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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
63 5976
I've worked with teams of as many as 6 developers building large
applications for small numbers of users. With competent project management
there were no problems at all. With incompetence, even 2 developers is 2 too
many. As far as reuseability goes, I can't speak for others, but most of my
code (maybe 75 to 80%) is reuseable.
--
Arvin Meyer, MCP, MVP
Microsoft Access
Free Access downloads:
http://www.datastrat.com
http://www.mvps.org/access

"Cor Ligthert" <no************ @planet.nl> wrote in message
news:Ob******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP12.phx.gbl...
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 #11
Hi,

I disagree with the idea that once you start developing forms in Access, its
difficult to move the backend up to SQL. Depending on how the app is build,
its not very difficult at all to upsize an Access application from using JET
to SQL.

If youre talking about completely moving away from Access front-end
development, yeah, then youd have to rewrite a lot of your code. But its
the same situation if you were to abandon .NET forms as your front end too.
However, one advantage of using .NET approach is you can properly layer your
application so that if you do decide to change the front end, it can be a
lot easier to handle situations where the front-end changes. Access doesnt
easily allow you to structure your projects to promote reuse. But in a
smaller, ad-hoc database project its probably fastest to develop.

My biggest hassle with Access development involve handling deployments of
front-end and Office versioning issues. As far as how easy it is to do
reports, look into Sql Reporting Services, it can import existing Access
reports. Its pretty easy to use (dont know about labels tho). But theres
nothing stopping you from building your database app using .NET, and having
an Access db solely for queries/reports/labels.

I think anyone who would use Access/JET as backend DB engine for multiuser
app in business setting has to be stopped ASAP. I read recently that
electronic voting machines used JET, and almost fell out of my chair...

HTH,
Premier JiangZemin

"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

*************** *************** *************** **
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 #12
"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.
I have seen them in the ridiculous range too, and they run fine if well
designed. I had a client several years ago that experienced her first
corruption of one of the 80 Access 2.0 databases she had hung off a single
front end. Once I fixed it she went happily on. Size: 30GB
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.
As I said elsewhere, I've worked with a team of 6. I know of other
developers that use Source-safe, but I've never found it necessary.
3. Access creates monolithic applications, which means there is little
flexibility in distributing the work as your company grows.


I've not had any problems, my databases are distributed by the server. As a
user logs on he gets the front-ends he needs.
--
Arvin Meyer, MCP, MVP
Microsoft Access
Free Access downloads:
http://www.datastrat.com
http://www.mvps.org/access
Jul 21 '05 #13
You wrote:
<q>
I think anyone who would use Access/JET as backend DB engine for multiuser
app in business setting has to be stopped ASAP. I read recently that
electronic voting machines used JET, and almost fell out of my chair...
</q>

Why?

Susan

"JiangZemin " <fo*********@ex ample.com> wrote in message
news:uR******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP12.phx.gbl...
Hi,

I disagree with the idea that once you start developing forms in Access,
its
difficult to move the backend up to SQL. Depending on how the app is
build,
its not very difficult at all to upsize an Access application from using
JET
to SQL.

If youre talking about completely moving away from Access front-end
development, yeah, then youd have to rewrite a lot of your code. But its
the same situation if you were to abandon .NET forms as your front end
too.
However, one advantage of using .NET approach is you can properly layer
your
application so that if you do decide to change the front end, it can be a
lot easier to handle situations where the front-end changes. Access
doesnt
easily allow you to structure your projects to promote reuse. But in a
smaller, ad-hoc database project its probably fastest to develop.

My biggest hassle with Access development involve handling deployments of
front-end and Office versioning issues. As far as how easy it is to do
reports, look into Sql Reporting Services, it can import existing Access
reports. Its pretty easy to use (dont know about labels tho). But
theres
nothing stopping you from building your database app using .NET, and
having
an Access db solely for queries/reports/labels.

