We’ve spent a great number of years building exceptionally diverse databases.  A common request from customers is to provide support and manuals.  This week, we were reviewing one new database and I noted that as a company we are finally starting to standardize our database front ends.

In particular, we have started thinking of long term support requirements, and users who may not have been involved in the design and implementation process coming into an existing database with no understanding of the requirements.  Many companies build their databases using internal employees as the architects, and meetings with stake holders to define the fields and requirements – leading to complete loss of knowledge when those employees move on to other jobs or companies.

One solution we now do is simple – set the Control Tip Text on every field, so when a user hovers their mouse over a field they get a useful popup beside it with a help suggestion (ex. Enter the employee’s date of birth using the format mm/dd/yy).  This guides the user through required formats, and helps prevent bad data in your database.

You can build a database with many features and fancy code, but you can’t always predict what new employees will interpret as required inputs.  So use Control Tip Text to prevent errors and simple help desk phone calls!

Jeff Shirley

Jeff Shirley

Founder & CEO
Jeff brings over 27 years of experience to the table, along with numerous awards, certifications, and real-world implementations.  His database solutions are currently running in industries including government, mining, agriculture, finance, education, science, research, non-profits, and healthcare businesses around North America and serve thousands of users day to day.  Jeff is a five-time MVP Award recipient for Microsoft Access, acknowledging contributions to community projects, evangelism, and educational outreach on Microsoft technologies.  Today there are less than 50 Access MVP’s worldwide. While Jeff focuses day to day on business management, IoT development, IT integrations and design, database architecture or other typical complex tasks, he also is a co-owner of Blue Heron Gardens, a commercial apiary running over 200 beehives.  Fresh honey is a small perk for many of our clients!

Mitch Redekopp

Mitch works with our clients day to day ensuring web development and IT projects are done to exceed customer expectations.  His background includes formal training in IT, Microsoft and CompTIA certifications, real-world business experience, and a true dedication to ensuring clients receive timely and professional support on their projects with Rivercity Technology Services.  Given the most difficult requests for IT solutions, Mitchell can assist our clients in finding a path to the best options which deliver results for our clients.  Mitchell is an avid soccer player and Manchester City fan, be sure to talk soccer with him when you can.