Access is a very powerful database system that is acknowledged as being amongst the best at "looking after your data". Its structure and data integrity features give it the strengths of many of the "heavyweight" database packages, such as Oracle and SQL Server.
These strengths make the package easy to use for simple applications, but give a steep learning curve for more complex use. However, the relative ease with which queries and reports are designed in Access gives it a secondary role - as the "friendly" front-end to the "heavyweights" - a reporting system.
The approach that Paul takes to developing a database is usually along the following lines:
A brief discussion with the client, the latter providing a short paper on requirements, is usually all that is required.
Using his knowledge of business, Paul will create a prototype of the system. For office requirements this is normally completed in 2-3 days. The speed of development reflects not only his experience of Access, but also his use of a "skeleton" database that contains many of the common (complex) routines such as security and back-up.
This will be with the prototype, often with a selection of "live" data.
Questions raised by the prototype are covered plus final data integrity issues and automation. This may take from 2 days to 2 weeks depending on the complexity of the subject.
Live Data Load
If the data is present in spreadsheets or in another computer system, it is usually possible to import and convert it.
The system is working!
This is most normally by telephone and email. Modifications are often made within 24 hours.