Re: Separate PK in Jxn Tbl?

From: David Cressey <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 15:20:59 GMT
Message-ID: <vvHnj.1607$1f.1475_at_trndny02>

"JOG" <> wrote in message
> On Jan 27, 2:18 pm, "Rick Brandt" <> wrote:
> > David Cressey wrote:
> > > The idea of keeping garbage out of the database takes on an entirely
> > > different meaning if you are dealing with hundreds of programs
> > > written in COBOL, Java, or anything in between accessing a single
> > > Oracle database on the one hand. On the other hand, if you are a
> > > developer creating a self contained MS Access database cum
> > > application (tables, queries, forms, reports, modules, etc.) all in
> > > one file, the same issues arise, but they are resolved quite
> > > differently.
> >
> > > I'm not saying either one is "right" or "wrong". I'm just suggesting
> > > why an objection that makes perfect sense to you and me might be lost
> > > on the MS Access community.
> >
> > ^
> > some of
> >
> > I think if a thorough poll was done it would show that the majority of
> > professional Access developers (those that make their living at it)
would agree
> > that data integrity rules should be enforced by the database engine
> > that is possible.
> Well thank goodness for that! For a scary moment I though Sylvian's
> views were representative of the access community as a whole, and that
> you guys didn't think that data integrity should be enforced primarily
> by the db engine.
> >
> > The fact is that Access is a tool predominantly for *users*, not
developers, and
> > Microsoft appears determined with each subsequent version to make that
more the
> > case. The majority of changes make it easier to do things incorrectly
> > that makes the program easier to use for people who have no idea what
they are
> > doing. Since that group vastly outnumbers the other one can hardly
argue with
> > their logic from a business standpoint.
> My fear though is that many db developers cut their teeth using
> Access. If bad practices are encouraged just because access doesn't
> handle many concurent users, and tends to manage data where it's
> unlikely one will hit the pitfalls that artificial keys can lay, when
> developers graduate up to larger server systems they may well carry
> those mistakes on with them.

I agree with you. However, we should keep in mind that the same arguments could be made about people learning bad programming habits by building amateur programs in BASIC, or bad website design habits by using a tool like Front Page. In general, the tools that require a very short learning curve encourage the belief that the longer learning curve is of no practical value.

We've seen that view voiced here (perhaps facetiously) by one of the Access MVPs. To the extent that he has acquired a lot of credibility with Access newbies, however acquired, if he gives advice that will become bad advice when scaled upward, he aggravates the pitfall you warn against.

Elsewhere in the discussion, I opined that Access applications were generally stored in the same file as the database. I've heard enough contrary opinions to stand corrected on that score. (I can't find that part of the discussion anymore.)

However, I still think that hundreds of DIFFERENT application programs accessing a single database and written by programmers who did not build the database, is qualitatively different from the design target of the people who write Access databases and applications.

If they ever get to the point where the complexity of what they are doing matches the complexity of what practitioners using SQL Server, Oracle, or DB2 are doing, or the complexity that database theorists are addressing, they will be forced to either learn or disprove what some of us know, or think we know.

> I certainly don't think developers should excuse sloppy RDBMS design
> just because they are using access (and of course I'm sure many of the
> professionals here wouldn't dream of doing so, despite others
> laxness).

I have to admit that, when I'm just playing around, I engage in sloppy work. I would not go so far as to recommend sloppy habits as good ones in a newsgroup, however. Received on Tue Jan 29 2008 - 16:20:59 CET

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