GIT for Microsoft Access projects

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GIT for Microsoft Access projects

hackerp
Hello,

I'm Paul Hacker here in Tyler Texas.

We are looking for a software control system to keep track of our changes in software.

My question is, will GIT work with MS access forms, queries, tables, modules, etc?

Thanks for any help.

Paul (yes my last name is Hacker!!)
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Re: GIT for Microsoft Access projects

Konstantin Khomoutov-2
On Mon, 8 Jun 2015 9:45:17 -0500
<[hidden email]> wrote:

[...]
> My question is, will GIT work with MS access forms, queries, tables,
> modules, etc?
[...]

Git works with files.  So in principle it will work with *files*
containing your MS access stuff.

But Git will consider and treat those files as opaque blobs of data.
That is, you will get no "fancy diffing" like asking Git to graphically
(or otherwise) show you what exact changes have been made to a
particular form or query between versions X and Y of a given MS access
document -- all it will be able to show you is commit messages
describing those changes.

So... If you're fine with this setting, Git will work for you,
but if not, it won't.

One last note: are you really sure you want an SCM/VCS tool to manage
your files and not a document management system (DMS) instead?
I mean stuff like Alfresco (free software by the way) and the like.
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RE: GIT for Microsoft Access projects

Randall S. Becker
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On
> Behalf Of Konstantin Khomoutov
> Sent: June 8, 2015 12:15 PM
> To: [hidden email]
> Cc: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: GIT for Microsoft Access projects
>
> On Mon, 8 Jun 2015 9:45:17 -0500
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> [...]
> > My question is, will GIT work with MS access forms, queries, tables,
> > modules, etc?
> [...]
>
> Git works with files.  So in principle it will work with *files*
> containing your MS access stuff.
>
> But Git will consider and treat those files as opaque blobs of data.
> That is, you will get no "fancy diffing" like asking Git to graphically
> (or otherwise) show you what exact changes have been made to a
> particular form or query between versions X and Y of a given MS access
> document -- all it will be able to show you is commit messages
> describing those changes.
>
> So... If you're fine with this setting, Git will work for you,
> but if not, it won't.
>
> One last note: are you really sure you want an SCM/VCS tool to manage
> your files and not a document management system (DMS) instead?
> I mean stuff like Alfresco (free software by the way) and the like.

Consider also what you are specifically managing in MS Access. Are you
looking for management of configuration data, like settings, properties, and
such, or is this transactional or user-related. If managing
environment-specific content, it may be worth storing raw SQL INSERT
statements, with appropriate variable references, or export to XML/CSV, and
having those in git so that the purpose for configuration-like data can be
explained and diff'ed.

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Re: GIT for Microsoft Access projects

Sitaram Chamarty
In reply to this post by Konstantin Khomoutov-2
On 06/08/2015 09:44 PM, Konstantin Khomoutov wrote:

> On Mon, 8 Jun 2015 9:45:17 -0500
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> [...]
>> My question is, will GIT work with MS access forms, queries, tables,
>> modules, etc?
> [...]
>
> Git works with files.  So in principle it will work with *files*
> containing your MS access stuff.
>
> But Git will consider and treat those files as opaque blobs of data.
> That is, you will get no "fancy diffing" like asking Git to graphically

More importantly, you won't get any *merging*, which means you need to
be careful about two developers making changes to the same file.

This is the only situation where locking (a feature that is inherently
at odds with the idea of a *distributed* VCS) is useful.

> (or otherwise) show you what exact changes have been made to a
> particular form or query between versions X and Y of a given MS access
> document -- all it will be able to show you is commit messages
> describing those changes.
>
> So... If you're fine with this setting, Git will work for you,
> but if not, it won't.
>
> One last note: are you really sure you want an SCM/VCS tool to manage
> your files and not a document management system (DMS) instead?
> I mean stuff like Alfresco (free software by the way) and the like.
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> To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe git" in
> the body of a message to [hidden email]
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>

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git lock files (Was: GIT for Microsoft Access projects)

Stefan Beller-4
Just because Git allows distributed workflows, doesn't mean we
should only focus on being distributed IMHO.

The question for content not being mergable easily pops up all
the time. (Game/Graphics designers, documents, all this binary
stuff, where there is no good merge driver).

I could imagine a "git lock" command which looks like this:

    git config lock.centralServer origin
    git config lock.defaultBranch master

    git lock add [branch]  [--] <path/to/file>
    git lock remove [branch] [--] <path/to/file>
    git lock ls [<branch>]

And the way this is implemented is roughly (unoptimized, just showing
how you would achieve this with todays command set):

    git fetch --depth=1 $(git config --get lock.centralServer) refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
    git checkout refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.centralServer)/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
    switch(option) {
    case add:
        if exist <path/to/file>
            return -1
        else
            echo $(git config --get user.name) $(date) > <path/to/file>
            git add <path/to/file> && git commit "add new lock"
        fi
    case remove:
        if exist <path/to/file>
            # todo: check if the same user locked it before
            rm  <path/to/file>
        else
            return -1
        fi
    case ls:
        ls -R .
    }
    git push $(git config --get lock.centralServer) refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
    git <restore working tree, branch>

That said you could just manipulate the git objects directly, no need
to check out to the working dir.

