Queries, reports and emails, all standard stuff for Access, but sometimes you  need more options, something innovative that will allow you to do more then you ever thought Access can do, thats where IF THIS THEN THAT comes into play, (www.ifttt.com).

Hello, this is your Access database calling, are you there?

ifttt.com allows you to extend Access’ capabilities far beyond what you can currently do with the app, here are some great examples:

  • Make a phone call when an email is received from Access.
  • Send out a tweet
  • Post on Facebook
  • Create a blog entry on WordPress.org
  • Turn equipment on or off using WeMo
  • Many more other actions

Easier than a real recipe

I loved how easy it was to create a “recipe”, what the site calls a series of steps to do based on what is received and then produced, allowing me to quickly setup a phone call every time an email is received from an email account we own. The website will then call me and talk the email in it’s entirety.

Honey, there’s a guy named Access calling you…

I setup the recipe so that if my server is down, Access will email me and I get a call. Why not just receive an email instead of a phone call? Because I usually place my phone on vibrate and an email this critical will not be enough to wake me up and take action. The phone call will wake my wife, (the house phone is on her side of the bed), and she is trained, (that’s a topic for another post), to wake me up and hand me the phone. Being able to react quickly on a server failure from our SQL Cluster makes me actually sleep better.

Go and experiment with the service and let us know in comments what innovative things you’ved used it for with Access. And no, you can’t call my wife if your server is down…

**** UPDATE ****

Several of our readers asked me to further elaborate on the technique. Here is some additional info:

  • Access does not consume IFTTT as a web service, all Access is doing is sending an email to IFTTT, which you get when you signup at IFTT and start a recipe with an email as the trigger. Once the email is dispatched, it’s out of Access’ hands.
  • Once IFTTT receives the email, you need to tell it to initiate the call by supplying the phone number. IFTT will call you and ready your email exactly as it’s written.