Virtual Access DevCon 2024
Date April 18+19, 2024, virtual in Microsoft Teams
Attendees 131 registrations from 18 countries, attendance fee 108,- Euro
Organizers Karl Donaubauer, supported by Peter Doering and Philipp Stiefel


All session recordings are available to the conference attendees. 2 selected videos are publicly available on Youtube:
News from the Access Team  Microsoft, Redmond, USA

Latest Access improvements and the road ahead

Join us while we demonstrate and explore exciting new innovations driving Access forward. Learn about our latest charting enhancements, our new SQL query editor, and much more. Peer into the future as our panel of engineers provides exciting details of new features and improvements that are sure to shape the platform for years to come.

Of course, the team will answer questions from the DevCon audience. So, think about what you want to know and what no one has ever asked before.

Access Community Update  Karl Donaubauer, donkarl, Vienna, Austria

What has happened for Access and in the community since the last DevCon? Additions to the Access team's update with information and comments from a developer's perspective:

•  All new features, bugs and fixes
•  What is going on with Microsoft products surrounding Access
•  Access usage statistics from my developer surveys
•  Activities in the global Access ecosystem

Karl is an Access developer and MVP. He's been preaching and muddling around in the Access community for a few years now.

He has also tried unsuccessfully to become a video and rock star.

If you're not following him on LinkedIn yet, you should definitely do so, because he wants to become an incredible influencer and get rich with millions of Access contacts flooding his conferences.

UI Ergonomics and Design

20 years ago, I did  a conference presentation and a few consulting jobs on ergonomics and design for Access developer colleagues. Let's take a look at what has changed in two decades and what hasn't.

•  Brief excursion into the basics of design and ergonomics
•  Design principles that every developer should know, but correctly
•  Challenges with database applications, with Access and with Access developers ;-)
•  What to learn from modern websites and mobile applications and what not
•  Practical tips for ergonomic, user-centered UI/UX that any of you can implement

Usually design presentations are about the point that Access applications should not look like Access applications. Fear not, real-life Access developers! This talk will explain why this is unrealistic and how it doesn't matter much.

Navigating the AI Skies:
Unleashing Microsoft Copilot and Azure AI
 Martina Grom, atwork, Vienna, Austria

Copilot is a powerful tool that can help you automate and enhance your work processes with Microsoft 365. But how can you leverage Copilot and Azure AI to solve real-world problems in your organization?

In this session, Martina will demonstrate how to use Copilot and Azure AI to integrate data and optimize business outcomes. You will see practical examples and real world usecases how you can use Copilot and Azure AI, using familiar tools like Outlook, Teams, and Power BI.

You will also learn how to use out-of-the-box tools to create your own Copilot solutions and improve your productivity and efficiency with Microsoft 365.

Martina works as Principal & is co-founder and CEO of atwork. She is recognized as an expert in Microsoft Cloud Services solutions and writes numerous articles and blogs. Since 2015 she is Microsoft Regional Director. Martina has a master’s degree in international business administration of University of Vienna.
She helps companies in architecture planning toward cloud solutions, provides consulting and architectural planning of cloud projects. Talk to her about:
Cloud Computing, Cloud Architecture & Strategy, Change Management, Employee Experience, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Enterprise Social, Cybersecurity, Enterprise security, Compliance, Governance.

SD OpenAI Add-In for Access + AI Tools  Alexander Denz, SDWin, Nüziders, Austria

As an appetizer, Alex will briefly show us the currently most important tools in the three areas Text to Text, Text to Image and Text to Video.

For Access, Microsoft likes to take its time with the integration of new functionalities, and it is no different with their AI Copilot. However, this does not mean that Access and VBA developers have to carry on without AI.

The SDOpenAI Addins for Access, Excel, Word and Outlook bring AI into the freely customizable Ribbon, as well as an extension in the VBA editor. In this session Alex will give an overview and share the latest news about his constantly evolving tool.

•  English, German, French, Spanish, Italian language support, can be supplemented by any languages
•  The underlying prompts can be adjusted, thus controlling the complete behavior of the AI
•  VBA editor extensions: Code Chat, Explain/Complete/Optimize the Code, Add comments, Custom Prompt
•  Comes with all VBA classes and modules necessary to use the OpenAI API directly in VBA, without external dependencies

Alex is the owner of the software development company SDWin and primarily develops ERP systems in the .NET environment.

He studied Business Information Systems at the University of Liechtenstein and has been working with Access for almost 20 years.
His current focus is on AI and the development of MS Office AddIns to extend the functionality in the Ribbon, but mainly in the VBA editor.

You can REALLY do all that with Forms?  Colin Riddington, Mendip Data Systems, Somerset, UK

A wide ranging series of tips and tricks to enhance the functionality of your forms in Access. Topics include:

a) Highlighting
Current control / current record / selected column / filtered columns / required fields / search results / entire form

b) Continuous Forms
Add multiselect filter / Paint Me Transparent / Hide duplicate values / Hide, restore, freeze, move & resize columns

c) Datasheet Forms with buttons / search etc

d) Other
Click Me & I Disappear / Dictation / Stop forms opening from Nav Pane / Move and resize borderless forms / Animation, transparency & fade / remove background / rounded corners / scrolling & flashing text

Access developer for over 25 years with many years working in education. Access MVP 2022-24. Co-president of the Access Europe user group. Member of the Access Forever team. Active on many forums with the username: Isladogs.
Colin’s Isladogs on Access website includes many Access articles, example apps, sample code and security challenges, together with commercial applications for businesses, schools and developers. He also has his own YouTube channel. His focus is on stretching the boundaries of what can be achieved using Access.

