Ms Access Syndrome

Feature-rich, common, but clunky tools often thrive because the alternative is so much more expensive.

MicrosoftAccess Syndrome is based on the observation that MS-Access often performs a lot of tasks that used to be done by more formal, expensive, and/or custom BigIron systems. Access is not very reliable and scalable, but to replace it with a formal or custom system would cost so much more in both tools and personell that it often seems a bargain to keep it and live with its warts. It just has to be monitored more often than a BigIron solution to make sure it does not fly off the rail; but the cost of the extra monitoring is generally not that much because an "IT clerk" or intern can be hired to keep an eye on it, alerting the programmers only if it gags. And the ubiquity of MS-Access makes it easy to find PlugCompatibleInterchangeableEngineers.

This may apply to MS-Excel also. See FinancialContractExample.

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