Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3

    Which DB front-end should I use?

    I am a small business with limited resources and am looking for a database solution for inputting, editing and manipulating data. All my data is currently in a rather large excel spreadsheet.

    I think MySQL5 is sufficient for the actual database. Does anyone have any suggestions for what framework would be suitable for a desk-top based front-end for the database? I have considered the microsoft VB.NET platform, but would prefer something open source.

    I would like this front-end to allow me to:

    - input data easily
    - quickly check existing data to avoid double-entry
    - create reports
    - export data to open office write and calc documents

    My bugdet for developing this database is around $2,000.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    If your databases are currently stored in Excel spreadsheets, you are looking for a desktop tool, and you have a $2000 USD budget, then I would very strongly suggest using Microsoft Access. Access is a full blown desktop database environment that is actually part of the Microsoft Office suite.

    You can use the default Jet database engine that is provided with Microsoft Access, then graduate up to a database server as your needs expand. You can easily use Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, Oracle, or any other ODBC compliant database engine.

    After you move to a client/server database environment (where you are willing to devote the resources of one or more machines to supporting your databases), you may want to consider moving to a user interface that is driven by programming such as VB.NET or an open source equivalent, but I see that change as being somewhere down the road.

    -PatP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for your quick response.

    Ideally I would like to implement a custom user interface driven by an open source equivalent to VB.NET. Are there any in particular you would recommend.

    Regarding my budget of $2,000, I have been using rentacoder and elance for some years now, admittedly mostly for the development of web-based php / mysql applications. On average I have paid between $10 - $15 per hour for good quality work. So I was thinking that 125 hours was roughly sufficient for planning and implemented a custom open source database front end.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    if you are already in the MySQL/PHP environment then why not stay there. if your developers are familiar with Web 2 then you can get a reasonably close fake of a traditional app usign a mix of PHP & Javascript as Ajax.

    If you want to stay in the open source language environs (or dont want to take a gamble of AJAX meeting your needs) but dont want to use PHP then you are probably going to have to look at something like C, or Java
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Baghdad, Iraq
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by healdem
    if you are already in the MySQL/PHP environment then why not stay there. if your developers are familiar with Web 2 then you can get a reasonably close fake of a traditional app usign a mix of PHP & Javascript as Ajax.

    If you want to stay in the open source language environs (or dont want to take a gamble of AJAX meeting your needs) but dont want to use PHP then you are probably going to have to look at something like C, or Java
    I've got to second this. Access isn't a bad DBMS, but it has many incredibly frustrating limitations, especially if you're coming from a PHP or CF background. The worst has to be the fact that you have a static set of controls. (Yes, you can dynamically create controls... but if you want to do anything with them, you have to programatically edit your source code! And even if you are certain that your code to edit your source is completely bug free and doesn't introduce any security holes, you still can't sign it. So the user will always see the amateurish "Unsafe macros detected!" dialog.) The second worst is that you have to manually lay out every control; no table elements or CSS. The third worst is buying third-party stuff to handle anything but rudimentary graphics within Access.

    Yeah, it looks more like a Windows app. That's the only advantage. PHP/MySQL is pretty reliable, it's cross-platform, and it's client-server, which is much nicer than running Access on a shared drive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    If this is for a muli-user application, then I'd agree with both healdem and sco08y. If it is for a single user desktop installation (which is what I think the OP wants), then I'll stand by my suggestion of using MS-Access.

    -PatP

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for all your responses. All very much appreciated.

    There will in fact be a number of different users inputting data from different terminals. Therefore I think I need a client / server architecture. I think Ajax sounds fine (I understand this to be a combination of html, javascript and php). If any of you have time I do have a couple of additional questions.

    1. Above someone alluded to ajax's limitations. Any thoughts were I might find Ajax a problem.

    2. Building a desktop based front-end using Ajax will require using a browser as the platform (please correct me if this assumption is wrong). Is there any particular browser that would be most suited? Would Firefox provide the most flexible development platform? Slightly off-point I read a while back about xforms. Would using these be better than the standard html forms?

    Many thanks and also in advance.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •