WinInfo Short Takes: Week of October 20: Office 2003 Developer Tools Debut. But What About Access? "In the early days of Office, "Office development" essentially referred to Microsoft Access and the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) environment, which let programmers access various Office application features. Today, Office 2003 is quite different: It includes Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Office System, a mouthful of an add-on product for the professional Visual Studio .NET environment that raises the bar both for developer sophistication and for the quality of the add-ins developers can now create for Office. Using Visual Studio Tools for Microsoft Office System's advanced tools and programming language, developers can create applications that run in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word task panes. But am I the only person who noticed that Microsoft has completely abandoned Access users with this release? Shouldn't the suite's most programmable application have enjoyed some advances as well?"
I've been doing a bit of work in Access lately -- here's my perspective on Access. I'm looking forward to the PDC next week, in part to learn what Whidbey and VS Tools for Office will do in terms of displacing Access for database-centric apps.