27 March 2008

Real World Access (36)

One of a series of articles about where Microsoft Office Access applications have found a real-world niche.

 Sascha Trowitzsch's Remote Equipment Service

A manufacturer produces machines for industrial application, that fully automate the milling of guitar necks. The sound of the instruments will be optimized this way.

They needed a database to administer all sold machines, their parameters and processes.

I developed an application named "plekBase", based on of Access 2003, which acts as a remote service centre for machine maintenance.

The devices are deployed worldwide.  They produce daily error log reports, and send them by email. "plekBase" receives these emails, records and analyzes them, and notifies technicians about malfunctions and operational deviations.

Based on the data received, the application independently generates a service case if necessary. If a service case is produced, the database reveals all customer's data to the current user technician, who can decide to immediately contact the client via phone with a click of a button (TAPI interface), or send a service enquiry via email.

The database also contains a catalog of all parts of any machine, including pictures, technical drawings, and documentation. This guides the attending technicians with the troubleshooting of specific errors they received.

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