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Chapter 20. Exploring Access Data Projec... > In the Real World—Strategic Database...

In the Real World—Strategic Database Schizophrenia

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 ZD Net’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 early desktop database competitors, such as dBASE, FoxPro, Clipper, and Paradox. 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 most competitive desktop RDBMSs.

Access 2003’s improved user interface for designing SQL Server database objects, and 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. The obvious problem with views over linked tables is their lack of updatability in Datasheet view. Forms bound to SQL Server with Jet linked-table views remain read-only. The first page of the Link Table Wizard states: “A Linked Server provides the most functionality, including data updates if the OLE DB data source allows....” Microsoft’s failure to correct this defect in Access 2003 is difficult to fathom.


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