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ACT vs Access and VIISTA

P: n/a
I have used nearly every version of ACT for more than 15-years.
Currently have 5,000 records in one database and the program seems
unable to smoothly handle that many. Am starting a new business that
will have perhaps 20,000 records and considering ACCESS (although I
dread the learning curve).

Does anyone have experience comparing the two? Does anyone know how
VISTA will interface w ith each?

Steve Agins
(ag***@aginscom.com)

Jan 4 '07 #1
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27 Replies


P: n/a
I used Act a few times and I seem to recall at least one version used
an Access back end.

Act is pretty complex, but a good programmer should be able to
duplicate its functionality and "customize" it for you. I wouldn't
attempt it yourself unless you know what you're doing.

ag***@aginscom.com wrote:
I have used nearly every version of ACT for more than 15-years.
Currently have 5,000 records in one database and the program seems
unable to smoothly handle that many. Am starting a new business that
will have perhaps 20,000 records and considering ACCESS (although I
dread the learning curve).

Does anyone have experience comparing the two? Does anyone know how
VISTA will interface w ith each?

Steve Agins
(ag***@aginscom.com)
Jan 4 '07 #2

P: n/a
ag***@aginscom.com wrote in
news:11**********************@i15g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com:
I have used nearly every version of ACT for more than 15-years.
Currently have 5,000 records in one database and the program seems
unable to smoothly handle that many. Am starting a new business
that will have perhaps 20,000 records and considering ACCESS
(although I dread the learning curve).

Does anyone have experience comparing the two? Does anyone know
how VISTA will interface w ith each?
ACT is a complete application for contact management with a lot of
good features and integration with its own word processing and
templating system, as well as email and the like.

Access is just a database application development platform. You'd
have to recreate everything that ACT already does.

What is it in ACT that is the problem? The amount of data?

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 4 '07 #3

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On 4 Jan 2007 12:02:40 -0800, "ManningFan" <ma********@gmail.com>
wrote:

I know someone on the Act! development team. The app is decidedly
non-trivial. You could not rewrite it in a year. Nor would you want
to, if you can buy it for $300 or some such.
There is no evidence the average developer can do better than the Act!
team did with regards to number of records and performance.

-Tom.

>I used Act a few times and I seem to recall at least one version used
an Access back end.

Act is pretty complex, but a good programmer should be able to
duplicate its functionality and "customize" it for you. I wouldn't
attempt it yourself unless you know what you're doing.

ag***@aginscom.com wrote:
>I have used nearly every version of ACT for more than 15-years.
Currently have 5,000 records in one database and the program seems
unable to smoothly handle that many. Am starting a new business that
will have perhaps 20,000 records and considering ACCESS (although I
dread the learning curve).

Does anyone have experience comparing the two? Does anyone know how
VISTA will interface w ith each?

Steve Agins
(ag***@aginscom.com)
Jan 5 '07 #4

P: n/a
On 4 Jan 2007 06:19:19 -0800, ag***@aginscom.com wrote:

Your confusing a few things. Vista is an operating system. Act! will
work just fine on it, and you can bet the Act! developers are already
working on a new version that will make it even smoother.

You should not try to rewrite Act! in Access. Act! is a great product
with considerable depth, and you could not rewrite it if you took a
year, maybe not in 5 years. Pay your $300 (or whatever it is
nowadays) and enjoy the product. If you have special requirements,
read up on the Act! SDK.

-Tom.

>I have used nearly every version of ACT for more than 15-years.
Currently have 5,000 records in one database and the program seems
unable to smoothly handle that many. Am starting a new business that
will have perhaps 20,000 records and considering ACCESS (although I
dread the learning curve).

Does anyone have experience comparing the two? Does anyone know how
VISTA will interface w ith each?

Steve Agins
(ag***@aginscom.com)
Jan 5 '07 #5

P: n/a
Tom -
Act! isn't THAT complex. I can, and have, rewritten it to be
business specific and have done so in about 2 months. That includes
testing, adding functionality and re-testing. If it takes you 5 years
to recreate that product, you're best to look for another career.

Tom van Stiphout wrote:
On 4 Jan 2007 06:19:19 -0800, ag***@aginscom.com wrote:

Your confusing a few things. Vista is an operating system. Act! will
work just fine on it, and you can bet the Act! developers are already
working on a new version that will make it even smoother.

