AV EcoSystem Review Starting Over

12 Jan 2018

starting over

Yesterday I sent the APSoc client the following email:

So I think we need to make some decisions about how to proceed.

At the moment we are thinking that the best alternatives are to either go with MS Access, or with Zoho Creator. Using the XLSX you just provided we’ve started projects in both MS Access and Zoho Creator. It’s obviously not ideal to have to switch platform at this stage, but the instability of LibreOffice Base makes it seem like we can’t continue with that platform.

Zoho Creator is a cloud solution that replicates much of the MSAccess/LotusApproach functionality, and comes with a £10 a month price tag, but reduced to £8 for charities.

MS offers Access as part of Office 365 for £1.50 a month (for charities), and Access is also available standalone. Access 2013 is available for £12 for charities and Access 2016 is available for about £95. I’m keen to know if you already have a copy of Access and whether you have strong preferences here.

I know that you were looking to avoid any monthly charges, and anticipate that you might prefer the standalone MS Access option. If you do currently have a copy of MS Access please let us know which version you have.

Please let me know if you’d like a call to discuss the alternatives. We’re planning to work through the weekend to get the project back on schedule on a new platform.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Best, Sam

and I haven’t heard back yet, so I guess I’m going to take a stab at moving the MS Access version forward. Zoho Creator was nice and zippy, and MS Access feels sluggish, but I suspect that the monthly charge for Zoho could be a dealbreaker.

It took about 40 minutes but I got a draft form for members up in Access 2007:

With at least one dropdown linking to a different table. Overall the UI is easily better than the latest LibreOffice even though I’m using MSAccess from 10 years back. Hmm, maybe I should have just started with Access for a simple life, but we’ll see. Now I’m tempted to see what’s the best I can get out of Zoho … I immediately run up against a couple of (perhaps minor) issues, which are that we can’t easily convert fields from multi-line to single-line and back again. Also my attempts to adjust a drop down field to radio buttons fails. I think I’ll give up there. I’m pretty sure the client is going to be much happier with the results from MSAccess, and I can develop faster there too …

by Sam Joseph