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Date:         Thu, 15 Sep 2005 18:28:58 -0400
Reply-To:     Robert Dozier <dozierrobert@verizon.net>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Robert Dozier <dozierrobert@verizon.net>
Subject:      Re: SPSS v. Access
Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

> I would caution people that Access (and Excel) can store vast amounts of > data in the row direction, but it can only hold 255 columns in any table > or query.

Here is the essence of the problem. Access is a relational data base. It does not have "columns" (that is until you get to designing report and talk about the placement of fields on a page). It is not a spreadsheet or a word processor. It requires a different way of think of the the data. While a table can contain only 255 fields, a data base can contain many tables that can be and should be linked by a common field. Therefore you can reference many times 255 "columns".

Also Access is sold and designed by Uncle Bill to be for "smaller" data sets. Microsoft SQL is designed by Uncle Bill for "larger" data sets. I have millions of records in my Access data bases.

I know a very good accountant who does all his letters in Lotus. I also know a very good secretary who keeps large tables of number, that she does mathematical calculations, on in WordPerfect. Both are convinced to the bone that their way is the "right way." It is what they know and "when all you have is a hammer you treat everything like a nail."

If you want to do statistical analysis use a statistical analysis package. If you want to store and sort data use a data base package. Just make sure they "talk" to each other when doing what they do best.

just my 2 cents YMMV bob dozier


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