Virtual Access DevCon 2023
Date April 27+28, virtual in Microsoft Teams
Attendees 160 registrations from 22 countries and 5 continents, attendance fee 100,- Euro
Organizers Karl Donaubauer, supported by Peter Doering and Philipp Stiefel


All session recordings are available to the conference attendees. 3 selected videos are publicly available on Youtube:
Update by the Access Team  Access Engineering Team, Microsoft, Redmond, USA

Latest Innovations and the Road Ahead

Join us while we demonstrate and explore innovations driving Access forward:

•  Latest Dataverse integration enhancements
•  Advanced Macro security features to secure your data
•  Next-generation browser control to flawlessly surfacing modern web sites
•  Peer into the future as our panel of speakers provide exciting details of new features and improvements that are sure to shape the platform for years to come.

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

                 Dale Rector                    Joe Jimenez
     Principal Engineering Manager
              Courtney Owen             Sachin Arunkumar

Exploring the Future of twinBASIC
             and Access Development
 Mike Wolfe, Grandjean & Braverman, Prompton, PA, USA

twinBASIC is a modern version of the classic BASIC programming language that is 100% backward compatible with VBA. twinBASIC made its debut at DevCon Vienna two years ago. Last year, I demonstrated how it could be used by Access developers right away.

This year, with the upcoming release of version 1, we'll look ahead to the future of twinBASIC and Access.

•  Brief introduction and overview of twinBASIC
•  Updates on the project's progress over the past year
•  Demo: tools built in twinBASIC available to Access developers today
•  twinBASIC: a future migration path for Access projects?

Mike is a Microsoft Access MVP who has been developing in Access and SQL Server since 2007. He earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the US Military Academy (West Point) in 2002.

Since 2014, he has served as president and owner of Grandjean & Braverman, Inc., a small software development company specializing in Access applications.

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,

Defensive Programming:
      Some Bugs are Better than Others

Not all bugs are created equal. Avoid the expensive ones by making more of the ones that are easy to find and fix. Bugs are easiest to fix immediately after you create them. The longer a bug goes undiscovered, the longer it will take to fix (and the more damage it can do in the meantime).

Every programmer wants to write bug-free software, but that's not realistic. Certain programming practices can help minimize the impact of the bugs that we do write.

In this presentation, I'll cover seven different types of bugs. More importantly, I will provide you with techniques you can use to turn hard-to-find, expensive-to-fix bugs into bugs that are easier to find and less costly to fix.

Dataverse for Access Developers?  Ynte Jan Kuindersma, birdautomation, Haren, NL

In the last 2 years there has only been 1 major new feature in Access, the Dataverse connector. Why did the Access team at Microsoft postpone everything else for it? What is Dataverse anyway, what possibilities does it offer? And what do Access developers get out of it?

•  Structure+Technology: Azure SQL and Services, Management, Security
•  Added value: Environments, Solutions, Data Flows, Connectors, Virtual Tables
•  Costs/Benefits: Licences, limits, possibilities
•  Connector in Access: upgrading Access data, creating and integrating tables
•  Practical experience with Dataverse jobs and customers

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 and is working more and more with Dataverse in this context.

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

Making Automatic Form Resizing work
for you
 Colin Riddington, Mendip Data Systems, Somerset, UK

My free automatic form resizing (AFR) code has been in continuous development for well over 15 years. For example, in recent years, I have added support for tabbed documents display together with resizing datasheets, split forms & navigation forms. The first part of this session will be used to demonstrate some of the latest features available in my AFR code including:

•  Support for high resolution monitors
•  Improved support for portrait monitors
•  Stretch/shrink forms 'on the fly'
•  Refresh display after change of resolution / monitor
•  Image scaling on command buttons

Following that, in response to a challenge set by Karl, I will also demonstrate live how easy it is to use AFR to successfully convert:

a) An ‘oversized form’ originally created in a high resolution
b) An old Northwind database created for Access 2000 in 800*600 resolution
c) My Better Date Picker utility which includes 42 date buttons,
    each redrawn after each change of month/year

After this session, you will be able to integrate my code into your own applications and have them automatically resized for all monitors and resolutions.

Access developer for over 25 years with many years teaching in secondary schools. Access MVP 2022-23. Co-president of the Access Europe user group. Active on many forums with the username: Isladogs.

His 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.

Draw Gadgets on Access Reports  Crystal Long, MsAccessGurus, USA

using easy-to-call VBA

Access applications are not exactly known for presenting data in a graphically interesting and easy to digest way. Reports are mostly just data listings, mainly because we have no built-in graphical tools other than charts. With some VBA, imagination and a playful spirit, however, this can be remedied:

•  Use VBA to draw gadgets that respond to data
•  Modify objects by specifying colors and angles
•  Draw graphs differently depending on the data
•  Scale gadgets for the available space and position them where desired
•  Get VBA code you can look at, learn from, and use in your Access projects

Crystal has been using and developing with Access a long time, and Word even longer since it was available in the DOS days. She connects 1-on-1 and guides developers as they're building applications, and teaches in virtual classrooms.

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. On forums, she is 'strive4peace'. She is also a long-time Access MVP.

Access in an Azure VM  George Young, Dawson Butte Software, Denver, USA

Hosting your Access application in an Azure Virtual Machine (VM) has a number of benefits, including remote availability, single-machine installation and configuration, and support for non-Windows user environments.

