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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Development tool choice for SQL Server

    Is VB.net the most logical choice of a RAD tool to use with MS SQL Server? Is VB.net strictly for web apps or can you use it to create projects that run as executables off the server?

    JustStartinOut

  2. #2
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    we use java and websphere
    Brett
    8-)

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    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  3. #3
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    VB.NET can be used for web applications or for building executables or DLLs (actually you are creating DLLs when building .NET web apps anyway). The .NET development tools, which include VB.NET, C#, and others, are not RAD tools but will allow you to develop using RAD methodology. Depending on your programming background, you may find C# easier to use than VB.NET. It is syntaxically similar to C, c++ and Java.

    HTH
    Tim

  4. #4
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    I find C# infinitely easier to read and code than VB.

    also there are certain useful keywords in C# that have no equivalent (i think) in VB (like using and yield).

  5. #5
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    I think Access is about the quickest for simple apps. It has very good support for SQL Server. We have a comprehensive app in Access that uses VB 6 in the code-behind.

    The developer wrote an entire purchasing and inventory system in 4 months, from inception to implementation. It has about 20 menu items and uses Stored Procedures for all SQL Server access. It's fairly stable and very fast, however requires installation at each workstation. He could have done it in half that time except for a very complex (Dynamic SQL) interface into our existing Sales Order system.

    VB.Net, as with all the .NET languages, compiles into a Common Language. As mentioned, the C# language has more complete support of the .NET platform and enjoys wider support and programmer base, but the end result of VB.NET and C#.NET are identical.

    In my opinion, the only reason for VB.NET is to provide an easy learning curve for all the VB 6 developers. It's C# with a VB6 like syntax, what's the point, just use C#. (note: C#, although modeled after C++, is far less complex to use, and in truth was modeled after Java)

    With .NET, you can create console applications, web applications, desktop applications (the traditional forms based program that gets installed on each desktop), and others. Usage of any require the .NET Platform to be installed. However; using a web page that's implemented by ASP.NET does not require anything special, just a browser. The programmer may have to work out differences with particular browsers (example: Netscape is notorious from straying from the standards, nearly as bad as IE) but they DO NOT require the .NET platform to function.

    ASP.NET is the programmer's platform for Microsoft's next generation of IIS (web server) and is implemented using .NET. It's a pretty amazing platform. I'm only starting to use it but after 4 years of using ASP, there's simply no comparison. In ASP.NET, you write your forms, database access, etc similarly to a desktop appliation then ASP.NET actually converts stuff to HTML and manages the web sessions. According to the forword in my ASP.NET book (by APress) MySpace.com (who gets over a billion hits a day) recently converted from ColdFusion to ASP.NET and that's saying a lot.

    (Regarding Access) As with most simple platforms, there's a point of diminishing returns where it's actually more difficult due to the complexity of what you're trying to achieve. So if you don't have a well seasoned Access developer, and your task is very complex, I'd not suggest Access. For a fairly simple series of screens (like master file maintenance, creating test data, etc), it's nice.

    For reporting, I use Crystal Reports (and it serves up nicely on our web server, with license-free report distribution) and (combined with SQL Server's backend RAD SQL development tools) it is the most productive environment I've ever experienced. I can satisfy nearly any permanent reporting request in under 1 day, and often in 1 or 2 hours. Maintenance is also a dream. Factory workorders, invoices, sales analysis, Purchasing history, etc etc.
    Last edited by vich; 11-17-06 at 21:47.

  6. #6
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    Actually this system is currently written in Access and I was looking to do a rewrite using something more sophisticated and robust and that is why I was looking at choosing some newer technology. Our Access applications around here all have the same unprofessional look.

  7. #7
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    Well access like VB is a FAT client.

    We chose java because it's thin and uses servlets

    No, I don't know Java....front-end development.....ewwwwwww
    Brett
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    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcm2zs
    Actually this system is currently written in Access and I was looking to do a rewrite using something more sophisticated and robust and that is why I was looking at choosing some newer technology. Our Access applications around here all have the same unprofessional look.
    They're all pretty equally capable of offering an unprofessional look and feel.

    Don't confuse the front-end look-n-feel with back-end capability. They all use the same SQL Server.

    Java and .NET are pretty similar, however .NET is more suited to the Windows platform. .NET allows for a "thin client" (ASP.NET combined with language of choice, VB.NET, C#.NET, etc) and "fat client" (Windows Forms app combined with .NET language of choice).

    Going to either is a total rewrite, and even re-design. The database table layout and screens can likely stay (mostly) the same, but it's a non-trivial task. If you just want prettier screens, you could get a better Access programmer to just move things around and add some navagation capability.

    Suggest re-posting your question in the language support forums. I don't think the database guys care too much about how the front-end is implemented.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Kaiser
    No, I don't know Java....front-end development.....ewwwwwww
    java isn't strictly a front-end language - plenty of server apps have been implemented in java. you can build a RDBMS with it even

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/daffodildb

  10. #10
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    Thanks Vich, but I don't want to give my job away to a 'better access programmer'. (ha, ha) I would like to learn something new to get my skills back sharp and to help me stay marketable should I ever want to leave here. At this job I have plenty of flexibility (and spare time) and I essentially work by myself (as far as development goes). Now is a good time for self-development.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alcm2zs
    Thanks Vich, but I don't want to give my job away to a 'better access programmer'. (ha, ha) I would like to learn something new to get my skills back sharp and to help me stay marketable should I ever want to leave here. At this job I have plenty of flexibility (and spare time) and I essentially work by myself (as far as development goes). Now is a good time for self-development.

    Fine, then ascend to mount olympus and become a dba
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
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    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  12. #12
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    since you are working on Access, VB.Net seems a logical tool of choice.
    I come from VB background but i've managed(at last!) to work equally comfortable on Vb.Net & C#.

    As far as the app is a desktop one it should fairly easy to wsitch between the 2. But i think to create a Web App you will need to put few extra hours in learning and implemntation.
    In GOD we believe. Everything else we Test!

  13. #13
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    I use Access as a front end MDB with an SQL 2005 back end. I have also played with the ADP form of Access front end. I am moving to VB.Net due to getting a timeout error on a key part of the application which is just impossible to solve. But I am finding the move very difficult as it is a rather steep learning curve.

    If you are going to use the Express Edition note that it is only configured to use the wizards with the express version of SQL 2005.

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