Is Microsoft Access a 'proper' database? (1 Viewer)

jdraw

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Rain,
Just to say I agree with Brian --Good to have you back!

I also agree with Buttonmoon, that this and many threads can get pretty dull at times.
As for what makes a database a 'proper' database, a lot depends on the context. If there were only 1 real database, then M$oft wouldn't have versions of Access (JET/ACCDB) or Sql Server), and perhaps Oracle and others wouldn't exist. You can get very academic and theoretical and describe what an ideal data base system should be. But, in a commercial and competitive world, developers/researchers build products to do some part of the "ideal" sufficiently well to make a profit, while being supported cost effectively.

There's an old saying, which can probably be made to fit this thread

If the only tool I have is a hammer, it is surprising how many things look like nails.


If the software we have is Access, ......

How many times have we seen posters come to the forum saying ... I have this database in excel-- well actually it's several Excel spreadsheets and workbooks and has become difficult to maintain and use....? You know, if the only tool I know is Excel, then everything is a spreadsheet application.

I recall early LotusNotes marketing -- whatever the problem, Notes is the answer.
 

RainLover

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Good to have you back Rain.

You are correct to ask the doubters for a definition, no doubt the hierarchical DBS like IMS would cause them to choke on their sushi

Brian
Not fully back and thanks.

Most are saying that we need to write something that will handle the workings of a large company.

What about the middle to little shops. They still need to record their information.

What about the smart guy in a company, and I know one, just one, who's job developed so that in his part time he converts Excel into Access.

He does some lovely things that make reporting easy. Especially end of month stuff.

I think Access is a Database. Not so big that I would like my bank to rely on it as a database. But it is a Database, even though it does no suit some of the big boys.

Cause if that is all it did we would be unemployed.
 

markjguillen

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Excel is a database. it has not relational but it is like the old mainframe files that were a database in the mainframe but were not relational.
Access has the ability to have a very good database querying capabilities then the excel sheet. you use a scripting language called SQL and you get a very robust technique of extracting data very quickly.
The acceess can be a self sustaining mechanism that will facilitate the data and the user interface.
it could also be compiled so the user cant edit the program.
If you need a database for an application that needs more then one client you are better off using other databases that you can host in a server. access is used locally and does not offer good infrastructure for it to be accessed by more then one client (No locks on the tables).
Well you can use MySQL or even the free SQL 2005 Express edition for your project.
It might be even wise to write a web application instead of a traditional windows application with all the technology available.
 

RainLover

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I sometimes wonder if Microsoft developed Access for the young user. Someone with no experience. It fills a big gap.

Just a thought out of the blue. No need to comment.
 

Mike375

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It's excellent for the small business. I have done lots where it has involved replacing Excel.
 

nfk

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No point in having this thread still going, the only unbiased reply was arbitrarily censored by a 'commie' loving moderator under Microsoft's payroll. Possibly over 60 YO.
 

RainLover

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Rain,

Let me know if pictures or a song and dance routine will help explain the concept of databases any better because this thread is pretty dull!
I hope you are better at the song and dance than you are about your knowledge of the words "Database" and "Proper"

You may need it one day to earn a livelihood.

Do you think you could make a video of your song and dance for us to see.

Seriously can you list what you feel is a proper database. Not the big stuff, just something with similar capabilities as Access.
 

nfk

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I hope you are better at the song and dance than you are about your knowledge of the words "Database" and "Proper"

You may need it one day to earn a livelihood.

Do you think you could make a video of your song and dance for us to see.

Seriously can you list what you feel is a proper database. Not the big stuff, just something with similar capabilities as Access.
dBase? If forced to take a pick I'll go for dBase...
 

The_Doc_Man

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Button:
The next time someone tries to promote Access as "easier" or even "cheaper" to use than the alternatives I'd be glad to quote you in support of my point of view, which is that it depends on the competence of the person doing the job and has nothing to do with Access as a product.
I learned the short form of this a long time ago in college: Artificial Intelligence cannot cope with natural stupidity.

Question: Is Access a database? No, it is a database processing tool. We don't have the same level of confusion over whether Word is a document or Excel is a spreadsheet or PowerPoint is a slide show or Outlook is a mail message. I attribute this to simply a careless approach to describing the product.

Let me ask the question another way that might help clarify the situation: Does Access contain enough features that one could base a generic college or trade-school course on databases using Access as the supporting tool? I think there that the answer is a resounding YES.

Access supports:

Tables with multiple fields and multiple data types and with indexes for operation optimization, including synthetic/autoincrement keys, compound keys, and multiple indexes.

Relationships between tables to support relational integrity (and also to support the design code that can read the relationships and act accordingly.)

Queries with SQL compatibility including WHERE and ORDER BY clauses, membership (IN) clauses, sub-queries, and JOIN and UNION operations.

Forms and reports with bound and unbound controls of many different types with events to allow traps and triggers to be tested/executed.

Sequencers (Macros) that allow us to stage multiple elementary operations into a longer command flow.

The ability to code various sequences of procedural language (VBA) instructions as one of the possible elements for events or macros.

The ability to link multiple tables together. The ability to manipulate objects in other formats. The ability to manipulate low-level properties of its own objects.

In summary, if I wanted to teach a course in the care and feeding of a true database (whatever that means), MS Access has all I would ever need. By that standard, Access is a perfectly reasonable tool.