We’ll go through in detail, with a live demo, of all you need to know about setting up an Azure VM and hosting your Access application in it.

•  Setting up a Windows Server virtual machine in Azure
•  Access/Office variants and backend variants in the online VM
•  Remote access to the Access applications via RDP client
•  Features and limitations, costs for VM, licensing, users, etc.

George is the President of the Denver Area Access Users Group (DAAUG). He first encountered Access when using the thirty-plus floppy disk versions of Office to teach Statistics and MIS in the early 1990’s. It’s been true love ever since.
He has worked as a software developer for the past twenty-five years, half of that time at Microsoft (in just about every group other than Office).
He is the founder and president of Dawson Butte Software, working primarily on .NET applications (often with Access somewhere in the mix).  George still has a commercial site or two that is driven by an Access database sitting in the server file system.

Access Help Content and Documentation Deep Dive  Jeff Conrad, Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA

In this session, we will do a deep dive into some of the most current questions and pain points from Access developers concerning Access help content and documentation. We’ll also cover many aspects of the broader Microsoft 365 apps and services help content work.

We will spend time answering these types of questions and many more:

•  Why is Access help fragmented across different sites?
•  What happened to the "What’s new in Access" page?
•  Where is the best place to find Access help?
•  What is the difference between in-app Access help and online Microsoft help?
•  What is context sensitive help in Access?
•  What are the most popular Access topics?
•  What are you doing to improve help and content?
•  What is the future of help content?

Jeff has worked at Microsoft for the past 16 years. He joined the Microsoft Access Services Team as a test engineer, working on the Access 2010, 2013 and 2016 releases before moving to the content organization 8 1/2 years ago.
He is now a Senior Content Experience Manager on the Magic team. His team does help search intent analysis and creates Quick Answer help content for a portfolio of Microsoft 365 applications and services.
Jeff has authored three books on Access: Microsoft Access 2007/2010/2013 Inside Out. Before joining Microsoft in 2007, he was a Microsoft Access MVP from 2004 to 2007.

Northwind 2 – Comeback of a Superstar  Members of the Northwind Template Team

The Northwind is the most famous database in the world and an important part of the Access ecosystem.

As is well known, it has always had significant technical and design weaknesses, and there have been a thousand calls to improve it. A small team of dedicated Access developers has finally taken on this task in collaboration with Microsoft.

Tom and Kim will introduce the new Northwind templates: not one but two replacements for the current one from 2006. They will discuss the 15-month process and take you for a spin to see the new UI, and to get a flavor for the code-behind.

 Tom van Stiphout, Kinetik IT, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Tom is the Software Development Manager of Kinetik IT. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Kinetik IT is a full service information technology and internet services provider.
Tom has a degree from Amsterdam University and came to the US in 1991. In addition to project management, Tom enjoys creating high performing Access applications, sometimes augmented by .NET components. He is an Access MVP and a moderator on the MS Answers forum.

                Kim Young, Access Allstars, Chicago, IL, USA

Kim is an independent developer and the founder of Access Allstars in the Chicago area. Kim was the vice president of the Chicago Access User Group (CAUG) and started the SQL Server Chicago Suburban chapter of PASS. She is a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt and is also certified in Inventory and Production control.
She has been a literacy volunteer, teaching adults to read, she is a voracious reader and collects dictionaries.

Advanced Database Design  Armen Stein, J Street Technology, Redmond, WA, USA

In this session, Armen will lead you on an exploration beyond database design standards and best practices. He will cover useful techniques and patterns such as:

•  Designing for flexible and powerful user permissions far beyond hierarchical levels,
   that put your users fully in control

•  Storing variable, expandable data using attribute-value pairs (and when not to use them)

•  Recording application usage telemetry events, so that you always know which parts of
   your application are being used - and which ones are being neglected

•  Storing diagnostic data, to help you with debugging those long and complex calculations
   and processes

•  Designing tables and fields to avoid hardcoding special values

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.

Click Here to Add Feature X!  Kevin Bell, AccessUI, Redmond, WA, USA

Microsoft doesn't exactly shower Access with new features. So why not take advantage of available features and tools from the community and third-party providers?

What, you don't know and find them? Each one is different/tedious to get and install? Let's change that!

Modern programing languages and applications have a way to quickly find and add external libraries and parts. .Net developers have had the NuGet package manager for a dozen years. Since Access just turned 30, perhaps it's finally time for our own NuGet. This session will discuss:

•  Present and Future of Access features and tools
•  What third-party providers and the community have to offer
•  Key features in existing package managers
•  How might Access do something similar
•  Benefits for Access, tool providers, developers and users
•  How can we leap or crawl ;-) over organizational hurdles
•  What can you actively contribute to make this happen

Kevin started working professionally with Access in version 1.0. For 15 years he ran a small consulting firm in Colorado that specialized in creating custom data driven applications on Access and SQL Server.
In 2008 he joined the Microsoft Access Team as a test engineer, working on the Access 2010, 2013 and 2016 releases. Kevin is currently working for a large consulting firm building equity compensation systems for big tech companies.
In his free time he enjoys cycling, playing baseball and travel the world searching for the perfect pint of ale.

Karl Donaubauer
plays a supporting role in Kevin's presentation, sort of rhythm guitar and choir, to help get this community initiative started and moving forward.