UtterAccess.com
X   Site Message
(Message will auto close in 2 seconds)

Welcome to UtterAccess! Please ( Login   or   Register )

Custom Search
2 Pages V < 1 2  (Go to first unread post)
   Reply to this topicStart new topic
> If Ms Access Was No Longer Available To You...    
 
   
WildBird
post Oct 29 2018, 10:58 PM
Post#21


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 3,578
Joined: 19-August 03
From: Auckland, Little Australia


Hi Frank,

I had a read of the file. My feedback would be this.

Background - over 25 years IT experience. Have worked for a number of worlds largest companies, multi billion dollar companies with global presence, as well as numerous much smaller companies. Have been using Access for 20 years or so. Have used SQL Server from 6 or 6.5 to latest, have used Oracle, Sybase, FoxPro and others. Currently using Excel and SQL to provide reports that a Netezza BI implementation hasnt been delivering.

My thoughts on Access are that while it has the potential to do most things, indeed some systems I have written are still in use years later, and have heard many others that are still in use. Sometimes it is the only system that will work and that the clients have. I personally can see why it gets a bad rep. There is simply so many people out there who dont know how to use it properly, that whatever they end up with is almost bound to cause problems. Anyone who has contracted like I have has seen numerous abominations of systems, in Excel as well, but also Access. There is no money to be made in using it is one of the issues I see. Its not seen as 'sexy' and no one wants to learn how to use it properly. Basic stuff like error handling and documenting of code etc are rarely used, instead it is usually Record a Macro type syntax. This goes for all VBA, mainly Excel and Access though. Not usually setup easily for a team environment with source control etc (Yes, I know it CAN be done).

I have personally worked with 1 other person who I would trust to write decent code in VBA. While it isnt so much a shortcoming of the tool itself, it is an issue when hardly anyone can use it properly, and therein lies the problem as I see it.

I myself have been trying to get away from it for years to be honest, but while I have gotten away to so far 9 different countries to work in, I seem to keep ending up with short term contracts where a business unit wants stuff that their IT department cant deliver, and I end up again building stuff in Access and/or Excel and others and then go travelling till I am broke again, and come back looking for work and first role is another short term contract, and so the circle continues! .....






--------------------
Beer, natures brain defragging tool.
Go to the top of the page
 
JonSmith
post Oct 30 2018, 03:39 AM
Post#22


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,051
Joined: 19-October 10



QUOTE
My thoughts on Access are that while it has the potential to do most things, indeed some systems I have written are still in use years later, and have heard many others that are still in use. Sometimes it is the only system that will work and that the clients have. I personally can see why it gets a bad rep. There is simply so many people out there who dont know how to use it properly, that whatever they end up with is almost bound to cause problems. Anyone who has contracted like I have has seen numerous abominations of systems, in Excel as well, but also Access. There is no money to be made in using it is one of the issues I see. Its not seen as 'sexy' and no one wants to learn how to use it properly. Basic stuff like error handling and documenting of code etc are rarely used, instead it is usually Record a Macro type syntax. This goes for all VBA, mainly Excel and Access though. Not usually setup easily for a team environment with source control etc (Yes, I know it CAN be done).

I have personally worked with 1 other person who I would trust to write decent code in VBA. While it isnt so much a shortcoming of the tool itself, it is an issue when hardly anyone can use it properly, and therein lies the problem as I see it.


I relate so much dude. I never intended to be a programmer and ended up doing it because I was an administrator in a clinical team at my local hospital as an early job (I skipped University so I was still a teenager). Since I am lazy I started writing code to make my tasks better and it ballooned from there. Somehow, 10 years later its turned into a real job and I am a good programmer. I learnt to document very thoroughly and have, in my opinion, the strongest logging and error handling I have ever seen in VBA.
It really really frustrates me when I see other 'professionals' who write code that doesn't even compile. I have been dealing with some of that from a guy who used to work at my current company, besides not compiling one of his tools had 52 back ends all with the same structure, just different groupings. He got very upset when I reached out to him to discuss his work in a constructive way and to try and understand some of his design choices despite my care to be as gentle and constructive as possible. I think he knows he is a fraud. He has a great looking website and makes the forms look nice so gets away with it, leaves a mess and gives us all a bad rep.

