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Microsoft Access

I have been a programmer for years. Whether it’s Cobol (an antiquated language to be sure), basic, sql or any others – I’m game to try it!

I love using Microsoft Access – to look at data and write queries.

For years, I have run a new contest each month on my website Sandi’s T’s. As a matter of fact, I started a new one today.

I have also been using Formstack to gather responses, entries for my contests. I get a backup email for each person who enters.

Once the old contest is done, I download all the entries from Formstack and save them as an excel spreadsheet.

One of the things that I notice is that even though I say that multiple entries of the same email address will be deleted, many people enter my contests several times each month. Although you can set up a check in Formstack to monitor duplicate entries – the message that the visitor sees is not customizable – and is not customer friendly.

So years ago, I created a query in Microsoft access to find duplicate records. Once I had linked my excel spreadsheet from the old month – I would run this query, then open the spreadsheet, actually delete the duplicates and find my winner using the Random Number Generation website.

It’s not usually a problem, but I had a large number of entries this past month and a large number of duplicates – one of the entrants entered 19 times!

So I started looking online for a faster, better way to accomplish my task of finding and eliminating duplicate records. Voila – found this information

I followed the instructions to create a data file with no duplicates. Now I just need to document how to process it every month. I have the query built, the table w/o duplicates built, and all this was done in a test mode – using actual data. Yeah!!

For those of you who might be asking why I don’t pick a random row inside of Access – it requires Access to assign row ids – and I don’t usually allow that. Might be something I can try in the future or if the Random Number Generation website disappears!