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Compare Toolbars with MS Access

March 1, 2013

In the following figure we have compared the report designer toolbars between Access 2010 and Sunset Reports.

MS Access vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

MS Access vs Sunset Reports Toolbar

The red arrows show a match with the toolbar items between the two software programs.   The dotted red line shows an approximate match.  Access provides only a rectangle as a shape while Sunset Reports provides 23 shapes.  (Ever try to put a circle or an arrow on an Access report?).  Those items on the Access toolbar with a question mark are for items that really do not belong on a report.  (Why would you put tab controls, buttons, drop down lists, etc. on a report?)

The items on the bottom of the figure with a blue callout show items that Sunset Reports has and Access does not have.  Although one might argue that the “Unbound Object Frame” (2) or the “Bound Object Frame” (4) can provide this missing functionality.  If you can accomplish something similar, it is far more difficult and more restrictive than the native Sunset Reports controls.   The “Hyperlink” control on the Access Toolbar is actually available on all the controls in Sunset Reports.  And finally, Access has a control called “Attachment” (3).  This is an attempt to provide a link to an external file or an database object.  If the object is an image, use the Sunset Reports picture box.  If the object is text, use the Sunset Reports Rich Text control.