Luckily here the company is actually supporting me in transitioning to C#, I have always thought I could easily code in .net aswell but without work under your belt then learning it alone isn't worth much. The plan is to spend a few years here to get at professional level in .net with some good experience in an instantly recognizable company. Then buy a yacht and freelance from anywhere I feel like in the Mediterranean. My Italian/Kiwi girlfriend can save me Visa-wise if Brexit messes up my free movement in Europe.
Go to the top of the page
 
nuclear_nick
post Oct 30 2018, 06:14 AM
Post#23



Posts: 1,758
Joined: 5-February 06
From: Ohio, USA


If it weren't for Access...

I'd probably be driving a forklift, unloading trailers, throwing boxes...

--------------------
"Nuclear" Nick
____________
The top three reasons to hide code; 1) It's not your own. 2) It's your own, but it's so crappy you don't want anyone to see it. 3) The comments in your code would get you in a lot of trouble if ever made public.
Go to the top of the page
 
DanielPineault
post Oct 30 2018, 07:30 AM
Post#24


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 6,716
Joined: 30-June 11



I'm at the point now, with the continuous issues since Access2016/Office365 started rolling out (and now 2019), that I am pulling my clients away from Access and Office as a whole. It is simply too instable and causing major problems resulting in big monetary loses due to non-functioning databases and downtime.

I considered some of the options, and was very seriously looking at Zoho Creator based on other MVPs recommending it, but finally decided to do a complete 180 and move to 100% pure web applications. I have moved 3 clients to PHP driven web applications. Why? It is proven, stable and can be hosted on just about any host. No need for software, licenses, ... looking over frameworks, you can truly do some beautiful things today. Yes, it is more work (and not an easy transition as a developer as there is a tremendous amount to learn: Apache, MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, html, CSS, JS, jQuery, PHP, ..., throw in a Framework, ...), but at the end of the day, I trust it more than I do MS right now with regards to reliability. The added bonus it that their tool now works across all platforms: Windows, Linux, MAC, Cell, Tablet, ... and at no extra cost.




QUOTE
I have personally worked with 1 other person who I would trust to write decent code in VBA. While it isnt so much a shortcoming of the tool itself, it is an issue when hardly anyone can use it properly, and therein lies the problem as I see it.


Coding, in any language is questionable.

--------------------
Daniel Pineault (2010-2019 Microsoft MVP)
Professional Help: http://www.cardaconsultants.com
Free MS Access Code, Tips, Tricks and Samples: http://www.devhut.net

* Design should never say "Look at me". It should always say "Look at this". -- David Craib
* A user interface is like a joke, if you have to explain it, it's not that good! -- Martin LeBlanc


All code samples, demonstration databases, links,... are provided 'AS IS' and are to be used at your own risk! Take the necessary steps to check, validate ...(you are responsible for your choices and actions)
Go to the top of the page
 
FrankRuperto
post Oct 30 2018, 07:46 AM
Post#25



Posts: 198
Joined: 21-September 14
From: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA


Hi WildBird,

Looking at the "Excel vs. Access" dilema from a psychological standpoint, my opinion is that virtually all average users dont have time available, dont have the capacity to grasp, or simply just lazy to learn Access, and they opt for the quick and dirty Excel route. Its easier for the average user to setup a spreadsheet, versus setting up an Access application. But as these users continue to evolve some of their Excel apps, they run into the limitations of Excel's architecture and realize that storing their data in a relational database, using forms to maintain the data, and creating reports is a better solution. Perhaps if Access provided average users a friendlier interface for setting up tables, customizing the forms and reports, then it would gain more acceptance?

--------------------
Currently supporting many pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
Go to the top of the page
 
DanielPineault
post Oct 30 2018, 07:56 AM
Post#26


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 6,716
Joined: 30-June 11



QUOTE
Perhaps if Access provided average users a friendlier interface


Friendly? Create Table and then you enter your fields, how much friendlier can it be. They can even import their Excel spreadsheet and Access does it all for them, BUT this is a major mistake because then they have unnormalized data and they use Access like a spreadsheet rather than the relational database that it is.

