I know I'm dating myself, but I used Clipper quite extensively about 12-14 years ago. After a long stretch as a SAHM I'm back working & would like to write a program to perform a specific job.
I've looked at Access, but I'm not sure it's exactly what I need. I would have been able to create this program in one day with dBase & Clipper, but now I'm just frustrated. The data I'm working with is pretty basic, but there's a large volume of it.
Thanks for any suggestions. I love writing code, but I'm a little overwhelmed at the choices out there now compared to when I started on a PET!! (Please tell me there's someone here that remembers that?)
Okay, trying to keep it simple, here's what I have to work with:
I have receipts (numbered) that are sent out to different cities. When they are used, a copy is sent back to us with the amount on it. Here's what I need to track:
-What city each receipt # is sent to
-What date it was sent out, what month it was used & the date rec'd back
-Total for the reporting month as calculated by the city
-Which of 3 codes that the amount is assigned to
Here's what I need to report:
-Which receipt #'s & a total for each city for each month reporting, and any discrepancy to city's total
-Which cities have not reported for which months
-Totals for each of 3 codes for each city for the fiscal year
I think that's all. The data is currently being kept in 3 different Excel spreadsheets, plus tapes are being run on an adding machine. So, I can only guess as to the number of records. I'd say: 60 cities x an avg of 50 receipts a month = 36,000 active records a year. I'll probably need about 2 years in the database ongoing.
If you suggest Access, I'll give it a shot. I'm just concerned about wasting alot of time learning Access & then finding out it won't do what I want.
Simply to throw a bit of fuel on the fire, FoxPro has a great deal of the look, feel, and syntax of Clipper, but with a full-blown Windows GUI. Access will eat the problem you've described like candy, but your Clipper experience will be a lot more directly applicable with FoxPro.
Just to pitch in one more wrinkle to advocate for MS-Access, it is used by far more users and will be much better supportable than FoxPro because of that... This means that FoxPro will be easier for you to get started, but Access will be easier for you to pass on to someone else.
If I had to make the call, I'd use MS-Access. I'd also probably cheat and put SQL Server behind it because I hate fighting corrupt files because some bone head turned off their PC before the application closed properly.
Nah I'm just joshing - I only say that because I have to care for a beast of a legacy system programmed in the aforementioned language. And most of my complaints are with poor backend design (MS SQL 6.5 ) and not so much the front end.
I actually found FoxPro very easy to jump* into; but Pat raises all the right points for and against the use of this badger.
I (and I'm sure Pat too) would love to know what route you decide to take!
And if you need help - stick around
There are lots of folks around here that are willing to help, and the regulars all seem to subscribe to the notion that the only stupid question is the one that isn't asked... If you ask any question (politely), you'll probably get more help than you can use.
Just an observation to follow that up, but there are a few folks who demand help, and there are also some folks (students) that try to trick/goad/coax someone into doing their assignments for them... These folks tend to get a somewhat different response, depending on which of us loses our temper first and responds to them. I've been known to conjour up a few doozies for the students, and a couple of blistering responses to the nasty/demanding crew in my day.
Thanks for the tips. No student here (did this sound like a textbook problem?)...really, I'm old enough that the first computer in my house was a Commodore 64 (and Shaun Cassidy was my idol...but that's probably too much info!).
I was just reading the Access forum & was thinking that in a couple of years my kids will be understanding this stuff better than me!
I'm still surprised at the NON-efficient way this data is currently being stored. This task shouldn't take more than 15 minutes a day to keep up to date, but it's always way far behind because it's so difficult to get the data into the spreadsheets.
Don't worry....I'm Canadian. I can't be anything BUT polite!