A Short History...
Since the introduction of the IBM PC in 1981, John's activities have evolved. In the first year,
there wasn't much to work with, but he did a couple of jobs for local builders using Lotus 1-2-3.
Then, when the first compilers came along, some other Developers joined and it was apparent that
the team should specialize in database projects. A short period of Pascal programming lead to
expert work in dBase III then Clipper and specialization in database work. Microsoft Windows arrived
on the early '90s and this led to an easy decision to go forward with consulting solutions in Microsoft Access
for clients in NH, MA, ME, NY, and CT Although the majority of work came in from the Boston to Portland, ME area,
projects have been completed in many other states.
Microsoft Access has been erroneously portrayed as a database. It is much much more. Actually it is better described as a rich application development platform that includes a powerful relational database. Data can be stored directly in Access tables or SQL Server.
Aside from Microsoft Access there is no other economical solution to department-level database projects.
A big competitive advantage of Access developers is their ability to straddle the end user needs with the more sophisticated professional, back-office IT operations. Microsoft Access fills the gap between the flexibility and ease of use in Excel which is entirely controlled by the end user, to the more rigorous demands (and benefits) of database applications.
A great Access programmer has an excellent understanding of their client's requirements, what the data really means, its relation to other data and what it's used for. He/she is also comfortable working with end users in an iterative manner to reach the final solution.
Demanding an upfront, detailed design document is nice, but that rarely works because most end users cannot easily provide it -- they simply don't know. But when they see a result, they can make good suggestions that they could not perceive before. Access provides an environment where rapid application development by a highly experiencced Access programmer (some call it prototyping) can be performed quickly and for minimal cost compared to alternative platforms.
Microsoft Access Development
We often find ourselves explaining to clients exactly what type of applications you
can develop with Access. Access offers a variety of features for different database needs. It is a highly
cost-effective means of generating these types of single or multi-user applications:
-- Small business apps
-- Business solutions online -- Departmental apps
-- Enterprise apps
-- As a front-end for client/server apps
-- Intranet database solutions
Access is exceptionally good as a reporting tool. With it, you can achieve very presentable designs for
--Reports containing subreports
--Reports containing graphics and charts
--Reports containing subreports
--Reports containing all of the above!
But keep in mind that the key to good reporting is developing a correct query under the report.
So please contact us either by Email (email@example.com)) or phone (603-926-6611) to talk about how our Access Programmers can work with you to create, upgrade, or enhance your database.
Abstracts of my major projects follow.
Custom Electric, Merrimack, NH
Developed a complete business management application in Access 2013 for this Electrical Contracting firm. A very big feature for this client was getting this to work remotely through Windows Remote Desktop being hosted at a local IT company. Client contractors can go to jobsites with their tablets and using wireless connections to a shared data source (in Access) can input data to the central data tables. In effect, this is classic Access but on the Web!Contact: Jeff Kibbie 603-424-7557
Becton Dickinson - ADC Andover, MA
Created a complete Inventory Tracking system in Access 2013. The app's workflow is Receipts to Inspection to Transfers of parts to various locations. Reporting consists of a number of queries that include showing all Part quantities at all locations .Contact: Andy LaBranche 978-901-7344
Novo Nordisk West Lebanon, NH
Developed an Access 2013 system to handle Purchasing and Receiving of medical parts. This app prints a complex Purchase Order and tracks incoming parts and transfers to various locations.Contact: Timothy Parker 603-298-3123 or Mike Mayo 603-298-3120
Chaston Associates North Andover, MA
Created a very involved Access 2013 system to capture and report on loan activity for client banks. This allows Chaston to do a very thorough review of bank risk levels prior to a regular planned SEC audit. The app is heavy on the analytical side with over 20 complex reports,Contact: Diane Duff 978-686-3688
Vartanian Cabinets Palmer, MA
Created a quoting/proposal utility that replaces those done before in Microsoft Word. Users can select from many categories and materials, some with images and some with extra notes to produce an attractive Proposal with attached Contract for acceptance and signature.Contact: Aram Vartanian 413-531-5701
American Plant Maintenance Woburn, MA
Took on support of an Access program that has been in use for several years, but was left in a
compiled (.mde) state with no source code to be found.
