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Access User Groups: Europe (AEU)

Access Europe Links


Event Calendar

YouTube Channel

Future AEU Events

May 1 2024:     Adolph Dupré
Using VBA to create a class based on a table

June 5 2024:     Colin Riddington
View & Edit Import/Export Data Task Specifications

July 3 2024:     Olaf Nöhring / André Minhorst
An Improved, Enhanced Message Box / Enhancing Access forms

Aug 7 2024:     Peter Poppe
Working with Treeviews

Sep 4 2024:     Aleksander Wojtasz
Follow-up session on Interactive Gantt charts

Oct 2 2024:     Alessandro Grimaldi
Animation with Style in Access

Nov 6 2024:     Chris Arnold
Tips and Tricks for Continuous Forms

Dec 4 2024:     Adrian Bell
Topic to be confirmed

Jan 1 2025:    
Topic / speaker to be confirmed


Jun 2023:     Thomas Pfoch
Maps for Microsoft Access
New date to be confirmed

I am currently starting to book presenters for early in 2025. If you are interested in leading a presentation, please email me. Thanks

Previous AEU Meetings & Topics
(By Month)

Apr 2024:     Dale Fye
Command Bars, the Access Shortcut Tool and a Simple Audit Log

Mar 2024:     Thomas Moeller
Better Access Charts – The Next Generation

Feb 2024:     Carlos Quintero
Top 10 advanced features of MZ-Tools

Jan 2024:     Ramachandran (A.P.R.) Pillai
Streamlining the Form Module Code in the standalone Class Module

Dec 2023:     Mike Wolfe
Streamline Your Import Spec Workflow with VBA Classes

Nov 2023:     John Heaser
Extending Access with SQL Server

Oct 2023:     Juan Soto
The future of Access

Sept 2023:     Colin Riddington
Database Analyzer and Other Tools

Aug 2023:     Juanjo Luna
Access Developer Guide: Create applications in Blazor

July 2023:       Aleksander Wojtasz
Interactive Gantt Chart Scheduler in Access

June 2023:     Tom Van Stiphout & Kim Young
Northwind 2.0 Developer Edition – Inventory and String functions

May 2023:     Peter Bryant
Automating DSN-Less Connections to SQL Server

Apr 2023:     Duane Hookom
Creating calendar format reports

Mar 2023:     Maria Barnes
Optimizing Queries in SQL Server

Feb 2023:     Thomas Möller
State-of-the-art charts in Access with chart.js

Jan 2023:     Karl Donaubauer
A Baker's Dozen of Tips, Tricks & Tools

Dec 2022:     Colin Riddington
Annotating Google Maps in Access

Nov 2022:     George Hepworth
Power Apps for Access Developers

Oct 2022:     Alessandro Grimaldi
Cataloguing and searching emails with Access

Sept 2022:     Colin Riddington
Optimizing Queries & the JET ShowPlan

Aug 2022:     Peter Cole
32 to 64-bit Conversion

Jul 2022:     Mike Wolfe
Build Ribbon Interfaces in Code

Jun 2022:     Alan Cossey
Standard Module Object Generation

May 2022:     Crystal Long
Classic vs Modern Charts

Apr 2022:     Chris Arnold
Access Studio

Mar 2022:     Colin Riddington / Alessandro Grimaldi
Inaugural Meeting

First Published 22 Aug 2022                 Last Updated 10 Apr 2024

Access Europe (AEU) is an online chapter of the

This virtual group meets on the first Wednesday of each month, from 18:00 – 19:00 UK Time and is co-chaired by Colin Riddington and Alessandro Grimaldi. Meetings are hosted using Zoom

We provide a forum for IT professionals, developers and new users to share and learn about Microsoft Access.

The group focus is on innovative and lesser known features in Access with an invited speaker discussing a topic relevant to Access developers for the first 45 minutes of each session. The remaining time is used to answer questions, share ideas and suggest topics for future sessions.

Each meeting is recorded and the video is uploaded to the Access Europe YouTube channel soon after the event. Many speakers provide files related to their session. These files can be downloaded from the linked page for that meeting.

Details for future events together with connection information are available from the Event Calendar on the AEU website.

