When you release new functions or reports to an existing client, you must show them where the new features can be found and how best to go about testing. Changes to a database people use every day—a database they use to get important work done—can trigger a variety of reactions, including alarm and anxiety; effective conversation can help them realize that the scope of the change is manageable. They will be able to do what they always have, but now benefit from new reports or functions. Conditional formatting provides an easy way to spotlight changes in your database. Conditional formatting offers the ability to highlight text or to make text bold or an unusual color. To point out new items, simply use a formula like the following:
Get ( CurrentDate ) ≤ date ( 12 ; 31 ; 2010 )
Text or other layout objects associated with this formula will take on whatever formatting you select until December 1, 2010. This allows me to point out new items in a way that will expire. You can also use this technique with records. In fact, I have a solution that stores the names of reports in a table. Report records appear in a portal, and users run a report by clicking on the record for it. I have set up the interface to use conditional formatting, making the names of the reports bold until the date passes 10 days after the creation date of the report record.
Get ( CurrentDate ) ≤ report::dateCreated + 10
In this way, users can always tell when I have added a new report, but I never have to remember to turn off the formatting.