I was able to locate a company in the UK that reverse engineered the front-end file for a reasonable price
once all authorizations were signed.
I was then able to take on support and made some early modifications.
MacNichol Electric, Inc Lynnfield, MA
Upgraded full-featured business management app from Access 2003 to Access 2010. Fixed several bugs that had been bothering the owner and family staff for years.Contact: Stephen MacNichol 781-760-7196
TEK Microsystems, Inc Nashua, NH
TEK Micro designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of advanced high-performance FPGA based sensor I/O processing products for embedded real-time computing systems. I imported their Excel data and wrote an Order Entry and processing system in Access 2010.Contact: Renee Griffin 978-328-5944
Valescent Health (div of Apria Healthcare) Nashua, NH
Wrote an Access 2010 application to track Patients, Clients, Procedures and Providers. The schema was of medium complexity with 16 tables but some of them immediately grew to well over 1 million records. As a result, speed of query optimization was identified as being critical. I migrated all data to SQL Server and performed stress testing before turning the project over to the users.Contact: Geoffrey Keegan 603-880-4464
Leggat McCall Properties Boston, MA
LMP delivers complex real estate projects as investors, project managers, and advisors. I developed an Access 2010 program to handle their large real estate projects. In addition to the tracking of Projects, team members, and allocation of staff time, I developed an extensive reporting scheme.Contact: Allison Nunn 617-820-2147 or Don Birch 617-422-7007
Costa Fruit and Produce Boston, MA
Costa is the largest supplier of products to stores and restaurants in the Greater Boston area. I wrote a complex Costing program in Access 2010 to replace an aging Wang application. It is very much like a Bill-of-materials task incorporating products at 3 to 6 levels of assembly. Labor, waste, packaging, and even down to the label are handled.
The Costing Engine uses recursive functions to trace through all levels of assembly and packaging. Costs are rolled up and are affected by quite a variety of selectable factors along the way. Also developed an extensive reporting system.Contact: Joe Walsh 617-912-8047 or Kevin Linnehan 617-241-8007
FPI Inc. (Jonathan Pond, LLC) Newton, MA
Access Programmer; Crystal Reports
Jonathan is a nationally known financial planner with close affiliations with AARP. For many years, his firm has produced a very substantial and complete set of financial reports and advice based on extensive questionnaires sent in by conference attendees as well as respondents to public TV presentations. Done in VB6 and Borland, the report generation became very slow compared to current technology, but more seriously was breaking down. They lost support from the prior Developer and I was called. On my advice, the firm purchased new hardware and the current version of Microsoft Office. I set them up with a LogMeIn connection so I could transfer editions of my work to their site frequently. This became a content management project with dependence on complex combinations of responses concerning age, family, investments, retirement plans, risk preference and many other items. In some cases one of 50 possible responses were determined to go into a particular report section.Contact: Jonathan Pond 617-243-0020
State Street Bank Boston, MA
I offer continuing support for Melissa's HR project in Access 2003. Over the past several years, there there has arisen the need to change the way that the study of job functions are compensated. These calculations vary geographically as well as by country and salary band. Heavy mathematical internals prevail.Contact: Melissa Fleming 617-664-5464
Private Business Jets Hingham, MA
Access Database Developer/Programmer
June 2007 - Now
This company arranges charter jet trips for high profile individuals and groups from corporation
executives to rock stars. Their distinction is that they are able to draw on their ten years of
experience in order to quote the requestor immediately on hearing the trip's specifications.
Then, they solve by calling carriers of planes/private pilots they have used before, locating
planes setting idle away from their base or with empty legs, and as a last resort hooking up a
single leg via commercial jets.
Upon completion of this application and placing it into production, the client reported that it cut typical trip solve time from 4 hours to twenty minutes and added a higher degree of certainty to each job's profitability.