There is definitely a learning curve, no doubt, but I've never found it to be an Interface issue. I find most people have a very hard time understanding normalization and then how to setup forms/and the coding behind them.

Then there's the fact that many sample databases are less than ideal to learn from, setting novice users off on the wrong foot IMHO.

Add to that issue with help files, and disappearing online knowledge base articles. Microsoft definitely isn't helping itself or its users.



--------------------
Daniel Pineault (2010-2019 Microsoft MVP)
Professional Help: http://www.cardaconsultants.com
Free MS Access Code, Tips, Tricks and Samples: http://www.devhut.net

* Design should never say "Look at me". It should always say "Look at this". -- David Craib
* A user interface is like a joke, if you have to explain it, it's not that good! -- Martin LeBlanc


All code samples, demonstration databases, links,... are provided 'AS IS' and are to be used at your own risk! Take the necessary steps to check, validate ...(you are responsible for your choices and actions)
Go to the top of the page
 
JonSmith
post Oct 30 2018, 07:58 AM
Post#27


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,051
Joined: 19-October 10



I completely disagree FrankRuperto.
I think the interface is fine. The issue is transitioning from a flat data format to a relational data format. Most Excel users cannot grasp that and just put big flat tables in Access.
These people aren't the ones I complain about though. I complain about the people who claim to be professionals, have websites saying they can do this and that but deliver tools where the code doesn't compile and is just garbage. They give us the bad rep, not end users who over-reach.
Developers in other languages that are less accessible and have higher gatekeeping standards also see this and consider the whole language unprofessional. Its the individuals that are unprofessional. You can be a professional VBA and an unprofessional .net developer. Its just the latter gets less fuss.
Go to the top of the page
 
FrankRuperto
post Oct 30 2018, 08:05 AM
Post#28



Posts: 198
Joined: 21-September 14
From: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA


Hi Daniel,

I agree with your strategy. I dont like the direction Microsoft is heading with Access and Office as a whole. The reliabilty and overall quality has gotten worse, and that's totally unacceptable. We have a fiduciary duty to provide our customers with solutions that consistently work. LAMP stacks are in so many ways a proven economical solution.

--------------------
Currently supporting many pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
Go to the top of the page
 
FrankRuperto
post Oct 30 2018, 08:20 AM
Post#29



Posts: 198
Joined: 21-September 14
From: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA


Daniel and Jon,

Easier for us, but not for the average users I am talking about. As Daniel pointed out, these users have to start by learning the basics of relational databases, (e.g. data normalization, datatypes, SQL, joins, etc.), learn how to write VBA code versus using macros (I cant count how many Access apps I've come across with only macros lol).

Perhaps average users are waiting for the day when they can tell Alexa AI to build the app for them?.. Dont hold your breath.
This post has been edited by FrankRuperto: Oct 30 2018, 08:34 AM

--------------------
Currently supporting many pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
Go to the top of the page
 
JonSmith
post Oct 30 2018, 08:43 AM
Post#30


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,051
Joined: 19-October 10



Sure, but I don't think I've ever heard a complaint about the interface. Its the concepts of relational database design they don't get. VBA and macros are just as hard if in Excel or Access so I can't see that as a challenge Access has to overcome that Excel doesn't. At most you could say SQL to do calculations instead of queries could be the hardest.

I agree with Daniel about the direction and instability in Office. I have been saying for a while now how bad for business continuity Office 365 model of us being Microsofts beta testers is. They need a new subscription model where they only push us updates that are stable.
Go to the top of the page
 
FrankRuperto
post Oct 30 2018, 10:54 AM
Post#31



Posts: 198
Joined: 21-September 14
From: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA


Jon/Daniel,

As to my "better interface" remark, what I mean is Access should have a friendly "wizard" assistant that provides better help, and a tutorial that guides average users in properly setting up an app . If MS once provided the "Clippy" wizard in Word, average users could certainly benefit from a DB "Nerd" wizard.

--------------------
Currently supporting many pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
Go to the top of the page
 
JonSmith
post Oct 30 2018, 10:59 AM
Post#32


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,051
Joined: 19-October 10



'It looks like you are trying to make a flat database structure. Maybe I can help! Want to learn about entity relationships?'


