With a new project comes the inevitable question of the appropriate technology. We have a project that needs a bit of database stuff, some data entry, some automatic processing of files (originally emails) and some production of XML files. One of the top priorities I have is maintainability. We have two people supporting our information systems and we can't be sure that over the next few years there will always be those two. If we had a larger team we could assume there would always be someone around.
So the maintainability criteria for technology choices is for when there is no-one around, and we have to appeal for some volunteer help. We want to pick something that it is likely a volunteer will be familiar with. So we choose Access, which we already have as part of our MS Office desktop installation. For some of the processing/glue stuff we're using Python. In the past we've chosen Perl, but Python is recommended because it is easier to work out what it is doing (see Maintainability). There are newer scripting languages, but we're trying Python for the moment.
tags: charity non-profit Python Perl Access