Consumer Camp: Your chance to ask the REAL experts!

The MVPs are coming! Yes, on May 29th there will be a plethora of Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) congregating at the Microsoft Store in Square One, Mississauga.  Some of us will be there to answer your questions, some will be giving presentations on topics of interest. The rest of us will be there to heckle the other MVPs, so if you don’t have any questions it will still be entertaining Smile

MVP_Horizontal_FullColorThe event is called the MVP Consumer Camp, and it’s a really big deal.  Why? Because most of us will speak to IT Pro audiences most of the time, and do not come out of our castles to speak to consumers and consumer issues.  There will be MVPs from across Canada, and they want to meet you.  In fact, they want to meet you so badly that Simran Chaudhry and Joel Langford, MVP Leads for Microsoft Canada, will be buying everyone who signs up and attends a steak and lobster dinner after the event**

So click on this link and register today…  we would love to see you out there, and bring your questions… whether they be on Windows, Office, Xbox, or just about any other Microsoft technology, the experts will be in the house!

When: Thursday, May 29th, 4:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Microsoft Store, Square One Mall, Mississauga
Registration Link: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032587467&Culture=en-CA&community=0

**Our lawyers want to be clear that nobody will actually be buying you anything, and that you should be buying us drinks.

Resign as an MVP? No…

It is with great regret that I am told today that I must resign from the Microsoft MVP Program because I am unable to (or unwilling to) help the community.

As many of you know I walk a fine line between community leader (Microsoft MVP, MCT) and a member of Microsoft Canada’s DPE team (Evangelist).  This line has at times resulted in internal conflicts, and has resulted in several discussions between my manager, my MVP Lead, and myself as to whether I should (or can) remain a member of the program.  Thus far we have determined that I can continue to be both, as long as I am mindful of the fact that my contract contains not only a morality clause, but also a clause to not speak out against the company.  It is complicated sometimes, but for the most part it works.

This, of course, does not mean that I am required to actively and vocally defend the company when I disagree with it… it just means that I cannot speak out against it.

On July 1, 2013 the announcement was made that Microsoft was retiring the TechNet Subscription program, through which many IT Pros (including but certainly not limited to MCTs and MVPs) have gotten their software for non-production use over the past several years.  It is a shame that it happened, and I happen to agree that it will be a decision that will cost community members who are used to spinning up environments without time limits.

I was told about this announcement on a specially convened call of MCT Regional Leads the morning of July 1st (Canada Day) which I listened in to as I drove with my family from Montreal to Toronto.  I am sure the general consensus of the RLs was that we were not happy.  There is a very good chance that had I been sitting at my desk in the office I would have fired off a blog article with my opinions (which we should never do when angry).  However I was in the car with my family driving the 401, and by the time I got to my office the next day I was much calmer.  In fact, I went so far as to ask one of our newsletters if I could write a position piece on the subject which was approved… until someone higher up made it clear that I was not allowed to do so.

Now there are a group of MVPs railing against the elimination of the benefit… as I fully expected there would be.  In fact that group asked me to help by vocally speaking out against Microsoft’s decision.  I declined, stating contractual reasons.

I have now been told that I have lost the moral right to be an MVP.  I have been told that ‘honorable folks would resign as MVP since you can’t help the community.’

This is obviously someone trying to make being an MVP a one-issue decision, which it is not.

I have been a champion of the IT community for a decade, well before being awarded as an MVP in 2006.  I have founded and led user groups and fought for my members when it came to getting benefits, and while I have fought when some of those benefits were taken away I also realized that they cost Microsoft money, and it is ultimately their decision (and NOT ours) what they are willing to give us and what they are not.

I have presented at more user group meetings than any MVP that I know of – consistently over the past three years.  I have spoken at conferences and conventions, I have traveled tens of thousands of miles every year (sometimes with a dual-purpose agenda but often solely to speak to community groups) talking technology and helping those communities.

I have written no fewer than 500 articles on technology over the past five years and given them away on my blog as well as on other sites.

…and yet one MVP tells me that I have moral right to be an MVP anymore.  He tells me that I have no honour, and that I am being selfish.

