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Access or Visual Studio?

Hi, I'm a bit confused ... when would I rather write an database
application using MS Access and Visual Basic and when (and why) would I
rather write it using Visual Studio .Net?

Is it as easy in Visual Studio to create reports and labels as it's in
Access?`

The advantage of VS.net is that not every user needs Access, right? And
that would eliminate the Access version problem as well I guess.

I've both done stuff in Access as well as asp.net

Thanks!
Jul 21 '05 #1
63 5880
"Jerome" <no****@nospam. com> wrote in message
news:ey******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Hi, I'm a bit confused ... when would I rather write an database
application using MS Access and Visual Basic and when (and why) would I
rather write it using Visual Studio .Net?

Is it as easy in Visual Studio to create reports and labels as it's in
Access?`

The advantage of VS.net is that not every user needs Access, right? And
that would eliminate the Access version problem as well I guess.

I've both done stuff in Access as well as asp.net

Thanks!


Access is a vastly superior development platform for database applications:
the cost of development is far lower, and it has wonderful database-centric
features like linked subforms and continuous forms. The only reason to use
anything other than Access to build a database application is if you want it
on the internet, which is something that you just can't do with Access.
Even if you have a large user population or demanding security/resilience
requirements, it's still best to use Access, linked to a sever database
engine such as SQL Server.

If you buy the Office Developer Edition, or whatever Microsoft is calling it
these days, you can freely distribute a run-time version of Access so that
you don't need to buy Access for all your users.
Jul 21 '05 #2
Access should be used as a portible database where large amounts of data is not expected.
SQL Server (Oracle, etc.) should be used for rooted databases where potentially large amounts of data will be used.

VS.NET is not a database. It can connect to an instance of any ODBC database, and I believe that some (maybe all) versions of
VS.NET ship with MSDE version of SQL Server. This is a desktop engine which allows developers to develop database code without
having to purchase full versions of the software.

If your planning on using the database for a website, Access is viable if there will not be large amounts of data, high performance
is not expected in a stressful environment, security roles are not required and the benefits of T-SQL, DTC and Extended Stored Procs
are not required.

Otherwise, think about purchasing a more robust database server.

For the time being, I believe you can use the MSDE version that shipped with VS.NET for development purposes.

Hope it helps.
--
Dave Sexton
dave@www..jwaon line..com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Jerome" <no****@nospam. com> wrote in message news:ey******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Hi, I'm a bit confused ... when would I rather write an database
application using MS Access and Visual Basic and when (and why) would I
rather write it using Visual Studio .Net?

Is it as easy in Visual Studio to create reports and labels as it's in
Access?`

The advantage of VS.net is that not every user needs Access, right? And
that would eliminate the Access version problem as well I guess.

I've both done stuff in Access as well as asp.net

Thanks!

Jul 21 '05 #3
Brian,

Access is a vastly superior development platform for database
applications:
the cost of development is far lower, and it has wonderful
database-centric
features like linked subforms and continuous forms. The only reason to
use
anything other than Access to build a database application is if you want
it
on the internet, which is something that you just can't do with Access.
Even if you have a large user population or demanding security/resilience
requirements, it's still best to use Access, linked to a sever database
engine such as SQL Server.


How large is your team to build simultanisly applications with?

And how you have reusability implemented with that?

Cor
Jul 21 '05 #4
Access is a monolithic approach. There are many good apps written in Access.
But, once you start including forms, queries, etc., it is hard to divorce
yourself from Access and move up to another backend database, like SQL
Server, as you end up rewriting all of your code.

If you opt for an external solution, using Access as the backend only, you
can switch to another database without much pain.

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA

*************** *************** *************** **
Think outside the box!
*************** *************** *************** **
"Jerome" <no****@nospam. com> wrote in message
news:ey******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Hi, I'm a bit confused ... when would I rather write an database
application using MS Access and Visual Basic and when (and why) would I
rather write it using Visual Studio .Net?

Is it as easy in Visual Studio to create reports and labels as it's in
Access?`

The advantage of VS.net is that not every user needs Access, right? And
that would eliminate the Access version problem as well I guess.

I've both done stuff in Access as well as asp.net

Thanks!