Maximus Hartford, CT, (also NY)
Access Programmer / Consultant
Dec 2006 - Now
Maximus is a substantial IT consulting firm serving primarily the government sector. As part of their team working
for the State of Connecticut's Department of Social Services (DSS), I created a program in Access 2003 to replace a
large and intricate set of Excel spreadsheets that managed Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) as well
as Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).
There are 12 Agencies involved in this within the Connecticut DSS with names such as Dept. of Children and Families, Dept. of Corrections, Dept of Labor, Judicial, Office of State Treasurer, and so on. Each has many programs and subprograms and is served by many providers. The need was to unify all this data and allow systematic quarterly imports of data from many sources to replace all the manual spreadsheet manipulations that went on before.
An additional task was to create complex Access forms that allocate monies from various funding streams to these programs and then estimate what would be required for the following fiscal year. The program also distills all the actual distributions into two formal annual reports named ACF-196 (TANF) and ACF-696 (CCDF).
Disetronics Sterile Products Portsmouth, NH
Mar 2007 - Now
Disetronic is a subsidiary of Hoffmann LaRoche. In a clean-room environment, they manufacture clinical devices,
especially insulin pumps for diabetics. They had a pressing need to improve the tracking of numbered work lots
to track the entire manufacturing cycle. We divided the4 work into two major tasks: Warehousing and Production.
As Einstein once said about hypotheses, "Make it as simple as possible, but no simpler. "Before doing any coding, we spent the first week just designing the data schema needed to support both sides of their world. With this careful analysis, we were able to do the job with a minimal number of tables. The schema was reduced to a core set named tblLotMaster, tblWarehouse, tblItemMaster, tblSuppliers, tblTransactionLog, and just a few other lookup tables. .
Accurate Brazing, Inc, Goffstown, NH
Access Programmer and Consultant
Oct 2006 - Now
Bud had created a very extensive set of operational and financial programs in Access 95. Deployed on 15 PCs throughout the plant, the code was getting severely out of shape because of the variety of operating systems and hardware that it was being asked to run on. It was overdue for an upgrade. Using my offsite lab, I upgraded 4 front-ends plus 4 back-end .mdbs all the way to Access 2003 with no intermediate versions. As is typical, the data went through this process fine, but there were severe anomalies (reported as VBA corruptions) with the Forms and Reports modules. With care and singling out the bad actors for special treatment, the whole set of programs was put into production within three weeks from start.
PAX World Funds, Portsmouth, NH, (also Maine, NY)
Visual Basic/Access Programmer
Jun 2006 - Aug 2006 and
Jul 2003 - Dec 2003
This major mutual fund company hired me to finish the work started by a previous Access Programmer. The program tracks commissions owed to brokers all across the country on all kinds of mutual fund transactions. A quarterly import of data is required and I automated this to make life easy for the administrator (Michelle). I later took on Access projects in several other departments including a critical one, Social Screening that is the core of the firm's specialty. PAX continues to use me for general database support.