The server would only need to allow pushes to a refs/locks directory and be done.
the client side would need to have a plumbing command, so you could easily integrate
a git locking to your application if you don't want to provide a merge driver.

Thanks,
Stefan

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Re: git lock files (Was: GIT for Microsoft Access projects)

hackerp
Thanks folks, I am digesting all you have said.

Now the command line I can do (I'm a programmer) but the secretary here I doubt.

So is there at GUI interface for this? Does it work on Windows systems?

Thanks,

Paul
---- Stefan Beller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Just because Git allows distributed workflows, doesn't mean we
> should only focus on being distributed IMHO.
>
> The question for content not being mergable easily pops up all
> the time. (Game/Graphics designers, documents, all this binary
> stuff, where there is no good merge driver).
>
> I could imagine a "git lock" command which looks like this:
>
>     git config lock.centralServer origin
>     git config lock.defaultBranch master
>
>     git lock add [branch]  [--] <path/to/file>
>     git lock remove [branch] [--] <path/to/file>
>     git lock ls [<branch>]
>
> And the way this is implemented is roughly (unoptimized, just showing
> how you would achieve this with todays command set):
>
>     git fetch --depth=1 $(git config --get lock.centralServer) refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
>     git checkout refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.centralServer)/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
>     switch(option) {
>     case add:
>         if exist <path/to/file>
>             return -1
>         else
>             echo $(git config --get user.name) $(date) > <path/to/file>
>             git add <path/to/file> && git commit "add new lock"
>         fi
>     case remove:
>         if exist <path/to/file>
>             # todo: check if the same user locked it before
>             rm  <path/to/file>
>         else
>             return -1
>         fi
>     case ls:
>         ls -R .
>     }
>     git push $(git config --get lock.centralServer) refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
>     git <restore working tree, branch>
>
> That said you could just manipulate the git objects directly, no need
> to check out to the working dir.
>
> The server would only need to allow pushes to a refs/locks directory and be done.
> the client side would need to have a plumbing command, so you could easily integrate
> a git locking to your application if you don't want to provide a merge driver.
>
> Thanks,
> Stefan
>

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Re: git lock files (Was: GIT for Microsoft Access projects)

Konstantin Khomoutov-2
On Tue, 9 Jun 2015 13:21:44 -0500
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks folks, I am digesting all you have said.
>
> Now the command line I can do (I'm a programmer) but the secretary
> here I doubt.
>
> So is there at GUI interface for this? Does it work on Windows
> systems?

That's why I asked whether the thing you do really want is a document
management system, not a version control system.

Yes, Git works on Windows thanks to folks behind the Git for Windows
project (often and errorneously called "msysGit" in the internets)
and yes there do exist mature Windows GUI front-ends to it, with
TortoiseGit and Git Extensions being supposedly the most visible picks.

But there's such thing as an irreducible complexity: while these tools
strive to be user-friendly, and TortoiseGit even tries to make you
think you're using Subversion rather than Git, they won't hide all the
underlying complexity of a DVCS tool, which Git is, from the user.

So... I bet for your random user, it would be much easier to switch to
the browser window and upload another version of their document there,
with a short note describing what they do and why.  This is how a
typical DMS works.  You won't get all that awesomness Git gives you to
fiddle with your source code files but in return you'll get a system
which requires next to zero training for any layman to use it.

Please rememeber about [1].  Many of the statements that post does are
outdated but its essense remains to be true when it comes to handing
off Git to users not possessing ninja-level computer skills.
I especially recommend to think through this particular passage:

| They often struggle to use version control at all; are you now going
| to teach them the difference between “pull” and “update”, between
| “commit” and “push”? Look me in the eyes and say that with a straight
| face.

I also wonder how do you intend to explain them why they can't push
because someone else had just did that, and what to do about this, and
why.  (And whose version should win, in the end, as the files you
intend to work with are not subject for merging in the usual sense of
this word -- when it comes to plain text files.)

1. http://blog.red-bean.com/sussman/?p=79
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Re: git lock files (Was: GIT for Microsoft Access projects)

Stefan Beller-4
In reply to this post by hackerp
On Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 11:21 AM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Thanks folks, I am digesting all you have said.

I did not intend to answer your original question, but to start a
discussion on the
feasibility of a dedicated "git lock" command.

There are lots of things which are checked in alongside the code
(The code is which is why you want to use Git in the first place),
such as Graphics, CAD, design documents (maybe in binary format such as ODF,
MS Excel).

