BuiltIn Functions Fundamentals 

Conditional Functions 
Once again, since Microsoft Access doesn't inherently provide a programming environment, it relies on logical functions to take care of this aspect. The Choose() function is one of those that can test a condition and provide alternatives. The Choose() function works like nested conditions. It tests for a condition and provides different outcomes depending on the result of the test. Its syntax is: 
Choose(Condition, Outcome1, Outcome2, Outcome_n) The first argument of this function is the condition that should be tested. It should provide a natural number. After this test, the Condition may evaluate to 1, 2, 3, or more options. Each outcome is then dealt with. The first, Outcome1, would be used if the Condition produces 1. The second, Outcome2, would be used if Condition produces 2, etc.
Switch(Expression1, What To Do If Expression1 Is True, Expression2, What To Do If Expression2 Is True, Expression_n, What To Do If Expression_n Is True)
Switch(Expression1, What To Do If Expression1 Is True, Expression2, What To Do If Expression2 Is True, Expression_n, What To Do If Expression_n Is True, True, What To Do With A False Expression)
The decimal numeric system counts from minus infinity (∞) to infinity (+∞). This means that a number can be usually negative or positive, depending on its position from 0, which is considered as neutral. In some operations, the number considered will need to be only positive even if it is provided in a negative format. The absolute value of a number x is x if the number is (already) positive. If the number is negative,
then its absolute value is its positive equivalent. For example, the absolute value of 12 is 12, while the absolute value of –12 is 12. Abs(number)
The Exp() function is used to calculate the exponential value of a number. Its syntax is: EXP(number) The argument, number, a doubleprecision value, represents the number to be evaluated. If the value of number is less than 708.395996093 (approximately), the result is reset to 0 and qualifies as underflow. If the value of the argument x is greater than 709.78222656 (approximately), the result is infinity and qualified as overflow.
The Sqr() function is used to calculate the square root of a doubleprecision number. Its syntax is: Sqr(number) This function takes one argument as a positive floating number. After the calculation, the function returns the square root of x.
The Chr() function is used to retrieve a character based on an ASCII character number passed to the function. It could be used to convert a number to a character. It could also be used to break a line in a long expression. The syntax of this function is: Chr(Number) Based on the table of ASCII characters, a call as Chr(65) would produce the letter A. Not all ASCII characters produce a known letter. For example, when Chr(10) is used in a string, it creates a “new line”.
MsgBox(Message To Display, Flag, Caption) This function takes only one required argument, the message, and some optional arguments. You use the name of the function, MsgBox, to create a message box. Between its parentheses, type the desired message to display. An example would be: MsgBox(“Remember to submit your time sheet”) If you want to display the message box on various lines, edit the string to include a call to Chr(10). Here is an example: MsgBox(“Remember to submit your time sheet” + Chr(10) “Only time sheets received on time will be honored”, ) The message to display can also be created as an expression. After providing the message, you can display it without the other arguments. Here is an example of a message box created with MsgBox("Remember to submit your time sheet")
If you provide a value other than those in the list, the message box would display only the OK button. Here is an example of a message box created with: MsgBox("Do you want to submit your time sheet?",4)
Besides displaying a button, the second argument is also used to display an icon. To get an icon, you add one of the following values:
To use one of these icons, add (a simple addition) its value to that of the desired button or combination of buttons from the previous table. Here is an example created with MsgBox("Do you want to submit your time sheet?", 32 + 4) The same as: MsgBox("Do you want to submit your time sheet?", 36)
When the buttons of a message box displays if the message box has more than one button, one of them has a thick border. This button is referred to as the default button. If the user presses Enter, such a button would be activated. Besides selecting the buttons and displaying an icon, the second argument can also be used to specify what button would have focus, that is, what would have a thick border and would be applied if the user presses Enter, on the message box. The default button is specified using one of the following values:
To specify this option, add the number to the button and/or icon value(s). The third argument of the MsgBox function, Caption, is the string that would display on the title bar of the message box. It is a string whose word or words you can enclose between parentheses or that you can get from a created field. As mentioned already, you can create a message to simply display a message to the user. Because MsgBox is a function, you can also retrieve the value it returns and use it as you see fit. The value this function returns corresponds to the button the user clicks on the message box. Depending on the buttons the message box is displaying, after the user has clicked, the MsgBox function can return one of the following values:
Operations on dates and times are performed using functions such as DateAdd() and DateDiff(). The DateAdd() function is used to add an interval date value to the specified date. It is used to add a number of days, weeks, months, or years to another date. The syntax of the DateAdd() function is DateAdd(Interval, Number, date) The Interval argument is required and it specifies the kind of value needed as a result. This argument is passed as a string, thus enclosed between double quotes and can have one of the following values:
The Number argument is required also. It specifies the number of units you want to add. If you set it as positive, its value will be added. If you want to subtract, make it negative. The date argument is the date to which you want to add the number.