ProTracker Software, Hampton, NH
Visual Basic.NET ASP.NET Developer and Consultant
Contact: Warren Mackensen 603-926-8085
Jul 2004 - Oct 2004
This specialized software is marketed nationwide to Certified Financial Planning (CFP) firms. The owner, Warren has an excellent reputation, being a recognized "guru" in the industry and a frequent speaker at conventions. I worked on the internal database issues as well as a significant amount of work on the DotNet ECommerce web site the ProTracker uses to market the product. This included downloading data from a web service, working with common dotnet server controls, linking to the data on a remote SQL Server, and plenty of old-fashioned HTML coding.Contact: Molly Mahoney 800-767-1729 Ext 19
UNITIL Corp, Hampton, NH
Visual Basic/Access Programmer and Analyst
May 2004 - Jun 2006
Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company supplying gas and electric services. I took up where a previous Developer left off in a complex Access program. This is designed to track the monetary benefits of users who voluntarily upgrade their residential or commercial energy equipment. This program handles frequent vendor data imports in a wide variety of formats, from ascii (.txt), Access (.mdb), Excel (.xls), and dbase IV (.dbf). The vendors as well as the users of the equipment are tracked and energy savings are calculated in this program.Contact: Cindy Carroll 603-773-6532
Fisher Scientific World Headquarters, Hampton, NH
VB/Access Programmer and Consultant
Dec 2003 - Jun 2004
Fisher had a bunch of databases containing the results of multiple Quarterly
Customer Satisfaction Surveys. They needed a Developer to unify this data so it could
be properly queried and reported on and so information across quarters and across
divisions would make sense. I have merged all data into one set of normalized tables
and am proceeding to rewrite all queries and reports to address the new schema. We
are doing this in such a way that an eventual merge of this "seed" data will easily
transform into a full CRM system by means of migration into a Siebel ODS (Operational
Contact: Dierdre Sommerkamp 603-929-2517
Tyco International Exeter, NH, Portland, Maine
Access Programmer (Access 2002)
May 2003 - Jun 2003
A local programming house named Compass Systems and Programming created an Employee
Performance program in Access that is deployed at 100 worldwide regions. There were
two very different versions, one for upper management and one for everyone else. I
merged the two code bodies and reproduced all the pre-existing functionality.
Just for fun, I changed some employees' names and ids and published a subset of the data to our password protected .NET website in an editable datagrid. I did this to demonstrate our skills with DotNet and to show the value of centralized, up-to-date, and secure data. Currently, like so many others, Tyco exchanges data between regions via EMail attachment of Excel spreadsheets.
Genesys Software Corp, Methuen, MA
Visual Basic, Crystal Reports, SQL Server 2000
Jan 2003 to Feb 2003
Program: People Come First -- a Web-based Human Resources program.
As part of developing enterprise reporting solutions, I developed reports using Crystal Reports Developer (Ver 8.5) against a complex MS SQL Server 2000 database.
GSC clients are Fortune 500 companies as well as other sites such as state and county governments who have a need for extensive reporting on a wide range of employee activities. The client installations I worked on were in the area of employee education. We built a central report repository, maintained tight user security, used report scheduling, and sought accurate and speedy report processing.
As part of a tight and highly skilled development team of 5, I helped provide a scalable web-based solution for managing the access and delivery of hundreds of Crystal reports across the enterprise. These client reports had to be carefully constructed and often rested on SQL joins of up to 20 tables. A very important aspect was speed optimization. The query (view) underlying a particular report was written to take advantage of server-side processing. For example, directing that grouping take place on the server and that execution of the reports be based on data saved with the report, rather than suffering multi-user hits to the server for live data every time. This data was refreshed to the report during off-peak hours.
Another optimization was the use of stored procedures as data sources. Although these take time to set up properly, they can be incredibly powerful, especially when running reports off large databases.
In the interest of cross-skills enhancement on the development team, I conducted Crystal Reports classes (Basic and Intermediate.)
State of NH - Dept of Education, Concord, NH
Consultant / Coder ( Visual Basic / Access Programmer
Jan, 2000 to Jul 2001
The DOE needed a database Developer in NH to develop a brand new program to deal
with a complex new tracking system mandated by the Federal Dept. of Labor. This
legislation that created this national system was the Work Incentive Act
(WIA) so that is what we named the State of NH response to it.
My program tracks out of work participants and a myriad of details
about them while they are involved in
Job Training and other educational programs to improve their employability.
Many business rules and extensive exporting and reporting at the
state and federal level.
Periodically transmitted the NH data in formatted records of over
3000 bytes to Dept. of Labor main database which collects data
for all the states.
Contact: Bonnie St. Jean 603-271-3805
...and many other database programming projects going back into the mid 1990s.
Here are some other things we are good at...
Consultation - help with business decisions regarding your database
Table and Schema Design - the backbone of a good database
Upgrading earlier Microsoft Access applications Migrating existing data into Microsoft Access or SQL Server Search Engine Positioning...this is probably how you found us, so it works, right?