From Excel to Access - Good Arguments

Posted on 2013-06-24
Last Modified: 2013-07-08
I'm considering moving the data we stored in our big Excel workbook to Access.
The existing workbook has 15 worksheets, 10 userforms and almost 5500 lines of code and it's getting bigger and bigger - and more complex. That's why I think it's time to move ahead.

Unfortunately, our company is reluctant to use Access. Maybe because it's too difficult (it's a database?!) or because of security concerns (it uses Macros!). I'm not sure.

I need to convince my boss that it's time to use Access. What are some good arguments which I can use?

Question by:Massimo Scola
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LVL 75
ID: 39273061
Well .. Access is a real database application platform. Excel is not.

"or because of security concerns (it uses Macros!)"
Macros ?

However, IF ... security IS  of prime concern, then you should look at SQL Server - but you still have to create a Front End (UI) ,,, and Access could still be that tool.


Author Comment

by:Massimo Scola
ID: 39273115
To be honest, I think that saying that macros can cause havoc is just a false pretenses.
My existing Excel spreadsheet makes extensive use of Macros. Some of them write to the file system and create HTML pages. Saying that Macros/VBA code written with Access is a security concern is a claim not supported by facts. As otherwise my supervisors and the guys in charge of IT would have hindered me to use VBA in Excel.

What are some good points which I can tell my boss/IT guys why it's time to use Excel.
LVL 75

Accepted Solution

DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Access MVP) earned 350 total points
ID: 39273204
In Access, VBA code and Macros are not the same thing.

"Saying that Macros/VBA code written with Access is a security concern is a claim not supported by facts"
No serious Access application can be w/o a  LOT of VBA code. The only Macros I use are AutoExec and AutoKeys.

"Maybe because it's too difficult "
Of course, that is very subjective.

Other  reasons.
You cannot create a Relational Model in Excel, let alone implement Referential Integrity.

"it's getting bigger and bigger - and more complex. "
Consequently much more unwieldy and harder to maintain.
And I'm sure the Multi-User aspect is not the same.
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Author Comment

by:Massimo Scola
ID: 39273325
You wrote that VBA code and Macros are not the same. What is the difference?  

I noticed that if I normalize too much, it will be harder to create reports. But that's something I need to look at.

As Pivot Tables have been dropped in the latest version of Access,  we would still use Excel for creating the charts. Do I need to import the orders into Excel for creating the charts, or can the data stay in Access?
LVL 74

Assisted Solution

by:Jeffrey Coachman
Jeffrey Coachman earned 150 total points
ID: 39287750
<You wrote that VBA code and Macros are not the same. What is the difference?  >
A macro in Excel *IS* VBA code, they just call it a Macro in the Excel world.

In Access you have a Macros *and* VBA code.
In Access, a macro is a separate "Language" from VBA and has it's own interface.
Macros in Access have advantages and disadvantages.
To keep it simple, ...VBA in Access is more versatile than a macro in Access.

"The existing workbook has 15 worksheets, 10 userforms and almost 5500 lines of code and it's getting bigger and bigger - and more complex. "
...This is always a scary statement to hear in the Access zone.
We have seen countless spreadsheet with such "unique" (for lack of a better word) designs that it is nearly impossible to duplicate them directly into Access, in a truly "Normalized" design.
There will probably be very little of your existing code that can be salvaged...

Without a sample of the spreadsheet though, we are flying totally blind here...


Author Comment

by:Massimo Scola
ID: 39306903
Thanks a lot guys for your information.
I had a closer look at Macros/VBA and they are indeed different.

The next step for me is to analyze the data and to create a data model.
I don't mind if the Excel VBA code cannot be ported over to Access.

It's more important that the data is stored in a database.

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