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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Unanswered: Excel, Access, SQL or other?

    I just started working for a company that has several Access databases - A total of 7 gigabytes of Access files that are linked to raw data files. The raw data files come from different departments and must be run through Access queries to format them correctly. There are also links between the Access databases, and it gets very confusing.

    My boss wants me to improve the system and include on-line reporting for about 50 internal people. He would like for the reports to be interactive with dropdowns and radio buttons. I am an expert VBA programmer for Excel, and could build this type of report without a problem, but have no clue how to get this on a website. I am willing to learn a new reporting software, if it would work better on-line and more seamlessly with a database. Perhaps Access Data Pages or SQL Reporting might be better.

    What backend database do you recommend, and what do you recommend for the on-line reporting?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    SQL server would be a good back-end database to help you manage that kind of data. It would radically improve performance times and improve robustness of the database.

    SQL is also very cheap to set up and install, two servers (one production and one dev) together with software would typically cost less than 10k which is nothing to most firms for this kind of tool.

    The front-end aspect is slightly more tricky. My first SQL client server app was built using Access2k as a thin client front-end. It simply reported data from the system and it is still very popular after a few years. Access2k is excellent as it is quick to work with as a lot has already been done for you.

    You could use vb or excel as front-ends to produce the reports or even go for an IE & asp - if you're feeling adventurous.

    With your knowledge of VBA, I'd perhaps stick to a Excel or Access front-end to start and then in the future move onto to something more complex when you've got more confident.

    DAO/ADO/ OPM, IM, EAM/Discoverer/ SQLPlus

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