The point of a database program is to manage data. Although Access provides most of the tools you'll need, there are many tasks for which you have to roll your own solution. This chapter concentrates on working with data in ways that traditional database operations don't support. You'll learn how to search for records phonetically, back up your database objects, perform lightning-fast finds on linked tables, save housekeeping information, and more. All the examples in this chapter use some form of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code, but don't worry—they are all clearly explained, and "testbed" applications are supplied to show you how each technique works. We present more tips for working with data in Chapter 14, focusing on techniques you can use when your data is stored in SQL Server, rather than in an Access Jet database (an .MDB or .MDE file).
Many of the examples in this chapter take advantage of the DAO type library, rather than the default ADO library used by Access 2002 and Access 2003. Even though it's less "modern," DAO provides greater functionality, and generally better performance. In addition, using DAO makes it possible for these demonstrations to work in earlier versions of Access. If you want to try these techniques in your own applications, make sure you add the DAO reference to your project using the Tools → References menu item from within VBA—it won't be added by default.