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Why do IT guys hate MS Access?

Our IT guys are on a vendetta against MS Access (and Lotus Notes but they've
won that fight). What I can't understand is, what's the problem? Why does
IT hate MS Access so much.

I have tried to find out who it is that actually wants to get rid of it, but
I can't find anyone who will admit to trying to get rid of it. Nevertheless,
I'm always hearing about how their "phasing it out" or "getting rid of it".
Because no-one owns up I can't even have an open debate about the pros and
cons of MS Access.

It is certainly amazing what disinformation is out there about what MS-Access
can and can't do. "MS Access clogs up the network". Well yeah... when IT
forces you to install the client of your client server app on the Network
Server it does. How come IT developer's clients can reside on the PC, but a
non-IT developer's client can't? "MS-Access requires you to download a copy
of the data before you can create a management report". Well no, we have a
thing called ODBC. "MS-Access doesn't let you set up views/derived
tables/abstraction layer/ multi-dimensional cubes blah, blah, blah" Well,
actually,... it does! "MS-Access can't publish reports to the web" Wrong!
"You can't upgrade Access 95/97 apps to Access 2000/2003/XP". Bzzzt! Wrong
again!

Meanwhile MS-Access has a number of exceptional strengths (a) an (almost)
comprehensive SDK (b) its cheap (c) lots of people have skills in it (no
$1500/day for an MS Access developer) (d) its well integrated with a
spreadsheet, a wordprocessor and its operating system (e) it's context
sensitive help is nothing short of fabulous (f) it has few limitations with
regard to aggregating aggregates or filtering by aggregates, maintaining
previously calculated data, etc etc. Look I could go on, but I have no
forum to argue my case.

So what is it? Is it the security model of Access? Is it the fear that IT
will be left holding the undocumented spaghetti-coded baby when the non-IT
developer skips town? Is it just that it's Microsoft, and its cool to thumb
your nose at Bill Gates? Or is it that IT doesn't like non-IT people having
access to the VB coding environment which can be used to overcome PC and
possibly Network security? Or is it something else?

I used to be in charge of Oracle DBAs and have been responsible for an
organisation's data management policy. I had nothing against MS Access then.
So what's the deal?

Regards,
Jeff Popova-Clark
Gold Coast Australia
--
Message posted via AccessMonster.c om
http://www.accessmonster.com/Uwe/For...ccess/200509/1
Nov 13 '05 #1
92 7651
On Tue, 27 Sep 2005 01:23:19 GMT, "Jeffrey P via AccessMonster.c om"
<u12062@uwe> wrote:
Our IT guys are on a vendetta against MS Access (and Lotus Notes but they've
won that fight). What I can't understand is, what's the problem? Why does
IT hate MS Access so much.


MS Access gives non-programmers the ability to create applications that become
indispensible to an organization and then must be maintained by IT. The
trouble is, although the applications handle a real business need, they are
very badly designed because they are designed by non-programmers. Most IT
people have never been exposed to a well-written Access application, and are
consequently unaware that it can be done.

Also, it is quite possible for an application to start out in MS Accessm and
outgrow Access' capabilities. Management is always reluctant to pay for a
rewrite of a marginally working application, so the app tends to grow until it
eats fast amounts of IT resources to maintain because it's doing stuff it's
not designed to handle.

In short - Access tends to amplify management problems that adversely impact
IT.

There is another factor too. Expensive programmers who work in languages like
Smalltalk (an admittedly really nice language) tend not to want to compete for
their jobs and salary with application development that can be done part-time
by a bookeeper with no help from IT.

Nov 13 '05 #2
Jeffrey,

I saw your reference to $1500/Day Access Developers. I have built many
complete applications for less than $1500. If you are ever looking for
reasonably priced Access help, contact me.

--
PC Datasheet
Your Resource For Help With Access, Excel And Word Applications
re******@pcdata sheet.com
www.pcdatasheet.com
"Jeffrey P via AccessMonster.c om" <u12062@uwe> wrote in message
news:54f7c3eb21 c90@uwe...
Our IT guys are on a vendetta against MS Access (and Lotus Notes but
they've
won that fight). What I can't understand is, what's the problem? Why
does
IT hate MS Access so much.