All I did was proposing a new command and laying out its behavior.
By being careful at what to use as the porcelain command line and what to use
as a stable plumbing command, other programs could rely on that.
(Some proprietary CAD tools such as Altium have a subversion
integration [1], maybe Git wants to offer an easy interface to allow
for Git integration as easily?)

>
> Now the command line I can do (I'm a programmer) but the secretary here I doubt.
>
> So is there at GUI interface for this? Does it work on Windows systems?

As all I was saying is dreaming out new concepts, there is currently no code.

>
> Thanks,
>
> Paul


[1] http://techdocs.altium.com/display/ADOH/Version+Control+and+Altium+Designer
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Re: git lock files (Was: GIT for Microsoft Access projects)

Fredrik Gustafsson
In reply to this post by Stefan Beller-4
On Tue, Jun 09, 2015 at 10:19:43AM -0700, Stefan Beller wrote:
> Just because Git allows distributed workflows, doesn't mean we
> should only focus on being distributed IMHO.
>
> The question for content not being mergable easily pops up all
> the time. (Game/Graphics designers, documents, all this binary
> stuff, where there is no good merge driver).
>
> I could imagine a "git lock" command which looks like this:

You do know that gitolite has locking functionality?

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Re: git lock files (Was: GIT for Microsoft Access projects)

Stefan Beller-4
On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 12:47 AM, Fredrik Gustafsson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 09, 2015 at 10:19:43AM -0700, Stefan Beller wrote:
>> Just because Git allows distributed workflows, doesn't mean we
>> should only focus on being distributed IMHO.
>>
>> The question for content not being mergable easily pops up all
>> the time. (Game/Graphics designers, documents, all this binary
>> stuff, where there is no good merge driver).
>>
>> I could imagine a "git lock" command which looks like this:
>
> You do know that gitolite has locking functionality?
>

Yes, and it's cooking its own thing, it's not upstream (in git core I mean)

Locking is useful not just when using gitolite, but any hosting
solution I believe.
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Re: git lock files

Junio C Hamano
In reply to this post by Stefan Beller-4
Stefan Beller <[hidden email]> writes:

> I could imagine a "git lock" command which looks like this:
>
>     git config lock.centralServer origin
>     git config lock.defaultBranch master
>
>     git lock add [branch]  [--] <path/to/file>
>     git lock remove [branch] [--] <path/to/file>
>     git lock ls [<branch>]
>
> And the way this is implemented is roughly (unoptimized, just showing
> how you would achieve this with todays command set):
> ...
>     git fetch --depth=1 $(git config --get lock.centralServer) refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
>     git checkout refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.centralServer)/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
>     switch(option) {
>     case add:
>         if exist <path/to/file>
>             return -1
>         else
>             echo $(git config --get user.name) $(date) > <path/to/file>
>             git add <path/to/file> && git commit "add new lock"
>         fi
>     case remove:
>         if exist <path/to/file>
>             # todo: check if the same user locked it before
>             rm  <path/to/file>
>         else
>             return -1
>         fi
>     case ls:
>         ls -R .
>     }
>     git push $(git config --get lock.centralServer) refs/locks/$(git config --get lock.defaultBranch)
>     git <restore working tree, branch>
>
> That said you could just manipulate the git objects directly, no need
> to check out to the working dir.
>
> The server would only need to allow pushes to a refs/locks directory and be done.
> the client side would need to have a plumbing command, so you could easily integrate
> a git locking to your application if you don't want to provide a merge driver.

I do not think that would be very useful nor even be a good starting
point, even though I think it is a good tangent to think about how
to improve the support for the centralized workflow.

You cannot afford to force clients keep polling the central server
for the refs/locks/my-branch, if you want a good "everybody relies
on central-server to coordinate" workflow experience.

And even without "file locking", once you start assuming "everybody
relies on central-server to coordinate" workflow (which is common in
corporate settings), you would be better off introducing a mechanism
to push notification from the server side to the clients to improve
support for other things, like "the client watches these branches,
doing a hanging Get or whatever, waiting for the server to notify"
anyway.  The kind of notification that distributed use of Git can do
without.

And once that kind of mechanism is there, "the client is notified
not to touch these paths on this branch", "the client is notified
that it is now OK to touch these paths on this branch after
updating", etc., would be a natural addition.

I highly doubt that exchanging data via the "git fetch" and "git
push" will be a good vehicle to implement such an async notification
mechanism.
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Re: git lock files

Thomas Koch-2
might contain good thoughts about locking + git:

Jan 12, 2010 Interest in locking mechanism?
http://git.661346.n2.nabble.com/Interest-in-locking-mechanism-td4293383.html

Jul 04, 2013 intend-to-edit flag
http://git.661346.n2.nabble.com/intend-to-edit-flag-tp7591127.html

Sep 17, 2013 Locking files / git
http://git.661346.n2.nabble.com/Locking-files-git-tp7596435.html
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