I have a new job

In January 1998, I joined Microsoft as the ship PM for Access 97 SP1. My career has gone on to include working on Access and 2002 data access pages, SharePoint extensibility and the Web Part Framework, and most recently, Access 2007. IMHO Access 2007 is the most innovative release in years, and lays the foundation for the future as people create better and more manageable applications. Furthermore, the release team is what I believe to be the most talented, dedicated, and passionate about technology in all of Office.

At the end of every release cycle, Microsoft encourages employees to talk with new teams and to think about career development. Cross pollination of talent between teams is a vital ingredient to how we build products that work together. During this process, I have concluded that it is time for me to grow in new ways and have joined a new team in the same Office organization. The team includes server technologies that involve Excel Services, SharePoint, and Office Live. I can’t discuss much of what we will be doing, but can let you know that I will spend lots of time with the Excel Service that ships today in Microsoft Office SharePoint Services (MOSS). I will also work to improve scenarios where data is hosted by Office Live and consumed inside Access and Excel. My Access background will be useful as we continue to make our products work better together and allow people to build useful data applications.

Working with the Access community has been lots of fun. One thing is for sure—Access developers are passionate about the product. I want to thank everyone for the friendship and constructive feedback and input over the years. It sure is rewarding to see people do amazing things with the product.

The future of Access is very bright. The team has lots of great ideas that will excite end users, power users, and serve developers. Nearly all members of the team elected to stay on for the next release—which is really a great thing for the product. Internally, there is lots of excitement about the future of Access and enabling developers to build better applications.

I will continue to blog about UI design, application development, Access, and other topics but likely less often for the next few months as my new team finishes prototypes, the vision, and begin writing specs.

Again, thanks for the friendship and contribution to what makes Access so great today!

Comments (6)

  1. Toby Getsch says:

    Congratulations Clint.  Thanks for sharing and for exposing your passion.  Your blog has helped make Access and Office more transparent.  That breeds trust.

    I hope that after some of the dust settles, you’ll be able to continue some blogging related to the new stuff.  Passions make for great posts.  Keep up the good work!

  2. grovelli says:

    Best wishes in your new endeavours and yes, please do come over to this blog sharing your perspective on Access.

  3. Alan Cossey says:

    Clint, I wish you all the best in your new job. I speak as someone who has used Access for years and, after initial great worry about Access 2007, e.g. security and modifying the ribbon, have come to see some of the really helpful new stuff in it, particularly its integration with Office Live. Speaking of which….

    There isn’t much info that I can find about integrating Access 2007 and Office Live. What info there is is partly wrong, e.g. "How To: Integrate Access 2007 and Excel 2007 with Office Live" where the security information is wrong (at least it doesn’t work that way with my UK Office Live). I have also asked questions about taking data offline in various forums, e.g. the Office Live forums and Utter Access, but not had any replies. The only input in such areas from Microsoft is for "pure" Office Live stuff, not for anything related to using it with Access 2007. Is there such information around (and I’m missing it and, in which case, where is it) or is it really lacking? If the latter, is someone going to supply the information that Access developers need to grab the undoubted opportunities there are with using Access and Office Live, please? The sort of info developers (in this case, I) need is along the following lines:

    1) Please tell me where log in information for Office Live is stored in my Access database as it seems to operate with the permissions of whoever was logged into Office Live when the Access database linked tables were created from the Office Live lists.

    2) Is such log in information modifiable, e.g. can I force the Access database user to log in with his own credentials? It is not practical for developers to log into Office Live and do individual database creation for each user. The best I can see at present is to change the password of the person logged in when the database link is created, which then forces the user to supply their own details. Unfortunately, they can then set the log in to happen automatically, which is not good, e.g. if someone takes a copy of their Access database with its embedded log in.

    3) How can I tell programmatically whether the database has its data taken offline, e.g. so I can determine what the caption should be for a button used to toggle between online and offline mode?

    Such info would be really useful since I am doing a presentation to about 15 other developers here in the UK in a few days time. At the moment I am working rather in the dark.

  4. Thanks Toby.

    grovelli–I do expect to continue to blog about Access related stuff. I likely will spend a bit more time thinking about web design and how it relates to design of Access applications. I hope you have enjoyed this blog.

    Alan–I remember your concern back in the London conference a few years ago. I’m glad that you are starting to see some of the value.

    Office Live is built on WSS–so anything you read about WSS should relate to Office Live. I do agree with you that we have more information that needs to get out. People are just starting to work with the two technologies together so that is likely why the lack of replies.

    1. Confused by your question. If you create the link tables and close the app you should have logged out. We don’t store login credentials across sessions in the link table information. The information is cached in windows as part of the browser credential cache. The only way I know to sign-out would be to close the process or execute the signout command on the page.

    2. Like I said, the credentials are cached per session not in the database. We don’t provide any way to cach credentials in the db.

    3. Here is how you tell if the db is offline.


    Good luck with Office Live. I would love to hear more about what you are doing and your experience developing apps on Office Live.

  5. Alan Cossey says:

    Hi Clint,

    Thanks for the answers you gave. I have tried CurrentDB.Properties("hasOfflineLists") and this seems to give a value of 70 when online and 84 when offline, no matter how many tables there are in my database. Is that correct?

    As for logging in, I tried opening my database on another computer and it required me to give my Windows Live ID and password when I attempted to go online with the data, which ties in with what you say. While the data was still offline, it didn’t require me to provide any credentials, which seems logical. So far so good.

    However, on my own PC, the database continues to run with the credentials of the person logged on in Office Live when the database was created even when I first switch my PC on. I know I have some problems with logging out of Office Live, so perhaps that is the cause. Whenever, I go to log out of Office Live, I am told that it is logging out of Microsoft Office Live OK, but I have two marks showing me as being unable to log out of officelive.com (why two?). "Help" suggests deleting all my cookies, but that has not helped even though I have been through the routine several times.

    As a workround, I know I can set up the database with some chosen credentials and then change the password of that user to force the database user to log in when they go to use the database, but it is a bit of a palaver.

    I am hopeful of getting a new customer to use Office Live with Access 2007 over the next 2-3 weeks so will keep you informed of how I get on.

  6. Those are ASCII values for Characters T and F

    70 == ‘F’ (for False)

    84 == ‘T’ (for True)

    I’m having a hard time following exactly what you are seeing. Credentials are not cached in the database–they are managed and stored in Windows. If you have CacheListData = true then you will see data but you will not see new or updated records until new credentials are provided.

    What do you men when you say "when I frist switch my PC on"? If you log off and log on with a different user then you shouldn’t be ever logged on by a different user.

    I’m also not sure what you are seeing with "two marks" showing you have logged out of OfficeLive. Can you send me a screen shot of this screen?

    We can take the rest of this discussion offline and figure out what is going on feel free to send me an email at clintcATmicrosoft. I can add the owners of this feature area to the thread–we shoudl be able to get to the bottom of it.

    Additionally, I’m very interested in hearing more about your scenario and what type of application you are building.