Flaws in Access (resource)

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Allen Browne

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Dec 30, 2003, 6:41:17 AM12/30/03
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To help you avoid some of the more common and long-standing bugs in Access,
the page:
http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
contains a new section entitled, "Flaws in Access".

The section currently identifies 9 problem areas, with others to be added.
It includes a sample Access 2000 database to demonstrate several of the
flaws. If you have been working with Access, you will be aware of some of
them. Our aim is to prevent you grief by pin-pointing the rocks under the
surface.

Best wishes for your Accessing in 2004.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.


Wayne Morgan

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Dec 30, 2003, 11:47:31 AM12/30/03
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Nice list Allen, thank you.

--
Wayne Morgan
Microsoft Access MVP


"Allen Browne" <Allen...@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote in message
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Steve Jorgensen

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Dec 30, 2003, 1:09:55 PM12/30/03
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Thanks Allen,

I would add another issue to the "Writing the wrong record". Besides the
"Bookmark bug", there is a bug that exists in Access 2000 and 2002 that does
not seem to have been fixed in any service pack, and the workaround shown on
Microsoft's support page does not work.

The problem is when you have editable controls in the header and/or footer of
a form. If you edit one of these controls, then click on another row in the
continuous section, the new record's data is not displayed in the
header/footer control. Furthermore, if you type anything into that control,
it writes to the other record.

The only work-around I've ever gotten to work is to execute the .Requery
method on every control that could be effected from the form's Current event
handler.

Arno R

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Dec 30, 2003, 4:30:53 PM12/30/03
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Allen,
Very useful info, thanks
BTW: Something 'buggy' with your dates?
It is still 2003 here ... <grin>

>>Flaws in MS Access
>>Provided by Allen Browne, January 2004

Arno R


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Larry Linson

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Dec 30, 2003, 5:42:36 PM12/30/03
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Perhaps it _is_ already 2004 on the clock/calendar in Australia?


"Arno R" <arracomn_...@tiscali.nl> wrote in message
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Arno R

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Dec 30, 2003, 6:09:19 PM12/30/03
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> Perhaps it _is_ already 2004 on the clock/calendar in Australia?

No, not yet on my (world) clock/calendar ...
In Sidney it's about 10 AM now (12-31-2003)

Arno R

Allen Browne

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Dec 30, 2003, 8:13:27 PM12/30/03
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Hi Steve.

Yes, I had that issue in Access 2000, but could not repro. quickly in A2003.
Have you seen it in the current version?

It was really a display issue where Access displayed the old data for a memo
field in the form footer section. As soon as you clicked in the field to
edit it, the text box was updated, so there was no danger of overwriting it.

I'm interested if you can repro in A2003.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Steve Jorgensen" <nos...@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
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Allen Browne

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Dec 30, 2003, 8:15:14 PM12/30/03
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You're right: I did not anticipate actually making these pages live until
2004, but managed to output them yesterday.

Good catch.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Arno R" <arracomn_...@tiscali.nl> wrote in message
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Steve Jorgensen

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Dec 30, 2003, 11:14:05 PM12/30/03
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 09:13:27 +0800, "Allen Browne"
<Allen...@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote:

>Hi Steve.
>
>Yes, I had that issue in Access 2000, but could not repro. quickly in A2003.
>Have you seen it in the current version?

No, but it is definitely still a problem in A2002.

>
>It was really a display issue where Access displayed the old data for a memo
>field in the form footer section. As soon as you clicked in the field to
>edit it, the text box was updated, so there was no danger of overwriting it.

I've had the problem in both 2000 and 2002 where it actually writes to the
wrong record, and is not just a display problem.

>
>I'm interested if you can repro in A2003.

Me too, but I don't have it. I could try it with the beta, but the results
won't be definitive.

Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]

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Dec 30, 2003, 11:52:55 PM12/30/03
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Nice list, though one thing:

The "currency format" issue is NOT a bug. It is entirely by design and it
MUST be this way. An application that turned 1000 US Dollars into 1000
Italian Lira is an app that was produced by a company that is going to go
out of business.... think about.

This design was championed by the International Program Manager back in
Access 2.0, and she was entirely right. I would highly recommend that this
item be taken off of the list of bugs and put in a more appropriate list of
"issues to not trip over" as the current design is correct an any other
design is an incredibly lame an ill-conceived notion.


--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.


"Allen Browne" <Allen...@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote in message
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Allen Browne

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Dec 31, 2003, 12:05:36 AM12/31/03
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Hi Steve. Thanks for your response.

I have only experienced this as a display issue.
The problem exists in A2000 (even with SP3), and A2002 (even with SP2), but
I am not seeing it in A2003.

Here is a temporary link example of the issue as I see it:
http://allenbrowne.com/BadMemoFooter.zip

If you can show me an example that is more than a display issue, I am *very*
interested, and will take it up with Microsoft.

