MS Access for the Business Environment: Analyze and Report from the Windows Event Log, Part II

About the Series …

This article continues the series, MS Access for the
Business Environment
. The primary focus of this series is an
examination of business uses for the MS Access relational database management
system. The series is designed to provide guidance in the practical application
of data and database concepts to meet specific needs in the business world. The
majority of the procedures I demonstrate in this article and going forward will
be undertaken within MS Access 2003, although most of the concepts that
we explore in the series will apply to earlier versions of MS Access, as well.

For more information on the series, as well as the hardware
/ software requirements to prepare for the tutorials we will undertake, please
see Tutorial
1: Create a Calculated Field with the
Expression Builder
.

Introduction to this Tutorial

This article, the second of a
two-part lesson, continues the topic of creating and loading an MS Access
database with the data contained in the Windows 2000 Event Log. We
discussed in Part I the fact that the Event Viewer, the interface
from which we typically view and manipulate sometimes critical messages regarding
many aspects of our Windows 2000 PCs and server operations, doesn’t lend itself
to easy analysis or the collection and reporting of statistics.

In this lesson, we will pick up
where we left off in Part I,
with the import of an example log into an MS Access database. In Part I, we
examined the usefulness of an export utility supplied in the Windows 2000
Resource Kit
for dumping a selected component of the Event Log to a
text file, after discussing the nature of the Event Log and the logs it
contains, as well as the data contained in the entries that accumulate in those
logs. We discussed the Elogdmp utility as an easy-to-use option for
exporting Event Log data to an MS Access database, examining aspects of
its use. Finally, we performed a hands-on exercise using the utility to dump an
Application log.

In this article, we will continue
with the steps required to import the file into MS Access, including the
following:

  • Import of the Application log that we exported in Part I with the Elogdmp utility;

  • Establishment of specifications for handling the data types of
    various components in the dump file;

  • Creation and population of an MS Access database in a multi-step
    process;

  • Discussion of the use of the error table generated by MS Access
    as a part of the import operation, together with options for avoiding errors
    that might be found;

  • Discussion of potential uses for the new Event Log
    database, as well as options for automation of the concepts involved in its
    creation.
William Pearson
William Pearson
Bill has been working with computers since before becoming a "big eight" CPA, after which he carried his growing information systems knowledge into management accounting, internal auditing, and various capacities of controllership. Bill entered the world of databases and financial systems when he became a consultant for CODA-Financials, a U.K. - based software company that hired only CPA's as application consultants to implement and maintain its integrated financial database - one of the most conceptually powerful, even in his current assessment, to have emerged. At CODA Bill deployed financial databases and business intelligence systems for many global clients. Working with SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase and Informix, and focusing on MSSQL Server, Bill created Island Technologies Inc. in 1997, and has developed a large and diverse customer base over the years since. Bill's background as a CPA, Internal Auditor and Management Accountant enable him to provide value to clients as a liaison between Accounting / Finance and Information Services. Moreover, as a Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) - a Certified Public Accountant recognized for his or her unique ability to provide business insight by leveraging knowledge of information relationships and supporting technologies - Bill offers his clients the CPA's perspective and ability to understand the complicated business implications and risks associated with technology. From this perspective, he helps them to effectively manage information while ensuring the data's reliability, security, accessibility and relevance. Bill has implemented enterprise business intelligence systems over the years for many Fortune 500 companies, focusing his practice (since the advent of MSSQL Server 2000) upon the integrated Microsoft business intelligence solution. He leverages his years of experience with other enterprise OLAP and reporting applications (Cognos, Business Objects, Crystal, and others) in regular conversions of these once-dominant applications to the Microsoft BI stack. Bill believes it is easier to teach technical skills to people with non-technical training than vice-versa, and he constantly seeks ways to graft new technology into the Accounting and Finance arenas. Bill was awarded Microsoft SQL Server MVP in 2009. Hobbies include advanced literature studies and occasional lectures, with recent concentration upon the works of William Faulkner, Henry James, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens. Other long-time interests have included the exploration of generative music sourced from database architecture.

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