I suggest you ...

Improve Access programmability

There are many new technologies available that Access cannot take full advantage of because it's either in .NET or requires JavaScript.

Excel has a JavaScript API being developed and expanding. Using JavaScript would allow for richer integration between desktop and web apps where appropriate.

On the other hand, native access to .NET framework would provide access to many other components that Access can leverage for automation.

What we can't do is just stay behind in COM world - COM ecosystem is shrinking and we need a solid integration support especially when our Access application only requires a small part to be in .NET (or JavaScript for web services) to complete the business requirements but does not have budget or manpower to go full-blown .NET application.

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    B. Clothier shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    11 comments

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      • Bodo Greiner commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        With ComVisible attribute set to true, I can use .NET assemblies inside Access. But that's not possible if the assembly contains a .config-file. This limitation should be fixed somehow as many .NET Projects require a web.config or App.config file.

      • Mark Jaskula commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Perhaps allow a .Net project to be associated with MS Access that can be developed using Visual Studio and all it's riches (integrate it all). For example, when adding new code say for a "Before Update" event on a form, allow it to code in .NET, to which Access would setup the necessary function/sub framework in the .Net Project to get it going.

        Imagine having Entity Framework support in your code.
        Imagine having a clear future proofed upgrade path of your code as well as well as supporting legacy code.
        Imagine making MS Access the premier RAD environment again.
        Imagine publishing a MS Access Project to the web with custom code, which would possible if it were all written in .NET.

      • RaymondC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would love to see Access become a modern RAD environment for small business applications—which I believe is the main way people use Access.

        For me, that would mean native .NET support and even WPF! I certainly would not suggest getting rid of support for existing VBA forms but if WPF could exist alongside then developers could make a gradual transition if they chose to.

      • Transimpex commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is really, really an absolute essential point if Microsoft wants Access to remain a relevant RAD Developer Platform in the future.

        A good example for the shrinking COM Ecosystem is the deplorable Discontinuation of MS MapPoint. We use it heavily among other things for routing calculation, optimization, visualization and vehicle tracking. It’s a very good Win32 Desktop Program that adds significant value to our Access Solutions because it can completely be automated from Access with VBA and and vice versa.

        Nowadays in the cloud first era this seems to be an obsolete concept. Microsoft recommends the Bing Maps APIs as MapPoint replacement but you can’t use it from Access because modern technologies as JavaScript or WPF/.NET-Controls are not supported. The only way of using Bing Maps from Access is via REST Webservices which has its limitations.

        So YES – we can't just stay behind in COM world!

      • Adrian Bell (MVP) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm not sure I follow that. Are you saying that you consider anything outside of your preferred area to be legacy, in spite of it being under continued development?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Access needs to move with the times, and have .net and SQL express etc as it's core. Without them I tend to consider it a legacy platform, despite the new versions.

      • Giorgio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        And JavaScript is also object-oriented so the old debate about Access VBA not being fully object-oriented would be put to rest

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