Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4

    need a better db than access

    Hey there all, i'm a bit of a noob, have been using access to run the database of a small org with about 400 contacts.
    Basically, it just hasn't been setup as perfectly as I need it to be, but I have realised I would rather learn a new better system than dig deeper into access to learn how to tweak it myself.

    So i need something to help me with financial reporting, to handle about 10 different catagories of contacts.

    Ideally for Mac, or Mac/PC

    something simple is obviously what everyone wants, but i'm happy to have to work a bit harder under the hood for it to be intuitive for a new worker to use it.

    It does not need to be in the cloud, as i am currently the only user of it, however it would be useful if I could add another user or 2.

    We have a very LOW budget!!! our project runs on $55,000 a year and provides emergency accomodation/hospitality for 100+ people every year, so if I can buy something once it would suit me better than a yearly fee.

    ok thanks guys! all reccomendations will be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    what is wrong with Access?
    what makes you think its not appropriate for your purposes?
    bear in mind that Access itself is not a database engine.. its a RAD/User interface that can talk to many different types of data storage engine but the default is the JET engine.

    if you are doing stuff for a charity / not for profit there are lots of things to bear in mind, not least budget. however one of the things that is the system needs to be designed in something that is appropriate for that organisation (not the developer) and needs to be in something that is pretty ubiquitous so it can be maintained in the medium to long term.

    Access will not have a problem with 400 odd contacts and 3 or 4 users. it may have a problem with a couple of million contacts and / or 15..30 users depending on how its designed and what backing datastore you use.

    as to budget
    pretty much the cheapest solution these days is web based (the web bit could be a public server or an intranet). possible contenders are going to be scripting languages such as PHP, Perl, Ruby and so on, running on an Apache web server talking to a MySQL or similar db server. however the more esoteric you get the harder it may be for the NFP to get someone in to maintain the app.

    another cheap solution is open office's db product

    unless you have good reasons to move away from Access I'd strongly recommend you keep it.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4
    Access has basically been a pain in the ass.

    Essentially, even if I stay with Access, i need to start from scratch with a new design. Access, maybe be fine, but our current design is very hard to pass onto a new worker and doesn't do a lot of the reporting work it should.

    So, seeing as I use a mac I would rather start again on a mac product, and seeing I am still confused by access after 15 months, Im very unmotivated to stick with it.

    ill check out open office db thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4
    actually I had an oversight in this, I actually need one which is both mac and pc compatible for future compatibility with people who take over my role and don't use a mac.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    so whats wrong with Access?
    'its been a pain in the ass' isn't very descriptive

    personally I find Access easy to use
    the only tme its been flaky is when either too much was being asked of the back end *ie the wroing back end was used and/or the app wasn't designed properly for a server back end
    OR the basic design was flaky.

    if you want something that resides on that runs on PC's and Apples then Filemaker may be worth looking at, but its going to cost more. however far fewer people use filemaker than Access
    if you want something that is platform independent then open office may be the route, however far fewer people use Open Office compared to Filemaker

    if you think designing in Access is tough then I suspect that a web hosted app isn't going to be any easier, many find it a tougher proposition.

    Filemaker is Apples equivalent of Access, however in my books it is neither as accomplished or proficient as Access. I think it can be easier, especially if you are of the Apple way of doing it... however by definition that makes the handover to a subsequent developer to maintain. int he same way that competent MySQL DBA'a are harder to find, the same follows with competent developers in Filemaker. mind you you can easily find lots of incompetent developers in Access

    are you sure you want to lock in your NFP into the more expensive Apple world?
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    4
    Hey mate thanks for your replies, just a reminder i'm a noob so don't understand the specific language and acronims yet.

    Ok so I guess the most important thing i need is it to be compatible with both mac and pc, as you said, for handover in the future.

    so Access, can't do that, neither can filemaker.

    Is OOBase a completely standalone product?

    The problem with Access is that it was designed by a woman who had done a course in using access, she had designed 2 previously. the design she made for us doesn't work. So if its her third attempt, and it still doesnt work, then I don't have a good impression of the program. Yeah sure it could be that she is a bad designer. regardless, I'm sick of looking at it and its not compatible for mac.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    you can get Filemaker for Apple and Microsoft
    for me Filemaker is pants, its too basic, it doesn't allow the more sophisticated things you can do In Access. I'm happy to admit that that may refledct my famiarity with Access. I've been using since Version 2 good knows how long ago.

    plain Vanilla Access is as good, if not better than planin Vanilla Filemaker and it can do more. its not he most scaleable product, it can run out of grunt fairly quickly but I don't see that happening for a 3..5 users CRM app, especially one with only 400 people.

    it sounds liek your problems with Access are more problems with the design. and unless you have a reasonable db design background those self same problems will re occur in whatever tool you use.

    open office is fine, its free, but they themselves make no claims as to the breadth of the app, they are not competing with Access they are trying to cover the mass requirement for cheap and cheerful db's.

    If I was you I'd ditch the MAC requirement and use Access, but in any event get some experience in designing db's before comitting anything to keyboard.

    Im surprised at your commment about reports, one of Access's main strengths in my books is the speed of generating and deploying reports. if you are struggling then it suggests to me the deisn is pants.
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1
    Hi guys,

    I was thinking about changing Access with another db, but now that I've read that all of you find it good, I think I'll keep it.

    Maybe I haven't still tested all its features....thanks

Posting Permissions

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