Another example about how little Microsoft cares about its Microsoft Access product appeared to me today when a client of mine ran into a problem with their Microsoft Access database. Suddenly they started getting ‘Query is corrupt’ messages in the application.
Since I hadn’t made any changes to this application in a long time, I did the usual compact and repair assuming that would fix it. After trying all my usual tricks, I finally went to google where I found the culprit.
According to this support article from Microsoft, this problem was introduced by an office security update that was automatically installed on my clients computer. Comically, the article provides a byzantine workaround to fix the problem:
If you encounter this issue before the fix is available, the recommended workaround is to update the query so that it updates the results of another query, rather than updating a table directly.
For example, if you have a query similar to:
UPDATE Table1 SET Table1.Field1 = “x” WHERE ([Table1].[Field2]=1);
You can create a new query (Query1) defined as:
SELECT * from Table1;
And update your original query to:
UPDATE Query1 SET Query1.Field1 = “x” WHERE ([Query1].[Field2]=1);
I applied that fix to the various spots in my application where I update tables, and that got me through the day. Since someday somebody will stumble across this code and think I am an idiot, I made sure to reference the article in my comments as to why this is coded so ugly.
What amazes me about this is the casual approach Microsoft is taking to fixing the problem. Their plan is to fix it December 10th, almost a month after introducing the problem. My question is, how many small businesses are running mission critical Access apps, and don’t have any Access developers on hand. I know of a few companies in that situation, and I guess once they download this update, they will have to find a workaround.
Curiously Access users on the Office 365 platform will get their fix on November 24th. That is still 2 weeks out, and it may foretell that customers running older versions of Office software will be considered second tier customers.
I have said before that I have concerns about Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to Microsoft Access. This latest development only reaffirms my position that even though there are still many active Microsoft Access applications out there, Microsoft must think they are not important.