I'm using source code control for Microsoft Access development since the year 2002 and I cannot imagine developing without it now. I'm working frequently with distributed teams and source code control has proven itself to be invaluable for our development process.
So it came as bit of shock as Microsoft announced that there will be no source code control add-in for Microsoft Access 2013. I was wondering: What could I do now?
The only viable alternative to the Microsoft Source Code Control Add-In at that time was the OASIS-SVN add-in for Microsoft Access that provides Subversion source code control integration for Microsoft Access. But I started working with Microsoft Visual Source Safe for source code control in 2002 and later, as is was the most painless way to upgrade to a "proper" source code control system, changed to Sourcegear Vault. - An excellent product that is meeting most of my needs for source code control until now. So I was not prepared to move my numerous existing projects with many years of history over to Subversion. From the day I was one of the early beta testers of OASIS, I asked Bernd Gilles, the maker of OASIS, if he would consider supporting Vault or the MSSCCI. Although het put support for Sourcegear Vault on his OASIS roadmap early on, there seemed to be not much happening in that regard even years later.
At that time I found the documentation for the MSSCCI-API on the MSDN Website by chance and decided to just try if I could implement an Access add-in for source code control myself.
So in early 2013 I started writing code without much of a planning of design phase, rather for the fun of it. The source code control API was not too difficult handle and I made good progress implementing that. However, as soon as I reached the point where integration into Microsoft Access came into focus, I hit one barrier after the other, each harder to overcome than the previous. The problem was, there is no documented API for Microsoft Access that allows third parties to integrate into the inner workings of Access the way I felt was necessary to build really seamless version control into the Access IDE.
In summer 2013 I put the development on hold as I could not find a way to properly integrate into the Access Navigation Pane. At the time none of my clients was planning to upgrade to Microsoft Access 2013, so I did not really feel the pain to push on and overcome those barriers. Furthermore several client projects were taking all of my time back then. And as time went on, the temporary hold for my SCC Project became a rather permanent one.
Continue reading part 2 of this series here.