Details and files for each meeting are added here soon after each session

AEU subscribers will receive an email reminder about 10 days before each event

We would love to see you at our virtual meetings. Please join us online at Access Europe

Please email us if you have a topic you would like to see covered in a future meeting or if you would be willing to lead a session on a specific topic.

Topic Outline (A-Z)

32 to 64-bit Conversion (Peter Cole)

Meeting Date: 3 Aug 2022

Peter Cole explained how to make the process of converting a database for 64-bit Access as simple as possible.

The main consideration is normally the need to convert API declarations from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Peter demonstrated three related apps he has created for this task:
a)   free API scanner that shows the number of declare statements in a database providing an idea of the size of the updating task.
b)   free API Viewer that provides the declarations for 64-bit.
c)   commercial 32 to 64-bit updater app showing some sample updates.

The two free apps and the session video are available from the link below

More Details

A Baker's Dozen of Tips, Tricks & Tools in Access (Karl Donaubauer)

Meeting Date: 4 Jan 2023

Long time Access developer and MVP, Karl Donaubauer demonstrated 15 of his favourite tips, tricks and tools.

Karl is constantly collecting techniques, tools, solutions and explanations that you don’t hear and read everywhere. This time for example:
•   Access/VBA settings overlooked for decades
•   how to program Access properties in VBA that don’t exist in VBA
•   how to get return code (exit code) from external programs
•   finally, the horizontal continuous form
•   a tool to generate & integrate QR codes at the push of a button
•   a tool that generates professional related test data
•   context menus without right mouse, colours in combo and list boxes… and other small stuff

So even if you think you already know everything about Access, this session is guaranteed to show you something completely new or that you've forgotten.

More Details

Access Studio (Chris Arnold)

Meeting Date: 6 Apr 2022

The free Access Studio add-in was created by Chris Arnold of SME Data Solutions

The main purpose of Access Studio is to add much of the functionality of SQL Server Management Studio to Access apps.

The free version of Access Studio and the session video are available from the link below

More Details

Annotating Google Maps in Access (Colin Riddington)

Meeting Date: 7 Dec 2022

Colin Riddington demonstrated ways of annotating downloaded static Google Maps to personalise these for your clients.

Topics covered included the use of:
a) marker points e.g. to mark client locations or nearby places
b) lines joining 2 or more points e.g. to indicate routes between locations
c) circles around a location e.g. to show places of a specified type within a specified distance from a set location
d) boundary shapes e.g. to show postcode or regional boundaries
e) feature styles e.g. to mark major & minor roads and points of interest

Annotations are added as additional map layers using code as part of the URL used to generate the map.

The session also explained how to overcome issues caused by the 2083-character URL limit using the current web browser control based on Internet Explorer (whilst we continue to wait for the new Chromium Edge browser control).

More Details

Automating DSN-Less Connections to SQL Server (Peter Bryant)

Meeting Date: 3 May 2023

Peter Bryant demonstrated code (and some data) to enable you to fire and forget application upgrades to different networks.

Send your client the ACCDE that works on your development network and have it automatically re-connect to their server and database on first run.

The test application (supplied as a download) also demonstrates how you can switch the front end between your (or your users’) TEST, UAT and LIVE environments at just the click of a button (subject to version numbering).

More Details

Better Access Charts – The Next Generation (Thomas Moeller)

Meeting Date: 6 Mar 2024

This month’s session was led by Thomas Moeller and was a continuation of his Access Europe presentation from February 2023. Thomas demonstrated the significant changes in Better Access Charts since that time.

More Details

Building Ribbon Interfaces in Code (Mike Wolfe)

Meeting Date: 6 Jul 2022

Mike Wolfe (MVP) explained how he builds Access ribbon interfaces in VBA code.

A class module is used to generate ribbon XML at runtime.

The sample app and PDF presentation from this session together with the session video are all available from the link below

More Details

Cataloguing and searching emails with Access (Alessandro Grimaldi)

Meeting Date: 5 Oct 2022

Alessandro Grimaldi demonstrated an Access application which communicates with Outlook to catalogue incoming emails. This was originally created for the European Central Bank, but the ideas can be adapted for any business or for personal use.

