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Acess woes

Access is for weak minded people that think the pinnacle of computing was reached with distributed compuiting on Win95. 

Access offers:
No security
Poor performance
Ability to make the most fscked up data models im aginable
Vendor lockin
A dead end
Nothing that Fox pro can't
Convoluted vba
On click suck my ass
Nothing you can't find elsewhere

In short why use it?  All you do is slow the rest of us down when we talk to a customer they say, well there is this guy in the department who has worked with access which I see as akin to "oh, your"re a surgeon, I have a knife too."

Very Telling
Saturday, February 15, 2003

STFU


Saturday, February 15, 2003

But why would I want to roll out SQLServer or Oracle or even MySQL if Access gets the job done and is on my client's machine already?  Suppose you just want a relational storage for something small? 

Why am I even bothering to feed this troll.....

Joe Blandy
Saturday, February 15, 2003

Sorry if I hurt feelings of desktop developers. 

No, not a relational database for everything.  But access is the boy in the bubble, how many times do your desktop solutions get borked because another vb program was loaded?

On the larger scale, if MS wins desktops dev is viable.  If it loses and computers become nodes as I hope then you better learn how servers work.

Very telling
Saturday, February 15, 2003

(I get the feeling you are adressing this thread to someone in particular. Are you?) The only problem with access is that it is the tool of choice for people who dont understand relational modelling.

Otherwise I think its a fine choice for small databases with a limited set of users. In that situation most of your points are irrelevant.

Eric DeBois
Saturday, February 15, 2003

Yes, weak minded people

Very Telling
Saturday, February 15, 2003

Hmmm. Please forgive the following comments, I admit now that I have been out on a Valentines drink with my current squeeze. But...

That last comment typifies what pains me about many debates these days. The implication is that if you don't understand relational modelling then you shouldn't be let near a database. Well. A computer scientist should understand relational modelling. But essentially most people's business is providing tools to people that are NOT computer scientists.It reminds me of the arguments that come up around Unix/Linux, where people defend having to compile your own drivers and suchlike.

Access does a very good job, and what you see as misuse because you look at it from a purist point of view, is essentially just a tool making someone's life easier. If you care about the purity of data and structure, design a tool which maintains that while still enabling your average user to use it without a 3 year degree course.

Access is a tool and nothing more.It can be used well. It can be used badly.

However, my defnition of being usable would be something like "lets the user accomplish what they want to, without actually breaking anything else". I think Access does quite well on that one in general (yes, I have got experience with it, and dev experience at that).

I'm sorry for feeding the trolls, going off topic, etc. I'm alsoi sorry I couldn't resist posting after too many Sapphire and Tonics. There goes any credibility I had!

Andrew Cherry
Saturday, February 15, 2003

I think the widespread use of Access actually helps computer programmers as people who try to build a system in Access quickly appreciate the difficulty of building a program.

About 75% of my work is building a new system which started of as a "home made" Access system.

Matthew Lock
Sunday, February 16, 2003

>>>>All you do is slow the rest of us down when we talk to a customer they say, well there is this guy in the department who has worked with access which I see as akin to "oh, your"re a surgeon, I have a knife too."<<<<<<<<

Dear very telling,
                        It appears you have not been able to sell somebody a piece of your highly overpriced client server "expertise" because they had somebody in the department who knew enough Medicine to recognize snake oil when he saw it.

>>>>>Access offers:
No security<<<<<<<<<<

I don't like the Access security model one bit, mainly because of its complexity, but the fact that you appear not to understand it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

>>>>>>>Poor performance<<<<<<<

You're confusing two things in your post. The first is the Jet database engine, and the second is the Access application. You can use Access to design for other database engines, including MS SQL, MySQL and Oracle (indeed it is the second most used design tool for Oracle after Oracle forms).

For small databases Jet is fine (in my opinion the problems are likely to come more from locking problems with simultaneous users than others) and for small/medium databases where a lot of ad hoc queries are being done it can be faster than client server because the processing is done on the client not the server.


