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Access 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Collecting Info by Email

There are many more dedicated email users than database mavens in the world. So it would be pretty nifty to have a way to get data from other people by just having them send you an email. The designers who work on Access think so, too. They’ve added one other way to pull data into Access from other sources: You can collect it by email.

Here’s how it works:

  • You pick a table that needs information.

  • You pick a bunch of people who can provide that information. (You need a list of email addresses, which you can either type in or pull out of a table in your database.)

  • Access sends an email message to all of them with a form they can fill out. The form lets them fill in the data for one record’s worth of information (although a recipient can fill out the same form multiple times if necessary). To see a quick preview of what this email message might look like, jump ahead to Figure 20-19.

  • The results of that form get emailed back to you.

  • For each email you receive, Access inserts a record in your table.

Often, this collect-by-email feature is used to get information about people. For example, you may have a table that has a list of contacts. You can send each person an email message and get them to supply their personal information (address, phone number, and so on). Of course, you can also use the feature to collect other types of information, like a list of items people want to bring to the company potluck.

The collect-by-email feature has a few ground rules:

  • You need to ...

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