You should not try to rewrite Act! in Access. Act! is a great product
with considerable depth, and you could not rewrite it if you took a
year, maybe not in 5 years. Pay your $300 (or whatever it is
nowadays) and enjoy the product. If you have special requirements,
read up on the Act! SDK.

-Tom.
Jan 5 '07 #6

P: n/a
ManningFan wrote:
Tom -
Act! isn't THAT complex. I can, and have, rewritten it to be
business specific and have done so in about 2 months. That includes
testing, adding functionality and re-testing. If it takes you 5 years
to recreate that product, you're best to look for another career.
Over many years, Tom van Stiphout has demonstrated, through his
postings here, a top notch level of expertise in MS-Access and other
technologies which interact with MS-Access.

After a few more years, you may establish the same strength of
reputation but, TTBOMK you have not yet done so. I think the post to
which I am replying is unlikely to help with that.

I expect that applications created by Tom are complete, strong and
efficient. Perhaps that's why he indicates that a long time would be
required to emulate ACT. I do not know, for I do not know ACT. I do
know that I would give his opinion every consideration and that if he
says, "Five years", I am inclined to think, "This will be challenging
and require a lot of work".

Jan 5 '07 #7

P: n/a
Well, I don't know Tom well at all but I do know you have a habit of
stalking my posts, so I'll take what you say with a grain of salt.

All I know is, I've done it and I'll freely admit I'm far from the most
knowledgeable coder here. It's simply a contacts database, and if you
know how to set up your tables properly it's not very difficult to
recreate. I'm currently working on a database for a group of auditors
which is exponentially more complex, and the bulk of it was done in
just about 7 weeks.

Lyle Fairfield wrote:
ManningFan wrote:
Tom -
Act! isn't THAT complex. I can, and have, rewritten it to be
business specific and have done so in about 2 months. That includes
testing, adding functionality and re-testing. If it takes you 5 years
to recreate that product, you're best to look for another career.

Over many years, Tom van Stiphout has demonstrated, through his
postings here, a top notch level of expertise in MS-Access and other
technologies which interact with MS-Access.

After a few more years, you may establish the same strength of
reputation but, TTBOMK you have not yet done so. I think the post to
which I am replying is unlikely to help with that.

I expect that applications created by Tom are complete, strong and
efficient. Perhaps that's why he indicates that a long time would be
required to emulate ACT. I do not know, for I do not know ACT. I do
know that I would give his opinion every consideration and that if he
says, "Five years", I am inclined to think, "This will be challenging
and require a lot of work".
Jan 5 '07 #8

P: n/a
ManningFan wrote:
you have a habit of
stalking my posts
I can't imagine why you feel that way; I've always tried to restrict my
post stalking to those displaying egregious stupidity and/or
misinformation.

Jan 5 '07 #9

P: n/a
So you admit you're a stalker? Nice.

Lyle Fairfield wrote:
>
I can't imagine why you feel that way; I've always tried to restrict my
post stalking to those displaying egregious stupidity and/or
misinformation.
Jan 5 '07 #10

P: n/a
I too have just completed a project for a customer which is essentially
a CRM program, I find it difficult to imagine it taking me a year to do
something like it in MS Access, however I have never used ACT so my
comment must be taken with this in mind.

Using any off the shelf CRM program is your best solution if the
program offers you all the functionality you need, however as in the
case I cited above, the customer required some special features that
were not available in any CRM packages. It was for a charity and it
recorded donations, along with donation frequency for direct debits, it
handled the "customer" requirements whether they wanted the newsletter
in e-mail, word document, Braille etc. it also produced a special
report to reclaim the donation tax content from the tax man.

I mention this as I have spoken to my customer and they have agreed to
let me make this program available to other charities, so if you know
of a charity that is looking for something like this one please put
them in my direction!

BTW, charities (in the UK at least) have access to software such as MS
Acess at very Attractive rates, due to the fact that they are
charities! This makes MS Access a very attractive option for them.

Cheers Tony

Jan 5 '07 #11

P: n/a
Hi Lyle,

I guess you don't realize yet how fast this ManningFan is :
Look at his response here:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp....a5bf72e6?hl=en

Arno R
"Lyle Fairfield" <ly***********@aim.comschreef in bericht news:11**********************@11g2000cwr.googlegro ups.com...
ManningFan wrote:
>Tom -
Act! isn't THAT complex. I can, and have, rewritten it to be
business specific and have done so in about 2 months. That includes
testing, adding functionality and re-testing. If it takes you 5 years
to recreate that product, you're best to look for another career.
Over many years, Tom van Stiphout has demonstrated, through his
postings here, a top notch level of expertise in MS-Access and other
technologies which interact with MS-Access.

