’.     

Open the navigation pane, in tables, see 'Switchboard Items'

Open the navigation pane, in tables, see 'Switchboard Items'

   

 Like many well designed features, the ms access 2007 switchboard stores configurable data in a table form. In this way, it allows the user to interact and change the data (e.g.  the ‘switchboard items’).     

The Switchboard Items table comprises several columns. Some of these columns store text that describes the particular switchboard item for that switchboard.  Other columns help drive the process that performs an action, for example when the user clicks on a switchboard button.    

The design view of the Switchboard Items table reveals the column structure.

Design view fo the Switchboard Items Table

Design view fo the Switchboard Items Table

   

SwitchboardID and ItemNumber make up a compound primary key pair. This key pair prevent duplication in the table rows.  SwitchboardID identifies the switchboard uniquely. This also allows you to name two  switchboards the same (via ItemText the same). As long as the SwitchboardId is unique, you can do this.    

ItemText is a user configurable field to allow the user to choose the text appearing of the switchboard button item.      

Command and Argument are columns that store values to direct the execution of some action that is fired when the user clicks the switchboard item button.    

How to change the Name of a Switchboard via the switchboard Items table

  1. Open the Switchboard Items table
  2. Optional: Filter the table to show only item numbers of 0. Why? Switchboards have an item number 0.
  3. In the ItemText column find the name of the switchboard and change it.

Embedded Macros and The MS-Access Switchboard

The second component of the ms access 2007 switchboard are embedded macros.    

An interesting characteristic of embedded macros in ms-access 2007 is that such macros are not observable from the Navigation Pane.  According to Microsoft,    

a macro can be embedded into any event property of a form, report, or control. Embedded macros become part of the object or control in which they are embedded. Standalone macros are visible in the Navigation Pane, under Macros; embedded macros are not.    

Unlike prior versions which used vba, now embedded macros, by default, drive the switchboard. Users do not normally see the embedded macros, that is because you only notice them when you look at the third component, the Switchboard form, in design view.    

The Switchboard Form

Looking in the navigation pane, under the forms section, select “switchboard”.    

Open up the switchboard. When it opens go into design view.    

To get to design view, you can right-click and choose the triangle ruler pencil icon “Design View”.    

Ms-Access 2007, Go to the switchboard in design view

Ms-Access 2007, Go to the switchboard in design mode

   

In order to see where the embedded macros are you need to see the properties of this form.    

On the main menu bar at the top of the ms-access application menu, choose among the various tabs, “Design”.    

To the extreme right you will notice “Property Sheet” with the image of a hand holding a hanging sheet of paper. Click on this to bring up properties. In this property sheet, notice a drop down control. You can select “Form”; if it is not already selected.    

You should then notice ‘On Current’ and ‘On Open’ have “[Embedded Macro]” next to them on the property sheet. To view the macro click on the ellipse.    

ms access switchboard form on load and on current embedded macros

ms access switchboard form on load and on current embedded macros

   

switcboard embedded macros

switchboard embedded macros

   

continue (part 2)