Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Where Does Access 2007 Fit In The World

An Editorial Rant by Garry

One of the important things that always seem to be missed about Access is that in all its complexity it is one single object (or file) (2 if you link). This is really easy to understand because it is the same as Excel and Word. Because people understand a file, it grows with them (and their business) and they are comfortable with the increased complexity. This is why Access can never be stomped out.

SQL Server and .Net are totally different beasts. SQL Server requires a special program to be running on computer and you have to setup your database in a special folder to make it run. Sure that is ok when it is done but how do you move the database? Who knows says the average user, better get the SQL Server expert in. No way I am doing that says the user, back to Excel it is then. As for .Net, man if you come from Excel, this isn't something that you grow into.

So it is into this world that Access 2007 is attempting to fit and becoming more like Excel is worth far more important than becoming like .Net because the BIG Excel/Word world is crying out for a simple database. This in the long run mean that ordinary people can setup basic databases for small teams of people and they will hardly know that it has happened. We should be thankful that Access was chosen for this role. Another thing we should be aware of is the simpler Access user interface may even drag those sceptical IT boffins back into Access and then the credibility of Access in the IT community may actually rise. Lets hope all those man years of research in the user labs were undertaken properly.

Garry Robinson - Editor vb123.com


Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about all this great stuff that Office 2007 and Access 2007 can do but I tell you what. I worked for a fairly large healthcare company (>10,000 employees) since 2006. When I first got there if you had Access on your desktop at all, you had Access 97. This despite the fact that the rest of the office apps (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) were Office 2000 build. This I later learned was because there were too many existing Access apps written in 97 and not enough resources, IT or otherwise, to migrate them to the current version. I had to put in a special request to get Access 2000 for everyone in a department of 50 so that I could write about a half dozen multiuser splt FE/BE apps. A few weeks ago I asked and got Access 2003 pushed out to my desktop PC to work with. I wanted to start testing my DB's to make the jump to 2003. The IT guy who did the deployment said I was the first person/department he was aware of that had asked for Access 2003. He told me that no one has even brought up Office 2007 yet. So when I read about all these great things folks are doing with Office/Access 2007 and Sharepoint I get jealous but I also kind of shake my head. Is our company that far behind the curve ? My wife also works for a large national healthcare company and they are still on Office 2003 as well.

I do see the authors point here that Access is as likely, if not more likely, to be kept at the (albeit increased) level of Word & Excel as it is to be pushed directly to the web ala .NET & SQL server. I believe Sharepoint has some good things to offer but I can't say that I'm informed enough about it to have an informed opinion. Sharepoint is another term I've yet to hear uttered by IT staff where I work. For the record I works as an analyst attached to a business within my company and not in IT.

Oxford, CT. USA.

Garry Robinson said...

J. You are not alone, I love the implementation strategy that you describe, I have seen that before, the IT department that thinks it has all the answers simply rocks up one day and says you have a new version of Office. In your case the most popular version at the moment, 2003. Its up to you to make it work.

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