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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Microsoft Access developers revolt against Access 2010

Microsoft database developers are apparently in an uproar over the upcoming release of Microsoft Access 2010. You need to look no further than Microsoft's own Access 2010 Web site to see the evidence. At the end of this post, I've posted some of the images we captured of developers' comments. (Better look at them now before Microsoft takes them down.)

It makes me wonder ... if Microsoft doesn't care enough to respond to the developers on its own Web site for its "hot new" product, how much do they care about the product at all? How much do they care about the database developers who need to use it?

Monitoring what developers are saying in general about Access boils down to one key point. They are apoplectic that the only way you can get MSFT Access databases on the Web is through a complex and incredibly expensive SharePoint solution that only the largest organizations can justify.

From talking to people in the know, my understanding is that it will cost at least $10,000 to get a Microsoft Access 2010-driven Web application up. That's just for the Web. If you want it on your intranet, factor in the additional costs of CALs (concurrent access licenses). No wonder developers are in an uproar. They can already feel Microsoft's hand scraping the bottoms of their pockets.

From Microsoft's perspective, we understand why Microsoft is doing this. SharePoint is aimed at major organization, and this Sharepoint centric approach is aimed at selling more Sharepoint licenses. But what you need to remember is this: Microsoft Access is no longer a platform for database developers. It's a platform for SharePoint developers.

The rants on Microsoft's Web site aren't the first time we've heard rumblings from unhappy Access developers. In December we started a new series, "A developer's thoughts on Microsoft Access 2010" with Martin McSweeney, Head of Development at I encourage you to read Martin's view of Access 2010's limited Web capabilities and overall "lack of beef." His thoughts are representative of Access developers everywhere.

We also recently published a comparison grid that helps developers see how Alpha Five Version 10 stacks up against Access, because the rumblings have been so loud. I expect many developers will abandon, or start to plan to abandon, Microsoft Access this year. The comparison grid is an excellent resource to have for any migration planning.

Another resource for MS Access developers is Martin Heller's course, which can quickly train you how to build database-driven Web sites with Alpha Five Version 10.

And now, the screen shots I promised.


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