After a few more years, you may establish the same strength of
reputation but, TTBOMK you have not yet done so. I think the post to
which I am replying is unlikely to help with that.

I expect that applications created by Tom are complete, strong and
efficient. Perhaps that's why he indicates that a long time would be
required to emulate ACT. I do not know, for I do not know ACT. I do
know that I would give his opinion every consideration and that if he
says, "Five years", I am inclined to think, "This will be challenging
and require a lot of work".
Jan 5 '07 #12

P: n/a
Arno R wrote:
Hi Lyle,

I guess you don't realize yet how fast this ManningFan is :
Look at his response here:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp....a5bf72e6?hl=en

Arno R
Hi Arno

Well, I'm certainly glad I missed that thread (I was camping on the
shore of beautiful Lake Superior at the time) cuz I might have worn my
little stupidity stalking pencil right away on posts like that one!

Jan 5 '07 #13

P: n/a
Arno -
20 apps in 15 years is PATHETICALLY slow. You'ld have to be
re-writing Quicken by yourself (including Internet capability and
expanded online banking) to be that slow. I'm sorry, but the majority
of my apps are complete (including testing and re-writes) in 3 months
or less. I think the longest it has taken me to complete a project was
about 5 months. Maybe I just had better teachers than you.

Go to Download.com and take a look at my NCAA Bracket Manager. I
whipped that one up in about 2 weeks, working only a few hours per
night on it.

Arno R wrote:
Hi Lyle,

I guess you don't realize yet how fast this ManningFan is :
Look at his response here:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp....a5bf72e6?hl=en

Arno R
Jan 5 '07 #14

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.netwrote in
news:do********************************@4ax.com:
I know someone on the Act! development team. The app is decidedly
non-trivial. You could not rewrite it in a year. Nor would you
want to, if you can buy it for $300 or some such.
There is no evidence the average developer can do better than the
Act! team did with regards to number of records and performance.
Well, there are certain features of ACT that are *very* slow with
large numbers of records (certain kinds of very useful
filtering/grouping operations). And there's missing functionality.
Some of it can be added on with Access and the ACT SDK. Some of it
can't.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 5 '07 #15

P: n/a
"Uncle Gizmo" <ma**@tonyhine.co.ukwrote in
news:11**********************@38g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com:
BTW, charities (in the UK at least) have access to software such
as MS Acess at very Attractive rates, due to the fact that they
are charities! This makes MS Access a very attractive option for
them.
Who pays for the massive software development costs?

You could get Access for free and it would still cost far more than
just purchasing ACT at full price.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 5 '07 #16

P: n/a
Believe it or not, some people work for charities for free. I've
donated many hours of coding time myself.

David W. Fenton wrote:
>
Who pays for the massive software development costs?

You could get Access for free and it would still cost far more than
just purchasing ACT at full price.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 5 '07 #17

P: n/a

"Lyle Fairfield" <ly***********@aim.comwrote
I do know that I would give his opinion every consideration
and that if he says, "Five years", I am inclined to think, "This
will be challenging and require a lot of work".
If Tom says, "Five years", I'd be inclined to think that 5 person-years is
what he assumes is a minimum amount of effort that went into the ACT product
to get it to its current level, perhaps less the external design time that
could be avoided by implementing a similar user interface.

It has been around for some time, in several versions, so that would be a
low estimate, I think, of the work that has actually been expended on ACT. I
suspect that ACT's UI and code was not done in a development system as
productive as Access, however.

But, as regards to this thread, sometimes we of the "old school" just have
to shake our heads, shrug our shoulders, and stand in awe of the
productivity of others, like ManningFan, PC Datasheet, and a few others
whose work output is clearly just stunning.

I am envious when I read it. I just wish I could have created more than one
complete, moderately complex database application per day, at my prime of
productivity.

Larry
Jan 6 '07 #18

P: n/a
Larry Linson wrote:
I am envious when I read it. I just wish I could have created more than one
complete, moderately complex database application per day, at my prime of
productivity.

Larry
But would you have had time for all those red-heads?