The DateDiff() function is used to find the difference between two date or time values. It allows you to find the number of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years when you supply two recognizable values. The DateDiff() function takes 5 arguments, 3 are required and 2 are optional. The syntax of the function is DateDiff(Interval, Date1, Date2, Option1, Option2) The Interval argument is required and it specifies the kind of value you want as a result. This argument is passed as a string and can have one of the following values:
Required also, the Date1 and Date2 arguments specify the date or time values that will be used when performing the operation. By default, the days of a week are counted starting on Sunday. If you want to start counting those days on another day, supply the Option1 argument using one of the following values: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. There are other variances to that argument. If your calculation involves weeks or finding the number of weeks, by default, the weeks are counted starting January 1st. If you want to count your weeks starting at a different date, use the Option2 argument to specify where the program should start. For our time sheet that we want employees to use, we will use a series of combo boxes so the user can only select the time instead of typing it. This reduces the likelihood of errors. When an employee signs a time sheet, he or she can select both starting and ending shifts. We should develop a basic algorithm that can solve our problem in a simple but effective manner. We need to make sure that the start time is less than or equal to the end time. In the same way, the end time should be set higher or equal to the start time. Since we cannot prevent the user from selecting a start time that is higher than the end time or from selecting an end time that is less than the start time, we will set the result to 0 hours whenever the user selects an invalid time sequence. We will start with the following pseudocode: IF Time Out is greater than or equal to Time In THEN We can calculate the time OTHERWISE Set the shift value to 0 END IF This translates to IF TimeOut >= TimeIn THEN Result = TimeOut  TimeIn ELSE Result = 0 END IF Now, we need to figure out how to calculate the time difference. Because the result will be used to calculate the employee's salary using the hourly wage, we need to have this result as a number, namely a decimal number (as 0.00). If we use the DateDiff() function, we can calculate the minutes or the hours value of the difference. If both start and end times are divisible by 60, as in 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, the difference can be easily calculated to produce the number of hours, in this case 8.00. To find out if a number is divisible by another number, we can use the Mod operator. This can be done as follows: IF (TimeOut  TimeIn) Mod 60 = 0 ' The difference is evaluated in minutes Result = TimeOut  TimeIn ' The result is calculated in hours END IF If one of either the start or end time doesn't fall on a straight hour value, the resulting time will have a decimal value of 0.50. Therefore, we need to calculate the time difference in minutes instead of hours. Since we are dealing with minutes this time, we can divide the difference by 60 to get the result in minutes. Our pseudocode would become: IF (TimeOut  TimeIn) Mod 60 = 0 ' The difference is evaluated in minutes Result = TimeOut  TimeIn ' The result is calculated in hours OTHERWISE Result = TimeOut  TimeIn ' The result is calculated in minutes Now that we know how to calculate the time difference, we can include our pseudocode with the original that would reset the result to 0 if the user selects a wrong time sequence.

SeriesBased Functions 
Introduction 
A series or collectionbased function is one that considers a particular column and performs an operations on all of its cells. For example, if you have a particular column in which users enter a string, you may want to count the number of strings that have been entered in the cells under that column. In the same way, suppose you have a column under whose cells users most enter numbers. Using a seriesbased function, you can get the total of the values entered in the cells of that column. The general syntax of seriesbased functions is: FunctionName(Series) The FunctionName is one of those we will see shortly. Each of these functions takes one argument, which is usually the name of the column whose cells you want to consider the operation. 
The SeriesBased Functions 
Sum: To perform the addition on various values of a column, you can use the Sum() function. This function is highly valuable as it helps to perform the sum of values in various transactions. Count: The Count() function is used to count the number of values entered in the cells of a column. Average: The Avg() function calculates the sum of values of a series and divides it by the count to get an average. Minimum: Once a series of values have been entered in cells of a column, to get the lowest value in those cells, you can call the Min() function. Maximum: As opposed to the Min() function, the Max() function gets the highest value of a series. 
