Zombie software, eh? RRS feed

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  • Well, it is a interesting article.

    However, Access does scale rather nice if you use the free SQL database version (SQL express).

    So the suggesting (by much omission) that Access don't play nice with SQL server is simply not the case.

    And he does mention the "attempt" to make Access work with the web. This was NEVER an idea to get people moving away from Access, but in fact an attempt to keep people wanting to use Access.

    The first version of Access web was really amazing. The problem is those that could wonders with Access for desktop expected the SAME power and ease for the web. And that simply did not occur.

    I still think that if Microsoft had continued adding web ability to Access, and used "V1" as the concpet and design, then Access would have become rather popular for the web. The main issue was Access power users expected that the web version would have the same power - and it failed in that area.

    And this thing about Access having so much power to allow people to achieve so much?

    While this is a valid point of the author, you can say the same thing about Excel. Before Excel came along, both financial people, or people needing to making a list of those attending their annual Christmas party?

    Well, you really much had to build some custom software.

    So, Excel remains popular, because it simply lets you make a "list" of something, and do it with such great ease. 

    There are more "lists", data files and more "tables" of data in Excel then just about anything else on the  planet.

    What I am saying thus is you can't make a valid argument that Access is bad because it makes things so easy. So does Excel, and everything claimed by the article can quite much apply to Excel.

    Access REALLY is still popular because you can start out VERY easy, but then extend and extend almost for ever! Access has this very special mix of a gentle learning curve but can scale out and allow you to build stunning and amazing applications. And  I still feel that Access missed huge opportunities by not sticking with it making in-roads to web development. The main issue was that web technology was moving very fast, and the amount of resources required to make Access a really great web development platform was simply too much of a challenge.

    I mean, to really make great applications, then Access remains one of the best tools, and lets you get the most done for the least amount of efforts.  While we would love a great web part for Access, the web area is simply too big, too complex, and the features we come to expect for the web are simply too great. 

    To really make great web applications, you need bootstrap (or some kind of dynamic framework for your CSS style sheets). This area is "huge" right now. To be fair, the styles, shading, and ability of access web V1 was very nice in this area, but you eventually would have wanted to use + introduce your own style sheets, and thus a whole set of tools would be required here. Same goes for adding JavaScipt. (again, to be fair, the  forms macros in V1 actually did produce browser side client code - and code that could  run without a round trip to the the server. I absolute loved this design of Access V1 for  the web for this very reason).

    In other words, that gentle and famous ability of Access to start easy, and then grow and get complex was NEVER going to be achieved with Access for the web. If you did achieve this ability, then you would have to wind up with something like Visual Studio.  Where Access for the web was most weak was lack of a great server side programming language. Without this ability, then Access for the web was really doomed. 

    Access lives on because it allows so many people without large amounts of formal training to achieve amazing things. And in the hands of experienced developers, then what Access can achieve is even more amazing. 

    Access continues to have an amazing amount of ability, and allows people to do more with less. As long as Access has this ability, then it will continue to be used.


    Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP 2003-2017)

    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:57 AM
  • Well i will start with a memory from the past....Do you remember the song "BAD" from Michael Jackson.....well Access is VERY VERY BAD

    quoting from my answer on a similar question on quora :

    Well this is a question that Microsoft would really like to answer like this : Yes …its dumped and burried…move to another platform.

    But despite all the efforts is still alive and kicking and empowering more applications/companies the stats are saying.

    Microsoft Access is a tough nut to crack…essentially is bomb in the very foundations of Ms Product line…and it seems that Ms is acting like an acrobat trying to perfectly balance…a single step would bring total Chaos.

    • The step to burying it..they have tried it in many ways and with all sort of tricks..For start they have totally left it on its own…besides the flash Ribbon Access hasn’t got any real upgrade for the last 20 years…what you could with Access 2000/2003 its practically the same with what you can do with the all new shiny versions….i wont write too much on this because probably i would fill pages after pages ….but Access is the neglected kid in the family that the mother simply wants to kick it out (no decent food,clothing,provision) but she can’t …somehow its still in the house and causing stir..
    • The step to enhance it….well this is disaster and I mean total annihilation …with just a little push all the other “kids” would have to pack their bags and just leave the “house”. For start :
      • Visual Studio…why mess with a complex ecosystem when most of the functionality is already easily implemented in Access ….if Access had some great ActiveX controls native supported (like MsHFlxGrid,ImageCombo,ListView …why anyone would go on and reinvent the wheel…just compare DGVs to continuous forms for complex sub data display…not to mention the lack of VBA for proper OO and simply a lot of other small and little things….
        Not to mention the support of 64bit which could hold the key to success but ActiveX support…
      • SQL server ….great SQL engine…but do you really want to have a server with all the manpower needed to administer it..and all the necessary hardware to support…Access is simple…just throw the BE to a file share and you are done….simply by making the mechanism a little more robust and more network aware it would make a lot of CIOs to reconsider using the MsSQL ecosystem.

    I am afraid this question will go on and on and on for a lot of years to come..unless “someone” slips….then we will have a ton of more interesting questions….

    Now lets take a small step back....just imagine that you are into IT and you want a Desktop have the usual suspects (.NET, Java,Python...etc) and you have a new shining Access with all the bells and whistles i mentioned above...what would you learn a ton of technologies to design this application (XAML,EF,...) or just click create a table...right click create a form ...

    Thursday, October 31, 2019 7:49 AM