I have tried to find out who it is that actually wants to get rid of it,
but
I can't find anyone who will admit to trying to get rid of it.
Nevertheless,
I'm always hearing about how their "phasing it out" or "getting rid of
it".
Because no-one owns up I can't even have an open debate about the pros and
cons of MS Access.

It is certainly amazing what disinformation is out there about what
MS-Access
can and can't do. "MS Access clogs up the network". Well yeah... when IT
forces you to install the client of your client server app on the Network
Server it does. How come IT developer's clients can reside on the PC, but
a
non-IT developer's client can't? "MS-Access requires you to download a
copy
of the data before you can create a management report". Well no, we have
a
thing called ODBC. "MS-Access doesn't let you set up views/derived
tables/abstraction layer/ multi-dimensional cubes blah, blah, blah" Well,
actually,... it does! "MS-Access can't publish reports to the web" Wrong!
"You can't upgrade Access 95/97 apps to Access 2000/2003/XP". Bzzzt!
Wrong
again!

Meanwhile MS-Access has a number of exceptional strengths (a) an (almost)
comprehensive SDK (b) its cheap (c) lots of people have skills in it (no
$1500/day for an MS Access developer) (d) its well integrated with a
spreadsheet, a wordprocessor and its operating system (e) it's context
sensitive help is nothing short of fabulous (f) it has few limitations
with
regard to aggregating aggregates or filtering by aggregates, maintaining
previously calculated data, etc etc. Look I could go on, but I have no
forum to argue my case.

So what is it? Is it the security model of Access? Is it the fear that
IT
will be left holding the undocumented spaghetti-coded baby when the non-IT
developer skips town? Is it just that it's Microsoft, and its cool to
thumb
your nose at Bill Gates? Or is it that IT doesn't like non-IT people
having
access to the VB coding environment which can be used to overcome PC and
possibly Network security? Or is it something else?

I used to be in charge of Oracle DBAs and have been responsible for an
organisation's data management policy. I had nothing against MS Access
then.
So what's the deal?

Regards,
Jeff Popova-Clark
Gold Coast Australia
--
Message posted via AccessMonster.c om
http://www.accessmonster.com/Uwe/For...ccess/200509/1

Nov 13 '05 #3
On Tue, 27 Sep 2005 01:46:33 GMT, "PC Datasheet" <no****@nospam. spam>
wrote:

Uh-oh. Batten down those hatches, folks.

mike
Nov 13 '05 #4

"Jeffrey P via AccessMonster.c om" <u12062@uwe> wrote in message
news:54f7c3eb21 c90@uwe...
Our IT guys are on a vendetta against MS Access (and Lotus Notes but
they've
won that fight). What I can't understand is, what's the problem? Why
does
IT hate MS Access so much.

I have tried to find out who it is that actually wants to get rid of it,
but
I can't find anyone who will admit to trying to get rid of it.
Nevertheless,
I'm always hearing about how their "phasing it out" or "getting rid of
it".
Because no-one owns up I can't even have an open debate about the pros and
cons of MS Access.

It is certainly amazing what disinformation is out there about what
MS-Access
can and can't do. "MS Access clogs up the network". Well yeah... when IT
forces you to install the client of your client server app on the Network
Server it does. How come IT developer's clients can reside on the PC, but
a
non-IT developer's client can't? "MS-Access requires you to download a
copy
of the data before you can create a management report". Well no, we have
a
thing called ODBC. "MS-Access doesn't let you set up views/derived
tables/abstraction layer/ multi-dimensional cubes blah, blah, blah" Well,
actually,... it does! "MS-Access can't publish reports to the web" Wrong!
"You can't upgrade Access 95/97 apps to Access 2000/2003/XP". Bzzzt!
Wrong
again!

Meanwhile MS-Access has a number of exceptional strengths (a) an (almost)
comprehensive SDK (b) its cheap (c) lots of people have skills in it (no
$1500/day for an MS Access developer) (d) its well integrated with a
spreadsheet, a wordprocessor and its operating system (e) it's context
sensitive help is nothing short of fabulous (f) it has few limitations
with
regard to aggregating aggregates or filtering by aggregates, maintaining
previously calculated data, etc etc. Look I could go on, but I have no
forum to argue my case.