A rather sophisticated 'filter builder' is implemented, to create flexible and reusable queries to select emails matching specific criteria.

More Details

Classic vs Modern Charts (Crystal Long)

Meeting Date: 4 May 2022

Crystal Long (MVP) compared the two types of charts available in Access – the original 'classic' charts and the newer 'modern' charts available as an update to Access 2016 and all later versions including 365.

Modern charts have a better user interface with more colors to pick from. Classic charts have more power and flexibility but aren’t as intuitive to modify.

The session discussed the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of each to help you decide which is right for your application.

A link to the files from this session together with the session video are available from the link below

More Details

Command Bars, the Access Shortcut Tool and a Simple Audit Log (Dale Fye)

Meeting Date: 3 Apr 2024

This session will be led by Dale Fye (MVP 2013-2016). Dale will first discuss his Advanced Shortcut Tool for working with Command Bars. He will then explain a Simple Audit Log he created for a client.

More Details

Creating calendar format reports (Duane Hookom)

Meeting Date: 5 Apr 2023

This month’s session was led by Duane Hookom (MVP 2001-2016). Duane's presentation demonstrated techniques for data reporting in calendar formats.

The same, simple method could be used to print seating charts and other spatial data.

More Details

Database Analyzer and other tools (Colin Riddington)

Meeting Date: 6 Sept 2023

This session was led by Colin Riddington (MVP) who demonstrated his new Database Analyzer and Viewer utility

More Details

Extending Access with SQL Server & Geography data (John Heaser)

Meeting Date: 20 Nov 2023

This session will be led by John Heaser who is an experienced Access developer based in the U.K.

SQL Server has a Geography data type that can represent points, lines and polygons on the Earth’s surface. This data can be used to:
•   Find which polygons contain a point:
•   Find the points that lie within a radius of a starting point and order them by distance:

This can be very useful for many purposes and SQL Server calculates the results very fast - provided that suitable Spatial Indexes are defined.

Unfortunately Access can’t work directly with Geography data types!
However, you can make use of Geography data in Access by using:
•   Persisted Computed Columns
•   Scalar Functions
•   Stored Procedures
•   Triggers

We will look at how these SQL skills can be used to bring the benefits of Geography data types to Access.

The same skills can also be used to leverage the power of SQL Server to do other tasks that would be slow to perform or difficult to code, if done directly in Access.

More Details

Improved, Enhanced Message Box (Olaf Nöhring)
Enhancing Access forms (André Minhorst)

Meeting Date: 3 July 2024

In this session, we will have two presenters from Germany - Olaf Nöhring and André Minhorst.

Olaf will be discussing his improved version of the free Enhanced Message Box first developed by Renaud Bompuis over 15 years ago.

André will introduce two exciting enhancements for Access applications, designed to streamline and enhance user experience.

More Details

Inaugural Meeting (Colin Riddington/Alessandro Grimaldi)

Meeting Date: 2 Mar 2022

Welcome to the first session of Access Europe - the latest chapter of

The meeting was co-hosted by Colin Riddington and Alessandro Grimaldi with an introduction by Juan Soto, president of

It included short demonstrations of innovative Access apps by both Colin & Alessandro together with a 'get to know you' section where all audience members told us a little about themselves.

The session video is available from the link below

More Details

Northwind 2.0 Developer Edition – Inventory and String functions (Tom van Stiphout & Kim Young)

Meeting Date: 7 June 2023

A team of five experienced Access developers led by Tom van Stiphout (MVP) have created two completely new versions of the Northwind (Starter & Developer) template database.

In this session, Tom Van Stiphout and Kim Young presented an in-depth treatment of several important features in the new Northwind Developers template database:
a)   Introduction to the approach used in creating the two new versions of Northwind
b)   Quick recap of the POs, products, and orders we have in the sample db.
      In depth discussion of the Inventory. Reallocate. Order detail status changes.
      What changes could you make to the NW2 inventory? Split off an order.
c)   Employee form. Custom dialog. String functions. OpenArgs.

More Details

Optimizing Queries & the JET ShowPlan (Colin Riddington)

Meeting Date: 7 Sept 2022

Colin Riddington explained various ways of optimizing the query execution plans created by Access when queries are run.