Microsoft Fabric  Ynte Jan Kuindersma, birdautomation, Haren, NL

Claimed by Microsoft as the most significant advancement in databases since SQL Server, Fabric offers a powerful suite of capabilities for data management and analysis. In this discussion, let's explore the essence of Fabric and its practical applications. Fabric revolves around two key concepts:

1. The Lakehouse: Serving as a central repository for data files of varied structures it is favored by data scientists who use Python and machine learning techniques to extract insights from the data.

2. The Data Warehouse: It acts as a landing place for organized data. Business intelligence specialists typically prefer this tool, utilizing Power BI for data analysis and visualization.

Both the Lakehouse and the Data Warehouse feature SQL endpoints, facilitating connectivity with SQL-capable tools such as SQL Management Studio or MS Access. This means you can seamlessly access and manipulate data using SQL queries, even when working with file-based tables.

By understanding and using Microsoft Fabric, Access developers can enhance their data management capabilities and integrate with modern data analysis workflows.

Ynte Jan has been working as developer and trainer since the 80s. He is extremely solution-oriented and chooses his tools accordingly, be it Visual Studio, Access, SQL Server or not from MS.

In recent years, he has focused on the Microsoft Power Platform. He is a certified Power BI Data Analyst.

Ynte Jan has given many trainings and presentations on programming, database and BI topics at numerous conferences.

Custom Add-In Creation with twinBASIC: Tailoring Your VBA IDE to Your Workflow  Mike Wolfe, Grandjean & Braverman, Prompton, PA, USA

Each year at DevCon, we've seen twinBASIC evolve, leading to one burning question: "What can twinBASIC do for me as an Access developer?" This year, we're not just answering that question — we're putting the power in your hands with a step-by-step process for building a VBA IDE add-in. Imagine if you could build an add-in like MZ-Tools using nothing more than your existing VBA knowledge. With twinBASIC, you can!

In this year's session, you'll experience:

•  A brief update on new features and the status of twinBASIC.
•  A real-world application of twinBASIC, creating an MZ-Tools-style VBA IDE add-in.
•  Installing and using the add-in on other machines.

By the end of this session, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to use twinBASIC to build your own VBA IDE add-ins, to share them with other developers, and to install them on your other development machines.

Mike is an Access MVP who has been developing in Access and SQL Server since 2007. He is a frequent speaker, presenting to groups based in Madrid and Denver, as well as the Eastern Time, Pacific, and Europe Access User Groups.

Mike is one of the top 15 all-time contributors in the MS Access topic at StackOverflow (user: mwolfe02). He also writes *daily* about advanced Access and VBA topics on his blog,, where he’s written over 1,200 articles since 2020.

Powerful Customer Communication  Armen Stein, J Street Technology, Redmond, WA, USA

You’re a professional developer and you know how to design and build great database applications. But what’s the best way to communicate with your customer (either inside or outside your company) before, during and after the project?

How can you make sure everyone clearly understands what to expect with regard to features, timeline, and cost?

Armen will show you the communication methods that J Street uses with every project, including:

•  Setting up the first conversation, and getting the most value from it
•  Delivering clear project plans
•  Keeping your customer up to date with Informative status reports
•  What to do if the scope increases (hint – it’s actually when, not if)
•  How to bring the project to successful completion
•  Supporting the system after deployment

Armen Stein is the founder and president of J Street Technology, a team of 15 developers, designers and support staff located near Seattle. J Street has designed and built hundreds of custom Access desktop and ASP.NET web applications since 1994, and also supports dozens of Access and web applications that were built by others.
Armen is an Access MVP since 2006, and has spoken at many user groups and conferences around the world. He also regularly guest lectures on requirements discovery and database design at a local college. His other interests include travel, photography, Kauai, backgammon, movies, supporting people with disabilities in Nepal, and driving his 1969 Ford Bronco in the sun.

Centralizing Dispersed Data  Crystal Long, MsAccessGurus, USA

We all do it: a Notes text/memo field in the customer table, a Notes field in the employees table, notes on orders, notes here, notes there. But what if you need them in one place so that you or an assistant who is supposed to manage them can view and edit them clearly?

And what about appointments, to-dos or security classifications across the entire database?

Crystal not only demonstrates the concept of centralizing same-type data to allow for better processing and new perspectives. No, she even provides the free tool for this.

Crystal has been using, teaching, and developing with Access a long time, … Excel and Word even longer since they were available in the DOS days. She also loves PowerPoint and connects 1-on-1 to guide developers as they’re building applications.

On her website,, you can find free code, tools, videos, and articles. On her YouTube channel, LearnAccessByCrystal, you’ll find lots of Access videos and some about other Office topics. She is a long-time Microsoft MVP for Access and on forums, she posts as ‘strive4peace’.

Tools for Access  

Quick presentations of two free tools


AccessAPIScanner and Viewer update on the free 32to64 bit tool  –  Peter Cole, ThemeMyDatabase

•  MSAccess-VCS-AddIn version control with Access  –  Mike Wolfe, Grandjean & Braverman