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Chapter 20. Exploring Access Data Projec... > In the Real World—ADP Close In on Je...

In the Real World—ADP Close In on Jet's Ease of Use

Microsoft has invested a substantial amount of developer time and energy in making the transition from Jet to SQL Server more palatable to Access users and developers. Computer press columnists—especially ZDNet's David Coursey—have derided Access as difficult to use. The simpler alternatives these pundits propose are flat-file managers, not RDBMSs. Designing and managing a relational database for business or even personal use isn't a simple task, but Access's success is in no small part due to the fact that it was easier to use than its RDBMS competitors, such as Paradox and dBASE. Wizards made tasks like creating basic forms and reports a relatively simple process. Of course, inclusion in the Microsoft Office Professional suite was another major factor in the demise of competitive desktop RDBMSs.

Access 2002's improved user interface for designing SQL Server database objects, easy addition of parameters to functions and stored procedures bring ADP close to parity with Jet's Table and Query Design views. The Link Table Wizard makes connecting SQL Server to other OLE DB-enabled data sources easier than using ODBC and Jet. Whether Office Data Connector files represent a substantial improvement over ODBC's data source files remains to be seen. Be sure to check performance of views against large tables in linked databases before you commit to the linked servers approach. The ability to view .odc files in a browser is interesting—but not critical—to developing data-bound Office applications.


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