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The Problem

Mail merges are a common function at this marketing company, but users have a difficult time assembling filtered sets of customer records that serve as mail merge sources. The criteria for filtering the full set of records in the customer database change constantly based on business and project needs. Users have been going into the customer database itself and creating queries that they would later select in Word during the mail merge.

A few difficulties have arisen with this approach. First, users are not trained in creating queries. Although the Query Grid in Access does make it easy to point and click through the process of creating a query, knowledge of Boolean logic, grouping, and aggregate functions is needed to correctly create queries with complex criteria. There is no confidence that the queries are correctly designed.


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