Jul 21 '05 #5
I would disagree with you on many points.

1. Access is a horrible platform for large databases. While it can get to a
rather large size, it is a file based DB, which means perf degrades
horribly. I would say 50MB is a good theoretical max, although I have seen
Access DBs in the ridiculous range.

2. Access is great for single developers, but bad for team development. It
is difficult to impossible to get a team working on the same solution,
unless Access is merely a data repository.

3. Access creates monolithic applications, which means there is little
flexibility in distributing the work as your company grows.

Access certainly fits a niche. It has a wonderful designer and allows you to
leverage your work with forms, queries, reports, etc. Much of the work can
be done without a huge amount of code. But, you pay a price, as you lock
yourself into the Access solution. If you later outgrow, you end up
rewriting everything.

I am not knocking Access, as it is a great product, but it definitely has
its limitations. Whether Jerome should use Access or not depends on his
final goal.

Lots of growth - Access as a backend only. Not wise to lock into to Access
forms.
Speed of getting product to market - Access may be the best option, if
Jerome is an Access developer
Application needs to scale - Access as backend, with plans on scaling data
up later (or MSDE from start)

There are other items to consider, of course.

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA

*************** *************** *************** **
Think outside the box!
*************** *************** *************** **
"Brian" <bc**@IHATESPAM clara.co.uk> wrote in message
news:11******** ********@doris. uk.clara.net...
"Jerome" <no****@nospam. com> wrote in message
news:ey******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP09.phx.gbl...
Hi, I'm a bit confused ... when would I rather write an database
application using MS Access and Visual Basic and when (and why) would I
rather write it using Visual Studio .Net?

Is it as easy in Visual Studio to create reports and labels as it's in
Access?`

The advantage of VS.net is that not every user needs Access, right? And
that would eliminate the Access version problem as well I guess.

I've both done stuff in Access as well as asp.net

Thanks!


Access is a vastly superior development platform for database
applications:
the cost of development is far lower, and it has wonderful
database-centric
features like linked subforms and continuous forms. The only reason to
use
anything other than Access to build a database application is if you want
it
on the internet, which is something that you just can't do with Access.
Even if you have a large user population or demanding security/resilience
requirements, it's still best to use Access, linked to a sever database
engine such as SQL Server.

If you buy the Office Developer Edition, or whatever Microsoft is calling
it
these days, you can freely distribute a run-time version of Access so that
you don't need to buy Access for all your users.

Jul 21 '05 #6

"Cowboy (Gregory A. Beamer)" <No************ *@comcast.netNo OSpamM> wrote in
message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
I would disagree with you on many points.

1. Access is a horrible platform for large databases. While it can get to a rather large size, it is a file based DB, which means perf degrades
horribly. I would say 50MB is a good theoretical max, although I have seen
Access DBs in the ridiculous range.

2. Access is great for single developers, but bad for team development. It
is difficult to impossible to get a team working on the same solution,
unless Access is merely a data repository.

3. Access creates monolithic applications, which means there is little
flexibility in distributing the work as your company grows.

Access certainly fits a niche. It has a wonderful designer and allows you to leverage your work with forms, queries, reports, etc. Much of the work can
be done without a huge amount of code. But, you pay a price, as you lock
yourself into the Access solution. If you later outgrow, you end up
rewriting everything.

I am not knocking Access, as it is a great product, but it definitely has
its limitations. Whether Jerome should use Access or not depends on his
final goal.

Lots of growth - Access as a backend only. Not wise to lock into to Access
forms.
Speed of getting product to market - Access may be the best option, if
Jerome is an Access developer
Application needs to scale - Access as backend, with plans on scaling data
up later (or MSDE from start)

There are other items to consider, of course.

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA

*************** *************** *************** **
Think outside the box!
*************** *************** *************** **


1. "it is a file based DB"

You are talking specifically here about Jet databases. What you say is not
correct, I have live Access/Jet applications running just fine for years at
database sizes approaching 1Gb. Not a problem at all, you just need to
design 'em right. What IS ridiculous is your suggestion of a theoretical
maximum of 50Mb, and I cannot imagine what you base such a silly claim on.

