Chapter 26. Bulletproofing Access Applications


  • Defining bulletproofing

  • Identifying the features of bulletproofed applications

  • Understanding that bulletproofing goes beyond code

One of my favorite old movies is Desk Set (1957), starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. In the film, Spencer Tracy plays a computer consultant responsible for installing a large computer system in Katharine Hepburn's office. Typical of computers in older movies, the massive wall-to-wall mainframe featured in Desk Set understands plain-English queries ("How many ounces of gold were mined in South Africa in the last ten years?") and is equipped with a galaxy of flashing lights that indicate when the machine is "thinking." And, of course, the machine and its software work flawlessly, delivering the requested information in seconds (after much clicking, clacking, and spinning of the huge tape drives, of course).

As we all know, Hollywood's vision of computer systems has always been far from reality. Even today, in the 21st century, computers still can't "understand" plain-English commands, hardware still doesn't perform flawlessly, and users still have trouble getting their applications to do what they want and need them to do. Most important, software can't be made to anticipate what the user wants. How many times have you heard people complain that they know the computer can do what they want, but they just can't get it to happen?

The objective of this chapter is to describe a development ...

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