One benefit of being an Microsoft Access MVP is the fact that I get to interact with fellow MVPs and have access to certain promotions.
In the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure of communicating with Luke Chung, president of FMS Inc, and benefiting from his offer of NFR licenses of FMS’ software. The more I get the opportunity to try his software, the more I must say I am impressed.
I recently had the need to compare multiple back-end files to identify any differentiations between them.
At first I started thinking that the tasks wouldn’t necessarily be too complex to perform, even manually if need be. But further thought may me realize my initial conclusion was simply erroneous. It is obviously easy to identify missing tables, but identifying missing fields, fields that have changed, properties that have changed, and so much more, all sorts of minor tweaks that occur over the lifetime of a database quickly made any form of manual analysis unrealistic.
Then I remembered once noticing on Luke’s website a tool, Total Access Detective. I made a request to have a license and within a few minutes I had my copy to try out.
Firstly, the installation went smoothly. A simple executable that you launch, it ask you to install the software for just the current user or all users on the machine and then it installs. Nothing could be easier.
- Launch the ‘Database Compare’ module through the Start Menu
- Specified which objects to compare
- Specified which 2 databases to compare
- Let Total Access Detective do its thing!
I was actually quite surprised at the speed at which it was able to perform the in-depth analysis. In a matter of a minute or two, I had all my answers!
Once the analysis was complete, I simply clicked on the View, Filter and Print Comparison Results button and select which category of results I wished to review in detail.
The tool made very short work providing me with very detailed listing of missing objects, and differences between existing objects, even relationships.
I am once again quite confident in putting my stamp of approval on this tool. If you are in a situation in which you quickly need to identify all the differences between multiple databases, FMS’ Total Access Detective will make short work of the job at hand!
Thank you Luke for allowing me to take it for a test drive. A very nice, easy to use and most importantly, effective and thorough tool!