+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
Coding Thread, Access alternatives? in Coding and Web Development; I need to set up a small database to monitor student behaviour. I can do this in Access, but I'd ...
  1. #1
    Bev
    Bev is offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    157
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Access alternatives?

    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!)

  2. #2


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    339
    mysql, postgresql

  3. #3
    danbuntu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maidstone, Kent
    Posts
    295
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 53 Times in 50 Posts
    Rep Power
    19
    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

  4. #4

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    In the Calamatorium.
    Posts
    1,968
    Thank Post
    112
    Thanked 489 Times in 335 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    283
    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.

  5. #5

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,859
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    182
    Why is Access 'clunky'?

  6. #6

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    9,756
    Thank Post
    3,265
    Thanked 1,052 Times in 973 Posts
    Rep Power
    365
    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Why is Access 'clunky'?
    Not sure if there was or is a work around or if its been resolved but when I was trying to use asp classic it would not allow me to have different users writing to the DB at the same time, concurrent connections i think is the correct term

  7. #7


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    339
    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    Why is Access 'clunky'?
    It's pretty cumbersome compared to postgres, mysql - which are much lighter weight, and scale better.

  8. #8

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,859
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    182
    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Not sure if there was or is a work around or if its been resolved but when I was trying to use asp classic it would not allow me to have different users writing to the DB at the same time, concurrent connections i think is the correct term
    That's just an MDB as a back-end - Access itself has concurrency and row-level locking built in.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    It's pretty cumbersome compared to postgres, mysql - which are much lighter weight, and scale better.
    Agreed. Access is much faster to build straightforward applications in though, and I'm a firm believer that clunkiness is something you design around.

  9. #9
    Bev
    Bev is offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    157
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    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.

  10. #10

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,859
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    182
    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.

  11. #11
    Bev
    Bev is offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    157
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    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.

  12. #12

    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Alcester, Warwickshire
    Posts
    4,859
    Thank Post
    412
    Thanked 777 Times in 650 Posts
    Rep Power
    182
    The Smith/Sussman Access books are excellent reading.

  13. #13

    dhicks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Knightsbridge
    Posts
    5,624
    Thank Post
    1,240
    Thanked 778 Times in 675 Posts
    Rep Power
    235
    Quote Originally Posted by Bev View Post
    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'd stick with a web-based interface - use whatever language and database you like on your server, but have the client machines access it through a web browser. It just makes for less stuff to manage. Many languages these days will have SQLite embedded in them: an SQL interface to a database stored in a simple file. For an application with relativly few users it should be just fine, and you don't need to install or manage a separate database on your server.

  14. #14
    Bev
    Bev is offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    157
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
    Rep Power
    11
    I've downloaded Visual Studio Express - the deciding factors being: it's free and I've found a step by step 'getting started' tutorial here

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,168
    Thank Post
    98
    Thanked 319 Times in 261 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Rep Power
    113
    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.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. LP+ Alternatives
    By synaesthesia in forum East Midlands Broadband Consortium (EMBC)
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 30th March 2011, 02:01 PM
  2. Alternatives to Home Access Grant / e-Learning Foundation
    By mb2k01 in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 17th May 2010, 12:23 PM
  3. SuccessMaker Alternatives
    By Gatt in forum Educational Software
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12th May 2009, 12:01 PM
  4. Speedykeys alternatives
    By contink in forum Educational Software
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2nd October 2006, 11:51 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

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