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> "access Is Only Good For One To Two Users At Most", Any Version    
post Nov 17 2019, 01:54 AM

Posts: 412
Joined: 18-August 05
From: DFW, TX, USA

Over in the Reddit MSAccess subreddit, someone asked about how scalable Access is. While most of us responded that it's scalable, but within limits, someone posted the following:

"Access is intended to be a RDBMS solution for SoHo environments with only one or two users at most or as a stationary database tool for one user in an enterprise space."

This person's claim that Access is only good for one to two users at most "comes from years of expeience building and implementing databases across multiple platforms."

While I shared with him how completely absurd his claims about Access are, if anyone here would wish to chime in and share your real-world experiences in using Access as a back end with more than two users, feel free. Here's a link to the thread:



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post Nov 17 2019, 03:51 PM

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You don't want to temp me do you?

Ahhhh - could not resist jumping in!!

You all have a great day, ok!
Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP 2003-2017)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

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post Nov 17 2019, 06:51 PM

Posts: 540
Joined: 21-September 14
From: (MilitaryBrat) Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

It's funny how negative aspects of Access begin surfacing right after MS pushed the Office update that broke Access.
There's more fallout that will follow as a consequence of said update. So far 3 of my customers emailed me saying they want to migrate away from Access, Office and Windows.
I am starting to see stories about the damage. Look at the comments in this Access UserVoice post. and this other post.
I also expect to see more negative stories in big media.
This post has been edited by FrankRuperto: Nov 17 2019, 06:54 PM

Currently supporting pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
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post Nov 17 2019, 07:28 PM

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I lost my biggest client due to the 16+month issue with the bug that caused the unrecognized database error. Since A2016/O365 it has been continuous bugs. Nothing new here, just more of the same. We are guinea pigs doing MS' QA. All my new projects have been moved away from Access (and I mean every last one). Where I used to promote Access and Office (actively selling their product to client so they could use my databases), I am know doing my best to steer customers away from Microsoft products. MS just doesn't get it! And not to be rude, but they don't care to get it.

They always talk about end of support... but where's the support now?! December 10th to release a fix. You have got to be kidding me!!! Businesses are paying 100s-1000s of $$$$ to deal with MS' screw-ups over and over.

Daniel Pineault (2010-2019 Microsoft MVP, UA VIP, EE Distinguished Expert 2018)
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post Nov 17 2019, 11:26 PM

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Over the years Microsoft has tried to kill Access, wanting people to migrate to SQL Server instead, but they couldn't. When these serious issues started arising with Access in Office 365 months ago, I jokingly wondered if it was Microsoft's latest attempt to kill Access. With this latest bug, which has wrecked havoc on a large scale, and for which Microsoft has promised a fix in a month rather than simply rolling back the update, I'm beginning to wonder if what I once thought of jokingly is actually true. Especially when you see the effect it's having on businesses' trust in Access as a product.

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post Nov 18 2019, 07:52 AM

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Something that I do not think has been mentioned in this thread is that ACE is suitable only across a wired LAN, at least for data entry/edit tasks. This is because of the architecture of the database engine. While the following may be technically imprecise, I think it is a decent summation. ACE creates a local instance of the database engine, where it processes data before writing the result to the back end. Any interruption in the connection to the back end, such as can occur across a WAN (including VPN) or wireless network, that occurs during the write operation can lead to corrupted data. SQL Server and other server based systems send the data to be processed to the server. If there is an interruption it "waits" for the rest of the data. When it has all arrived, the data are processed and written to disk on the same physical machine (or at least one physically connected to the server), which all but eliminates the chance of interruption during the write operation.

Something like a maintenance database for a specific location, where the computers are connected across a wireless LAN, is still a good candidate for ACE. A database used from remote locations is not. If there is a mix of local and remote use DBs you may as well use the same engine for all of them, IMHO.

I don't think the point was addressed, so I will add that SQL Server Express is not limited to one user. Having SQL Server express on your computer or on the server may be a good development tool, depending on how balky it is when you deal with IT.

One other point is that servers are more and more often located off site rather than being a physical machine on the premises. That is another situation where the local, wired limitation of ACE is problematic. In general, I believe that model has a limited future.
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post Nov 18 2019, 08:46 AM

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I don't believe my own experience is nearly as comprehensive as any of the other posters on this thread, as db development is only one aspect of my job(s) that I use for creatively solving specific needs.
i.e., "database developer" is not my job title.
Consequently, my experience only involves Access with ACE or Jet, although, for many of the reasons stated, I have researched using other dbs.