It has been a very long time since anyone has accused me of either not being honourable or of being selfish.  For one person to call me both in one day is absolutely astounding.  I am likely as angry about these accusations as he is about the termination of the TechNet subscription program.

It is the old statement brought to life: ‘If you aren’t for us, then you are against us!’  Well guess what… in most cases this is pure manure.  This isn’t a case of a German citizen not standing up against the Nazis or passers-by watching idly as a woman is violently raped… I am NOT against the idea, I am just not permitted to be vocally FOR it.  If some people are offended by this concept or just don’t get it then that is their prerogative… just as it is mine to not sign a petition or join a campaign whether or not doing so might result in my termination.

I live in a free country, as does my esteemed MVP colleague (albeit a different free country) and as such I am allowed to pick my causes and he is allowed to criticize me for it… but the name-calling and calls for my resignation is (for me) a little over the top.  He is passionate, I get that.  However in all of my years as an MVP I have never been told by anyone that I didn’t have what it takes to be an MVP.  While he is free to be the first, I respectfully disagree… and while I refuse to stoop to his level I will use the forum and pulpit that I have at my disposal – that of this blog – to refute his accusations and state my position.

We are all adults, and swearing and name-calling are not the way civilized adults behave in public (and yes, Twitter is a PUBLIC forum).  I resent the statements made and am glad that I took the time to breathe before instinctively engaging in such childish behaviour.

With that being said, I do give him credit for one thing: He said it to me, and did not start a conversation behind my back.  For that reason only he is not named herein.  I would have rather he had opened the dialogue privately, but at least he did address his comments to me.

In any event I will not be resigning my MVP Award… at least not now, and not over this issue.  Will I be an MVP for much longer?  That depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is that I have to be re-awarded on October 1st.  That remains to be seen.  I am honoured to be an MVP in good standing, I feel my reputation is intact, and I will continue to honestly and selflessly support the community that I have served for many years!

It’s Official: My SIXTH MVP Award Category

Two weeks ago 1,400 Microsoft MVPs gathered in Redmond, Washington (the MotherShip, as some call it!) to ‘geek out’ for three days (or as many as six for some, depending on pre-day and post-day events).  We spent at least two and as many as four days in closed-door sessions with the product teams for which we were awarded… in my case it was with the Windows Client product team, which includes Windows 8, Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and other deployment technologies, and of course the folks behind the Microsoft Surface.

While we all enjoyed ourselves immensely, I realized early on that although I do spend a lot of time discussing and presenting Windows 8, it is simply not the area where I spend most of my energies and focus.  As such, after meeting with both Stephen Rose (a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Windows) and Ben Armstrong, and then making the formal request through proper channels, I am proud to say that I have officially switched MVP competencies to Virtual Machine.

For those of you keeping score, here is the official list:MVP_Horizontal_FullColor

  1. Windows Server – Customer Experience
  2. Small Business Server
  3. Essential Business Server
  4. Windows Desktop Experience
  5. Windows Expert – IT Pro
  6. Virtual Machine

I want you all to know that this is not because I cannot make up my mind… simply over the years interests and areas of focus change.  A couple of years ago I was spending a lot of time talking about desktop deployment, which put me square into the Windows DE (and then Windows Expert – IT Pro) camp.  My primary focus of late has been virtualization, and it looks like that is where I am going to stay for at least a couple of years.  I am sure you all know that this is not simply a whim – I am as passionate about virtualization as is possible.

For any of you who might be interested in seeing my MVP Profile Page, it can be viewed at: http://mvp.microsoft.com/profiles/Mitch.

I want to thank all of my friends in the Windows space – Stephen Rose, David Trupkin, Michael Niehaus, and everyone else (too many to mention!) for everything they have done for me over the past few years.  I promise that I am not abandoning you – simply adjusting to the realities.  I will continue to participate in the STEP (Springboard Technical Experts Panel) as long as I am allowed, and will speak at every user group that invites me!

I am looking forward to my new program – new lists, mail servers, and so on… time to reintroduce myself to another group of poor, unsuspecting souls who have no idea what they have coming to them fine MVPs with whom I have so much in common!

What Does Being an MVP Mean to ME?

