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Access - Office angel or spawn of satan

Access - Office angel or spawn of satan

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My first introduction to Access was a painful experience, not because of the product itself but the way it was used, so it was mixed feelings that I read up on the official Access blog what it will look like in Office 2010. 

Yippee it’s going to be 64 bit , so it will be easy load data form it and excel 2010 into 64bit SQL Server.

Oh [insert expletive here]! users are going to be able to create really huge database outside the control of the IT department, that is until they break. 

The front end will have the latest office treatment and for me this is where Access shines , forms data logic and reporting all in a box. They have also done all sorts of other thing like putting in trigger like functionality

  

Another interesting area will be how all of this will work with SharePoint (itself a whizzy front into a database) but that will have to wait until the SharePoint conference in October and so you probably won’t see that functionality in the initial technical previews.

If all this is making you wonder about the future of the lower ends version of SQL Server, even the lowliest version of SQL will still be a better in a variety of ways.

  • It’s a true database with proper logging and rollback of transactions
  • It has sophisticated locking to allow a high degree of concurrency.
  • It has a rich set of diagnostics to tune and fix problems often without bringing down the database

.. albeit without the built in front end.

Of course Access isn’t in every version of Office, but the kind of users who love this sort of tool often have ways and means of purchasing what they need (they usually have the cheque books!).  So don’t assume this user friendly tool won’t turn up on a desktop near you. SharePoint integration might mean that the more sophisticated users will park their data on centralised servers but if they loose their data or they run into trouble then who are they gonna call..  the dba!  So you might want to keep an eye out for what the Access team are up to whatever your own views are about how good it is.

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Comments
  • "They have also done all sorts of other thing like putting in trigger like functionality"

    I look forward to finding these in years to come when the user that created it left last year and the department really need it for a report for the MD :(

  • On one hand I dread what people do with Access (even though this was my route to becoming a DBA) but on the other hand, it least it stops them doing it in Excel!

    With the new features it is beginning to sound like Access is SQL Server with forms, and VBA macros!

  • Dave

    agreed, not sure why we havn't gone the whole hog and put the sql sevrer engine (e.g. express, compact) behind it though

    Andrew

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