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The Access Show: Recap of the SharePoint Developer Conference and customer demos

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This is the second episode of The Access Show with Steve Greenberg & Ryan McMinn. They just came back from the sold-out SharePoint conference in Las Vegas where they launched Access Services and wanted to give you an update as well as introduce some customers that have been using the technical preview and building web databases.

 Robert Hogg -  Black Marble Consulting
www.blackmarble.co.uk

Michael Matloub – Connolly, Inc.
www.connolly.com

Check out the Access 2010 Intro series at the Access team blog.

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  • Brice ItBrice It Email Brice

    I've stated it once in an earlier MS Access 2010 video on Channel 9, ACCESS HAS JUMPED THE SHARK! This began happening with MS Office 2007.

     

    Microsoft is developing MS Access in all the WRONG directions.

     

    As an MS Access Developer, I will continue to develop WinForm solutions in MS Access 2003.

     

    While I think it's great to hear that MS Access will not be deprecated as a viable product, I'm sad to hear that the application is being morphed into some weird incarnation of a web app.

     

    I would have never predicted that Microsoft would take up such a direction with the evolution (or devolution as it were) of this product.

  • ChevalN2Cheval Why not null?

    Maybe it's the cognitive dissonance speaking (work in the software field and hate change), but I'm also unsure about the sharepoint integration angle the Access team has gone. One of Access key benefits is that it's small and very fast if done right in that it keeps the important user data close to the user. 2GB on disk is much easier to work with than 2GB in memory. Doing the same with a managed language with SQL Server and Embedded SQL takes much more time. Once it's a linked table, it's all just data and that's what Access is about; easily crunching through data in an ever changing business need. The sharepoint angle appears like a (let me run all your apps) hosted solution, which the managed (including ASP.net) world is a better option because of pre-planning overhead (which means lack of flexibity) that's required.

     

    I've said for many years that most small and medium business that got off the manual paper trail only stayed with Office 97, (and especially) 2000 and 2003 was because of Access. One Note tried a thing or two, but a lot of us Assemblers (Engineers =C/C++, Developers =managed/java/dynamic, Assemblers = VBA) were hoping that the .Net would have a VBA equivilent. That draw your user interface prototype and link up events and code to it tool might come close, but I miss the "here are the 10 leggo pieces for creating simple UI to databases" that made Access an excellent RAD LOB tool. Where is that these days in .NET?

     

    Even being certified to the teeth, I still find myself working with the 10 .NET pieces to get the productivity required for the medium and large businesses. Do they like it if I use more controls to give them a better experience, when I can be quicker and give them a simplier "just works as expected" application design? Not one bit. They have a job to do and if they can get it done before the competitor then I have a job. And if that means designs that have Access front ends for some parts, so be it.

  • I agree with both of you.

     

    Access goes the wrong way. Because the main emprovements are on the sharepoint side.

    But for me this is not so important. Its a nice to have. Not more.

    I also will continue to develop WinForm solutions.

    There could have been done more for those developers.

    I 'm very diappointed about this.

  • I too feel that trying to make an Access application work on the web is not necessarily a good deal.  My guess is you could fly a 747 to the moon once you get out of the atmosphere, but that doesn't make it the best vechicle for doing so. 

     

    I am happy with the Access 2007 Interface and don't expect or even desire a great deal more from 2010.  What I do wish, however, is that Microsoft would promote the product more, I mean for more important things than receipies and soccer games.  I have been writing client/server apps for twenty years and know how dramatically they can help a small business.  The problem is that everyone went to the web and forgot about the concept of client/server, a concept which is not, (should not be) dead.  Many many small business problems are solved with a good local area network solution.  This is entirely beyond the ability of most Access "users".  It takes a qualified professional developer to make it happen, and MS seems more concerned about users that create soccer applications than developers who create business solutions.

     

    As for enterprise applications, IMHO, .Net and SQL Server are the better tools.  In fact, I don't even court Access front-end and SQL Server back-end business.  If SQL server is really what you need, use .Net.  Differnt tools for differnt solutions.  But lots and lots of small business problems can be solved with a well written Access applicaiton.

  • My comment on Access 2007 and for the new Access 2010:

     

    1.  ABOUT THE RIBBON AND NAVIGATION PANE

         Previously I really hate Ribbon because I need to learn how to use and program in XML to create the ribbon but when I learned it thru   

         reading and researching, I kind like it now and same towards the ribbon.  Previously I expressed my hate to ribbon on different access

         forums and microsoft blog and forums or discussions but now its ok. Maybe I have to learn more.  What I just need is the complete

         reference material like command idMso and other idMso.