This month I will be speaking at the SMB Nation Fall Conference.  My main presentation will be on what IT will look like for small- and mid-sized businesses in what I call the ‘Post-SBS Era.’  I will be discussing Private Cloud, System Center, Virtualization, Office 365, Azure, and Windows Intune.

I have also been asked to lead a panel of Microsoft MVPs.  Topic: Open.  I can pick a topic, or I can simply open the floor to questions.  I briefly considered calling the panel ‘Whaddya mean you do it for FREE?!’ but thought better of it… however it would be fitting because MVPs do not get paid for what they do… at least not for what they do in order to be an MVP.

I have invited four other MVPs to join me on stage; until I get confirmation from all of them I will not reveal who they are.  However I tried to select people with different experiences as MVPs.  It should be an interesting time.

Over the past few days that I have been thinking about this panel I have given some thought to what it means to me.  Last week I was recognized for the seventh time (Microsoft MVPs are awarded for a period of one year, and my award date is October 1st).  I guess by now I can be considered a ‘veteran MVP,’ but I know that there are so many MVPs who have been around much longer than I have been.

In 2005 or 2006 there was an MVP Roadshow that came to Montreal; Jeff Middleton and the gang came up and after their day-long event, they agreed to do a user group event for us in the evening.  Somebody in the audience asked Jeff ‘What is expected of you as MVPs?’  I expected Jeff to start talking about speaking to user groups, answering questions in the forums and newsgroups, and whatever else.  He surprised me when he answered (not a direct quote) ‘Nothing.  The MVP Award is strictly for past contributions.  It is not a contract, and you are not actually expected to do anything further.’

It was an interesting answer, and on the surface an honest and accurate one.  It does not, however, account for the fact that if MVPs want to continue being MVPs then there are certain expectations of us.  Depending on several factors I think those expectations are not the same for all of us, but that is another topic altogether.

In November 2004 I had a conversation with a young Harp Girn who was at the time a vendor with Microsoft Canada.  He had, earlier in the evening, gotten me to volunteer to start a user group in Montreal for IT Professionals.  He made it clear to me that although he and his team would help, there wouldn’t be any direct, tangible benefits.  ‘I can’t make any promises, but a lot of user group leaders get recognized as Microsoft MVPs.’  I am not sure, but it may have been the first time I had ever heard the term.  He was right – 23 months later I did get the award.

It has been an incredible six years… My life, my career, my outlook have changed so much in that time, and who knew – a lot of that change can be traced back to the MVP Award.  Most of that indirectly of course, but a lot of the opportunities that I have been afforded over the past several years have been because I was an MVP.  Microsoft Canada has done a lot for me, and oftentimes it was because of a conversation started with the phrase ‘…do you know of any MVPs who could do this for us?’  Many of the certifications I hold (especially the Charter certs) are because Microsoft Learning sent out invites to write beta exams to… you guessed it – MVPs.

Shortly after I received the award for the first time a consulting firm asked me to do some work with them – it started as training roadshows but eventually evolved into courseware creation.  When they asked me what I knew about server virtualization I replied honestly that I knew nothing about it.  They had me learn, and that would eventually evolve into several career-changing moments, not the least of which was the opportunity to write Microsoft’s original courseware (e-learning) for Hyper-V.  That led to roadshows of course, and a company that heard about me because of the roadshow asked if I would be interested in learning VMware and then consulting and teaching it for them in Canada (and eventually internationally).  The original consulting firm that got the ball rolling on this told me point-blank that they would not have considered me had I not been a Microsoft MVP.

When the Partner team at Microsoft Canada decided to create a program called the Virtual Partner Technology Advisors, they looked for MVPs who were strong on virtualization.  That led to dozens of contracts over the course of several years, as well as the opportunity to present myself as one of the foremost VMware-compete guys in the country.

And of course, when the DPE Team at Microsoft Canada started discussing a new position called ‘Virtual Technical Evangelist’ they again looked for MVPs.

