Microsoft Access consultancy and software development
Microsoft Access allows you to create systems for a small number of users, which can then be easily migrated to SQL Server as a company grows. Here's an example of a simple Access system:
This is the sort of thing Access does well: simple forms and reports.
In order to learn to use Access effectively, you're going to need to be able to design databases:
A simple Access database - usually they have many more tables than this!
You're also going to have to learn how to link forms and reports using VBA:
Dim Answer As Integer
'ask if you should learn VBA
Answer = MsgBox( _
prompt:="Do I need to learn VBA?", _
Buttons:=vbYesNo + vbDefaultButton1 + vbQuestion, _
'if person said yes ...
If Answer = vbYes Then
MsgBox "The right decision"
MsgBox "You have chosen ... not wisely"
There is a Mickey Mouse programming language in Access called (confusingly) macros, but VBA modules give you much more power.
Why are we telling you all this? Well, virtually everyone who starts using Access underestimates how long it will take them to become proficient (particularly as Access has many foibles). We reckon it took us 5 years to become totally fluent in creating Access databases, and you might like to spare yourself pain and call us in to help you.
Is worth starting to learn Access now since there are so many alternatives out there? I run a payroll company and am currently using software with a copyright that expired in 1999, on a DOS computer that doesn't connect to the internet. Needless to say I don't need the newest, fanciest, database program full of bells and whistles. What I like about Access is that I don't need to connect to outside sources to access my data. I guess my biggest concern is learning the language then having it become obsolete (like DOS) and not being able to find people who know it if I need help (like DOS programmers). I'm just getting the hang of VBA and ONLY thanks to you guys and a lot of hard work!
That's a very good question! I don't know the answer, but will make 3 observations:
- Access is an excellent stand-alone tool in which you can write powerful and easy-to-use databases
- Notwithstanding the above, it takes much longer to become proficient in Access than most people expect
- For some reason, Access seems to be dying in the marketplace (I presume people are going on to web-based systems instead)
We've written countless databases in Access, and our expenses, accounts and web content management system (among others) all still use it, but for new applications I would probably consider putting things on our Intranet, which I suppose is typical.