During the session, a series of speed comparison tests were performed showing the effect of each suggested change on the query execution.

In addition, the session was used to discuss two little known features that can help explain how Access runs queries:
a)   JET ShowPlan – used to view the query execution plans
b)   ISAMStats – used to determine the number of Disk Reads / Writes / Locks when queries are run

All the files used in the session together with and the session video are available from the link below

More Details

Optimizing Queries in SQL Server (Maria Barnes)

Meeting Date: 1 Mar 2023

Maria Barnes discussed how to optimize queries in SQL Server using various tools provided in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS):
     - How to decide which SQL queries need to be optimized?
     - How to Use the Activity Monitor in SSMS
     - An Introduction to the Performance Dashboard for SSMS 17.2 and above
     - Query Simplification Basics
     - Displaying the Estimated Execution Plan in SSMS
     - A brief mention of the Query Store and what this is

More Details

Power Apps for Access Developers (George Hepworth)

Meeting Date: 2 Nov 2022

The session was presented by George Hepworth AKA Grover Park George. George was an Access MVP from 2007-2019 and is still very active in the Access community.

Microsoft Access on the desktop and MS Power Apps in the browser can make a powerful team.

In this presentation, George provided an overview of the hybrid model for an application involving:
a) a "cloud" data source
b) a desktop interface in Access
c) a browser/smart device interface in Access

George also discussed some of the issues you might confront when implementing a PowerApps application, and possible approaches to resolving them.

More Details

Standard Module Object Generation (Alan Cossey)

Meeting Date: 1 June 2022

The free Standard Module Object Generation (SMOG) add-in was created by Alan Cossey of Premier Data Technologies Ltd.

It was developed in order to make as much use as possible of both compile-time error-checking and Intellisense in Access.

The free SMOG add-in and other supporting files are available from the link below

More Details

State-of-the-art charts in Access with chart.js (Thomas Möller)

Meeting Date: 1 Feb 2023

This month’s session was led by Thomas Möller (MVP 2007-2016). It was used to demonstrate the use of Javascript libraries to build state-of-the-art charts in Access.

In this presentation, Thomas demonstrated:
      •   How to get state-of-the-art charts (based on chart.js) running in Access
      •   The external dependencies and how they can be handled
      •   How the whole feature can be coded elegantly and clearly

More Details

Streamline Import Spec Workflow with VBA Classes (Mike Wolfe)

Meeting Date: 6 Dec 2023

This session will be led by Mike Wolfe, MVP

Learn how to programmatically update import specifications in Access with a custom VBA class.
In this presentation, Mike will demonstrate his clsImExSpecs class. This simplifies working with import and export specifications by writing and modifying simple VBA, rather than fighting with the unintuitive Access wizards.

• How Access works with specifications behind the scenes
• Why changing system tables directly can cause problems
• Encapsulation, organization, and reusability benefits of classes
• Using clsImExSpecs to document existing specifications in VBA
• Streamlining workflows by avoiding context switching between code and UI
• Demonstration updating a real-world import specification

More Details

Streamlining Form Module Code in the standalone Class Module
(APR Pillai)

Meeting Date: 3 Jan 2024

This session will be led by Ramachandran (APR) Pillaiwho will be doing a deep dive into the use of class modules to streamline form and report module code.

During the course of this session, you will learn how to make effective use of class modules to streamline form and report event code.

More Details

The Future of Access (Juan Soto)

Meeting Date: 4 Oct 2023

This session was led by Juan Soto, MVP, President of He discussed why many people wrongly believe that Access is dying and how as Access developers we can counter those repeated rumours.

More Details

Top 10 Advanced Features of MZ-Tools (Carlos Quintero)

Meeting Date: 7 Feb 2024

This session was led by former MVP, Carlos Quintero.

In this session, Carlos demonstrated features of his highly regarded VBE add-in, MZ-Tools, that can make you more productive and create better code in VBA.

There are features to code faster, to find code faster, to review the quality of the code and much more.

More Details

Colin Riddington                   Mendip Data Systems                   Last Updated 5 Mar 2024

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