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Thread: Starting from Scratch (2007)
2008-03-29, 22:50 #1
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Starting from Scratch (2007)
I'm sort of advising a friend with system matters as he switches his LOB app from a Paradox-based antique to one written in Access 07 macros and VBA. It's a vertical sort-of-ledger program, with a considerable PO/invoicing/client/contact capability. It deals with images lots (linked jpgs).
I'm a total VBA putz, and not much better with VB6. I've used nothing later in the VB or VC family. I don't think I've even been a user of Access since v2. There'll be consultants for that, and a support contract, but I'd like to be just a bit less ignorant. The database will be server-based on SBServer 2003R1. There will never be more than seven users, no remote access for now, and no more than three bodies hitting the database simultaneously, so I'm not worried much about performance. The files will be large, though - there are 2000 clients (~50 active currently), and 250MB of data to import. Most of this is pictures, which will NOT be auto-imported from Paradox. No idea of what the final size of all the tables will be.
Some system questions:
The vendor calls for the same patches disabling "opportunistic locks" that the Paradox db needed. Why? Aren't we beyond this sort of stuff, with MS's own product?
I've grabbed a trial version. Yes, I know a tiny db is no indication of performance under load, but I was surprised at a couple of things. I have only Win 2k server here, on a dummy domain I rarely use. On a whim, I tried installing just the sample data, macros and VBA stuff on the server (of course the Access runtime won't install there), doing the same on a workstation, then *renaming* the workstation data dir. I then pointed the workstation install to the server data as a mapped drive and whammo, after giving a demo pw, up came the data - all tables! I didn't even join the domain! The XP machine was still configured as a peer in my normal workgroup. How can this work?
This app *requires* one full install of Office 07 - pro I guess, since Access is needed. - just to let a consultant do mods and changes. There will be a culture shock as they get used to Word and Excel 07. Any tips on keeping both 07 and either XP or 03 installed on a machine without conflicts? Can I buy an upgrade 07, and use the OEM 03 or XP install/CD for validation? Any recommended third-party gizmo to add 03-style menus back into Word 07, at least temporarily? A component of Office 07 is going to be doing the spellcheck in the new app - I gather the same gizmo spellchecks Word and Excel 07. True?
Since we're going to need only one Office 07 to start with, I presume the "real" app also uses Access Runtime. Can you tell me anthing about that? Does it still use Jet?
And how does one get something approximating a data dictionary on an Access 07 database? How does one compact and reindex it? How does one tell which parts of the custom code are compiled/proprietary, and which are exposed for changes?
Anyone know a good starter Access book?
That's enough for now. Many thanks in advance,
2008-03-29, 23:17 #2
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- Mar 2002
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Re: Starting from Scratch (2007)
I don't have Access 2007 myself, so I'll touch on only some of your points.
Opportunistic locking shouldn't be a problem with Access 2007, there's no need to turn it off. See How to keep a Jet 4.0 database in top working condition.
You can install multiple versions of Office on a PC, as long as you install them in oldest -> newest order. (You can only have one version of Outlook though)
You can use an Office XP or Office 2003 CD to validate an upgrade installation, but I don't know if that will allow you to keep the older version.
The Office programs share the same spell check engine.
Access 2007 Runtime is available for free. It is basically the same as the full version, except that the design features have been removed/disabled. See Access 2007 Download: Access Runtime.
Access comes with a Documenter feature that lets you produce a report that documents selected (or all) database objects. You can customize the level of detail.
Compact and Repair is a built-in Access feature (Office | Manage | Compact and Repair).