Where should I take this Access application?

I am going to be the sole maintainer of an application developed in Access. This is a kind of volunteer activity tracking system. I'm wondering what directions to take this, in the most general terms.

Our near-term goals are to get more of our contact info into it, extract more batches of contact lists, and introduce some payment information accounting into it. The long-term goals are to increase accuracy of the data (of course), and to keep it maintained even if I leave. So it's important that there's enough "coolness" to the project so it'll attract talent.

I'm mostly a unix/php/perl/etc. developer, and not that familiar with the Microsoft environment (save writing a small VB.net app), or what directions Microsoft is headed. What's the general direction?

What's happening with Access? Does it have a future? If it's a stagnant platform, what's a good way to escape the platform?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Access will be around for a long time because it is part of Microsoft Office. I think you need to look at your future developers and current users to decide whether or not to keep the data in Access. For example, you mentioned adding payment information accounting. The accountants where I work keep everything in Excel, and I help them occasionally by importing Excel spreadsheets into Access, crunching them, and then exporting the results back to Excel. I know that it plays well with Excel, and I hear that it plays well with other Office apps. You also said that it is a volunteer activity tracking system and that you don't have much Microsoft experience, so I'm guessing you and the future developers are volunteers. I think you will find a bigger pool of Access people than say, VB.NET or Unix people. It may not be "cool" but it will be "familiar" and "easy." If the application is relatively simple, you can even use people who have taken Access in school but don't have work experience. (For me, VB.NET has a steeper learning curve.) Access databases can also link to SQL Server tables, and can be converted to SQL Server databases fairly easily. Where Access falls short is in handling multiple concurrent users and in handling huge numbers of records. I don't think Access is stagnant, just limited to small operations. Microsoft hopes that if you need to escape, that you escape up to Microsoft SQL Server, and it has tried to make that path easy. Hope that helps.

    Source(s): I maintained an Access DB for the Little League before I took an Access class. I currently maintain an Access DB for my Dad's club. At work I developed an Access DB for check reconciliation and then helped convert it to SQL Server with a VB.NET/ASP.NET front end.
  • 1 decade ago

    it is as stagnant as the rest of those stale microsoft programs. It will run on all sorts of hardware and software, as long as they run some version of windows. If you ever get it to the web it will require iis.

    Get your data out as soon as possible , convert to mysql, write some simple html pages with a little php/perl and enjoy the freedom of the open source community.

    There is no coolness in microsoft access.

  • 1 decade ago

    Ms Access is Microsoft Product. I guess , as long as Microsoft still exists, they will always give their support to Ms Access (Microsoft Office).

    In real world, some application which build with VB, VC or Delphi use Ms Access files (mdb) as their database, but

    not too many application you can found which build with ms Access itself.

    Although for some people, it's easy to build database application with Ms Access, but to sold their application to customer mean : their customer must purchased Ms Access too (Microsoft Office).

    Assuming your customer have 10 workstation, then they must purchase Ms Office license for 10 computer separately, and that's not too bright future for Ms Access application.

    The good thing about Ms Access (i mean their database connection - mdb file) is their ODBC connection always exists in every Windows OS.

    EDIT :

    I just found some answer in Yahoo! answer , that Ms Access can run without Ms Office / Ms Access. (i've never test it)

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