Using version control is the most impactful change you can make to improve the quality of your Microsoft Access applications.
Here is a quick list of just some of the benefits you gain using version control:
- A detailed history of what changes were made to your application.
- A detailed history of when those changes were made.
- A detailed history of why those changes were made.
- A detailed history of who made those changes.
- An easy way to search through your entire code base (including form/report/control properties).
- An easy way to search through the code bases of multiple Access applications at one time (e.g., using the "Find in files" feature of Notepad++).
- A way to merge changes when multiple developers make changes to the same application.
- A quick way to see the contents of a code base at a particular point in time.
- An authoritative answer for clients when they ask, "What did you change? This doesn't work now." (Hint: the answer is often, "Nothing.")
- It acts as a backup of your work, especially if you automatically push changes to your repository to an offsite location.
I'll leave you with one final note. It's critical that you use text-based versions of your form and report objects when saving them for version control (using the
SaveAsText method). This gives you access to the values saved in the form, report, section, and control properties.