So what is it? Is it the security model of Access? Is it the fear that
IT
will be left holding the undocumented spaghetti-coded baby when the non-IT
developer skips town? Is it just that it's Microsoft, and its cool to
thumb
your nose at Bill Gates? Or is it that IT doesn't like non-IT people
having
access to the VB coding environment which can be used to overcome PC and
possibly Network security? Or is it something else?

I used to be in charge of Oracle DBAs and have been responsible for an
organisation's data management policy. I had nothing against MS Access
then.
So what's the deal?

Regards,
Jeff Popova-Clark
Gold Coast Australia
--
Message posted via AccessMonster.c om
http://www.accessmonster.com/Uwe/For...ccess/200509/1

Nov 13 '05 #5
rkc
PC Datasheet wrote:
Jeffrey,

I saw your reference to $1500/Day Access Developers. I have built many
complete applications for less than $1500.


You have a reading comprehension problem.

Nov 13 '05 #6

"rkc" <rk*@rochester. yabba.dabba.do. rr.bomb> wrote in message
news:74******** ***********@twi ster.nyroc.rr.c om...
PC Datasheet wrote:
Jeffrey,

I saw your reference to $1500/Day Access Developers. I have built many
complete applications for less than $1500.


You have a reading comprehension problem.


That, and a penchant for spamming this ng.

Nov 13 '05 #7
I find some IT folks really don't know Access. Keep in mind it is a
desktop db. Not really a server application like Oracle or SQL. Also
notice that a lot of time IT folks are responsible for IT applications.
Access brings a lot of power to the hands of the users.

Nov 13 '05 #8
> I used to be in charge of Oracle DBAs and have been responsible for an
organisation's data management policy. I had nothing against MS Access
then.
So what's the deal?


I think it's more of a control thing than the merits of Access. No one
wants to be responsible for something they have no control over. I remember
working for a mutual fund where we had to decipher a poorly-written Access
2.0 app with macros from hell. The pain and suffering of that kind of thing
results in company policy that forbids installation of Access on any
desktop.

Because VBA is easy to learn and Access has a built-in IDE, the department
that needs the solution (as opposed to the IT department) can have control
over the application - and avoid lengthy meetings, written requirements and
all the red tape and arguments over what the app should and should not do.

I finished a project in August for a company where the IT department hated
Access. My partner would go in and listen to the user's needs, let them
wave their arms, mumble a few things and then come to me with some vague
ideas about what they wanted. I ginned it up in a couple of days. The
customer was impressed with the ease of doing business with us - no project
plan, no written requirements, no formal meetings. I ended up writing
several iterations (each one wildly different from the last) because they
never really knew what they wanted. This was a good example of XP more than
the advantages of Access. But the RAD capabilities of Access allowed us to
deliver. If I was better acquainted with .NET I could have (perhaps would
have) written it in C# - and gotten the same contempt from the IT
department.
Nov 13 '05 #9
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 20:45:24 -0700, "deko" <de**@nospam.co m> wrote:

....
I finished a project in August for a company where the IT department hated
Access. My partner would go in and listen to the user's needs, let them
wave their arms, mumble a few things and then come to me with some vague
ideas about what they wanted. I ginned it up in a couple of days. The
customer was impressed with the ease of doing business with us - no project
plan, no written requirements, no formal meetings. I ended up writing
several iterations (each one wildly different from the last) because they
never really knew what they wanted. This was a good example of XP more than
the advantages of Access. But the RAD capabilities of Access allowed us to
deliver. If I was better acquainted with .NET I could have (perhaps would
have) written it in C# - and gotten the same contempt from the IT
department.


Note that if you are doing a good job with the XP process, when you're done
with an iteration, the customer does have a written set of requirements for
the product that evolved. The requirements are in the form of "Acceptance
Tests". Later, if someone needs to know what the code is supposed to do
before trying to fix a bug or change the "spec", they can start by looking
there.

Some handy tricks for simulating users from code in Access:
- To simulate user data entry in a control with events firing, move the focus
to the control, and update the control's .Text property.
- To handle message boxes in automated tests, write your own public MsgBox
function to override the built-in function, or just always call a custom
notification procedure such as AppMsgBox instead of using the built-in
function. You can use global variables to pre-set responses to dialogs right
before the actino that should bring them up, etc.

Nov 13 '05 #10

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