I think anyone who would use Access/JET as backend DB engine for multiuser
app in business setting has to be stopped ASAP. I read recently that
electronic voting machines used JET, and almost fell out of my chair...

HTH,
Premier JiangZemin

"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

*************** *************** *************** **
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 #14
Here's my recommendation. Everybody who has participated in this thread
except for Greg should be using Access,
and understand that Access development is not programming. It uses VBA,
which is a macro language, not a real programming language, with all the
capabilities and complexities that real programming entails. Access has its
place - Microsoft Office. It's an office application, for office
users/devlopers. It was developed specifically with office users/developers
in mind, and is nearly perfect for such users/developers.

While Greg's estimation of Access's limitations was somewhat out-of-date (I
can remember when 50MB was the limit), he is essentially correct in all that
he has said. There are certainly places where an Access database can be used
to great efficacy in a LAN or Desktop application. There is no licensing fee
for an .mdb file, which can be distributed legally with the app. The Jet
engine is fast and clean. but it does have limitations that are based upon
the intended use of Access, which is NOT for Internet databases, or
databases which require a large concurrent number of users.

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
..Net Developer
What You Seek Is What You Get.

"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

*************** *************** *************** **
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 #15

"Kevin Spencer" <ke***@DIESPAMM ERSDIEtakempis. com> wrote in message
news:%2******** ********@TK2MSF TNGP10.phx.gbl. ..
Here's my recommendation. Everybody who has participated in this thread
except for Greg should be using Access,
and understand that Access development is not programming. It uses VBA,
which is a macro language, not a real programming language, with all the
capabilities and complexities that real programming entails. Access has its place - Microsoft Office. It's an office application, for office
users/devlopers. It was developed specifically with office users/developers in mind, and is nearly perfect for such users/developers.

While Greg's estimation of Access's limitations was somewhat out-of-date (I can remember when 50MB was the limit), he is essentially correct in all that he has said. There are certainly places where an Access database can be used to great efficacy in a LAN or Desktop application. There is no licensing fee for an .mdb file, which can be distributed legally with the app. The Jet
engine is fast and clean. but it does have limitations that are based upon
the intended use of Access, which is NOT for Internet databases, or
databases which require a large concurrent number of users.

--
HTH,

Kevin Spencer
Microsoft MVP
.Net Developer
What You Seek Is What You Get.


You'd have thought that an MVP, of any flavour, would be above trolling
newsgroups. Hey ho, you live and learn.
Jul 21 '05 #16

"JiangZemin " <fo*********@ex ample.com> wrote in message
news:uR******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP12.phx.gbl...
I think anyone who would use Access/JET as backend DB engine for multiuser
app in business setting has to be stopped ASAP.


That's going to come as a big surprise for those millions of competent and
knowledgeable people worldwide who are happily doing exactly that.

As with any endeavour, you need to know what you are doing. You need to
know how to design your application and it's environment to minimise the
potential problems. You need to understand that some risks will remain, and
you need to decide whether they are acceptable for your application.
Multiple intra-day backups are quite possible, so that the risk of data loss
through database corruption can be reduced to a very short time span indeed.
Security is a big issue: it's not good enough in Access, so if that's a
problem for you, then use a server backend.

I'm astonished at the number of people prepared to pontificate here about
the limitations of Access when clearly they don't know the first thing about
it.
Jul 21 '05 #17
Kevin,
Here's my recommendation. Everybody who has participated in this thread
except for Greg should be using Access,
What do you mean with that sentence above? Do you mean that Greg is not
allowed to give comments?
and understand that Access development is not programming. It uses VBA,
which is a macro language, not a real programming language, with all the
capabilities and complexities that real programming entails.


This give me the idea that you probably never made an ASP page?

I can assure you that using VBS is the same programming or whatever other
kind of programming (In my opinion is VBA not that different from VBS, it
has some additions)..