Someone asked me earlier today what I would do if I wasn’t doing what I do.  It’s a tough question and frankly I cannot fathom an answer.  I guess I need more time, but I’ll come up with something, I promise.  The question got me thinking (and not for the first time) where I would be today if I had not put my hand up to volunteer to create a local user group in Montreal, which in turn led to my eventual nomination as a Microsoft MVP.  The consequences of that single action are impossible to quantify, but let’s start with a quick list:

  • I would probably still be living in Montreal
  • I would likely have a couple of certifications… but nowhere near what I have today.
  • I would not have the vast majority of the friends I have made over the past eight years.
  • I would never have met my wife and her (now OUR) son, and we would not have had our baby.
  • It is unlikely that I would be a Black Belt
  • It is unfathomable that I would have several positions within Microsoft
  • It is highly doubtful I would have started a blog that today is read by ten thousand readers per month
  • I would never have had the opportunity to travel to 8 provinces (several times), 35 states (with many repeats), and twelve countries on behalf of companies like Microsoft and HP
  • I would never have been asked to consult on deployment projects for companies on the Fortune 15 list, nor for such organizations as the New York Police Department.

Wow… that is a simple list that took me all of five minutes to compile, but each point is easy to make the case for.  I honestly believe that had I not been awarded the Microsoft MVP way back then my life would have gone in a very different direction.  I cannot fathom what it would look like today… but it isn’t a stretch to guess that broader minds bring broader opportunities, and I would not be doing as well were I still living in Montreal servicing small business IT shops.

So while Microsoft uses the MVP Program as a thank-you for its community leaders, I expect a lot of us owe Microsoft a big thank-you back for the opportunities that have come about from our award.

A Report from the MVP Global Summit

The week before the MVP Summit I got an e-mail asking me if I would be interested in blogging about the Summit for Microsoft Press.  As I was planning on blogging anyways I agreed… and rather than posting several smaller articles here, I sent one giant article to Microsoft; it was published today at blogs.msdn.com, and can be read here.  So you know, I am going to be sending them pictures to add to the article… but they wanted it up sooner rather than later!

Year 6

This was probably the first year that I did not even realize it was time.  When I woke up this morning I checked my Twitter feed, and saw a tweet from someone about today being the award day for the Microsoft MVP program.  Had my 21 month old son not come in looking for Daddy, I might have given a thought to when (if?) I was going to get my Award e-mail… but life took over, and I did not think about it until the e-mail finally came around mid-morning. 

Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2011 Microsoft® MVP Award!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with how the program award works, it is done four times per year – January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.  If I recall last year there was a bit of confusion because the program year which originally started October 1, was realigned to start January 1… so essentially they followed the world’s shift from the Hebrew calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which means that somehow I was awarded twice for the same year.  Whatever.

A Microsoft MVP is supposed to be a community contributor.  For that reason none of the work I get paid to do counts toward my MVP Award – or at least it isn’t supposed to.  That may be one of the reasons that some of the people you would think would be MVPs are not.  It is also the reason why a lot of people who are not Devs or IT Pros are MVPs.  A lot of us work with technologies in other fields, but write about, blog about, or speak about them in forums, blogs, user group events, and much more.  In theory writing books is a paid endeavour that should not be counted, but for books and other technology publications the lines are blurred and a lot of authors make the cut.  Jason Hiner is the Editor in Chief of TechRepublic.com is an MVP, even though I assume he gets paid for the work he does on that site.  Charlie Russell is an MVP too, and they both deserve to be.

When I started out as a community contributor I was replying to a ton of newsgroup questions; unfortunately for me most of the ones I was answering were about certifications, and there is no award category for that.  Nearly two years as Founding President of the Montreal IT Professionals Community (www.mitpro.ca) earned me the nod, and even though MITPro did not focus on any single technology there was an award category called Windows Server: Customer Experience that was where IT Generalists who ran user groups were placed.  I remember that Sunday morning like it was yesterday… I woke up and got the e-mail on my PC (I didn’t have a smartphone yet), then went off to ‘my’ Java U where I filled out the forms and NDAs and everything that was asked of me.  I then started reading the protected material.

