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Chapter 30. Understanding Universal Data... > Gaining a Perspective on Microsoft D...

Gaining a Perspective on Microsoft Data Access Components

Integrated data management is the key to Access’s success in the desktop RDBMS and client/server front-end market. Access and its wizards let you create basic data-bound forms, reports, and pages with minimal effort and little or no VBA programming. Linked tables provide dynamic access to a wide range of data sources. As your Access applications grow larger and more complex, automation with VBA code in class and public modules becomes essential. When networked Access applications gain more users, performance may suffer as a result of Jet record-locking issues or multiple connections to client/server back ends. Decreasing performance with increasing user load is a symptom of lack of scalability. Achieving scalability requires VBA code to manage your application’s database connections. This advanced chapter shows you how to write the VBA code that’s required to improve the scalability of Access front ends. You also learn how to use the Stream object to generate XML data documents from SQL Server 2000’s FOR XML AUTO queries.

Access 2003 continues Microsoft’s emphasis on “Universal Data Access” for VBA and Visual Basic 6.0 programmers. Microsoft wants Access developers to abandon Jet’s Data Access Objects (DAO), Access 97’s ODBCDirect, and the venerable Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) Application Programming Interface (API) in favor of a collection of Component Object Model (COM) interfaces called OLE DB and ActiveX Data Objects (ADO). To encourage Access power users and developers to adopt OLE DB and ADO, all traditional Microsoft database technologies (referred to by Microsoft as downlevel or legacy, synonyms for “obsolete”) are destined for maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is a technological purgatory in which Microsoft fixes only the worst bugs and upgrades occur infrequently, if ever. In 1999, OLE DB, ADO, and, for Jet programmers, ActiveX Data Object Extensions (ADOX), became Microsoft’s mainstream data access technologies.


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