That being said, I could "argue" either side of many of the points raised, but I'd like to focus on what I perceive as the two main points, number of users and security.

I have read, on this very site I believe (since I don't frequent many other Access sites), where developers of certain applications have run with as many as 200 simultaneous users, but most seem to agree on 15 to 20 as a practical limit. I've never had more than half dozen users, due to the scope of my dbs.
I think this really depends on the complexity of the business model, and how creatively the db is designed to limit simultaneous use of the same parts of the db.

A business should never use Access? Really? It depends on the purpose and scope of the db. As pointed out, Access is not good at non-wired installations (enter here Citrix Server and others).
However, that limitation is precisely what makes security relatively easy -- the security is entirely network based, rather than Access based (I despised the security implementation of the older Access versions), allowing only certain users to use it, and it's not done over WAN, wireless, VPN, etc.. Now, giving specific users different permissions would have to be Access-based. Again, scope is key.
In my applications, the db often replaces what multiple Excel spreadsheets would otherwise be accomplishing. How secure are those spreadsheets?

I saw Albert saying he was tempted to chime in (but held back) - makes me curious, but he could easily just link to one of the many excellent treatises he has already provided on this forum.

For many of the other side issues, there are workarounds for using Access. But those issues drift from the OP.

In short, yes Access (front and back end) can be implemented for many more than 2 users, the actual number depends on scope and design.
If Access is used in a network controlled environment, it can be secure enough (no, I don't know what the "rules" are for security, but it stands to reason that if security was good enough for any spreadsheets being replaced, it can certainly be good enough for Access).
So, yes, Access can be an excellent db environment for business use. (Enter Farmers Insurance commercial reference. smile.gif )

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Posts in this topic
- ngins   "access Is Only Good For One To Two Users At Most"   Nov 17 2019, 01:54 AM
- - nvogel   Despite the title it appears that the original que...   Nov 17 2019, 05:10 AM
|- - ngins   Yes, I agree that Access would not be appropriate ...   Nov 17 2019, 05:27 AM
|- - nvogel   You misunderstood my answer. Access quite possibly...   Nov 17 2019, 05:39 AM
|- - ngins   We're discussing two separate topics at the sa...   Nov 17 2019, 06:02 AM
|- - nvogel   "Appropriate" is a bit more equivocal th...   Nov 17 2019, 07:24 AM
||- - ngins   So, nvogel, is it your position then that ACE shou...   Nov 17 2019, 07:44 AM
|- - isladogs   To be fair the poster (Thadrea) wrote this: QUOTE...   Nov 17 2019, 07:33 AM
|- - ngins   Colin, Yes, I agree with you. No one is saying th...   Nov 17 2019, 07:51 AM
|- - nvogel   I can't tell people what they should do but I ...   Nov 17 2019, 08:03 AM
|- - ngins   Well, it's not my intent to have a debate over...   Nov 17 2019, 08:09 AM
|- - cheekybuddha   @nvogel The RAD aspect is one reason. When was ...   Nov 17 2019, 08:16 AM
|- - ngins   Let's not forget the problem with heterogeneou...   Nov 17 2019, 08:24 AM
|- - isladogs   Neil QUOTE the responder said that Access is good ...   Nov 17 2019, 08:33 AM
|- - ngins   Agreed. There definitely isn't a precise numbe...   Nov 17 2019, 08:40 AM
|- - nvogel   Hi David, I'd say that using a different deve...   Nov 17 2019, 09:24 AM
- - AlbertKallal   You don't want to temp me do you? Ahhhh - co...   Nov 17 2019, 03:51 PM
- - FrankRuperto   It's funny how negative aspects of Access begi...   Nov 17 2019, 06:51 PM
- - DanielPineault   I lost my biggest client due to the 16+month issue...   Nov 17 2019, 07:28 PM
- - ngins   Over the years Microsoft has tried to kill Access,...   Nov 17 2019, 11:26 PM
- - BruceM   Something that I do not think has been mentioned i...   Nov 18 2019, 07:52 AM
- - kfield7   I don't believe my own experience is nearly as...   Nov 18 2019, 08:46 AM

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