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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Access 2003, what can replace it?

    I have Office 2003 Pro, and when looking for something else, saw an announcement to the effect that MS are stopping support for 2003. I have a number of Access databases and would like to update but haven't found a good replacement. Well Office 2007+ might be be at the prices quoted out of my price range. So what would people recommend as an alternative.

    Trouble is I've tried Base from OO/LibreO but it's a completely different way of doing things and Access is so simple - well it is for me as I've used Access since version 2. You may wonder at my handle on the forum (access_mdb). I love Access; its file type is mdb and my initials are - MDB!

    Thanks in anticipation

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    MDB,

    If you are using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in your Access DBs you're pretty much stuck.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  3. #3
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    Well, there's not that much wrong with 2003 - I still prefer it in some situations. And the fact that support will be ended in the near future really means that they won't be issuing any fixes for bugs, but to my knowledge they haven't released any patches for some time. And of course you won't be able to call up the paid support people and get help from them either.

    If you decide you really must upgrade, you might look at Office365 Home Premium - see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/home-premium/. It gets you all of the Access 2013 goodies except for WEB databases, but I suspect that wouldn't be an issue for you. It does run $99.99 per year, but can be used on up to 5 PCs. It's clear that Microsoft is headed toward the subscription model, and that makes the initial pain less, but more costly after 5 years or so. Also, I think you can still buy a stand-alone version of Access 2013 for slightly more than that, but that option may well disappear in a year or two. Hope this is helpful.
    Wendell

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  5. #4
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Thanks gentlemen, it's good to have considered advice. I'll stay with 2003 until (unless) I go to the 365 option (let's see what next price rise will show!). I do use VBA but it's not something I would have to have, though my main use is really for a non-database application (though I run it in Access); I could go to Perl if needed for this one.

    Phew, I don't have to learn new bells and whistles!

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    Two final bits of advice - be sure you have the media for both your OS and your Office 2003 Pro, and check from time to time that the media is still readable. Unfortunately hardware has a habit of dying every so often, and you will need those if you ever have to re-install. AND backup, backup, BACKUP. Image backups are a quick and easy way to go, but also do file backups in case you actually have to re-install on new hardware that isn't exactly like your existing PC.
    Wendell

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    MDB,

    I second Wendell's advice especially on the Image backups. If you're interested here's a good price on Office 2010 Pro with free shipping but only good for a limited time. Pro includes Access. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  8. #7
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Yup, I use Macrium Reflect weekly for images and File History to update in between - the former on a NAS disk, the latter on an USB connected disk. Thanks for the link to the Office Pro, but what's the price in real money?

  9. #8
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    MDB,

    Sorry, I missed the fact that you were across the pond. As my nephew, who married a lovely Brit and lives in Brighton, says when I visit
    "To Avoid the Hurt Don't Convert!" True Enough!
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  10. #9
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    No probs, hence the whistling smiley! Office Pro seems to be about the 380-390 mark - I can't justify that expense. Just one question about the Office 365 - when they say 5 copies per household, can I use the five with family members who no longer live with me? I have three children who live in Denmark, Reading and North London - would they count? I can't find anything that actually defines this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    No probs, hence the whistling smiley! Office Pro seems to be about the 380-390 mark - I can't justify that expense. Just one question about the Office 365 - when they say 5 copies per household, can I use the five with family members who no longer live with me? I have three children who live in Denmark, Reading and North London - would they count? I can't find anything that actually defines this.
    I haven't seen the EULA, so I don't know if they actually use the term household there. If they do, that may be, technically, a violation of the EULA.
    On the other hand if it's your children, it doesn't sound like a serious breach. I guess you could always contact Microsoft's support and ask.
    Rui
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  12. #11
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    MDB,

    I really don't know about that limitation. However, I have Amazon Prime which allows sharing with 4 family members and it works just fine w/Brother in Pennsylvania, Cousin also in Pennsysvania, Me & Wife (separate accounts) in South Carolina. I think they only check the numbers not the location. But who knows what MS does.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    MDB,
    I think they only check the numbers not the location. But who knows what MS does.
    So true... if for family members, it would make all sense, regardless of location, to allow the use of the 5 device licenses.

    You should be aware that your family members will need to use your Microsoft account details to activate their Office copies. That may be something acceptable for you or not. There could be ways around it, like using a remote access tool just for validating office.
    Rui
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  14. #13
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Just found on http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/pr...103453735.aspx the following paragraph

    "Office 365 Home Premium: On four additional licensed computers and five licensed devices, for use only by members of the same household as the licensed subscriber."

    So does household mean everyone in a house (geographically limited) or the family, which may be geographically unlimited? I suspect the former, but whether MS would do anything about the latter I don't know. In investigating this, another forum posting seemed to imply that using it for business purposes wouldn't generate MS's ire for a small business, but would for larger ones (365 home premium isn't to be used for business purposes).

    Rui, it appears that to install 365 on other PCs (and to update) requires the account holder to login to their MS account, but it's not required for using the software. So not a problem if all the PCs are in one house, but may be if they are scattered across a large distance!

    However it's all a moot point, the two daughters have XP and Vista, so can't have 365 anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    Rui, it appears that to install 365 on other PCs (and to update) requires the account holder to login to their MS account, but it's not required for using the software. So not a problem if all the PCs are in one house, but may be if they are scattered across a large distance!
    TeamViewer to the rescue . I did tell you it would be required for activation, which basically meant after setup. Of course, new versions (updating to) would require the same.

    If it would be possible for you to use it like this, likely Microsoft wouldn't "mind", but it could still be a violation of their usage terms, but I can't say whether it would be or not, as I have never read them. You can use Office 365 on demand on a computer you don't even own, so your family members using your licenses likely wouldn't trigger any warnings from MS.
    Rui
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    Woody's latest InfoWorld article seems appropriate in this thread: Why I'm keeping my Windows XP machine.
    Wendell

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