Practical Learning: Using SeriesBased Functions 

DomainBased Functions 
Introduction 
A domainbased function is used to get a value from another object and deliver it to the object in which it is being used or called. The general syntax of these functions is: FunctionName(WhatValue, FromWhatObject, WhatCriteria) To perform its operation, a domainbased function needs three pieces of information, two of which are required (the first two arguments) and one is optional (the third argument). when calling one of these functions, you must specify the value of the column you want to retrieve. This is provided as the WhatValue in our syntax. This argument is passed as a string. The FromWhatObject is the name of the object that holds the value. It is usually the name of a form. This argument also is passed as a string. The third argument, WhatCriteria in our syntax, specifies the criterion that will be used to filter the WhatValue value. It follows the normal rules of setting a criterion. 
The DomainBased Functions 
Domain First: If you want to find out what was the first value entered in the cells of a certain column of an external form or report, you can call the DFirst() function. Domain Last: The DLast() function does the opposite of the DFirst() function: It retrieves the last value entered in a column of a form or report. Domain Sum: To get the addition of values that are stored in a column of another form or report, you can use the DSum() function. Domain Count: The DCount() function is used to count the number of values entered in the cells of a column of a table. Domain Average: The DAvg() function calculates the sum of values of a series and divides it by the count of cells on the same external form or report to get an average. Domain Minimum: The DMin() function is used to retrieve the minimum value of the cells in a column of an external form or report Domain Maximum: As opposed to the DMin() function, the DMax() function gets the highest value of a series of cells in the column of an external form or report. 
Business Functions 
Introduction 
An asset is an object of value. It could be a person, a car, a piece of jewelry, a refrigerator. Anything that has a value is an asset. In the accounting world, an asset is a piece of/or property whose life span can be projected, estimated, or evaluated. As days, months or years go by, the value of such an asset degrade. When an item is acquired for the first time as “brand new”, the value of the asset is referred to as its Cost. The declining value of an asset is referred to as its Depreciation. At one time, the item will completely lose its worth or productive value. Nevertheless, the value that an asset has after it has 
lost all of its value is referred to its Salvage Value. At any time, between the purchase value and the salvage value, accountants estimate the value of an item based on various factors including its original value, its lifetime, its usefulness (how the item is being used), etc. 
The Double Declining Balance 
The Double Declining Balance is a method used to calculate the depreciating value of an asset. To get it, you can use the DDB function whose syntax is: DDB(cost, salvage, life, period) The first argument, cost, represents the initial value of the item. The salvage argument is the estimated value of the asset when it will have lost all its productive value. The cost and the salvage values must be given in their monetary values. The value of life is the length of the lifetime of the item; this could be the number of months for a car or the number of years for a house, for example. The period is a factor for which the depreciation is calculated. It must be in the same unit as the life argument. For the Double Declining Balance, this period argument is usually 2. 
The Straight Line Depreciation 
Another method used to calculate the depreciation of an item is through a concept referred to as the Straight Line Depreciation. This time, the depreciation is considered on one period of the life of the item. The function used is SLN and its syntax is: SLN(cost, salvage, life); The cost argument is the original amount paid for an item (refrigerator, mechanics toolbox, highvolume printer, etc). The salvage, also called the scrap value, is the value that the item will have (or is having) at the end of Life. The life argument represents the period during which the asset is (or was) useful; it is usually measured in years. 
The Sum of the Years' Digits 
The SumOfTheYears’Digits provides another method
for calculating the depreciation of an item. Imagine that a restaurant bought a commercial refrigerator (“cold chamber”) for $18,000 and wants to estimate its depreciation after 5 years
using the SumOfYears’Digits method. Each year is assigned a number, also called a tag, using a consecutive count; this means that the first year is appended 1, the second is 2, etc. This way, the depreciation is not uniformly applied to all years. This is equivalent to 1. As you can see, the first year would have the lowest divident (1/15 ≈ 0.0067) and the last year would have the highest (5/15 ≈ 0.33).
Overall, Microsoft Office uses the following formula to calculate an item depreciation using the SumOfTheYears'Digits: The function used to calculate the depreciation of an asset using the sum of the years' digits is called SYD and its syntax is: SYD(cost, salvage, life, period) The cost argument is the original value of the item; in our example, this would be $18,000. The salvage parameter is the value the asset would have (or has) at the end of its useful life. The life is the number of years the asset would have a useful life (because assets are usually evaluated in terms of years instead of months). The period parameter is the particular period or rank of a Life
portion. For example, if the life of the depreciation is set to 5 (years), the
period could be any number between 1 and 5. If set to 1, the depreciation would be calculated for the first year. If the Period is set to 4, the depreciation would calculated for the 4th year. You can also set the
period to a value higher than life. For example, if life is set to 5 but you pass 8 for the
period, the depreciation would be calculated for the 8th year. If the asset is worthless in the 8th year, the depreciation would be 0. 
Finance Functions 
Introduction 
Microsoft Excel provides a series of functions destined to perform various types of financially related operations. These functions use common factors depending on the value that is being calculated. Many of these functions deal with investments or loan financing. The Present Value is the current value of an investment or a loan. For a savings account, a customer could pledge to make a set amount of deposit on a bank account every month. The initial value that the customer deposits or has in the account is the Present Value. The sign of the variable, when passed to a function, depends on the position of the customer. If the customer is making deposits (car loan, boat financing, etc), this value must be negative. If the customer is receiving money (lottery installment, family inheritance, etc), this value should be positive. The Future Value is the value the loan or investment will have when the loan is paid off or when the investment is over. For a car loan, a musical instrument loan, a financed refrigerator, a boat, etc, this is usually 0 because the company that is lending the money will not take that item back (they didn't give it to the customer in the first place, they only lend him or her some money to buy the item). This means that at the end of the loan, the item (such as a car, boat, guitar, etc) belongs to the customer and it is most likely still worth something. As described above and in reality, the Future Value is the amount the item would be worth at the end. In most, if not all, loans, it would be 0. On the other hand, if a customer is borrowing money to buy something like a car, a boat, a piano, etc, the salesperson would ask if the customer wants to put a "down payment", which is an advance of money. Then, the salesperson or loan officer can either use that down payment as the Future Value parameter or simply subtract it from the Present Value and then apply the calculation to the difference. Therefore, you can apply some type of down payment to your functions as the Future Value. The Number Of Periods is the number of payments that make up a full cycle of a loan or an investment. The Interest Rate is a fixed percent value applied during the life of the loan or the investment. The rate does not change during the length of the Periods.
For deposits made in a savings account, because their payments are made monthly, the rate is divided by the number of periods (the
Periods) of a year, which is 12. If an investment has an interest rate set at 14.50%, the
Rate would be 14.50/12 = 1.208. Because the Rate is a percentage value, its actual value must be divided by 100 before passing it to the function. For a loan of 14.50% interest rate, this would be 14.50/12 = 1.208/100 = 0.012. The Payment Time specifies whether the payment is made at the beginning or the end of the period. For a monthly payment, this could be the beginning or end of every month. 
The Future Value of an Investment 
To calculate the future value of an investment, you can use the FV() function. The syntax of this function is: FV(Rate, Periods, Payment, PresentValue, PaymentType) 
The Number of Periods of an Investment 
To calculate the number of periods of an investment or a loan, you can use the NPer() function. Its syntax is: NPer(Rate, Payment, PresentValue, FutureValue, PaymentType); 
Investment or Loan Payment 
The Pmt() function is used to calculate the regular payment of loan or an investment. Its syntax is: Pmt(Rate, NPeriods, PresentValue, FutureValue, PaymentType) In the following example, a customer is applying for a car loan. The cost of the car will be entered in cell C4. It will be financed at a rate entered in cell C6 for a period set in cell C7. The dealer estimates that the car will have a value of $0.00 when it is paid off. 