There are some nay-sayers among us, and I have to admit that when MS dropped the older security model I wasn't happy. The new security model doesn't help me one bit. But I will report also that a comment in passing gave the wrong answer. There are a few database-oriented applications at my U.S. Navy site that use Access as the Front-End. I think they use an SQL Server Back-End. But I know that they don't have a problem with the capacity of the database as a whole. The biggest database of that group has well over 200 users who pound on it during the day shift, usually without major issues. So anyone who thinks that Access is "not good enough for government work," please be advised otherwise.
 

ButtonMoon

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I hope you are better at the song and dance than you are about your knowledge of the words "Database" and "Proper"

You may need it one day to earn a livelihood.
I think Doc_Man and others have answered well enough for my satisfaction thank you: Access is not a database. Fortunately I do need to know what a database is in order to do my job. But as we've established before Rain, you don't speak the same language as many other people on here. I begin to wonder if you even try to read what other people are saying.
 

Lightwave

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I love it

Want concurrency just hitch it up to SQL Server

Its old and around because it works - sometimes the good stuff rises to the top :)

I administer a few web applications now and boy do they involve a lot of ceremonial configuration plus you have to do a tremendous amount everytime there's a version upgrade. Plus you have annual fees! We paid 6 figures for one piece of c**** that can't do an update SQL it does a delete and create instead wiping the SQL Server PKID. :eek: with no fix on the horizon.

Why o why if you are all in one building where you have spent a good deal of money on a great network and you already have the software to make perfectly good business applications with your existing staff do CIOs insist on buying outside rented proprietary software. :banghead:

Its not the technology that's important its how good you are with it.
 
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Lightwave

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Rainlover have you tried Access 03 on 2010 yet?

Runs no worries on Win 8.1
I use 03 as my base version as well.
 

CJ_London

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Why o why if you are all in one building where you have spent a good deal of money on a great network and you already have the software to make perfectly good business applications with your existing staff do CIOs insist on buying outside rented proprietary software.
As with cleaning, maintenance, security etc, businesses now have a specialised focus - they are in the business of making/selling widgets, not running an IT department, feeding the staff etc.

It is supposedly cheaper, but more importantly, it is not their problem if something goes wrong (well they now have someone to sue:rolleyes:). In respect of IT/Projects, staff move on and if they don't have a suitable succession policy in place, suddenly the homegrown software is not supported.

I can see where they are coming from, but it does mean companies restrict their ability to differentiate themselves from their competitors and ultimately reduces their ability to react quickly to changing market conditions and leaves innovation to the hands of a relatively small number of suppliers.
 

Lightwave

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I can see where they are coming from, but it does mean companies restrict their ability to differentiate themselves from their competitors and ultimately reduces their ability to react quickly to changing market conditions and leaves innovation to the hands of a relatively small number of suppliers.
I have come to the conclusion that the majority of reasoning usually cited for getting rid of legacy internal systems although superficially plausible is actually wrong.

What they are actually doing is encouraging ignorance of their own systems which is actually a deteriorating circle that as you suggest actually decreases innovation and competitive edge. Ironically the one thing they were trying to guard against.

MS / Google / facebook etc constantly try and developer their own tools.

I think you have to be very careful with off the shelf software it frequently is a poor match for business needs for all but the most standard of processes.

My real problem is not with the replacement of MS Access Systems it's that they replace systems with outside pieces of software which the users have zero control over.
 
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RainLover

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@ Lightwave. Thee original question is "Is Access a Proper Database".

The answer can only be YES.

There are lots of bigger and better systems out there but how one can say that Access is not a Database has got me beat.

I have never used Sql Server and don't intend to. If I really needed something bigger I would use My SQL. It is available on just about every server and it is free. SQL Server is not in both cases.

My work has always been on smallish databases. Access suits my needs.

Cheers.
 

Rabbie

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jdraw

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I read it fine with no issues Win 8.1 with Firefox 39.0.
 

RainLover

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RainLover, I thought this post might be relevant to your problem of someone saying Something Stupid on the Internet.

http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/no-it-s-not-your-opinion-you-re-just-wrong-7611752[/QUOTE]
I wouldn't say that it is a problem. It is just that most of this thread is about the benefits of other Databases.

I thought it was about MS Access. Is it a Database or not.? I went to a seminar in Queensland Australia a few years ago, which was attended by representatives from Microsoft. The question was raised as to which was the largest Database in the world.

The answer although not definitive was Microsoft Outlook. So if Outlook is a Database then so is Access.

Right or wrong this answers the original question. Any discussion on SQL is off the beaten track. I would have a guess that a mere 5% of servers host SQL. On the other hand 95% of servers would host MY SQL.

To get back on track, the question is based around weather or not MS Access is actually a Database. Nothing to do with size, cost etc.

Why can't people read the question and answer that rather than change a question to something they believe they know all about.

Uncle Gizmo, in your post you have me at a loss. I am not sure how you came to the opinion that someone was saying something stupid.

No its not your opinion you’re just wrong This did tickle my funny bone.

Apologies if my post is unclear. It is 2:00 AM and I have taken a dose of pills to kill some pain that I get from time to time.
 
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RainLover

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Rainlover have you tried Access 03 on 2010 yet?

Runs no worries on Win 8.1
I use 03 as my base version as well.
Lightwave,

What is 03 on 2010.

I write in 2003 which will also run in 2007 and to date have not had a problem with 2010.

But then I am semiretired due to health reasons so I don't intend to outlay the cost of something later and then have to learn it.

Recently I was asked to write something for a Mining/Civil engineering company. I ended up declining the offer because I could not guarantee support.
 
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