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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16

    Which DB would you use? advice really appreciated

    Hi guys.
    I have a few questions and would greatley appreciate feedback from anyone. I work for a company that does loans. They are a small company and have had a person that knows little about coding or dbase setup create a ms access database that deals with all the day to day processes. It has appropriate forms etc and reports. I on the other hand come from a mysql/web background and was wondering??

    Is using a MS access db a bad thing? I mean the design interface in access is fairly handy for a novice but to be honest ive not tested any other design interfaces. Are there better ones? Ive never heard of a business using access as a everyday database though. I also figured a better method would be a web 2.0 style site as this would be more adaptable? or am i wrong?

    i am of coarse a newbie to databases but am a keen learner and was wondering what would be a better database to use what would be an easier database to configure/setup for a newbie and most of all.

    what database would you use??and why??

    im familiar with sap oracle and mysql but only slightly. I greatley appreciate any feedback on this aswell as some links if anyone has any aslong as they arent links to w3schools or the likes lol. cheers guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    203
    It depends on the amount of data you need to collect, how complex it is and the type of reporting you will be doing.

    For massive amounts of data with multi-value / submulti-value levels, I have always found Pick (JBase, Universe, Unidata, etc) to have the best cross referencing / indexing features. (Then again I'm biased)

    However for small amounts of data almost anything will work.
    When it rains, it pours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    20,002
    the use of microsoft access in small businesses is appropriate, intelligent, and cost effective

    which database would i use? that depends on whether a database exists there already or not

    since you seem to already have a microsoft access database in place, it would be flat out wrong, full stop, to use anything else, unless the microsoft database is being used as the backend database to a web site which has ever-increasing numbers of visitors and is hitting the performance limits of microsoft access

    but as for which one i would use in all other circumstances with an existing microsoft access database in place, the answer is microsoft access
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
    Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16
    Thanks for the replies

    the amount of data is approx 3000 customers raising probably to 10000 by years end. The data needs to be reasonably comprehensive. There need to be advanced reports ran weekly cross referencing the data collected and stored. Ease of input of data is essential ( something i found access lacking with the current setup). performance issues was something i was considering but it seems to be holding up.

    Something else i was considering was to incorperate as much automation as possible for instance setting up autamation to transfer data from an email directly into user fields. Do you know of any databases that handle this kind of operation more easily than others.

    also what experience would you say is needed to setup Pick (JBase, Universe, Unidata etc. beare in mind i am no coder more a bodger of others code. Id love some links on reccomended reading rockingred.

    thankyou for the replies so far and ill post again tonight when i get back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    203
    Pick (in all it's flavours) uses Basic as the main programming language, but there are some companies that decided to make it easy to set up Menus and Input Screens (and save you some coding).

    Screen-Gen is one of the most useful tools when trying to set up input screens and menus on Pick. It saves you a lot of work because it automatically sets up allowances for going back a field, returning to a prior field, using the field number or exiting the screen entirely if you want to start over. Likewise it makes it easy to go back and forth between menus or skip directly to a menu if you know it's name.

    However, if you are not a programmer and you really want this to work properly, I suggest you hire a programmer (with some decent experience behind them) or contact a software vendor in your area. Get them to give you some references and an estimate on the cost before hiring. You can probably even find people who can code all this stuff in Microsoft Access for you, and not have to install and learn a new database toolset. Google Search is the way I would go in your situation.
    When it rains, it pours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    MS Access is satisfactory for your requirements as long as you keep the database connections below five or six concurrent users.
    Beyond that, you should consider upgrading to SQL Server.
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16
    Thanks for the reply rockingred. I am familiar with vb etc. I would have to agree the best corse of action would be to hire a programmer. however im a fast learner and absolutely love a challenge. Which is how i became self taught to a reasonable level at pc building, html,css,php etc and alot more. Ive always aspired to code software. Just never stepped up to the plate and kept wetting my feet with v stuido etc occasionally . Pick sounds interesting and i will be setting up a test db with it over the weekend just to see what im letting myself in for lol. I am deffo going to look into screen-gen and any other pick related tools i can google. I will also be setting up an sql server in the near future so ms sql will be going on for a test drive (thanks for your suggestion blindman). If you come across any links either of you feel may interest me i would welcome a pm. Ill post again later this weekend and let you know what i think to pick. regards Lazynewt.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16
    I was just browsing getting ideas and wondered if oracle might be a good choice? or possibly sap. Im swaying towards oracle due to there seeming ton be alot of plugin/support for it. i realise its a lot more work but i like what i see so far.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    12,592
    Quote Originally Posted by lazynewt
    I was just browsing getting ideas and wondered if oracle might be a good choice? or possibly sap. Im swaying towards oracle due to there seeming ton be alot of plugin/support for it. i realise its a lot more work but i like what i see so far.
    Do you want to spend your time developing applications, or do you want to spend your time doing administration?
    If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.

    blindman
    www.chess.com: "sqlblindman"
    www.LobsterShot.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16
    Fair point blindman. I have read alot about those kind of issues with oracle. I like the look of jbase at the moment. But for now i will be moving to sql server. Thankyou for your input on this matter guys. its much appreciated.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    96
    As blindman said if you have under 5-6 concurrent users you could stick with ms access and just develop an application over it, using .net, php, java, whatever =)

    The moment access is not enough you can port it to SQL Server Express and when express is not enough you can buy a commercial version of SQL Server... Without knowing any specifics about the current application features and usage this seems like the best option.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    Depe3nding on how your app is designed Access application using a JET db should be able to support dramatically more than 5 users...

    if you have realtively few users then Access/JET can be a very good route to go, but you do have to accpet that its not a good choice if you are going to have say more than 15..30 concurrant users. with those sort of numbers you are going to have to do a lot of the data access spadework yourself so the ease of Access quickly faeds away.

    if its a small tightly focussed app.. then Access/JET is in my experience a good choice. However if you aren't particularly experienced in development Access is so forgiving and inviting that you can create an abomination all to easily and quickly.

    In terms of business that use access as an every day tool, yes the y do exist. I don't know if they still do but Air Miles used to use Access.. but talking to a server db. Many companies uses Access to talk to the central server, but use Access for the interface, not storage mechanism. There are going to be very few serious large scale projects using Access and JET in large scale projects for mission critical applications. Access is a great tool for data manipulation, Excel is a great tool for Analysis & modelling, but both toolsets are underpinned by the actual data storage... and that can be (virtually) anything

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