     

        On my learning and working with Ribbon, I find the reference material available for download in Microsoft.com Site somewhat lacking

        especially for control id ( idMso ).  I need the complete reference for the purpose below:

     

         a. for customizing the office button and QAT toolbar (disabling them)

         b. for customizing the office button (to change the logo or its picture)

         though it is indicated in the license agreement that the logo should appear there, but I guess it would not matter since the application is

         still recognizable thru its filename extension.  and the "poweredby AccessRuntime2007" will be visible.

     

    2.  SECURITY / MACROS / SANDBOX MODE / TRUSTED LOCATIONS / DIGITAL SIGN

          Previously I also asked Microsoft to dumped this securities for this will disable the application especially on runtime when the startup

          involves functions and macros.  However, upon some researches, I have managed to solve it.

     

    3.  MDB OR ACCDB TO EXECUTABLE FORMAT

         I really dont know if it is possible to create executable file from mdb or accdb format for an executable file is not a database file format, 

         they are totally different format, but I dont know maybe Microsoft find a way to do it since they are the creator of the application.  Having

         the accdb or mdb format into an executable file is much more elegant.

     

    4.  ENCRYPTION / USER LEVEL SECURITY

         On version 2007 and 2010, its encryption method is strengthened.  Actually in everythingaccess.com, you can find a utility that will even

         more change the encryption method to a more powerful one.  However, still every access forum sites that I have joined, the moderators

         there say that the security is likened to a "LOCK ON A SCREEN DOOR".  It is same as USELESS.  They would suggest upsizing to SQL servers

         if we are after for security. 

     

         But since I am using Access product, I would like to suggest to empower the security of access (the encryption). 

         On the other hand, I am grateful that the ULS has been abandoned because that is really a waste of time and construction.  It is just   

         redundant security to password security.  It is better to have one password security that will satisfy its purpose.

     

    5.  DATABASE FILE SIZE CAPACITY

         On many forums I have joined with, they say (especially the moderators and VIP's) that 2 gigabyte per database is enough but we all

         know that someday it will outgrow and need more space.  They also say that you can use as many backend database files as you want so

         there is no need to ask to increase its size capacity.  What they say could be thru but I think in the long run, it will rise more problem. 

        They say that when you really need more space, you should UPSIZE to SQL SERVER.  But the only problem there is that we need to learn

        another product and that is using SQL Server. And maybe the customer might need to learn SQL too which is impossible for medium to

        small business enterprises. Also that would incur us additional expense.

     

        Another option is to use MySQL which is freea and unlimited size capacity.  But again you need to learn how to use and administer

        MySQL.

     

        The MySQL option would be preferrable since the product is free and all you need to do is to learn it.

     

         If that is the case and if we take into consideration that Microsoft products are user-friendly,  why should Microsoft limit the database size

         of its Access database.  It is futile if the purpose is to bring the customer to upsize to MS SQL because there is MySQL.  Why not satisfy

         their Access customers wants and needs instead so that Microsoft will even more bring their customers closer to them?

     

         The fact that Microsoft has built new technology (SharePoint) thru internet, but it is also a fact that not all customers use internet. 

     

         So I would also like to ask to upsize the size capacity of Access database, not only limited to 100GB but even to higher size capacity liken

         to MySQL if Access is to be competitive.

     

    6.  OTHER SUGGESTIONS

     

         Many users still dont want Ribbon because it is hard for them to create.  May I ask Microsoft to create a wizard or an addin to assist the

         users in the creation of Ribbon.

     

     

    7.  Maybe there are still many features that needs to be incorporated.  But the above features that are requested are in my opinion and base

         on my experience are the most needed and wanted features in MS Access database application.

     

    The new features presented here in the demo are neat and would be useful in the long run as developers would use it. 

     

    However, those features are in my opinion not very much immediately useful because for many years now, it is a fact that most developers have stayed using version 2003 instead.

     

    It would be VERY MUCH useful and recognized if the password security and database file size capacity were enhance, upgraded, upsized because it is MUCH MORE NEEDED than added new features presented here in the demo.

     

    With these new features, we pay for it which are not useful for us.  But if what we pay is very useful for us, we would not hesitate cashing out money for it. 

     

    Why do I protest to upsize to SQL server?  It is because:

     

    1.  Access database it much more easier and friendlier to use and maintain.

    2.  Access database is much more easier to deploy.

    3.  Access database is my choice.

     

    Eventhough there is this MySQL that is free and unlimited database size capacity and more robust security but the fact is the above 3 reasons.

     

    Using MySQL is very possible in the very near future but if password security and database file size capacity were enhanced, upgraded, upsized, that would be enough for Access developers to continue using access database.

     

    codexproject@yahoo.com

     

         Hoping for Access Development Team to hear us. 

  • bossboss boss

    The key is to think of Access as a RAD tool, I think you are getting hung up on the underlying DB. I think that the implemenation under sharepoint is great and it has changed our view of Access.

     

    b.

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