I wouldn't model a wizard on one of Microsoft's most hated and failed 'help' software.
I honestly don't see how you can even create a wizard to help come up with a relational database model to be honest. I'd be fascinated if you have an example of another system that does that. You mentioned some other software you think is better, does that have wizards?
Go to the top of the page
 
WildBird
post Oct 30 2018, 04:14 PM
Post#33


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 3,578
Joined: 19-August 03
From: Auckland, Little Australia


Part of the issue with Wizards is that it downgrades the apparent skill needed. If the average person can simply use a wizard and build a 'database', then why would they want to pay someone to do that? If they do pay them, then they wont want to pay them much as they themselves could most of the work (in their opinion).




--------------------
Beer, natures brain defragging tool.
Go to the top of the page
 
WildBird
post Oct 30 2018, 04:40 PM
Post#34


UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 3,578
Joined: 19-August 03
From: Auckland, Little Australia


QUOTE
Then buy a yacht and freelance from anywhere I feel like in the Mediterranean. My Italian/Kiwi girlfriend can save me Visa-wise if Brexit messes up my free movement in Europe.


Good luck. A couple of things I would point out.

I spent a number of years volunteering (doing IT) overseas, in SE Asia and the Pacific. Know people who live on yachts and the like. As mentioned, been in IT for 25 years. If you can freelance anywhere without physically being present, then it means someone else can also do this, and straight away it comes down to $$. There are literally teams of people with PHDs and the like in places like India and other places that will work for way less a week than my usual day rate. So you are up against that. Yachts - not the best for gamefishing from! I fished for 2 days on one in an IGFA tournament, so frustrating with the speed or lack thereof, and places where you can actually fight a fish. But I may be digressing? But living on a yacht is not for everyone. Depends on the size and company you are with of course, but it is not like a normal place on land. Costs are constant with maintenance etc. So many costs. Romantic idea of course, but having seen reality, its a bit different. And of course things like being able to work on one - you need good internet coverage if you are expecting to work remotely. This isn't easy on a yacht.

Kiwi passport. As someone living in Kiwiland now, I can say this is not a cheap place. I have lived and worked in a number of country and mining towns in Australia, as well Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Tokyo, Singapore, Vientiane, Vancouver, Edmonton, London, Suva, Nuku'alofa, and now in Auckland. Pay rates here are less than Australia, but most things are as expensive, if not dearer. I don't need a visa for here, being Australian, but the NZ passport, like Australian doesn't hold much sway anywhere else as far as working goes. There is a reciprocal agreement between the 2 countries, and by far majority of movement is Kiwis to Australia - much more opportunity and money there.

Anyway, good luck!




--------------------
Beer, natures brain defragging tool.
Go to the top of the page
 
FrankRuperto
post Nov 4 2018, 08:42 AM
Post#35



Posts: 198
Joined: 21-September 14
From: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA


In the meantime, as Microsoft continues to change for the better, or for the worse, do you feel the topic of this post is becoming a more relevant possibility? I personally feel Microsoft really wants to deprecate Access as we know it, the same way they deprecated Visual FoxPro into CodePlex. The few times I have spoken to Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft, several times he hinted that we should migrate our Access applications to .NET, and I replied that there are millions of Access applications solving everyday needs, and a huge cottage industry supporting them who are not willing to make the transition to .NET, so the best thing MS can do is to improve Access to prevent users from fleeing to an MS competitor. Its just a matter of time when someone like Google introduces a better replacent for MS Office. The problem is that MS is not making any significant money on all the legacy Access applications out there. They want these users to get on the Office 365 subscription bandwagon. Dont be surprised if the newer Access runtimes are no longer free, and you can only download them if youre subscribed to O365. There's also the hardware factor. Windows 7, or earlier, cannot run on new computers, and MS might push a Win10 update that renders Office 2010, or earlier, unusable.
This post has been edited by FrankRuperto: Nov 4 2018, 09:12 AM

--------------------
Currently supporting many pawnbrokers that use my store management system developed with Access 2010 on Windows7. Experienced with Informix and Oracle DB's.
Go to the top of the page
 
2 Pages V < 1 2


Custom Search


RSSSearch   Top   Lo-Fi    19th July 2019 - 05:39 AM