A few nights ago, I was desperately trying to find something to watch on television. Anybody out there who has “cut the cord” and moved on from your traditional cable/satellite tv knows this feeling all too well. You see, when you have traditional television, things are already on for you. You don’t have to make a decision necessarily on what to watch. You know what is shown on certain channels, and generally you just want to watch something in that genre (ie. sports, food, movies, etc). However, when you leave those big providers and go strictly to stream on demand, your couch potato brain NEEDS to make decisions about what app to use, what you want to watch, if you’ve seen this or that before, and on and on…
Ok , so before I get too far down THAT rabbit hole, let’s get to the point. My fail safe in the never-ending search game has been, and probably always will be the Rocky movies. Generally, they are always available on at least one of the major streaming services, and honestly, I just never get tired of them. Although most of these movies are great (sorry Rocky 5), I think every fan has their favorite, and mine happens to be Rocky 4.
Trust me, there’s a point here…. In Rocky 4 (if you’ve never had the privilege), Rocky has finally decided to hang up the gloves and enjoy his retirement. He spends a lot of his time reminiscing about the old days along with his former rival, and best friend Apollo Creed. However, Apollo wants more than to reminisce, he wants to get back in the ring. He catches a news report about a new fighter from the USSR, Ivan Drago, a physical specimen who seems to be destined to become the greatest fighter in the world.
Apollo chooses to have an exhibition against Ivan and have some lighthearted fun… but Drago wants no part of it and ends up beating Apollo to death in the ring. This is the spark that ignites Rocky to lace up the gloves and get back in the ring.
Ok, so what is the point of telling you all of this, well as I watched the film, I could see some similarities between Rocky Balboa and Microsoft Access. By that I mean, Rocky isn’t the biggest fighter… He isn’t the strongest and most certainly isn’t the most skilled, but he has this spark in him. This unwillingness to quit… and in that sense, he reminds me of Access.
This fight in particular reminds me of a common decision that many businesses face today. Should we stick with our Access application or should we go for the more powerful and more flashy web application?
Not an easy decision to make, and certainly, being both a web developer and access developer perhaps I can deliver my two-cents.
I think the answer is… it depends.
I know, not what you wanted to hear. You wanted me to be decisive. Truth is, I just can’t be. I can say that there are good reasons to choose either one of them. What I can tell you is this. If you want the latest and greatest front end experience (single page application, flashy look, colorful UI) it’s no contest… Go with the Web.
However, if you want to have a consistent, persistent, secure, and long lived application, you may want to go with Access.
You see, Microsoft Access is a lot like Rocky. It’s not the prettiest, it’s not the fastest, but my goodness, is it perseverant. When I first started working for G&B, I had barely ever used Access. To be honest, it took me a really long time to get over the fact that I couldn’t make the program “beautiful”. I realize now, that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
You can imagine my shock coming from the web world (where things change literally every week), when I realized I was working in Access applications that were 30 years old. Some of these programs were made when people were rocking fanny packs and thought Semisonic would have another hit song.
However, unlike poor Semisonic and the cool factor of pogs and fanny packs, these Access applications are still hammering on.
So back to Rocky 4… When the final fight begins, it appears that Rocky is inferior to Ivan Drago in every way… In every way but one. Rocky has grit. Drago cannot believe that Rocky just won’t quit. Why won’t he go away? No fighter has lasted this long against me? He must not be human!? He’s made of IRON!
Round by round, Rocky wears his competitor down and ultimately wins the fight. Not because he was the better fighter nor because he was more physically gifted, but because he had the grit and perseverance. Much like our hero of the day, Microsoft Access.
Access most certainly is a contender for modern applications and can be a great choice for your next project. Don’t overlook it for it’s shortcomings, rather embrace it for being what it is: A great choice for longevity, consistency and reusability. It is a powerful option and can be the secret to success in your next “Title FIght”!