Jan 6 '07 #19

P: n/a
On 5 Jan 2007 05:53:02 -0800, "ManningFan" <ma********@gmail.com>
wrote:

I just checked back in with my contact. You may not believe it, and
you may well want to contact them with your offer of a rewrite in a
few months, but without going into specifics, 5 man-years was way too
low. This was the version that was rewritten from the ground up in
DotNet.

-Tom.

>Tom -
Act! isn't THAT complex. I can, and have, rewritten it to be
business specific and have done so in about 2 months. That includes
testing, adding functionality and re-testing. If it takes you 5 years
to recreate that product, you're best to look for another career.

Tom van Stiphout wrote:
>On 4 Jan 2007 06:19:19 -0800, ag***@aginscom.com wrote:

Your confusing a few things. Vista is an operating system. Act! will
work just fine on it, and you can bet the Act! developers are already
working on a new version that will make it even smoother.

You should not try to rewrite Act! in Access. Act! is a great product
with considerable depth, and you could not rewrite it if you took a
year, maybe not in 5 years. Pay your $300 (or whatever it is
nowadays) and enjoy the product. If you have special requirements,
read up on the Act! SDK.

-Tom.
Jan 6 '07 #20

P: n/a
As I said earlier, you are far better off using an off the shelf
package, however in some circumstances off the shelf packages do not
offer all the features the customer requires.

I would imagine that is where many people here get their work from, if
everyone could use off the shelf packages, there would be no work for
the bespoke programmers here!

The cost of MS Access for a small Company/Charity is not trivial, as
you need one copy per WorkStation.

As for paying for the development costs, this is a decision for the
management to weigh up considering the benefits of such software, it is
clear from many examples in the world that the software actually saves
money in the long run. Therefore you can reasonably assume that the
development cost is repaid back many times over.
David W. Fenton wrote:
Who pays for the massive software development costs?

You could get Access for free and it would still cost far more than
just purchasing ACT at full price.
Jan 6 '07 #21

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout wrote:
I just checked back in with my contact. You may not believe it, and
you may well want to contact them with your offer of a rewrite in a
few months, but without going into specifics, 5 man-years was way too
low. This was the version that was rewritten from the ground up in
DotNet.
I should imagine the man years that have gone into MS Access far exceed
those that have gone into ACT, and I think that is the point you are
missing. Developing a product like ACT from the ground up is going to
take many years, you have loads of issues to contend with,
compatibility with previous versions would be a headache in itself!

However if you have an existing product (ACT) and you want to provide
similar features in an Application written in a program like MS Access,
you already have a considerable head start, you have ACT to refer to
for inspiration, and you have the benefit that MS Access is designed to
make the production of database applications fairly easy.

The point is you are not recreating ACT, you are just providing similar
functionality, with some added functionality that is not available in
the original product.

Jan 6 '07 #22

P: n/a

"ManningFan" <ma********@gmail.comschreef in bericht news:11**********************@38g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
Arno -
20 apps in 15 years is PATHETICALLY slow. You'ld have to be
re-writing Quicken by yourself (including Internet capability and
expanded online banking) to be that slow. I'm sorry, but the majority
of my apps are complete (including testing and re-writes) in 3 months
or less. I think the longest it has taken me to complete a project was
about 5 months. Maybe I just had better teachers than you.

Go to Download.com and take a look at my NCAA Bracket Manager. I
whipped that one up in about 2 weeks, working only a few hours per
night on it.
Hey FunnyMan,
I guess you are so 'blazing' fast because you don't take the time to read properly ??

It was *not me* claiming to write 20 apps in 15 years...
It was *you* claiming to write 20 apps a month...
Now you are telling a different story... but I guess we still create different app's...

Arno R
Jan 6 '07 #23

P: n/a
"Uncle Gizmo" <ma**@tonyhine.co.ukwrote in
news:11*********************@q40g2000cwq.googlegro ups.com:
I should imagine the man years that have gone into MS Access far
exceed those that have gone into ACT, and I think that is the
point you are missing.
Huh? That's like saying "it's easy to move because the shell of the
house is already built." It completely ignores all the furniture and
painting and buying the appliances and putting in the plumbing and
wiring and heating and so forth.
Developing a product like ACT from the ground up is going to
take many years, you have loads of issues to contend with,
compatibility with previous versions would be a headache in
itself!
And most of what is in ACT that corresponds to what's in Access is
relatively trivial. The hard part is the design of UI and workflow
and the optimization of your data structure to work well in that
context. These are not trivialities and they take a very long time
to develop.

