Chapter 24. Optimizing Access Applications


  • Taking advantage of VBA's Load on Demand functionality

  • Deciding which file format to use

  • Using .accde databases for better performance

  • Achieving better performance through compilation

  • Increasing the absolute speed of your application

  • Increasing the perceived speed of your application

  • Using special techniques with large databases

When Microsoft introduced 32-bit Access, a number of new performance concerns came part and parcel with the new features and functions. Microsoft continues to make a conscious effort to enhance the performance of the Access database engine, as well as compilation techniques and features such as the formerly undocumented Decompile command. The end result is that Microsoft has helped to ease your burden, but in no way has it completely taken that burden from you.


The published minimum RAM requirement for a computer to run Access on Windows XP (SP2 or later), Windows Server 2003 (or higher), or Windows Vista or Windows 7 is 256MB — with an emphasis on minimum. If you plan to do serious development with Access, you should have at least 512MB to 1GB of RAM or, preferably, 2GB or more.

With today's computers and memory prices, this amount of memory is a valuable investment. In fact, simply adding more memory will increase speed much more than changing your processor speed, because Access must use the hard drive as a virtual memory area if it doesn't have enough memory. Hard drives are slow, and big hard drives ...

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