Nonetheless, if you do expect to exceed the capabilities of a Jet database
(which is possible in many ways, not just in terms of size e.g. you may have
security/resilience requirements which Jet simply can't meet) then (as I
believe I mentioned) Access makes an excellent client to server database
engines such as SQL Server or Oracle.

2. "Access is great for single developers, but bad for team development.
It
is difficult to impossible to get a team working on the same solution,
unless Access is merely a data repository.

Sorry, you lost me here, it's perfectly straightforward to have different
people working on different front-end areas and then to integrate them.

3. "Access creates monolithic applications, which means there is little
flexibility in distributing the work as your company grows."

You are going to have to explain that one a bit better. Access as a client
to a server database engine is every bit as scalable as any two-tier
client-server architecture using the same database engine. You seem to be
stuck on Jet again.

4. "But, you pay a price, as you lock
yourself into the Access solution. If you later outgrow, you end up
rewriting everything."

See above re Access as a client to server database engines.

5. "I am not knocking Access, as it is a great product, but it definitely
has
its limitations. Whether Jerome should use Access or not depends on his
final goal"

Jet, whilst an excellent product for the right purpose, certainly does have
limitations. Access as a client to a server database engine is limited only
by the server (unless you are big enough to need a three-or-more-tier
architecture, or you are looking to distribute your app across the internet
which I already said Access is no good at).

6. "Not wise to lock into to Access forms."

How is that any less wise than locking in to, say, dotnet Windows Forms?
You've got to build your clients in something, and, as soon as you make that
decision, hey presto, you are locked in.

7. "Speed of getting product to market"

What's your point here? All other things being equal, a database
application will take, quite literally, a fraction of the time to develop in
Access as compared to Windows Forms in dotnet.





Jul 21 '05 #7

"Cowboy (Gregory A. Beamer)" <No************ *@comcast.netNo OSpamM> wrote in
message news:uZ******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Access is a monolithic approach. There are many good apps written in Access. But, once you start including forms, queries, etc., it is hard to divorce
yourself from Access and move up to another backend database, like SQL
Server, as you end up rewriting all of your code.

If you opt for an external solution, using Access as the backend only, you
can switch to another database without much pain.

--
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA


See my other reply, that is just so not true.
Jul 21 '05 #8
"Cowboy (Gregory A. Beamer)" <No************ *@comcast.netNo OSpamM> wrote in
message news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
I would disagree with you on many points.

1. Access is a horrible platform for large databases. While it can get to
a rather large size, it is a file based DB, which means perf degrades
horribly. I would say 50MB is a good theoretical max, although I have seen
Access DBs in the ridiculous range.


Depends upon how you design it. I currently have a client running a split
ACCESS database product over a LAN, where the backend file is almost 100MB,
with up to 15 concurrent users.
--

Ken Snell
<MS ACCESS MVP>
Jul 21 '05 #9
"Cowboy (Gregory A. Beamer)" <No************ *@comcast.netNo OSpamM> wrote in
message news:uZ******** *****@TK2MSFTNG P15.phx.gbl...
Access is a monolithic approach. There are many good apps written in Access. But, once you start including forms, queries, etc., it is hard to divorce
yourself from Access and move up to another backend database, like SQL
Server, as you end up rewriting all of your code.

If you opt for an external solution, using Access as the backend only, you
can switch to another database without much pain.


Not true at all. I have several apps that made the move from Access to
SQL-Server with only a few hours of testing. Some of my apps have required
no code changes at all, others benefited from using some pass-through
queries to stored procedures. Still others were written with adp code and
used SQL-Server views and stored procs directly. Larry Linson, one of the
Access MVPs has worked almost exclusively on Access front-ends to Server
based back-ends. Unless there are a large number of users or a need to use a
web app, there is no reason to ever use anything but Access as a front-end.
Most database apps are small and never need anything but Access as a
back-end either. Anyone who uses anything other than Access to write
thick-client front ends is wasting his time and his client's money. I
suspect that there are some who may argue with this, but they probably
haven't been working for the kind of clients that Access benefits most, nor
do they have significant business process experience to go with their coding
skills.
--
Arvin Meyer, MCP, MVP
Microsoft Access
Free Access downloads:
http://www.datastrat.com
http://www.mvps.org/access
Jul 21 '05 #10

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