Sadly we found out soon enough that the ‘User Group MVPs’ were going away, and that everyone in the category would have to be re-awarded in a technology category (and would have to stand on their merits for the technology).  A number of my friends did not make the cut and that was sad.  I believe it was July, 2008 I was moved into the Small Business Server award category, which made sense at the time but my real hope was to be made one of the ‘charter’ Essential Business Server MVPs.  In the first week of 2009 six of us were given that nod, and we became the ‘Charter Class’ of EBS MVPs (the others were Ollie, Amy, Steve, Jeff, and Robert). It was one of my few really wrong calls in the IT field – I was sure that EBS was going to be huge, and it was just not meant to be.  Microsoft pulled the plug a few months before the release of EBS v2, and the product just stopped.

So with the death of EBS I knew I had to pick another Award category, and I was lucky enough to have my fingers in enough of the pies to know that I could ask for any of a number of them and have a good chance of being chosen.  I asked my MVP Lead (and a particularly powerful insider) to have me moved to the Windows Desktop Experience category – in other words, the Windows Client.  A few months later it was changed to Windows Expert: IT Pro.  And that’s where I am today.

I am likely not the only MVP who has been in five different categories; I might be the only one whose five changes have all happened between cycles, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is I am glad to be back for Year 6, and the first year where my Award certificate will read Windows Expert: IT Pro.  It does not mean another year of blogging, writing, and speaking… because these are all things I would do even if I was not an MVP.  and that is what I always tell people who ask me what it takes to become an MVP… if you aren’t already doing most of it out of your own passion then it is simply not worth pursuing.  I would have a lot more time for my family, for my hobbies, and for relaxing if I stopped doing everything I do to be an MVP, and chances are I would make about the same amount of money.  However I do it, because I love what I do.  I did them before I was an MVP, and I will likely continue doing them long after I cease to be one.

I travel a lot for business… I mean, a lot.  Every time I tell my (very understanding) wife Theresa (@gilsmommy) that I have to book a trip somewhere, her first question is not ‘How long are you going?’ it is ‘Is this a paid trip or a free trip?’ followed by ‘Well, is someone else at least covering your travel expenses?’  You would think that traveling as much as I do for actual work, I would not want to take on the four or five user group tours I do per year… but I love speaking to the communities, and she understands that.  If anyone wants to know who I thank for my being an MVP, it is Theresa… except for Years 1 and 2… those were all me Winking smile

I want to thank Microsoft, Microsoft Canada, the Springboard Team, the Microsoft MVP Team, Ljupco, Simran, and Stephen for helping me to get year six.  I promise to do everything I can to be worthy of #7.  I wear both my MVP shirts and my STEP (Springboard Technical Experts Panel – Charter Member) shirts proudly, and will continue to wave the banner.  Thanks for giving me products worthy of my time!

Defective Microsoft Access? I don’t think so! Ask the Community!

Earlier today a LinkedIn contact asked me a question about Microsoft Office Access.  I don’t know a while lot about Access, but here is why I am such a huge proponent of the IT Pro Community.

The contact is someone who I met at a community event – an event I did on Windows Vista at the Association of Independent Consultants in Mississauga, Ontario.  We haven’t seen each other since, but we exchanged cards, and I remembered who she was.  She remembered me as the Microsoft MVP, a group of awardees that Microsoft bills as ‘Independent Experts, Real World Answers.’ 

Now, I honestly don’t know a lot about Microsoft Office Access.  Once upon a time I learned how to program simple databases, but that was about it… and in 2001.  However what I do know is how to reach out to the community, so I shot out a quick call to my community peeps on Twitter that I had a question about Access.  A bunch of people replied that they could help, including a member of the Krewe… a group of crazy nuts who know how to party at TechEd, but also do a LOT of great stuff… and they know their technology!

Brian Bell currently serves on the Syndication and Outreach workgroups with the Real Estate Standards Organization, The Microsoft International Consumer Advisory Board, The Krewe of Tech-Ed, and is VERY active as a leader and volunteer with The Boy Scouts of America (along with his son, Dillon).  Outside of that, Brian enjoys boating, fishing, whitewater, the beach, Cape Fear River, anything outdoors related, and most importantly, Brian enjoys spending time with his family and friends.  You can check out his entire blog at http://ageekblog.com

So Brian and I took the conversation off-line.  I sent him the question, and he asked me to give him a few hours to get me the answer.  Sure enough, a few hours later he came back with a whopping answer!  It could never have happened without community.

