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I have an Access 03 program with a bunch of VBA code that is in use and the end user wants new functionality. I am finding it very difficult to add new functionality because my brain wants to use the most recent .NET technologies and VBA is not recent at all.

How should I go about "rolling back" technologies in my head to keep my frustration levels to a minimum?

Also my boss said it wasn't in the budget to rewrite the project from access and vba to some sort of form and SQL combo (which I could probably pound out in a few days, which is the same amount of time that I feel that it will take me to look up and implement in the old system).

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Sounds like you have plans for the weekend. –  JeffO Dec 14 '10 at 21:21
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Personally I'd tell my boss something along the lines of "I forget most of that, and would have to take [x] days to re-acquaint myself with the technologies." ie. "I don't want to." Eventually, the salespeople have to learn to say "No, we don't support that anymore." –  Steve Evers Dec 14 '10 at 22:51

5 Answers 5

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Consider it an exercise in mental flexibility. Appreciate the chance to temporarily lower your standards, so when you come back to the most recent .net, it will be like paradise to you.

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You should be able to take satisfaction and professional pride in figuring out the existing code base, adding your new functionality in a way that doesn't make the situations worse, and not breaking the existing functionality. I have to do this all the time, back and forth between recent technology and old technology. I've always taken satisfaction out of being able to do this well.

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Turn on the Nirvana, roll up your flannel shirt's sleeves, stroke your beard and just get down to work.

Kidding aside, I find it somewhat unpleasant to "roll back" from VS 2010 to Visual Studio for Applications. BUT, I find it a fulfilling challenge to employ methodologies such as formal Design Patterns, Inversion of Control, automated unit testing, etc. in the older environment.

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+1 for just thinking about introducing unit testing in Access 2003. That is a whole world of hurt (to coin a phrase). –  Gary Rowe Dec 15 '10 at 0:33

Apart from imagining that you are in year 1997 and just getting your hands dirty with VBA, I don't see any other way you could fix this.

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If you're good at what you do and it's your professional opinion that it would be more cost-effective to re-do it in .NET instead of struggle with VBA, then your boss should take that seriously. If they don't then I recommend you find a new, competent boss somewhere else :)

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