>>>>>>>Ability to make the most fscked up data models im aginable<<<<<<<<<<<<

Yea, and a typewriter can allow you to produce great literature, or the kind of misspelled rubbish you're spewing out here.

>>>>>>>>Vendor lockin<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Any database you buy has this to some extent. I would have said it was easier to adapt an Access project than many other kinds of applications.


>>>>>>>>A dead end<<<<<<<<<<<<

All databases have a lifetime. To give you a couple of acronyms is called the DBLC and is often closely linked to the SDLC. Or is this, another of the PC is dead pronouncements we hear from businessmen trying to sell us something.

>>>>>>>>>Nothing that Fox pro can't<<<<<<<

I don't know anything about Fox Pro, so I can't answer, but even if your statement were true, so what?

>>>>>>>>Convoluted vba<<<<<<<<

Do you mean that VBA is convoluted per se,  that the Access implementation of it is more convoluted than the Excel or Word version, or that the wizards produce convoluted VBA?

>>>>>>>On click suck my ass<<<<<<<<

I wasn't aware that this was a feature of the current version of Access. Possibly your attempts to code for it are what are producing the convoluted vba.

>>>>>>>>Nothing you can't find elsewhere<<<<<<<<<<

A pretty meaningless statement. In general the great advantage of Access is not that it slows people down, but that it enables them to be much more productive than with straight VB. Excel VBA is even faster to work with, but Excel is not intended for databases.

The fact that you can create the tables, and then produce the E-R diagram afterwards, which you seem to find so disagreeable, or threatening, is in fact an advantage.

                Trolling naked, my dear friend, is no longer considered au fait in polite society. Try and find a couple of facts/fig leaves to cover your private parts.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, February 16, 2003

"The implication is that if you don't understand relational modelling then you shouldn't be let near a database. " /Andrew Cherry


It does ofcourse depend on the situation. With personal use, noone give a ****. As soon as we enter the professional space there are big risks with using improperly modeled DBs. The organisation may become dependant on a application that has hidden flaws. Crappy modelling usually doesnt show all that much untill the application is under some kind of pressure or is filling up with lots of data. And then it can deterioate in to total chaos in short order.

Besides, basic relational modeleing is not tremedously tricky. Most people can learn what is needed for smaller DBs in a few days. Our students get a two day intesive seminar and they usually get it right.

Eric DeBois
Sunday, February 16, 2003

If someone has some data they need to store and manipulate TODAY, to do their job, they are going to store it today.  And they will store it with whatever tool they have to hand.

You can certainly remove Access from people's machines so that they won't be able to create messed-up, baroque data models, held in insecure files.  The outcome will be, sorry, they need to store data.  And they'll put it in Excel. 

What will happen next?

- They will color various rows and columns differently and not provide a key
- Some of the dates and numbers will in fact be strings due to putting a space or two before them.
- They will hide columns and rows, and other people working on it won't realise it
- They'll put 'next week' in your date field rendering the data useless
- They will add cryptic comments to various cells which you will then have to work out the meaning of and adjust the data accordingly
- they will arbitrarily distribute the data between worksheets with no other key than name, and then they will will forget to update the other sheets when they alter one.  They will also get the first name, last name order wrong.

In the absence of a proper system that is aligned with what they have to do (i.e. processes), people will get on and create whatever they can in order to do their job.  If they haven't got a system, they'll use Access.  If they haven't got Access, they'll use Excel.

Why use it?  Because there's nothing else and someone has to get on with their job with whatever they've got. 

Konrad
Sunday, February 16, 2003

>>Access is for weak minded people...

Okay I'll play this game.  Let's say I need an application that will run on somebody's laptop.  One that they can use while on the airplane...no server in sight.  I only need about 6 tables and some simple relationships to hold the data for my app (it's a media cataloging app).