The question was:

There is a conflict I’m dealing with trying to resolve. It relates to the use of an Access database to facilitate furniture and equipment asset information. There are claims that the database is “defective” and I know that this term may have different meanings in the software industry. I also wondered if I could discuss the scenario with you to see if you think it is something they can legally claim is defective or if the issues they encountered were “human error” which I think it is or could queries from the database just disappear or become corrupted while the file was being transferred from a USB storage device to their private mainframe. The tables are intact.

The answer from Brian Bell is:

USB Drives have been proven problematic in the JET database world…. And it is so that Microsoft Access uses Microsoft JET…..

The proper sequence AFTER writing the DB to a USB drive is to COMPLETELY close Access after the save with the USB drive still plugged in and wait about 20-30 seconds AFTER you THINK Access is closed (or go to taskman (I use the task monitor from Microsoft Sysinternals ) and make sure it has completely closed. Once completely closed, The USB drive must be “ejected” from the USB control panel and NOT unplugged until after the “it is safe to remove your device” has appeared..

Not following those guidelines specifically can cause issues and even IF that is followed correctly, problems can still occur. (Think back to our glory days when access databases almost always corrupted themselves when writing to a floppy)

If it is a multi-user environment where multiple users are trying to access the data off of the flash drive, that will also cause issues… This is because access uses Microsoft JET. SQl is required for multi-user accessing of data in a database so it is safe to assume these issues can also occur in a virtualized environment as well. This also includes if other users are attached (not using, just even attached in some way) to the database you are trying to save it will or can corrupt. You can use the UserRoster JeT tool to verify thie user count or attachment see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285822

Opening and / or saving the dabatase in another program other than the same version of access (including the use of 3rd party apps) can cause corruption.

So,the basics which you already know.. Access is simply a tool. It’s essentially a database management system… Nuts & Bolts, it’s a container of objects that simply contains a table or multiple tables of data.

As long as the database you are using was created within Access and not another program imported into Access, there cannot be a defect as the relational objects were created by their own parent within its own container of table or tables.

While Access is not defective, there are parts that work WITH access that can be problematic.

These can include a poorly designed database table, corrupt connectors, odbc emulators or drivers /etc. Defective software.

Common problems with Access are issues surrounding its attributes.

With an Access 2007 or 2010 database the database cannot exceed 2gb minus the system object space.

The database has a max number of just over 32000 objects. It cannot have more than 1000 modules when HASmodule = true is set.

An object name can’t have more than 64 characters, no more than 14 characters in a password, no more than 255 users concurrently using the database, no more than 20 characters in a user or group name, (See bottom of email for the complete attribute table)

Exceeding any of the capability attributes can cause problematic issues with the database.

Now from your email, it looks like the database “appears” to be ok but when the data is moved (I am assuming saved as database) to a usb drive, it then appears to be corrupt?

Things to look for when things aren’t saving correctly are the obvious.. Is BitLocker running? Does the USB drive contain any encryption or other software? (Have you tried a different brand/style/size USB drive that has been newly formatted) Are the versions the same on the read PC as they are from the PC writing the file to the database?

I would also look at UAC, Group Policy and NAP settings if on a network. If on a network I would look on both the master GP server and the client PC to make sure something isn’t replicating the GP rules in the LAN or WAN.

I have seen corruption on DBs also if pulling over VNC, RDP and/or VPN.

If pulling by using a query or call, has it been triple checked? If so, try the call and remove the full call and just pull a small portion off of the same database to see if a “smaller” query returns good data…

Doyou have logging and debug on so you can see when the failure occurs exactly what is failing or can you send me the details of the error?

The bottom line is, Access is not defective however there are hundreds of things around access that can cause issues and be problematic…

If any of the attributes in the table below are exceeded, (assuming you are running access 07 or 10 , if not and you are running 03 0r 00 or 97, then the attributes are much lower the earlier in versioning you go…)

If you copy (save) the DB to the drive are you opening FROM the drive and not copying from the drive back to the computer? Depending on read/write rates for i/o that could perhaps cause an issue..

General

Attribute

Maximum

Total size for an Access 2010 database (.accdb), including all database objects and data

2 gigabytes, minus the space needed for system objects.

