First Published 11 Jan 2023                               Last Updated 9 Sept 2023

Last summer I was asked to create a short video for Access Global about myself and my thoughts on Access - both past and future.
Although I spent some time preparing it, months passed and the video was never completed - my apologies to Luis Viadel.

This short article includes some of the material I had planned to use

Within an hour or so of me posting this article, I see that Luis Viadel has already written his own commentary and posted a link to this article on the Access Global website.
Somewhat faster than I managed!

Why Isladogs?

Isla was my beloved labrador dog shown in the photo. See Isla - R.I.P.


When we got her in 2011, Isla (pronounced Eye-la) was a fairly unusual name in the UK.
Though I've no idea why, it has since become extremely popular and is now one of the top 3 names for baby girls in the UK

However, its far less popular in other English speaking countries such as the USA where it is commonly mispronounced as Iz-la
At the time, I was asked if the name came from the Isle of Dogs which is an area of London next to the Thames.

It wasn't, but the name Isladogs (pronounced Eye-la-dogs) stuck.
It became first my online username and then used for both this website and my YouTube channel when each was relaunched at the end of 2021.

The nickname is even included in my Microsoft MVP profile web page

The Isle of Dogs itself has an interesting history, being at one time home to some of the most important docks on the River Thames in London.

For more info, see Isle of Dogs (Wikipedia)

However over the past 30 years or so, the area has changed beyond recognition.
It is now one of the more affluent areas of London with lots of tourist facilities in the vicinity

It was even the title of a 2018 animated film directed by Wes Anderson

BTW my other dog (also a black labrador) is called Milo . . . which for the benefit of those in the US is pronounced My Low . . . <g> . . . (and seen here as a young puppy).

. . . and there is no truth in the rumour that he was named after the Mile End area of London adjacent to the Isle of Dogs!


1.   As a further pronunciation hint, remember that the word island is pronounced Eye-Land and NOT Iz-land

2.   However, the Isle Of Dogs is actually a large peninsula not an island . . .

3.   . . . which reminds me of the lyrics from a very old song by Jefferson Airplane

      No man is an island
      He's a peninsula

      Jefferson Airplane - A Small Package of Value Will Come to You Shortly - from the album After Bathing at Baxter's (1967)

      The rest of the song lyrics are complete nonsense and have to be read to be believed!

4.   The original "no man is an island" quote is often wrongly attributed to William Shakespeare
      It does date back to the 17th century but was actually by the English poet, John Donne

Access - Past, Present and Future

The first version of Access was released in Nov 1992

It was an immediate success due to its ease of use, range of features, competitive price and subsequently due to its close integration with other Office programs

It has recently turned 30, has a large client base and there is still no equivalent database application on the market

Over the years, the product has evolved significantly. See A Trip Down Memory Lane

However, the core features have largely been in place since version 1.0

Unfortunately, despite its ongoing popularity, Access has become something of a neglected child within Microsoft
For several years there were almost no new features added

Currently, Access has a small development team compared to e.g. Excel and it is unrealistic to expect that will change for the better.

However, Microsoft remain publicly committed to it continuing as a product within the Office suite of applications.
Despite repeated rumours to the contrary, it is not going away any time soon . . .

Several new features are currently in development - not as many as we'd like and not always those most requested by MVPs and other developers

So overall, what is my opinion about the current status and future of Access?

There are mixed signals from Microsoft - a bit like these famous traffic lights on the Isle of Dogs


First, the Good News . . .

•   Still no comparable product exists for its target market
•   Wide integration with other products


•   Large and enthusiastic user base from expert to beginner
•   Many online Access forums with large participation
•   Widespread use in industry both as a standalone product and in combination with other databases such as SQL Server

And now the Not So Good News . . .

•   Small development team
•   Little innovation
•   Very few new features
•   Very limited in terms of online usage
•   Inadequate security
•   Far too many bugs (with almost monthly bug updates in 365)

However, the Access MVPs are a group of very experienced developers who remain committed to promoting the product positively in a range of different ways.
I see this website as a very small part of that process

Recently, a new Access blog was launched by long-time Access MVP, Karl Donaubauer.
It is called Access Forever and in my opinion the name perfectly fits the position of Access both now and in the future!

Viva Access!

Colin Riddington           Mendip Data Systems                 Last Updated 9 Sept 2023

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