As a professional developer I am very concerned about the direction Microsoft have taken with both Access 2007 and now 2010. A product that has been used over the past 15 years to produce robust front ends for database applications is now being hijacked to suit users who will never be able to master the new functionality. The new interface is like developing with furry gloves on - everything takes longer - how about a switch to enable reverting back to Classic mode.
We use Access as a front end to a business product that can use either Jet or SQL Server backends, depending on the data requirements of the customer. Arguments against using Access because of limitations in data storage capacity are nonsensical and display a lack of understanding of Access as a tool for creating database front-ends. There is no limitation. You choose the backend to suit your needs. SQL Server for large enterprises, otherwise Jet (or any ODBC or OLEDb compliant database). The real power of access is for developing front ends to data stores.
It is wonderful that the Access team is adding extra functionality, especially the web capabilities. I cannot see any large applications ever being ported to them because of speed but there are some smaller apps that will be greatly enhanced by this. Also the new colors and templates are great - it really does give us the ability to modernise the look and feel of our apps, a very important consideration from our customers point of view. We want the ability to present data more clearly to end users and this new version has clearly succeeded in this goal.
A wants list:
How about fixing up some fundamental flaws, known bugs that undermine the whole product. The fact that legal code can cause the Autonumber field in a Jet table to reset and stuff up an entire application is a major flaw that MS has known about for years, introduced in Access 2002!! How about fixing it? I realise it is a Jet issue - but??
Also how about providing direct access to the web services currently being provided by the SOAP 3 dlls. As these are no longer supported and will not install on Windows 7 (on my last attempt this was the case) direct access to Web services from witihn Access would be a great boost for professional developers.
An easier bridge to the .NET platform would also be great. Currently it is via Addins.
The ability to revert to CLASSIC view in the IDE.
The user interface in the product demos LOOK great - how about making the underlying product match them.