Any experienced developer has heard a client say "I need thus and so
and it should be very easy" and then is not surprised when the
client doesn't hire the developer because the developer says "no,
it's not easy at all and will cost $25K."
However if you have an existing product (ACT) and you want to
provide similar features in an Application written in a program
like MS Access, you already have a considerable head start, you
have ACT to refer to for inspiration, and you have the benefit
that MS Access is designed to make the production of database
applications fairly easy.

The point is you are not recreating ACT, you are just providing
similar functionality, with some added functionality that is not
available in the original product.
You really have no idea what you are talking about.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 6 '07 #24

P: n/a
"Uncle Gizmo" <ma**@tonyhine.co.ukwrote in
news:11**********************@i15g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com:
David W. Fenton wrote:
>Who pays for the massive software development costs?

You could get Access for free and it would still cost far more
than just purchasing ACT at full price.

As I said earlier, you are far better off using an off the shelf
package, however in some circumstances off the shelf packages do
not offer all the features the customer requires.

I would imagine that is where many people here get their work
from, if everyone could use off the shelf packages, there would be
no work for the bespoke programmers here!
I always recommend to potential clients that they *not* engage in
custom software development if they can get by with off-the-shelf
software. See:

http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/custom.htm

and:

http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/credo.htm

You may be surprised at that, but experience tells me that it's much
better for the client and the developer to avoid a custom
development project if they can, because the costs are very high in
terms of developer time and customer time if the project is going to
be successful.
The cost of MS Access for a small Company/Charity is not trivial,
as you need one copy per WorkStation.
That's completely trivial in comparison to the cost of developing
the software. I'm not like some of the people in this newsgroup
who've developed huge applications, but one of my early apps
exceeded $25K in development costs, and a couple of years ago I
billed a client $35K in one year for *revisions* to an existing app
developed by someone else. Another small app that was developed in
1997-98 and has been regularly revised since has cost something on
the order of $10K.

Secondly, an app can be developed to use the Access runtime edition,
which can then be installed on as many workstations as needed,
without additional costs. The developer has to pay for the Access
developer tools, but that's a few hundred dollars.

So, you're just WRONG.
As for paying for the development costs, this is a decision for
the management to weigh up considering the benefits of such
software, it is clear from many examples in the world that the
software actually saves money in the long run. Therefore you can
reasonably assume that the development cost is repaid back many
times over.
There's no question that custom-designed software is not a good
value in many situations. But the question is *when*. For a project
that is basically replicating the functionality of a program like
ACT to be justified, there have to be major pieces of required
functionality that ACT does not provide out of the box, and that
cannot be added to ACT via its developer toolkit. I would suggest
that there are very few such situations, and when they are, what is
being built is something very different from ACT, and ACT was a poor
choice to begin with.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Jan 6 '07 #25

P: n/a
Arno -
Do you TRY to be a douchebag or does it just come naturally to you?

Go re-read the link you posted, which was basically an argument
between some guy who said he took 20 years to write 15 apps, and myself
who said I am more productive. I guess in your infinite wisdom you
were unable to translate that, or properly comprehend it.

Arno R wrote:
>
Hey FunnyMan,
I guess you are so 'blazing' fast because you don't take the time to read properly ??

It was *not me* claiming to write 20 apps in 15 years...
It was *you* claiming to write 20 apps a month...
Now you are telling a different story... but I guess we still create different app's...

Arno R
Jan 6 '07 #26

P: n/a
Hi David,
I am a well aware of the Access runtime edition.

I will leave it at that, as I do not wish to engage with such a rude
person as yourself.

Cheers Tony

Feb 9 '07 #27

P: n/a
"Uncle Gizmo" <ma**@tonyhine.co.ukwrote in
news:11**********************@h3g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com:
I am a well aware of the Access runtime edition.
Then why did you insist more than once that Access apps required
purchasing a copy of Access for each computer?
I will leave it at that, as I do not wish to engage with such a
rude person as yourself.
I wasn't rude -- you were WRONG in what you said. I didn't call you
names, I just told you that you were wrong and then explained
exactly why you were wrong.

If you can't stand being told you're wrong, don't blame it on me!

And if you think it's rude to point out that someone has made
statements that are wrong, then I'm afraid we don't live on the same
planet.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Feb 10 '07 #28

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