in reply to
Perl Application Platform
Oddly enough, almost every major Access undertaking I've done myself was easily written in well under 1,000 of Perl. I use considerably less code for the dynamic portions, and all "table" data was stored as flat files-- space efficiency! I needed no more "queries" since a simple sub usually transforms the raw data into analytical data with much more clarity.
The final kick for me is that comparable functionality (especially ODBC access) runs in a fraction of the time. Now, I could be incompetent with Access, but I've used it for about three years to do stuff like this and it never gets any easier. On the other hand, I am frequently able to re-use and adapt my Perl scripts in record time.
I'm not sure an environment is needed, other than emacs for writing the Perl code. *grin* I wrote instructions on installing ActiveState Perl on a Windows environment that were just a few pages that were (imho) fool-proof (standard fool disclaimers apply). And encouraging people to learn Perl itself rather than relying on a system makes the most sense to me. It's not that hard. And it beats having to learn a whole tool and a macro language which is not necessarily portable outside the tool.
So my only heckle would be: teach them Ruby instead! The Windows install for that includes a Net module and Tk support, which means that my three page install manual is one line: the URL for Ruby and the words "run installer". Of course, I'm kidding. Maybe.