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   ► MB LobbyDBA, Databases, & Data BoardDB Other & Misc. Topic   Print This     

Database Pros and Cons

Database Pros and Cons in DB Other & Misc. topic (part of our DBA, Databases, & Data group).

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PMartins
Bath, UK
We have hit problems using Access 97 as a front end to our contacts database. The limitations are in the functionality within the constructed interface, not an issue such as too many records (Although speed is also an issue here). We are therefore looking to other types of front-ends to replace Access.
Could anyone provide any relative Pros and Cons to using...

Access 2000
FoxPro
Oracle Forms
VB6
HTML + ASP
C++
J++
Delphi

.. to construct the front-end interface. Any pointers would be gratefully received!

Thanks,
Paul
Paul Martins
 Posted 21 years ago (Thread Starter)
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Post ID #180, 7 replies
Thread Started 11/29/2000 4:34:00 AM
View Counter=3917
Last Reply Posted 1/18/2001 11:27:00 AM)
Location=Bath, UK  
Joined=21 years ago   MB Posts=7  
Moderator
Mike Prestwood
Prestwood IT
Prestwood IT office in Citrus Heights, CA
Before I give my opinions, I think you should know that I primarily program in Borland Delphi at this point and consider myself an OO programmer. I also program in a wide variety of tools including Corel Paradox, HTML, Perl, FrontPage, VB, Visual Interdev, and JavaScript.

Access 2000 - If I'm going to use a DBMS (as opposed to a true development environment like Delphi or VB), my preference is Paradox over Access, but that's probably just because I know Paradox better.

FoxPro - Same comment as above.

Oracle Forms - I'm not a big fan of Oracle forms. Seems clunky.

VB6 - Good product, but not true OO. The next version is supposed to be truee OO (I'll wait and see). Lot's of companies use VB. Good for Windows apps. Not too good for web sites.

HTML + ASP - Great for doing web sites. Especially since you can add in ISAPI and comm DLLs using VB or Delphi (or any tool that can create them).

C++ - True OO. Great language to learn. The standard all others are judged by. It can be a bit terse, so it's not a great first or even second language to learn. Lot's of work for this language is available.

J++ - Don't know much about this particular tool, but I understand the laterst version is a great JAVA tool. Early versions seemed clunky. JAVA is like C++ both in language and in stature. JAVA isn't the best for creating Windows applications, but it's still a good choice. Also take a look at Sun's E2EE and Borland's JBuilder.

Delphi - The best tool for creating Windows applications. Period. Now that it's going to be available on the Lynux platform in a few weeks, it's now cross-platform too. True OO.

As far as contructing a front-end, you really should get a good GUI standards book. Also, study the heck out of Windows applications right on your system.

If you're looking for a process to follow, take a look at our process -
Old UBB Archived Link: [URL=http://www.prestwood.com/psdm]PSDM[/URL]
.

------------------
Michael A. Prestwood
Author, Corel Paradox 9 Power Programming: The Official Guide

President & CEO
Prestwood Software & Consulting
7525 Auburn Blvd., #8
Citrus Heights, CA 95610


Old UBB Archived Link: [URL=http://www.prestwood.com]www.prestwood.com[/URL]


Serving your IT needs since 1984!

--
Mike Prestwood
Prestwood IT Solutions

 Posted 21 years ago
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About Mike Prestwood

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains play-drums.com and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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Post ID #231 (Level 1.1)  Reply to 180
Thread Started 12/6/2000 9:16:00 AM
View Counter=2
Location=Prestwood IT office in Citrus Heights, CA 
Joined=21 years ago   MB Posts=1410   KB Posts=1805   KB Comments=69   BLOG, Topics=4  
PMartins
Bath, UK
The limitations we have hit are:

1. Maximum number of controls on a form
2. Maximum number of columns in a table
3. Various Access bugs which have meant we have had to drop or alter features of the interface.

My post was therefore really to call on experienced users opinions of other databases. What the 'good' points are, and what 'problem areas to look out for' in respect of each product.

Thanks!
Paul.


Originally posted by Mike Cottle:
Each of the products you have listed, and including ACCESS, are proven products. Without knowing the specifics of the limitations that you are are experiencing, it is impossible to provide the analysis you are requesting. However, I can state at this time that specific development tool knowledge of any developer plays a key role in choosing a development tool. Could you let me know what the limitations are that your are finding in ACCESS? Also, a little background of the developer that is deciding on a new tool?

Paul Martins
 Posted 21 years ago (Thread Starter)
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Post ID #192 (Level 1.2)  Reply to 180
Reply Posted 11/30/2000 6:30:00 AM
Location=Bath, UK  
Joined=21 years ago   MB Posts=7  
PMartins
Bath, UK
Our contacts database is stuctured with separate tables for Companies, Site Addresses and Contacts, linked on relevant fields. We currently have about 12000 Contacts, 8000 Site addresses and 7000 Companies. Separate tables also contain information for contacts who are subscribed to publications, booked for events, placed ads, details of events etc. All in all there are about 35 tables.
The main form itself is designed to allow searching for a contact based on any of the information associated with them, and can be searched through free text or list boxes etc. Automation with Word has also been included which presumably would be lost if the front end was changed from Access.

Thanks,
Paul


Originally posted by Mike Cottle:
Your response indicates to me that you are not utilizing proper database and/or GUI design techniques, or, your decision to use a desktop database was the wrong implementation decision.

If you need more columns, then by all means, upscale to any of the database products mentioned. I would recommend using a database product that you are currently familiar with. (Perhaps Microsoft SQL Server 7/2000). However, for the front end, no product is going to make it easy to display more than 754 controls which is the limitation for Access (see Microsoft kbQ164453).
As for the pros and cons of the various products you have listed, I have professional experience with Oracle, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Hewlett Packards Allbase, and others. I can honestly say that all products worked very well when proper design criteria were used to decide on the database implementation.
From here, I would need more information on the design of your current contact system to provide any value to your question.

