I am working on some stuff today using SharePoint Lists with an Access Frontend. Frankly the reason I am using SP Lists is because this particular client’s IT department won’t allow Access going against SQL Server (a common problem).
SP Lists do work (and I expect them to work even better in SP 2010) but it would be totally logical to use SQL Server Tables as my data store.
The fact is that I have been using SQL Server databases with MS Access linked to tables therein for years – and they just simply work? I even use an Access ADP file to manage my SQL database, it’s tables, view and SPs to the greatest extent possible (in SQL 2005 or lower anyway) and I find it all VERY productive.
On top of it all, using SQL Server has allowed my apps to be distributed world-wide in Corporations with a serious World-Wide network. Regardless, in a regular LAN the performance of a SQL Server database over an Access MDB or ACCDB backend is staggering (to say nothing of the stability and scaleability).
I keep asking Microsoft why they don’t promote this idea more and I get no real answer. My theory is that the SQL Server team doesn’t want Access promoted as an alternative for apps out of some kind of “developer” snobbery and the Visual Studio folks agree. Since both of these applications are favoured by MS Management and are basically considered “Cash-Cows” for the Corporation, they obviously don’t want Access promoted into their “Space”.
Who cares what the users really need? Who cares about the needs of Corporate Departmental clients or Medium and even Small businesses? Who cares that more SQL Server CALS would be sold and even more Office Pro licenses. Who cares if this satisfies the needs of a large and mostly under-appreciated market nuche that Microsoft already sorta owns anyway (but maybe that’s part of the problem right there?).