Quit trying to "dummy down" MS Access. That's like trying to make controls on a jet easier for a novice to fly it.
Access is an integrated development platform. I have clients who create Access apps "easily", thinking what they did is the best thing since sliced bread. A developer like me (23 years) has to go in and basically revamp the whole app because they did not follow proper design/development protocols. Work on making Access more stable and powerful, to be used with the rest of the MS Office suite.
Thanks for posting. We have read the post and all comments.
Since this is not a new idea/suggestion per se, and we’ve noted the underlying requests, I’m updating the status to No Current Plan so you can have your votes back.
Kent Gorrell commented
My take on this is that there should be some kind of gentle validation built into Access so, for example, when a novice tries to name a field "Date" they get an informative message as to why they should not. Maybe even a link to a website with a full description of reserved words.
I'm sure we can all come up with dozens of example of things Access allows but shouldn't.
Mark Burns commented
I think you misunderstand the point of this complaint in this particular forum, however.
MS has driven new features for Access off the "Power User" template in recent years then they have driven development/design-goals off of any sort of developer requests, and that is not really an arguable point (if you think otherwise, then I will merely point you to the "improve the References Dialog" requests for a prime example of just how inattentive to developer needs they have been in general - and for how long - I know for certain that issue has been complained about by developers for over 10 years already, because I complained about it that far back myself).
(One of-) the main points of this "request" is basically for them to consider driving their development targets off of DEVELOPER needs for a change. Even though what you said is true in terms of the numerical need for "bad" databases being made so we can fix them and make $$ for doing so, the real point of this is that if developers don't get some love too, then this great product risks becoming less capable even in the hands of skilled developers. If that trend goes too far, even if Access is in skilled hands, how can we fix up the messes that are made by those relatively unskilled hands when the products capabilities have "rusted away" too far?
Chris Naylor commented
I'll offer a contrasting view. IMO, it's unlikely that Microsoft Access would be able to support a vibrant community of developers without the huge base of databases developed by non-professionals. Not only because some of those databases wind up being handed over to professional developers, but more generally because Microsoft would not be as willing to support Access as much without that large installed base. (And besides, the fact that an Access database is bad does not mean it isn't better than the process / spreadsheet it's replacing.)
I think it's important to continue encouraging users to build with Access on the newbie end. It's a huge driver for the more robust type of development professionals hope to encourage. Yes, non-professional developers build non-professional databases. And yes, that gives Access a generally poor reputation with IT and causes problems. But at least Access is well-enough known to have a reputation. To cite no less a source than "Pirates of the Caribbean" on the subject:
Commander Norrington: "You must be the worst pirate I've ever heard of."
Jack Sparrow: "Yes, but you <i>have</i> heard of me."
In short, it's in the professional developer's interest to keep Access visible - even at the costs incurred - if it means that there remains a market for professionally developed products. I might wish that Microsoft spent a little less time catering to the non-professional, but I do hope they continue to try to draw interest by building tools that make it easier to engage with Access.
@Richard ... Agree ! And one of the main reasons IT hates Access :-(
George Hepworth commented
I was in a recent client meeting where we found yet another Excel spreadsheet masquerading as an "Access database". The person who was tasked with managing it was frustrated by how hard it was to use and maintain, so she took an Access class, where she was once again frustrated that the instructor spent most of the class time talking about this weird normalization stuff.
I blame Microsoft for this kind of misunderstanding. You've sold people the idea that it's easy, that you don't have to learn anything new or different, that if you can use Excel you can use Access.
It leads to situations like this one where the very person trying to get help just wants to believe that Access should be a bigger, stronger spreadsheet, with reports.
I agree with this suggestion in spirit, but I think it is too vague and general to be useful as an action item for Microsoft. Can you give some specific, concrete suggestions?
Richard Gray commented
Microsoft has been PUSHING Access as "The database you don't need to be a programmer to use" for years. This has hurt the reputation of a VERY GOOD product and been responsible for a lot of garbage databases created by those that do not have a clue. Leaving the business community with a BAD TASTE in their collective mouths.
Agree. It is more important to spend time on features for developers as opposed to features that make it easier for novices to build bad databases.