Attention Those Well Versed in Access and/or Excel

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff D., Jun 5, 2002.

  1. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Hopefully I can find some Access/Excel gurus on this forum! [​IMG]
    My question is, do either of these programs, individually or in tandem, have the capability/power to create and maintain an inventory system with a POS (Point of Sale) system? Obviously nothing high-end, this isn't for a large corporation or anything. I have heard that both programs are more than capable in this regard and, with a little learning on my part, we can create such a system completely customised to our needs. I have some minor experience with both programs but can easily learn the ins and outs if we deem them appropriate.
    The only other option is to purchase some sort of software specifically designed for this application, but these seem to be very expensive and it might be more than possible to achieve this with these two programs.
    If anyone can shed some light on this matter and/or offer advice, I would really appreciate it.
    /Jeff
     
  2. Curtis Koenig

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    You could do something like this with Access given time and programming knowledge. I would suggest searching the web to see if anyone has already done something similar that you can use or add too. While this is an interesting question the real bottom line is how much energy and time do you have (not to mention $) to devote to developing this?
     
  3. AllenD

    AllenD Second Unit

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    I'm not familiar with what you need from a POS system. I'm guessing you need it to count down the inventory whenever a sale is made. If so, then sure, Excel can be programmed to do so. You can create formulas throughout an Excel file to do this.
     
  4. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    If you're just looking to maintain an inventory record integrated into POS, then Access is a pretty simple way to do it. Forms etc can be designed fairly easily, and there's a lot more flexibility than with excel.
     
  5. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the replies so far guys!
    You'll have to excuse my naivete here, but this has been my train of thought so far:
    1. Inventory is simply a database. The complexity of that database depends on the size of the inventory and the amount of information that needs to be recorded. Still, in the simplest terms, it is just a database.
    2. In terms of POS, all I really need is an invoicing system. There are no bar-code scanners etc. Continuing my train of thought, an Invoice is simply a Report with information coming from the database.
    There could be another database tied to the invoice - ie. a customer information database.
    So, is my train of thought accurate here? Again, I realize that even if I am correct, the complexity can begin to grow as things get more complex.
    So far, research has suggested that buying a POS system proper would be very expensive and would provide functionality that I may not need. While it may seem daunting building things up from scratch this way, it allows complete control of the final result - something that in this situation would be very useful.
    Again, I appreciate the input so far and if anyone has anything to add, please do so! [​IMG]
    /Jeff
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Jeff you should be able to set up access to do this but really it would be better just to code a simple app. in visual basic. Connecting to databases and doing simple forms like you're talking about is very simple in VB.
     
  7. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    Access, VB, pretty much the same thing. Access would be quicker as it has built in forms for ya. You could knock out something like this in less than a day with the wizards, and make it as complex or simple as your needs merit. One of the benefits of using Access, you can design the db in Access then export it as a small app to run on other systems which don't have access installed.
     
  8. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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    There are several cheap POS systems that will track inventory and what not - all kind of positioned for small businesses. I've worked with a few over the years - one I know of is called 'quick sell' - I think it uses access as the DB (I've done all this as 'favors' for people in retail and try to suppress all memories of this stuff.) It'd be better than doing in access - cost is kinda nominal when you consider how much time it would take you to reproduce in excel. YMMV - it would be a fun little project though.
     
  9. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Thanks again guys!
    Andrew, I don't know if I feel like diving into the VB world just yet...I'd have enough on my plate figuring out Access. [​IMG]
     
  10. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Making a small VB Like app is just as easy in access. It's practically the same with a slightly different language.

    Jeff, from what I gather you don't want anything super fancy (IE No Barcodes) so Access is probably your best option overall.

    I designed a database in Access for small company I once worked for. They made and sold Oil Well guages and the database kept track of where everyone they made was. If it came in for re-calibration, repairs, returned, etc, they could enter in it's ID and anyone could see what's in for repair and who should have it, and why it's there. Every day they could print out a report and see where each guage we had at the shop was, print something out for billing, etc.

    It took a lot of work (I had some programming experience, but no database experience) but the nice thing was that I had something basic up for them right away and then I could add on all the personilization they needed afterwards.
     
  11. Lary Larson

    Lary Larson Stunt Coordinator

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    Access gives you VBA in addition to being a database management system. Straight VB has no database built-in, so that's another tick against it in this case.

    If you decide to DIY - you could learn a lot from the sample Northwind database that ships with Access.

    Lary
     

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