Turing's Man Blog

MS Access vs LightSwitch vs Visual Studio. Comparison

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It's not a secret I like MS Access – at least from version 2003 (however, initially I was forced to work with 97 version in college). I've even developed quite a complex database application (Data Center Physical Infrastructure Manager - presented on Datacenter Dynamics Converged 2012 Warsaw), at least partially based on MS Access (2003, 2007 and now 2010), so I know its pros and cons. This is a great tool for data manipulation, application prototyping and development of in-house, departmental or SMBs' database applications. There are many examples where MS Access application evolved to a professional system (based on quite different technologies) or is still… MS Access based, however has grown over the time to a very important piece of software. Therefore, with all this being said – we are now ready to compare the following products: Microsoft Access, Visual Studio LightSwitch and Visual Studio platforms – from the scope of database developer. I've found a great material recently…

… However, before the actual comparison, let me tell you what I don't like about MS Access: the fact that so many developers don't know MS Access and cannot understand where it can be applied professionally with success. Maybe – this is a challenge for Microsoft's marketing department? Who knows? The result is that all those, not very experienced, developers are making too much "bad press" around MS Access as a product by claims like: "it's not stable", "it's slow", "it's buggy", "it's a toy", "it's for amateurs" or "it's too simple", "it's not ready for enterprise deployment"… Come on? What's the problem?

Engineers don't value the tools – a hammer is great, same like a screwdriver and a welding machine. The key is to understand the purpose of a tool and our target. Hence, the requirements behind an actual application. So, I'm always embarrassed reading all these statements on professional forums, like: "don't' use MS Access, go with MySQL" (well – it's like: "don't' drive your car, go with a plane") or "always do it in C#" ("eat meat only"). Mostly, these recommendations are pointless and rarely funny.

In my personal opinion MS Access is a great tool – not only when it comes to data manipulation (taken from multiple data sources), but also when we have to rapidly (in an old-good RAD fashion) prototype or develop a database application. It just has it all: ODBC support, SQL, VBA, reports, forms, queries, Sharepoint integration etc. We just have to learn the basics of MS Access and understand where it can be placed among other available database development technologies.

To help us learn about other opportunities when it comes to database development, as well as to present current MS Access capabilities, I can strongly recommend the following material, titled: "Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers", written by Luke Chung, President and Founder of FMS, Inc. (software company since 1986, being involved in MS Access development since its beginnings).

Impressed? I am.



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0 #4 Theodor Weidmann 2015-01-12 14:32
Hello turingsman,
I am an Access developer in Germany, Berlin. I just found your blog. Thank you for your articles.
Here Karl Donaubauer (www.donkarl.com) is gathering access developers to support Access in Microsoft.
Hope to hear from you
+1 #3 Alkis 2014-03-20 13:35
I couldn't agree with you more. Their
problem (those who have a problem with Access) is that they don't know what it can do. Basically everything that Visual Studio can do when it comes to databases.
-3 #2 Turingsman 2014-01-06 22:36
Depends what you're looking for. This is a personal blog post - a link to actual comparison by Luke Chung is at the end of this post.

What title do you suggest would be better?
+4 #1 Zack 2013-12-30 00:23
Misleading Title

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