The Amount Paid As Interest During a Period 
When a customer is applying for a loan, an investment company must be very interested to know how much money it would collect as interest. This allows the company to know whether the loan is worth giving. Because the interest earned is related to the interest rate, a company can play with the rate (and also the length) of the loan to get a fair (?) amount. The IPmt() function is used to calculate the amount paid as interest on a loan during a period of the lifetime of a loan or an investment. It is important to understand what this function calculates. Suppose a customer is applying for a car loan and the salesperson decides (or agrees with the customer) that the loan will be spread over 5 years (5 years * 12 months each = 60 months). The salesperson then applies a certain interest rate. The IPMT() function can help you calculate the amount of interest that the lending institution would earn during a certain period. For example, you can use it to know how much money the company would earn in the 3rd year, or in the 4th year, or in the 1st year. Based on this, this function has an argument called Period, which specifies the year you want to find out the interest earned in. The syntax of the IPmt() function is: IPmt(Rate, Period, NPeriods, PresentValue, FutureValue, PaymentType) The Rate argument is a fixed percent value applied during the life of the loan. The PresentValue is the current value of the loan or investment. It could be the marked value of the car, the current mortgage value of a house, or the cash amount that a bank is lending. The FutureValue is the value the loan or investment will have when the loan is paid off. The NPeriods is the number of periods that occur during the lifetime of the loan. For example, if a car is financed in 5 years, this value would be (5 years * 12 months each =) 60 months. When passing this argument, you must remember to pass the right amount. The Period argument represents the payment period. For example, it could be 3 to represent the 3rd year of a 5 year loan. In this case, the IPmt() function would calculate the interest earned in the 3rd year only. The PaymentType specifies whether the periodic (such as monthly) payment of the loan is made at the beginning (1) or at the end (1) of the period. The FutureValue and the PaymentType
arguments are not required. 
The Amount Paid as Principal 
While the IPmt() function calculates the amount paid as interest for a period of a loan or an investment, the PPmt() function calculates the actual amount that applies to the balance of the loan. This is referred to as the principal. Its syntax is: PPMT(Rate, Period, NPeriods, PresentValue, FutureValue, PaymentType) The argument are the same as described in the previous
sections 
The Present Value of a Loan or an Investment 
The PV() function calculates the total amount that future investments are worth currently. Its syntax is: PV(Rate, NPeriods, Payment, FutureValue, PaymentType) The arguments are the same as described earlier. 
The Interest Rate 
Suppose a customer comes to your car dealer and wants to buy a car. The salesperson would first present the available cars to the customer so the customer can decide what car he likes. After this process and during the evaluation, the sales person may tell the customer that the monthly payments would be $384.48. The customer may then say, "Wooooh, I can't afford that, man". Then the salesperson would ask, "What type of monthly payment suits you". From now on, both would continue the discussion. Since the salesperson still wants to make some money but without losing the customer because of a high monthly payment, the salesperson would need to find a reasonable rate that can accommodate an affordable monthly payment for the customer. The Rate() function is used to calculate the interest applied on a loan or an investment. Its syntax is: RateE(NPeriods, Payment, PresentValue, FutureValue, PaymentType, Guess) All of the arguments are the same as described for the other functions, except for the Guess. This argument allows you to give some type of guess for a rate. This argument is not required. If you omit it, its value is assumed to be 10. 
The Internal Rate of Return 
The IRR() function is used to calculate an internal rate of return based on a series of investments. Its syntax is: IRR(Values, Guess) The Values argument is a series (also called an array or a collection) of cash amounts that a customer has made on an investment. For example, a customer could make monthly deposits in a savings or credit union account. Another customer could be running a business and receiving different amounts of money as the business is flowing (or losing money). The cash flows don't have to be the same at different intervals but they should (or must) occur at regular intervals such as weekly (amount cut from a paycheck), biweekly (401k directly cut from paycheck, monthly (regular investment), or yearly (income). The Values argument must be passed as a collection of values, such as a range of selected cells, and not an amount. Otherwise you would receive an error. The Guess parameter is an estimate interest rate of return of the investment. 
The Net Present Value 
The NPV() function uses a series of cash flows to calculate the present value of an investment. Its syntax is: NPV(Rate, Value1, Value2, ...) The Rate parameter is the rate of discount in during one period of the investment. As the NPV() function doesn't take a fixed number of arguments, you can add a series of values as Value1, Value2, etc. These are regularly made payments for each period involved. Because this function uses a series of payments, any payment made in the past should have a positive value (because it was made already). Any future payment should have a negative value (because it has not been made yet). 
Lesson Summary 
MOUS Topics 
S17  Use the Control Toolbox to add controls 
S31  Create a calculated field 
Exercises 
Watts A loan 



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