Thanks.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Steve Jorgensen" <nos...@nospam.nospam> wrote in message

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Allen Browne

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Dec 31, 2003, 12:27:38 AM12/31/03
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Hi michka.

Appreciate your response, and can understand your perspective, and your
experience in internationalization. From my perspective is is a bug, though
I am willing to reconsider.

I became aware of this issue when I developed a database for a client in the
UK some time back. When he received the database, he asked, "What's these
weird formats that force it to use dollars?" My copy did not display any
"weird formats" - just the word "Currency". For a developer, it's a bug.

The behaviour also contradicts the documentation which claims Currency will:
"... follow the settings specified in the regional settings of Windows
for negative amounts, decimal and currency symbols, and decimal
places."

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mic...@online.microsoft.com> wrote in
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Steve Jorgensen

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Dec 31, 2003, 1:27:26 AM12/31/03
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On Wed, 31 Dec 2003 13:05:36 +0800, "Allen Browne"
<Allen...@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote:

>Hi Steve. Thanks for your response.
>
>I have only experienced this as a display issue.
>The problem exists in A2000 (even with SP3), and A2002 (even with SP2), but
>I am not seeing it in A2003.
>
>Here is a temporary link example of the issue as I see it:
> http://allenbrowne.com/BadMemoFooter.zip
>
>If you can show me an example that is more than a display issue, I am *very*
>interested, and will take it up with Microsoft.
>
>Thanks.

I just attempted to repro the problem, and did not do so. The display problem
appeared immediately, but the behavior was a display problem only, as you
described. I'm reasonably certain, however, the problem did appear as I
described it in other cases. As I recall, the last system this happened on
was using linked tables to a SQL Server back-end, so that could be part of the
equation.

Wayne Morgan

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Dec 31, 2003, 2:58:24 AM12/31/03
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Allen, it seems to me that the way this is handled may be difference between
a database that has data and one that doesn't. If I have the database full
of values in US dollars, changing the format to Pounds but leaving the
numbers the same would be a problem. However, if I'm distributing a blank
database then it would be nice to have the formatting change since any
numbers added would be in the currency of the computer that the app is
running on.

--
Wayne Morgan
Microsoft Access MVP

"Allen Browne" <Allen...@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote in message

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Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]

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Dec 31, 2003, 12:47:03 PM12/31/03
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And THIS is the crux. If I have to choose between a pattern that will
corrupt existing data and a patern that will confuse developers who ship
internationally for the first time, I would have to be a a fool to want the
latter rather than the former.


It is NOT a bug -- it is 100% PEBCAK. Please reconsider.


--
MichKa [MS]
NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies

This posting is provided "AS IS" with
no warranties, and confers no rights.


"Wayne Morgan" <comprev_gothro...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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Allen Browne

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Dec 31, 2003, 9:26:46 PM12/31/03
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After reflection, the page regarding the currency format has been relocated
under "traps" rather than "flaws".

I accept your argument that this is probably by design, as it is unlikely
that this behaviour could arise spontaneously (i.e. as a bug).

I do not accept that it is an appropriate design choice to have Access
tampering with the properties we set.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]" <mic...@online.microsoft.com> wrote in

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> And THIS is the crux. If I have to choose between a pattern that will
> corrupt existing data and a patern that will confuse developers who ship
> internationally for the first time, I would have to be a a fool to want
the
> latter rather than the former.
>
>
> It is NOT a bug -- it is 100% PEBCAK. Please reconsider.
>
>
> --
> MichKa [MS]
> NLS Collation/Locale/Keyboard Development
> Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
>

Michael (michka) Kaplan [MS]

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Jan 1, 2004, 2:49:23 PM1/1/04
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"Allen Browne" <Allen...@SeeSig.Invalid> wrote...

> After reflection, the page regarding the currency format has been
relocated
> under "traps" rather than "flaws".

Cool.

> I accept your argument that this is probably by design, as it is unlikely
> that this behaviour could arise spontaneously (i.e. as a bug).

Probably? <sigh>

I have seen the code, and I have had lunch with the woman who spec'ed the
original design. She was right.

> I do not accept that it is an appropriate design choice to have Access
> tampering with the properties we set.

Um, it does not. Try creating the table, changing the settings, viewing the
changed prop, changing the settings back, and then viewing the prop. It
changes back to the original "Currency" setting!!!

You will see that ACCESS goes out of its way to keep people from trying to
change application behavior out from under it due to a simple change in
config settings. ACCESS is not tampering with anything; it goes out of its
way to respect the settings!

NB

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Jan 4, 2004, 6:24:05 PM1/4/04
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G'day

Regarding: losing data when closing a form

What about closing the form with the Close command on the menu bar?
Would it cause the problem?

Thanks
NB

Allen Browne

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Jan 4, 2004, 7:51:56 PM1/4/04
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You do receive a suitable message if you use File | Close.

It is the Close action (macro) or method (DoCmd.Close code) that loses your
entry silently.

If you use a custom toolbar, it will depend which approach you take. Easy
enough to test.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

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