No (MS)Access for you...

This post is more than 2 years old.

So not that this is really a big deal, but as a matter of policy for my open source applications, I'll be removing Microsoft Access support as I make updates. I've recently updated both Soundings and Lighthouse Pro for minor bugs and took the opportunity to remove Access from the docs and from the install folder. I'm not really against Access. I mean I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, not with MySQL being easy to use, but when I finally switched back to Windows after my fling with Apple, I found myself without an Access install. I have been able to get Aqua Data Studio connected to Access but it was a real pain in the rear. So I figured - why am I stressing out over a database format that is not recommended and not easy for me to keep up to date in my applications? Solution - drop it.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Ryan Vikander posted on 2/10/2011 at 9:25 AM

Whhhhhaaaat I <3 Access! My blog isn't going to work anymore?!


Comment 2 by Lola LB posted on 2/10/2011 at 4:21 PM

@Ryan . . . Access is getting a bit long in the tooth - it's time to break up with her.

Comment 3 by Todd Rafferty posted on 2/10/2011 at 4:26 PM

Removing Access because MySQL is free being easy to use is probably a bad reasoning due to all the politics with Oracle lately. Removing Access because SQL Server Express is freely available and a viable resource to use, even on a server... is a good reason.

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/10/2011 at 5:05 PM

@Todd: Number one reason - no easy way to edit. I'm not so concerned with MySQL and Oracle. But it took me an hour or so last time to connect to one Access db with Aqua so I don't want to go through that again.

Comment 5 by Chris Pfeffer posted on 2/10/2011 at 6:09 PM

WooHoo! Is IE6 next? :)

Comment 6 by Todd Rafferty posted on 2/10/2011 at 6:12 PM

@Ray: I'm a little confused. I'm not talking about access, I'm talking about sql server express. You can find and use the sql server management tool for it?

Comment 7 by Lola LB posted on 2/10/2011 at 6:15 PM

@Chris . . . one can only hope. ;-)

Comment 8 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/10/2011 at 6:21 PM

@Todd: No, I meant, my #1 reason to stop using Access isn't MySQL, but editing Access itself.

Comment 9 by Todd Rafferty posted on 2/10/2011 at 6:27 PM

I'm in full agreement except that my #1 reason to stop using Access isn't anything other than because it's _Access_.

I guess what I'm trying to get across is that trading Access for MySQL isn't necessary the equivalent. Maybe SQL Server Express would be a better trade because you can find everything free (the sql server express and the management tool to go with it). Also, you can even use SQL Server express on a production server - Most people don't realize this.

MySQL doesn't really have a decent db tool out of the box with it. Last time I looked, I hated all of the mysqlclient tools and I prefer using SQLyog.

Comment 10 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/10/2011 at 6:55 PM

MySQL did used to have a very decent visual tool, but their new Workbench is -very- hard to work with. It's getting better though. I'm used to Aqua, but I don't pay for it as an OS dev.

Comment 11 by Emmet posted on 2/10/2011 at 8:19 PM

How Apple of you. RIP Floppy disks... and now Access. sigh.

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/10/2011 at 8:23 PM

You know, I've got a box full of Apple II floppies in the storage room next to me. ;)

Comment 13 by Josh Curtiss posted on 2/10/2011 at 10:54 PM

Even just this week, an ancient Access database that one of our legacy apps uses gave me all sorts of headaches and actually required a ColdFusion Application service restart. Grumble. I hate Access. Although it is handle as a client to connect to a SQL Server database, if you're on a Windows development machine.

Comment 14 by Steve Walker posted on 2/11/2011 at 4:21 AM

While I would never use Access for a web application, it makes a great user interface for SQL Server. Much more user friend than the management studio for basic tasks (tables, views, procedures).

Comment 15 by Sean Coyne posted on 2/11/2011 at 6:45 PM

Perhaps switch the Access DBs to Derby since its built into CF and still gives people a server-less database option?

Comment 16 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/11/2011 at 7:42 PM

My friend Scott Stroz had the same idea. I just don't know if Derby is something I'd recommend for production, and I don't see me spending time on the docs/support when I wouldn't want someone actually using it live.

Comment 17 by Gary posted on 6/1/2011 at 4:00 PM

Where are we supposed to ask questions about Lighthouse? In your install instructions you indicate creating a ModelGlue and ColdSpring mapping, but doesn't say where. I'm guessing you are talking about the config documents, but it doesn't say. Also, you should take out the statement about the support forum if the forum has been closed.

Comment 18 by Raymond Camden posted on 6/1/2011 at 5:14 PM

Sorry - it means the ColdFusion Administrator. You can report bugs at There is also a Contact link there to get emails to me directly (and have them auto marked as being about LHP).