I need to set up a small database to monitor student behaviour.
I can do this in Access, but I'd prefer something different as Access is a little clunky, and I'd like the opportunity to try something new.
Any suggestions for a platform that would be suitable for this? I am quite comfortable with coding and designing a database, but am completely out of the loop as regards current languages (I was a mainframe programmer for many years - the concepts don't change but the technology certainly has!)
I've done something a little similar in cakephp - which is a php framework.
We also do similar things in our moodle - again more php needed
The probelm isn't so much the database as the front end to it
You could use the free Express editions of SQL Server and Visual Studio. They interface nicely together.
Microsoft Express Home - Visual Studio Express and SQL Server Express are free tools
If you're coding in VB or C#, take a look at the Entity Framework (LINQ to entities) it's excellent, much better (=easier and faster!) than using traditional ADO coding for many situations.
There's nothing stopping you using Access as a sketchpad to try it out, then recreating the finished design on a proper SQL client-server system.
Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 16th March 2011 at 02:42 PM.
Why is Access 'clunky'?
It may be that Access is the best option? I have used it for stand alone applications quite often and it's worked well, but wasn't so sure about something that worked across the network.
The one advantage Access does have, is that I know how to access it. If you use mysql what do you use for a development environment. (
Last edited by Bev; 17th March 2011 at 09:39 AM.
I've never had trouble with <20 concurrent users over the network. If your front end is heavy, it's worth separating tables and interface and deploying the interface to workstations, and using linked tables to connect to one MDB of tables.
So are you suggesting I set up the database, stick that on the server, and then stick a local copy of the application on each machine?
I didn't realise you could do that, but that makes sense.
The Smith/Sussman Access books are excellent reading.
If you want something easy, and surprisingly powerful, have a look at Silverlight Lightswitch. Sadly it's in beta at the moment so anything you build with it is a development solution only, and not a finished solution but it's definitely worth a look.
It can use an external database, or you can use the built-in SQL Express instance when you deploy.
Also allows you to make an app available directly to client machines (running locally), on a client-server basis, or entirely web-based.
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