Wait a sec, you're right we need SQL Server or MySQL for this, Access totally couldn't do the job.

Your consulting services must be about as useful as JPEG's to Hellen Keller.

Wayne Bloss
Sunday, February 16, 2003

" JPEG's to Hellen Keller. "

which song was that from, umm .. knowing my poor memory.....

Prakash S
Sunday, February 16, 2003

Weird AL of course:-)

http://www.thepentiums.com/lyrics.html

Prakash S
Sunday, February 16, 2003

Still, Access is shit.

Very Telling
Sunday, February 16, 2003

thanks for letting me know.

Prakash S
Sunday, February 16, 2003

Very Telling -- You sound like someone who's gotten into trouble with Access yourself, because you don't really understand (1) how Access really works, or (2) how to build a database application.

Access can be used like a toy database, but it most definitely is not. 

I won't even get into explaining how every one of the statements you make is false.  You can look at Stephen Jones post above to get a taste of that.

I will say something regarding one of them though:  You say Access "is a dead end". 

Do you have any understanding of how Access can be used as a RAD tool to create front ends for any database under the sun?  By default your front end will be built to seamlessly access a Jet fileserver database.  But if your application outgrows Jet, you can plug in just about any other database using ODBC and/or OLEDB/ADO. 

So the way I look at it, Access is anything but a dead end.  It's not difficult at all to reconfigure an Access application to use a SQL Server back end, or any other back end.  At least it's not difficult if you know what you're doing;  I don't think I'd recommend it as something for you to do.

And VBA might not be the greatest language in the world, but it certainly works okay if you know what you're doing.  I do understand that some people have problems with keeping things neat and clean when they use it.  But is that a problem with the tool?  Or a problem with the user?

No, Access isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread.  But it is a valuable tool for a wide variety of uses.  Like almost anything else, though, it rewards users who know what they're doing, and penalizes those who don't.

Herbert Sitz
Sunday, February 16, 2003

>>Nothing that Fox pro can't

From everything he's been saying (and the quote above) it seems to me that Very Telling is one of the breed of FoxPro programmers who can't believe that anyone uses anything else (including SQL Server/Oracle/DB2, because 'FoxPro is Faster').

While there are plenty of programmers who like FoxPro as a tool, there is a quasi-religious cult of FoxPro users out there. These are the people who, when Java was getting hot, stareted refering to the FoxPro runtime as the 'FoxPro Virtual Machine' since it was 'just like Java' in needing a runtime engine...

Being a 'use the appropriate tool' kind of person, I like[d] FoxPro for certain tasks, but its best days are behind it.

RocketJeff
Sunday, February 16, 2003

Gee, just got back from a week trip in Calgary. Had just a fab time. Stayed there a few extra days, and had some fun out on the town. Great trip and Calgary is one of my favorite places to visit..

Gee, should I really bother to feed a troll?…ah heck, a nice cup of tea, or spend some time answering this?

I will try and keep this short!!

>> No security

Actually, the last two versions of ms-access have had the same security features of SQL-server available. So, I guess if you think that sql-server has no security, then ok. I think this is a ignorant statement.

>>Poor performance

Actually, on the same hardware, if you choose the JET data engine, then you will find that JET generally is faster then MySql, or even ms-sql. MySql does actually do some text table scans a good deal faster (I am talking about no indexes here in both cases). However, for indexed searches, and most updates, you will find JET is faster then MySql, or even ms-SQL server..

