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2002 May 02 14:44

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] Are you jobs boring?
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Re: [vox] Are you jobs boring?



On Thu, 2 May 2002, joseph e arruda wrote:

> 
> On Wed, 1 May 2002, Don Werve wrote:
> 
> > On Tue, Apr 30, 2002 at 11:19:00PM -0700, Richard Crawford wrote:
> > > Couple of illustrative dialogues from my current temp assignment:
> > > 
> > > Me:  Just wondering why this department's website doesn't use Cold
> > > Fusion and keep the disclosure information in an Access backend.  It
> > > would standardize the process and make everything uniform.

[...]

> Access is to databases what bicycles are to fish......pointless.

That characterization is dead wrong.  Bicycles have no value to fish, but
Access is a very powerful prototyping and ad-hoc data extraction tool for
databases.

Its problems are related to the hands into which it is put and the
proprietary specialnesses that Microsoft puts in for their "competitive
edge".  Being linked to Windows is, of course, a serious weakness, and VBA
stinks, but it is a powerful tool for database design and ad-hoc data
extraction nonetheless.

One point that is often misunderstood... Access is NOT a database.  It is
a front end for interfacing to databases.  PgAccess is an admirable effort
to replicate some of this capability for PostgreSQL.  Access does ship
with the Jet database engine, and the components you build with it are
stored in Jet databases, but this engine is really not appropriate for
shared or large databases, and it is quite easy to bypass it and use a
"real" database to store your real data.  Even if you DON'T intend to use
a "real" database, splitting the data file from the user interface file
this way is recommended... but the average joe Access user lacks this
clue.

Access is _not_ ideal for building web-enabled database services, and I
think that Microsoft's attempts to turn it into that are ill-advised, as
are a lot of Microft's activities.  Also, since performance tuning is
linked with your backend, and Access is decoupled from backends other
than the Jet engine, it isn't ideal for doing that, either.

However, for building small, one-off relational databases for clients in
record time, I don't know of a more efficient solution. For prototyping a
complicated new database architecture and designing queries it is a
worthwhile user interface model to emulate, not an irrelevant toy.

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