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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Los Angeles/Costa Rica

    Question New and full of ???s

    Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum but from the looks of the site I think I came to the right place.

    I am 22 years old and have grown up on computers my whole life. I like to think I am pretty well versed in the common operating systems available (Windows, Mac ect.) and am beginning to teach myself some computer languages (Linux & Unix). I know though I have A LOT to learn. Anyways, I recently got an intern position with a construction company in Costa Rica and one of my tasks is to create server and VPN for this company. I have never really set up a server before, but I felt I was up to the task. (Don't worry, I'm not going to ask how to set up Windows Server 2008 ... I'm struggling through it but that isn't the issue... yet )

    The company wants to have a searchable database integrated into the server accessible via the VPN. The database would include names, phone numbers, contracts, construction drawings... everything. This database will also need to be VERY user friendly, i.e. easy to search, update, manipulate etc. A majority of the employees are really only capable of sending emails, word processing and working in AutoCAD. They really don't have time or the patience to learn any complex computing processes or languages. Also, my time is limited with them and they have no IT personnel to support them if needed once I am gone. Since I don't have too much experience in this area I did some google searching and discovered the world of SQL's.

    My question to all you gurus out there is this: Is an SQL what I am looking for? I have gathered that an SQL is it's own computer language in itself, so is this as simple as it gets as far as databases go? If so, which SQL options would suite my needs? If not, what alternatives are there? It doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to work and be as simple to use as possible. The server will be running Windows Server 2008 and the client computers are running Windows XP.

    Thank you for your time and any information you can provide. I am aware that I am a newb at all of this so I apologize in advance if I have been too vague or if my question is totally ridiculous. I leave myself to the mercy of the forum


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    what I think you need is a SQL backend to store the data, that back end will provide the capability to do the searches, to manipulate the data in a manner that makes it usedfull for the compnay.

    however you will also need a front end to make the search user friendly (to shelter the users from SQL. and you will also need a means of rendering that information in a manner which is usefull to the company.

    that means you need a means of storing the data. that coudl be anything from a server prodcut like SQL Server, MySQL Postgres and others right the way down to the file based SQL like Access, SQL Lite, Filemaker and so on. Depending on how many concurrent users you expect then a file system like Access may be a good choice.

    as to how you access that data thats laregly down to you, your employer and thir budget.
    MS Access is a good choice, but can be expensive to roll out to many desks. it may also be not the smartest choice if you expect lots of users and want to use the inbuilt data storage, although if you connect to a server back end that shouldn't be a problem

    there are other types of languages, the more traditional compliled languages such as C, C++, Visual Basic, Delphi C# and Java.

    theres a tird approach which is to use a webserver based solution where the front end is written in something like PHP or ASP. It may be that a web front end may be a good choice.

    ultimately it depends on what you want to do, what skills have you got, what time have you got and ultimately what resources have you got.

    bear in mind as you are doing this as a intern type job, then you need to make sure that whatever you do is capable of being picked up by your successor
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

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