This discussion goes the same as we have seen in a discussion a month ago
about Delphi and .Net programming. We see people stating things who probably
have forever only used one of both.

Access is a widely and too full statifaction used development tool. I have
not used it enough to give any comment on it what is "better".

In my opinion will it depend on the situation where it has to be used and
the knowledge of the ones who use the tools.

Just my thought,

Cor
Jul 21 '05 #18
Jerome wrote:
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!

Thanks everybody for the information! Even though the debate got a
little heated it seems ...

I'm still not entirely sure but I think I'll stay with Access as a
front-end to my SQL Server DB since it has so many useful report and
label wizards (which are a pain to emulate in Visual Studio?).

I'd thought about Visual Studio because I had to code some ASP.NET web
pages and thought that if the data connection is the same in Visual
Studio I could use that new-gained knowledge and 'be free' of Access and
its version 'problem' since I would be creating independent applications.

Hm, I'm gonna read some more first about Visual Studio and where it
really fits in!

Thanks again.
Jul 21 '05 #19
Hi, let me clarify what i mean by "multiuser" , i mean several dozen
concurrent users and up. This assumes that the Access application is
designed correctly of course. Which i think maybe the root of a lot of
conflicting opinions here. Even more than .NET development, theres a very
wide range of skill among Access developers. Just as an inexperienced
ASP.NET programmer might build a horrible web application and then blame
ASP.NET itself for its failings, the same thing is even more prone to happen
in Access, precisely because its so easy to slap together a form that can do
something useful. Unfortunately this leads to a lot of terribly designed
Access apps which many of us have had to deal with, because the guy in
Accounting who put this neat database together probably didnt care too much
about relational table design, security, handling ongoing deployments, code
reuse, backups, transactions, or concurrency.

In other words it probably takes as much skill and effort to build a
properly designed Access application as it does a properly designed .NET
application. In fact it might be easier to write a .NET/SQL application
which includes those items just mentioned, except for Access experts who have
learned how to address those issues. The problem is one of perception
because with Access its so much easier to build horrible database
applications that seem to work, and thus there are a lot more of them around.

JMHO,
idi_amin/Premier JiangZemin
-.NET guy who uses Access all the time, enduring the laughter of Oracle and
SQL DBAs

"SusanV" wrote:
You wrote:
<q>
I think anyone who would use Access/JET as backend DB engine for multiuser
app in business setting has to be stopped ASAP. I read recently that
electronic voting machines used JET, and almost fell out of my chair...
</q>

Why?

Susan

"JiangZemin " <fo*********@ex ample.com> wrote in message
news:uR******** ******@TK2MSFTN GP12.phx.gbl...
Hi,

I disagree with the idea that once you start developing forms in Access,
its
difficult to move the backend up to SQL. Depending on how the app is
build,
its not very difficult at all to upsize an Access application from using
JET
to SQL.

If youre talking about completely moving away from Access front-end
development, yeah, then youd have to rewrite a lot of your code. But its
the same situation if you were to abandon .NET forms as your front end
too.
However, one advantage of using .NET approach is you can properly layer
your
application so that if you do decide to change the front end, it can be a
lot easier to handle situations where the front-end changes. Access
doesnt
easily allow you to structure your projects to promote reuse. But in a
smaller, ad-hoc database project its probably fastest to develop.

My biggest hassle with Access development involve handling deployments of
front-end and Office versioning issues. As far as how easy it is to do
reports, look into Sql Reporting Services, it can import existing Access
reports. Its pretty easy to use (dont know about labels tho). But
theres
nothing stopping you from building your database app using .NET, and
having
an Access db solely for queries/reports/labels.

I think anyone who would use Access/JET as backend DB engine for multiuser
app in business setting has to be stopped ASAP. I read recently that
electronic voting machines used JET, and almost fell out of my chair...

HTH,
Premier JiangZemin

"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

*************** *************** *************** **
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 #20

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