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  1. #1
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    Choosing language when leaving Access 97

    I am working at a maintenance company with an ERP and Production system, built in Access97. Yes I know it is VERY old. I have upgraded the database to SQL Server 2008. Still, the programs are Access97. So now it is time for upgrading these aswell.

    What seems to be the easiest way is to upgrade to Access2010 or 2012. Does anybody have experience about upgrading Access multiple levels? Is it a lot work? (We have about 100 forms and 130 reports ) From what I understand, queries and other things use to work, but the VBcode needs to be adjusted.

    What do you think about the future of Access? Will MS develop it in the future? If this is an issue, I wouldn’t mind programming in another language. (The current forms is unsecure and needs to be fixed as well) If so, should it be Client-Server or Web?

    The factory is placed on one location, so Client-Server should be alright I think, and from my experience it is often faster than a web-application. Or do you have other experiences?

    If Client-Server, what language should you than suggest? I have worked with a lot of languages but regarding the windows programming languages I feel a bit inexperienced, but I don’t mind learning it for real.
    We have windows servers, with MS SQL. There are about 15 users and
    I am the only IT-developer so I would be happy to have some advices from you.

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  3. #2
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    I am not seeing Microsoft stopping Access development any time soon. Jumping from 97 to 2010 or 2012 is a big jump,though, so you're bound to have some VB related issues. With that many forms, you are bound to have some migration problems but there is no doubt in my mind that changing it to a web app would be a lot more work.
    If network latency is not a problem, probably keeping Access and making a few adjustments to use in a client-server configuration, with SQL Server as a backend, is the shortest way and does not involve bad compromises regarding functionality. I think you will find rather difficult to match Access ease and speed of development with anything else. Reporting is also rather easy to do with Access so, unless you are not happy with some specific Access issues, staying with Access is not a hard decision.

    If you choose to go with a different approach, development in Windows means doing it using the .Net framework. The framework allows development in multiple languages, from Visual Basic to more esoteric stuff, like Eiffel. Personally I prefer C#. This said, you then would need to choose a technology to develop your solution. Windows Forms are the solution closer to what you already know from Access, but Microsoft, some time ago, seemed to point to Windows Presentation Foundation as the way to go. Right now, the emphasis is on Windows 8, for which you can use XAML and C# or HTML and Javascript. Probably you will not want to go there right now .
    Rui
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  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks ruirib. Its good to hear your opinion!
    Regardning my little doubt about access, its because i know a company that has decided to go from Access 2010 to WPF.
    The reason they said was the cost of upgrading every now and than, and that they didnt know if Access should be there in the future. The company delivers ERP-systems.
    But I guess that WPF-appl also will need to upgrade in the future

  5. #4
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    Right now the future of WPF seems to be questionable, probably even more so than Access. The jump to Windows 8, by Microsoft, raised a lot of questions in terms of the development platforms that will be favored, in Windows, going forward. At a time, it seemed Microsoft wanted to go full steam ahead with HTML5 and Javascript. Long time Windows developers are still questioning that and it's not totally clear what is going to happen. Today, a considerable majority of Windows 8 apps are apps that use XAML and C#, which is not surprising.

    Any decisions made now have no guarantee of being the best, so you could argue that keeping Access for a little while longer, while ensuring the least effort, least investment path from where you are now, wouldn't compromise any future dev platform changes. On the other hand, as I said, I don't see Access being abandoned, not at all.
    Rui
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  6. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for your advice ruirib. Nice to have somebody to discuss with. Yes I think you're right. I will stick to Access!
    As you say, it will be least effort, and will be there in foreseeable future
    Thanks

  7. #6
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    You're welcome.
    Rui
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