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-----Popkin, Mike said-----

I think it is important to add some Caveats to using MS-Access as a
Database, records management or any other purpose. Security is a major issue
with Access. Rob is correct in saying it can be used in certain conditions.
It is a great tool with tremendous potential, however, within a LAN / WAN
environment accessible by many people it is important to understand it is
not a secure environment. Also, using a software package (especially
Microsoft) and adding programming calls creates a lot of other problems too
numerous to mention here. The biggest concern is you are now locked into the
expertise of the programmer who can be gone tomorrow. :-(

------- Reply -------

As a devout Access developer in my spare time at work, I cannot sit back and
let this comment go unchallenged.

Microsoft Access security is equal to any database security provided by
database management software costing many many times the price of Access.
It is a bit tricky to set up first time, but if you follow the instructions
to the letter, unauthorised access can be prevented (to the extent that the
human factor is an influence - if someone gives out their password then the
most highly secured thing in the world becomes insecure).

With any software development, you are always locked into the expertise of
the programmer.  The risks in inadequate documentation are the same no
matter what the tool used, be it MS Access, C++, Java or any other software
development tool.  That is why you need to ensure that proper records are
created explaining how things work and why - its called 'documentation'.

It is also important to remember that Access is just a tool. No one blames
Microsoft if they use Word, and their typing doesn't produce the latest best
selling masterpiece.  It is possible to construct the world's worst database
in Access, but it is also capable of producing masterpieces - exactly the
same as using a word processor.

If anyone wants informed answers to Access development questions, then I
would suggest the ACCESS-L listserv available at
http://peach.ease.lsoft.com/archives/access-l.html.  There are quite a few
RECMGMT-L people on there, and I hope they would agree with me that it is a
friendly bunch of people who are always willing to help.

John Lovejoy
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My own views - not my employers.

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