We specialize in programming online applications in lamp environment, since we have more and more clients requesting that we take care of their local systems/solutions, we are evaluating these softwares solutions:
We mainly intend to use it as a local front end to our databases (MySQL) while keeping our own cms and online solutions.
Last year, following one of our client's request, we have sucessfully translated a (rather large and complicated) ms access database to MySQL while keeping their in-house frontend (developed over years by the client) but that road was not painless, and it is not very easy to get support from MS (rather impossible), not a problem with the MySQL folks, they are behind you in every step and support is good.
We also evaluated Filemaker pro, but have to admit their support for MySQL is kind of a joke, they advertise a 'partnership' with MySQL but we are far from a perfect integration and support over here in Belgium is .... not efficient ... as that would be a nice way of putting it.
One of the main problem is the impossibility to use linked tables as lookups for a drop down list (or combo list or list box) in a form, we use this all the time and the fm folks confirmed this was not possible at this stage of development.
We are now in the process of evaluating Alpha five, but this software seems rather buggy in its latest version (v9) and terribly slow when using active-linked tables.
At the moment, it seems like MS Access is still the best option of the tree.
Does anybody here have any information or experience to share regarding this quest ?
We use sqlyog as our frontend and are happy with it, the point here is to build custom applications/forms for our clients so that they would manage their data locally using the frontend rather than using our online solutions.
Alpha Five as a web and desktop front end to SQL databases
I have recently (last 5 months) started using Alpha Five as a front end development tool for building desktop and web ajax apps against SQL backends. (Previously i used MS Access.)
I am extremely happy with it because of the following reasons
1) speed of development - the product has very complete visual tools and a powerful language
2) it lets me build both desktop and web apps
3) it lets me build really fast performing desktop and web AJAX apps (my customers are very focused on speed )
4) its built in security framework
5) its reporting