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Legacy MS ACCESS application

October 21, 2015

I support an old MS access application.  It has lots of old code in it, that I did not write.  I understand this application because I understand DBs, SQL and VBA.  Each to a decent level.  I have been supporting this app. about 3 years.  Its probably about now that I start seeing things in the application differently.  For example, for the past couple years, my customer asks for things to change or update in areas of the application, and i change them.  I deal with the single request to do something in a single place.  The other day came another request to fix the application so the current year data shows up in the form.

this is a common request.  “James, in place so and so, the wrong data is showing”.  I go in and change a hard coded value in a SQL query.  Each year, a new year is generated in the application and then its id has to be updated in numerous places.  Each year I do this.  Now I see this as a single task.  When the next new year is created by my customer in the application, I should go through the app.  and update the code, at once.  I should not make my customer report to me that this form or that report are not showing the correct data.  I should solve this globally, at least try.  I could actually do a couple things to solve this

1 – I could do a global search for the variable name and update in each place.

2 – I could refactor the SQL so that after a certain date, it use the next available number (since this is how the values increment each year.

3 – I could create a function that changes the value in one place and call it from all over the application.

#3 is the best solution – put the code in a single place, update it, call it, but also the most work.  2 is decent, I could figure out how to simply use a variable in the SQL and define it in a more global space in the form, for example.  #1 is still a big improvement and the least intrusive, for the old girl.

“James., can you ….”

Honestly, this is my lens “4 years left of supporting this application, at maximun”.  It almost got the book last year.  software has a limited lifetime, a season, a day when it is no longer viable.  something else comes along and does it better or as part of a larger system.  In this case, another BOCES who handles a similar function absorbed it.”

More to follow


From → MS Access

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