Deprecate all versions of Access
I would like to suggest to Microsoft an idea that came to me in a dream last night. My dream was a little bit like:
I was sitting in a bench at some park, there was no black people around, Donald Trump probably won the reelection. I was reading the news, "Elon Musk dies on his way to the sun"... For some reason I'm not surprised. All of the sudden I realize I was supposed to go to work because its sunday! I rush to McDonalds... on my way I see a massive screen showing the new capabilities of Access 2079 -"Amazing integration with Office 2007, Incomparable speed on deprecated processors, Almost ready for Hidpi, Still $100 a licence"
I'm in shock, this is not a dream, its a nightmare... this is the future and Access is still around, and MVPs from the 90s manage to put their brains inside machines so they could still scam people with their creations...
Please, deprecate Access, lets not fool each other, the only reason Access is still around is the same reason dBase and Cardbox and other near abandonware products are still around, because theres an old userbase that will rather die than to move into any newer technology and they serve a large number of small businesses in the PAST!
It has to go... think about it as a catastrophic incident, no one wants it to happen but it will happen, and if it happens people will just have to live with it. Just like Sharepoint, just like Silverlight...
Dan Moorehead — PowerAccess commented
Microsoft Access makes database creation *actually accessible* to millions (or far more, especially when combined with the add-in tools and VBA frameworks available for Access). Access is a self-contained, end-to-end solution which includes data entry forms, queries, automation & reports vs. SQL Server, etc, which are just a back-end database which requires coders to develop an ASP.NET web app or other front-end – even just for a single data entry form + report.
Access is also unique in allowing database creation & editing by subject matter experts (like Analysts, Managers & HR) only familiar with Excel, with little-to-no SQL/VBA experience.
Without Access, many projects would be too costly to develop & maintain – with anything but Access costing 10x & taking 10x longer – and would remain massive DB-like 100-sheet Excel workbooks with complex VLookups/formulas and tedious, error-prone manual workflows instead of interactive, automated, normalized, drop-down-entered, validated, centralized data solutions.
Many projects wouldn't be feasible without Access, especially those with frequently changing business rules which require end-user editing of forms, macros, calculation formulas and customizable / ad-hoc reports (which Access "excels" at ;) without needing to hire consultants or bring in IT for every little change.
Especially for smaller businesses, SQL Server, etc. would more trouble than it's worth even just to install, let alone configure (which is beyond most people), setup users, host & admin. With Access, all you have to do is drop a file in a shared folder for a multi-user databases (with 255 simultaneous users, or unlimited with SQL Server backend) or email & open it – with Access included with many of the 1.2+ billion installs of Microsoft Office.
Even many SQL Server developers use Access – for rapid front-end development of forms & reports, as well as prototyping, as you can always easily upscale Access to SQL Server if/when needed (and in many cases it isn't) to reduce cost and accelerate development.
As isladogs points out, Code Politics is a troll, and, as such, should be ignored. Many tools have their niches or use cases, and IMO Access has an incredibly large & critical one. And as wilo points out, maintenance is much easier, often without needing to worry about backwards compatibility.
Though possibly not as glamorous as some alternatives, you will find many businesses with dozens – or thousands, I've seen – of Access databases on their network shares. Nothing, short of Excel, comes close to Access' level of ubiquity – due to it's often being the only cost-effective or feasible solution or alternative to Excel. Having millions familiar with Access (often seen alongside Excel under LinkedIn Skills) and many templates & samples available (CRM, Time & Billing, Vendors, etc.) is also a major advantage.
I believe we will see increasing – not diminishing – use of Microsoft Access over time, especially considering the number of new features & updates we've seen of late with it, which include Modern Charts, new connectors (Salesforce, Dynamics, dBase), Big Int, Dark Themes, ODBC driver & SSMA updates, new template releases (like Northwind), addition to the Office Templates site (https://bit.ly/2D6p2dI) & most Office 2016/365 editions, and Microsoft's renewed interest in Access and responsiveness here and on the MS Tech Community blogs/forums (https://bit.ly/2OvBMf2).
For those who can't wait for many of the requested enhancements or who are interested in simplifying and accelerating Access database, there is also PowerAccess for Microsoft Access (https://PowerAccess.net). PowerAccess extends and modernizes Microsoft Access with new tools and features, with a tools add-in (providing Global Find & Replace, Smart Rename/Delete, CodeGen for VBA/SQL/Data Macros), PowerGit add-in, VBA Framework (providing new runtime features like "Power Query for Access", "Excel Formulas", BI/Analytics/Finance/XLookup/SQL/VBA/Excel functions, User/Row-level Security, Edit Tracking/Undo, Logging, OnAppExit, Automation, Smart IDs, Calculated Tables, Cloud Sync, etc.), Templates, .NET APIs ("VSTO for Access"), and tools for Excel-to-Access (Excel Previous-Row-based Formula-to-SQL) and Access-to-SQL Server/Azure conversion.
I've long been inspired by how Access makes database creation "accessible to the masses" and believe that trend will only continue further, with both Microsoft's renewed interest in Access development and the development of new add-in tools and frameworks for Access.
Kudos to the Microsoft Access development team for all their responsiveness and updates of late! Please, keep the new features coming ;)
What would be that alternative based on newer technology ?
Looks like Code Politics is the same user who posts periodically as nfk at Access World Forums. Still stuck on the same groove I see
Get a life!
I agree with Wilo, Access has a lot of advantages compared to similar products, mainly on the productivity level.
However, even if you stick with Access, you have to change your code every couple years as Microsoft regularly deprecate functionalities (e.g. replication).
Access is still the tool with the highest productivity for middle range Databas-Business Apps.
You need not much time to create a real high value for your customers with Access. There are millions of Business Solutions that work good with Access for many years. You may prefer change every 3 years to the newst Dev Tool and rewrite all your code? Keep on dreaming :-)