Paul Martins
 Posted 21 years ago (Thread Starter)
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Post ID #229 (Level 1.3)  Reply to 180
Reply Posted 12/6/2000 1:09:00 AM
Location=Bath, UK  
Joined=21 years ago   MB Posts=7  
PMartins
Bath, UK
Thank you both for the responses.

I't looks like were going to have to take on another database developer whatever the outcome, so I think a discussion with our IT director may be in order at this point.

Thanks again,
Paul


Originally posted by Mike Prestwood:
Before I give my opinions, I think you should know that I primarily program in Borland Delphi at this point and consider myself an OO programmer. I also program in a wide variety of tools including Corel Paradox, HTML, Perl, FrontPage, VB, Visual Interdev, and JavaScript.

Access 2000 - If I'm going to use a DBMS (as opposed to a true development environment like Delphi or VB), my preference is Paradox over Access, but that's probably just because I know Paradox better.

FoxPro - Same comment as above.

Oracle Forms - I'm not a big fan of Oracle forms. Seems clunky.

VB6 - Good product, but not true OO. The next version is supposed to be truee OO (I'll wait and see). Lot's of companies use VB. Good for Windows apps. Not too good for web sites.

HTML + ASP - Great for doing web sites. Especially since you can add in ISAPI and comm DLLs using VB or Delphi (or any tool that can create them).

C++ - True OO. Great language to learn. The standard all others are judged by. It can be a bit terse, so it's not a great first or even second language to learn. Lot's of work for this language is available.

J++ - Don't know much about this particular tool, but I understand the laterst version is a great JAVA tool. Early versions seemed clunky. JAVA is like C++ both in language and in stature. JAVA isn't the best for creating Windows applications, but it's still a good choice. Also take a look at Sun's E2EE and Borland's JBuilder.

Delphi - The best tool for creating Windows applications. Period. Now that it's going to be available on the Lynux platform in a few weeks, it's now cross-platform too. True OO.

As far as contructing a front-end, you really should get a good GUI standards book. Also, study the heck out of Windows applications right on your system.

If you're looking for a process to follow, take a look at our process -
Old UBB Archived Link: [URL=http://www.prestwood.com/psdm]PSDM[/URL]
.

[/B]

Paul Martins
 Posted 21 years ago (Thread Starter)
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Post ID #273 (Level 1.4)  Reply to 180
Reply Posted 12/12/2000 3:03:00 AM
Location=Bath, UK  
Joined=21 years ago   MB Posts=7  
Most Recent Post
Scott Wehrly
Prestwood IT
 (Inactive)
Las Vegas, NV USA
One other thing to consider is whether or not you're just "reinventing the wheel" with the Access front end.

Have you considered migrating the Access database to a true client-server contacts database product?

I work for a software development company, and rather than expend resources to build one, we purchased the Sales Logix Contacts product. It's got a Sybase SQLAnywhere database as a back end, tracks everything your database tracks, and has a very good report engine. Since the database is SQL, it's possible to write a VB ODBC (or better yet, Delphi BatchMove) application just to
move the existing database.

Find out more at
Old UBB Archived Link: [URL=http://www.saleslogix.com]www.saleslogix.com[/URL]




------------------
Scott Wehrly
Software Engineer
swehrly@schoolhousesoftware.com
 Posted 20 years ago
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Post ID #644 (Level 1.5)  Reply to 180
Reply Posted 1/18/2001 11:27:00 AM
Location=Las Vegas, NV USA 
Joined=19 years ago   MB Posts=442   KB Posts=19  
Deleted Member
Each of the products you have listed, and including ACCESS, are proven products. Without knowing the specifics of the limitations that you are are experiencing, it is impossible to provide the analysis you are requesting. However, I can state at this time that specific development tool knowledge of any developer plays a key role in choosing a development tool. Could you let me know what the limitations are that your are finding in ACCESS? Also, a little background of the developer that is deciding on a new tool?

Originally posted by PMartins:
We have hit problems using Access 97 as a front end to our contacts database. The limitations are in the functionality within the constructed interface, not an issue such as too many records (Although speed is also an issue here). We are therefore looking to other types of front-ends to replace Access.
Could anyone provide any relative Pros and Cons to using...

Access 2000
FoxPro
Oracle Forms
VB6
HTML + ASP
C++
J++
Delphi

.. to construct the front-end interface. Any pointers would be gratefully received!

Thanks,
Paul

 Posted 21 years ago
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Post ID #190 (Level 1.6)  Reply to 180
Reply Posted 11/30/2000 5:19:00 AM
Location=-- USA 
Joined=14 years ago   MB Posts=184  
Deleted Member
Your response indicates to me that you are not utilizing proper database and/or GUI design techniques, or, your decision to use a desktop database was the wrong implementation decision.

If you need more columns, then by all means, upscale to any of the database products mentioned. I would recommend using a database product that you are currently familiar with. (Perhaps Microsoft SQL Server 7/2000). However, for the front end, no product is going to make it easy to display more than 754 controls which is the limitation for Access (see Microsoft kbQ164453).
As for the pros and cons of the various products you have listed, I have professional experience with Oracle, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Hewlett Packards Allbase, and others. I can honestly say that all products worked very well when proper design criteria were used to decide on the database implementation.
From here, I would need more information on the design of your current contact system to provide any value to your question.
 Posted 21 years ago
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Post ID #219 (Level 1.7)  Reply to 180
Reply Posted 12/5/2000 8:20:00 AM
Location=-- USA 
Joined=14 years ago   MB Posts=184  

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