You can tap the collective wisdom of other Access users by posing questions in discussion groups, reading Access blogs, or using any of the other community resources mentioned in this article.
For example, you can use discussion groups to access an online group of experienced Access users, including Access Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), who willingly share their time to answer questions and to provide solutions, tips, and expertise.
Visit the following sites to learn, share, and contribute:
- Access Community Blogs Access blogs provide a wealth of valuable information. Be sure to check these out:
- In Access discussion groups (newsgroups), you can get answers to your questions from other users and experts. You can also learn from the questions others ask and the answers they get.
- Find a user group near you for support from dedicated users in your area.
- Microsoft Access MVPs are Access experts who can provide suggestions when you need to solve a technical problem. You can often find many of them in the Access discussion groups.
- MVPs.org is an independent Web site that is managed entirely by MVPs. It lists a variety of useful links provided by folks associated with the Microsoft MVP program.
- Partner Web sites often provide helpful information. For example, FMS, Inc., a leading provider of Access tools and add-ins, offers tips, techniques, and white papers about Access on its Web site. For other providers of Access tools, click Access Marketplace.
- The UtterAccess.com Web site offers a collection of active forums with questions and answers from community members.
- You can also join discussion forums at the Access World Forums Web site.
- Advisor Media supports the community with a great magazine in ADVISOR GUIDE to Microsoft Access magazine, as well as excellent trade shows like the ADVISOR SUMMIT conference, where you can meet Access experts and members of the product team. If you're developing Access applications, you'll find support in Pinnacle Publishing's Smart Access newsletter. Each issue is written by developers for developers.
- If you can't find what you need from other users, you can contact a customer support representative by e-mail, chat, or phone.
"I've been using the Access newsgroups for over four years. I initially started using Access to develop database solutions for my clients and found the form and report design so intuitive that I got hooked to it. When I needed help I would either buy a book or search the Web. After a while I started asking questions on the newsgroups and found some very valuable tips and information. I then started contributing to the newsgroups as well and found it helped me to understand Access a whole lot better. I'm now able to provide solutions to user problems, troubleshoot numerous issues, and learn from users as they in turn provide suggestions to others. The newsgroup community has proven to be an invaluable asset in putting me in touch with other Access experts."
— Naresh Nichani, Access MVP