Re: Creating database to manage documentation

Subject: Re: Creating database to manage documentation
From: JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 13:26:28 -0400

In a message dated 97-05-10 12:41:28 EDT, agfin -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM (Alex Finlayson)

<< I want to make a small database program to manage documentation, ie: track
versions, check-in check-out features, that sort of thing, as well as
contain Helpdesk features. We use MS Access for the PC. Has anyone ever
done this sort of thing? >>
We had this sort of thing going at the bank.

A lot of the problems are organizational, really. Version tracking, getting
people to follow the supporting sign-off standards, etc.

From a technical point of view, it's possible to structure your documents (in
Word, anyway), using hidden fields and heading styles, so that a macro can
extract the key information from the documents themselves and create a table
which can then be saved as database info.

One problem is then creating an automatic update procedure in MS Access which
can integrate that info into existing records.

You can also access the documents directly from MS Access, the main obstacle
here being that Access has two different macro languages which (though I've
written lots of macros in Word and Excel) I found maddening to sort out. But
theoretically anyway, you should be able to create a direct link from the
database to the documents.

I'm presuming you have rock-solid back-up and system administration
procedures. Any problem with these and you can find major discrepancies
between your database and reality. Which is embarassing if the top brass
then wants instant access to one of the documents referenced. (You can bet
they'll ask for the one in 10,000 that's mysteriously 'disappeared'.)

Jim C.
Los Angeles
<A HREF="";>Chez Jim: Jim Chevallier's Home Page<

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