About four and a half years ago, I was lucky toparticipate in the launching of Smart Access. During my tenure as Editor, I’vestrived to make this the best publication available for Access developers.Thanks to you and a fantastic group of writers and contributing editors, Ithink we’ve been able to accomplish this difficult goal. After editing SmartAccess for four years, however, I find it’s time to move on. Not that I’mactually moving on to anything new. For the past four years, I’ve been dividingmy time between editorial duties, writing, development, and training.Consequently, my development work has suffered a bit — there are only so manyhours in the day. By stepping down as Editor, I’ll be able to spend more timedoing development work.
I have this theory about the life cycle of a lot ofcomputer systems. I call it Peter’s Three Step Life Cycle (originality isn’t mystrong suit).
In the first step (Acceptance and Delight), some group ofusers is given a computer system. They’re so excited to have this package (andso pleased that someone has finally spent some time and money on them) thatthey don’t notice that the system doesn’t actually match the way the businessworks.
THE worst thing that can happen to you when you try
something new is that you’ll succeed. The problem with success is that it
normally goes unexamined.
When something that we do actually works, we tend to
take that as the natural outcome of our wonderfulness and assume that we’ve
discovered whatever we needed to know about carrying out this task. When we
approach the next task, we bring along the lessons that we haven’t really
Peters editorial on Faith
Most companies tend to suffer from the “noproblem” problem. anagement bumps into a worker in the hallway and asks, “Howare things going?” The answer is always “No problem.” Of course,that’s not the same thing as “Things are going well,” but the managerassumes that was what the worker meant and wanders off, content.
Okay, one last time: Access isn’t going away. I justread another article from another pundit who, having noticed that a version ofSQL Server is going to be included in the enterprise version of Access 2000,proclaimed that this means the end of Access. Let’s get it right: Access isn’ta database system. Access is a tool for creating database applications (and oneof the best on the market). In order to make Access useful right out of thebox, Access ships with an ISAM, desktop database system called Jet (also one ofthe best on the market). However, Access can be used to create front ends forany kind of database, including Excel spreadsheets, as Garry Robinsondemonstrated in last month’s issue (see “Adding Database Tools to ExcelSpreadsheets”).