Note You can work around this size limitation by linking to tables in other Access databases. You can link to tables in multiple database files, each of which can be as large as 2GB.

Tip For more information on reducing the size of your database, see Help prevent and correct database file problems by using Compact and Repair.

Total number of objects in a database

32,768

Number of modules (including forms and reports that have the HasModule property set to True)

1,000

Number of characters in an object name

64

Number of characters in a password

14

Number of characters in a user name or group name

20

Number of concurrent users

255

Table

Attribute

Maximum

Number of characters in a table name

64

Number of characters in a field name

64

Number of fields in a table

255

Number of open tables

2,048 including linked tables and the tables opened internally by Access

Table size

2 gigabyte minus the space needed for the system objects

Number of characters in a Text field

255

Number of characters in a Memo field

65,535 when entering data through the user interface;
1 gigabyte of character storage when entering data programmatically

Size of an OLE Object field

1 gigabyte

Number of indexes in a table

32 including indexes created internally to maintain table relationships, single-field and composite indexes.

Number of fields in an index or primary key

10

Number of characters in a validation message

255

Number of characters in a validation rule including punctuations and operators

2,048

Number of characters in a field or table description

255

Number of characters in a record (excluding Memo and OLE Object fields) when the UnicodeCompression property of the fields is set to Yes

4,000

Number of characters in a field property setting

255

Query

Attribute

Maximum

Number of enforced relationships

32 per table, minus the number of indexes that are on the table for fields or combinations of fields that are not involved in relationships*

Number of tables in a query

32*

Number of joins in a query

16*

Number of fields in a recordset

255

Recordset size

1 gigabyte

Sort limit

255 characters in one or more fields

Number of levels of nested queries

50*

Number of characters in a cell in the query design grid

1,024

Number of characters for a parameter in a parameter query

255

Number of AND operators in a WHERE or HAVING clause

99*

Number of characters in an SQL statement

Approximately 64,000*

*Maximum values might be lower if the query includes multivalued lookup fields.

Form and Report

Attribute

Maximum

Number of characters in a label

2,048

Number of characters in a text box

65,535

Form or report width

22,75 in. (57.79 cm)

Section height

22.75 in. (57.79 cm)

Height of all sections plus section headers (in Design view)

200 in. (508 cm)

Number of levels of nested forms or reports

7

Number of fields or expressions that you can sort or group on in a report

10

Number of headers and footers in a report

1 report header/footer;
1 page header/footer;
10 group headers/footers

Number of printed pages in a report

65,536

Number of controls and sections that you can add over the lifetime of the form or report

754

Number of characters in an SQL statement that serves as the Recordsource or Rowsource property of a form, report, or control (both .accdb and .adp)

32,750

Macro

Attribute

Maximum

Number of actions in a macro

999

Number of characters in a condition

255

Number of characters in a comment

255

Number of characters in an action argument

255

Project specifications

The following list of tables applies to Access 2010 and Access 2007 projects:

General

Attribute

Maximum

Number of objects in an Access project (.adp)

32,768

Number of modules (including forms and reports that have the HasModule property set to True)

1,000

Number of characters in an object name

64

Number of columns in a table

250 (Microsoft SQL Server 6.5)

1024 (Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, 2000 and 2005)

Form and Report

Attribute

Maximum

Number of characters in a label

2,048

Number of characters in a text box

65,535

Form or report width

22 in. (55.87 cm)

Section height

22 in. (55.87 cm)

Height of all sections plus section headers (in Design view)

200 in. (508 cm)

Number of levels of nested forms or reports

7

Number of fields or expressions that you can sort or group on in a report

10

Number of headers and footers in a report

1 report header/footer;
1 page header/footer;
10 group headers/footers

Number of printed pages in a report

65,536

Number of controls and sections you can add over the lifetime of the form or report

754

Number of characters in an SQL statement that serves as the Recordsource or Rowsource property of a form, report, or control (both .accdb and .adp)

32,750

Macro

Attribute

Maximum

Number of actions in a macro

999

Number of characters in a condition

255

Number of characters in a comment

255

Number of characters in an action argument

255