>>Ability to make the most fscked up data models im aginable

Nope, sorry, that title in the database land belongs to Raining Data’s d3 system (formally known as the pick system). The pick system is a post relational, or so called multi-valued database. Some venders also use the term multi-dimensional. This database actually lets you add and use fields are not defined yet (I am not kidding here folks!!). You can break every single rule I know of with this system. In fact, you can actually take 10 different tables WITH COMPLETE different record structures and copy ONE record from each of the 10 different tales into another 11th table. Each of those 10 records will actually retain their key id, and field structures!!! It means that you now have 10 different record structures in the same table!!  In fact some developers actually used this approach, and thus saved having to create seperate tables for each database. They simply pre-fixed each key id with a name that represented a imagined table!.  So, don’t let your lack of knowledge about databases make you think ms-access lets you violate database designs. It is not even close to pick in allowing you to do weird things. Not even close by a country mile!! You can read some the weird features of the pick system in article of mine:

  http://www.attcanada.net/%7ekallal.msn/Articles/fog0000000006.html

>Vendor lockin
Gee, as compared to Oracle? Hum ok…

>A dead end
Well, ms-access just celebrated its 10th anniversary. In those 10 years FrameMaker, dbase, FoxPro, Revelation and a ZILLION other database venders have gone by the way side. Ms-access easily out lived them all. So, dead end as to compared to what is the question here? Virtually all of the users are now split among products like FileMaker, ms-access, and alpha-5.

With the current track record, ms-access will easlily out live all of them.

>Nothing that Fox pro can't

Actually, the main difference is that ms-access has a lot of tools for the end users. FoxPro has nothing for the end user. I know of no end user building any kind of application in FoxPro these days. The microsoft.public.access.* newsgroup hierarchy is by FAR the most popular newsgroups they have.

The Fox newsgroups are dead beyond dead. I sure miss the CompuServe groups for Fox when I used them. But dead is dead.

In days of yester year, that casual user group that FoxPro built its empire around was completely co-opted by ms-access. As a result, Fox pro has little, or noting to offer the end user. Ms-access is built around a rich VB development, but it STILL does have something to offer the non developer.

In fact, while ms-word and Excel throw out Macro's MANY  years ago in favor of VBA, ms-access actually sill has them! It is the ONLY proudct left in the office suite with macros now.

Hence, ms-access still does offer something to the end user, or “non developer”. FoxPro gave up any kind of mandate for the end user about 10 years ago. Too bad, as that really is one major reason why they lost the war.

>Convoluted vba
Actually, the language and the IDE is really  now VB6. There is very little difference in the language. If you think that the VBA is bad, well then you must think VB is bad. You would not be the first person to say that VB is bad, but then again many people say all kinds of things about things they don’t like. What is so different about the VBA syntax vs the VB syntax? (answer: very little).

>>Nothing you can't find elsewhere

Actually, you can find the ms-access product EVERYWHERE. Further , I don’t think any other desktop product lets you graphically define relationships, create tables on sql-server, and setup RI constraints on sql server.

Most other systems require that you use the Enterprise tools to define tables, create relationships, and set RI rules for sql-server. Ms-access can do this without the enterpise manager. Anyone, please correct me if any other product besides ms-access lets you graphically define relationships, create tables, and graphicially set RI on microsofts sql-server?

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Monday, February 17, 2003

< Actually, the main difference is that ms-access has a lot of tools for the end users. FoxPro has nothing for the end user. I know of no end user building any kind of application in FoxPro these days. The microsoft.public.access.* newsgroup hierarchy is by FAR the most popular newsgroups they have.

The Fox newsgroups are dead beyond dead. I sure miss the CompuServe groups for Fox when I used them. But dead is dead.

In days of yester year, that casual user group that FoxPro built its empire around was completely co-opted by ms-access. As a result, Fox pro has little, or noting to offer the end user. Ms-access is built around a rich VB development, but it STILL does have something to offer the non developer. >

The major difference between Fox and Access was that Fox was never intended as an end user tool.  It gained its success, and its still used, because of the developer friendly nature of Fox in the first place and the active developer community afterwards.

That developer community seems now to be mostly on http://www.universalthread.com this is fine but there's a subscription cost that I don't find cost effective.

I still use Visual Foxpro and I can create an entire application (of a datacentric kind) in a relatively short time that is robust.  That isn't a plea for people to use it, I really don't care. :-)

Simon Lucy
Monday, February 17, 2003

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