Review: MDB Artisan
MDB Artisan for Access 2002
Merrick, New York
Yes, there are developers working in technologies other than .NET - I
even do some Microsoft Access work still myself. And consequently, there
are still ISVs (independent software vendors) offering tools for these
other development environments. MDB Artisan is an inexpensive database
exploration and documentation tool for Access 2000 and 2002 databases
(an Access 2003 version is on the way).
Using MDB Artisan couldn't be simpler. Just select it from the add-ins
menu, tell it which objects you're interested in, and wait while it
analyzes them. Depending on the objects, there will be a certain amount
of screen-flashing; that's an inescapable part of the way that Access
works. When that's done, you'll get a treeview that you can use to drill
into the objects in your database - tables, forms, import/export specs,
modules, and so on.
When you select an object, a tabbed interface shows you the details. For
example, For example, for a query you get the SQL, the input tables, the
fields, the parameters, and so on. There's also an "options" tab that
lets you perform various actions. This includes viewing the object in
regular or design view, deleting it, or running a quick summary report
that you can then print.
Unlike some other add-ins, MDB Artisan isn't modal, so you can continue
to work with your database while its window is displayed. All in all,
this tool offers an inexpensive but full-featured way to document and
investigate an Access database. You can download a trial version to give
it a test yourself.
Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.