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The Access team wants to learn more about who reads our blog, perceptions of Access in your organization, and what new features people would find valuable. We would appreciate it if you help us out by taking this short 12 question survey.
Yes to all the above comments the Questions were not geared to the developer/consultant. I really do wonder if you take notice of who reads this blog. We are ALL developers that based our lives on Access Development yet, you have ignored us for YEARS! come on throw us a life line with Access 14 PLEASE!!!!!!
You all are right. The survey wasn't designed for developers and consultants. I think we have a pretty good idea of what that group wants from 2 years of participation in this blog. The survey was intended to help us understand how Access is perceived by IT organizations and provide a broad overview of the people that read this blog.
To some of the commenters, once in a while you do see corporate IT or plain-old-user types posting here, but it is rare. The survey succeeded admirably in frustrating most of us, as you can read. Once again, the survey seems to express the undisguised focus of the Access dev team towards corporate IT departments. I reckon it's got to do with the number of copies of Office Pro they hope to sell to those big shops...it does make sense, in a way. I wish MS would make a version for devs and charge us for it. I'd be more than happy to pay more than what visual studio costs for a developer oriented edition of Access. The people that normally post comments on this board would agree on 90% of that version's feature set. I'll quote one part of my survey response to the question re our org's Access policy: "We try to stay away from Access 2007 as much as we can. Only one client has needed a product moved to 2007. Because of ribbon etc we've been successful in discouraging the 'upgrade' to 2007 for the rest of our clients." No, I don't enjoy educating my clients re why the upgrade would be a mistake. But you left me no choice.
Folks--don't read too much into this survey. My intent was mostly to learn more about IT organizations and get a broader sense to who reads this blog--not necessary who comments on it. It isn't a reflection of all the planning work we have done this release.
As a professional MS developer/contractor since 1995 (previously a C programmer), I've had opportunity to work with a great many public/private organisations both large and small (all in Australia). The most apparent things I have observed is that: * Very few users use Access as a personal productivity tool. Almost without fail, they use Excel for that purpose. * The vast bulk of Access 'users', use it simply because the application (programmed by someone else) happens to be written in Access. In fact, it would be safe to say that most Access 'users' aren't really aware they are using Access at all, but rather think in terms of the application itself. * In most cases, such Access applications are written/maintained in-house by developers who are not the typical users of the application. * In the large majority of cases, a full copy of Access is installed so that users may use such applications. I see relatively few runtime installations in use. From the above, I have to conclude that it is the need to use *developed applications* that drive the purchase of MS Access licenses by corporations. Although making Access easier to use for the average non-technical user is admirable, the fact is you are still competing with Excel. In the end, most will use Excel because that's what most people are familiar with. The bottom line is that to drive sales of MS Access licenses, you need to appeal to developers/IT Managers who make and deploy and support the apps (that require MS Access licenses) that are used by the company's staff. -Chris
I have to agree with most of the above apart from the runtime aspect - which is far from ideal at present and I am tempted to go back to deploying applications with Access 2000 runtime for speed, stability and reliability (better the devil you know) - Access 2007 full and runtime has close to put me out of business ! In my opinion MS should aim Access 2007 for retail end users and develop Access 2003 into a robust, professional development platform with the suggestions put forward in this and other postings. Garry
Listen chaps (and chapesses) Access 2003 is the last developer version of Access. As to the use of the runtime 99% of my users have the runtime installed and only the admin people have a full copy of Access installed. Most of my users do not know or care about Access they only care about their business applications. The 2007 runtime tagline "Powered by Microsoft Access" is not a price worth paying never mind the braindead Ribbon. Access 2007 is for amateur corporate twiddlers and now the blog is heading that way too, makes sense.
Agree with you, Craig.
I think that end users will never visit the blog.
I have many doubts regarding the future of MS Access. So, I downloaded trial versions of Filemaker and Alpha Five . Both have excellent features, specially Alpha Five, regarding web application development and are easier in implementation for workgroups – no need of FMS addons.... But Access 2003 is simply the BEST regarding desktop form and report design. Web implementation is in my opinion the top most priority for the next version of Access. As MS Access looks like moving towards costly MOSS integration I will have to look elsewhere. Whatever we say now, I believe that 95% of Access 14 is done. Best regards. Sam Caro
Working for a fortune 300 corporation is not mutually exclusive to being a "developer". The corporate IT developer (me) does have the benefit of a more stable environment but I the goal of delivering compelling, stable runtime applications with a clear business value is no different.
ClintC: 1- Can you give us the results/conclusions of the survey ? Just curiosity...
2- When will Beta version of Access 14 be available? Sam Caro.
Sorry to disappoint everyone who says the blog is just for Devs, but I am not a professional developer. I work as an analyst (Not in IT) for a large healthcare company. I am the "departmental power user" or "guru" term that you hear thrown around from time to time. In addition to my regular reporting and data analysis duties, I develop multiuser networked FE/BE apps to support both my own as well as other departments within our company.
I felt many of the questions from the questionnaire were relevant to me. I generally try to get my work done with as little IT involvement as I can manage. Usually I just have to get a user list for a new Access app and then have IT create a private shared folder so I have a secure place to locate everything. Our company does not "officially" support Access but there are folks whom I can reach out to for unofficial help. After that it's UtterAccess.com ; ). For my own wish list, I would like to be able to more easily send & receive data from the web.....we have multiple departments here internally that deal with external vendors and consequently we have lots of spreadsheets flying around....you know, the multiple versions of the truth thing ? What I've been able to do when asked is to build databases that are able to function as a single point of reference for data for multiple departments internally....get everyone on the same page. However, we/I still have to deal with blending in data that we receive from external vendors. Right now I to set myself up to receive data, either weekly or monthly, in a manner where I can easily blend it with our own internal data. It would be nice to be able to port some of my Access tables to a web interface...even if it would only be for external vendors to be able to look up accounts and add notes. I would also just like to say too that some of you folks need to lighten up a bit on both Access and especially Clint C. !!......We're a little over-wound for a Friday aren't we ?
One final point.....Access does not belong exclusively to developers....it belongs to the businesses that purchase it as well as the users that use it as well.
More than any other Office or even any Microsoft app, Access's user base has the broadest range of abilities than I can imagine, everyone from the lowly A/P rep keying GL entries into a form in a DB with half a dozen tables to professional developers building enterprise level apps. Microsoft will always be trying to balance the needs of both these target groups as well as folks in between.....like me. Best, J.
Hey Joe, nice to hear your perspective. Send us an email through the contact page we would love to chat more :)
Sam--Office hasn't made any announcements about beta 1--right now the focus is on shipping 07 SP2. I will check about publishing some of the results. Joe--thanks for the comments. We have been referring to people like you lately as the Office Superstar. There are lots of folks out there like you--they send us feedback every day through comments from our template feedback form and user assistant topics. This forum tends to bring out comments from pro devs and people who have built a business/career with Access.