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  1. #1
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    I just checked my join date of these forums in my profile - July of 2004. I first came to this site for Access help, and you guys were great Now, 5 years later and probably 4 years since I've last worked on a database, I'm being asked to make a new one... I suggested that I wanted to make it in access but my boss is dead-set on me making it in SQL. Of course, I don't know much about SQL other than the basic queries that I'd write using Access.

    He's asking me to write a database to catalog all of the tooling that exists across 2 plants in our manufacturing business. so basically this means anything that we have to use to make our product (which is a lot of stuff). I told him I wanted to do it in access but he said it doesn't scale well and he prefers it isn't done in access, but I can use access to make the front end, or do a web-based front end. What are the thoughts of the experts here? The web-based database sounds nice, but I haven't a clue on where to start with that, or do I try to convince him that doing it in Access is fine? He likes to use SQL 2005 to build queries and he has plenty of database experience himself.

    Some of the requirements of what I'm looking to do:
    -Display PDFs or link to equipment drawing files on the server
    -Catalog all different types of tooling, no idea how I'm going to do this yet...
    -Log new tooling in, and when tooling gets changed, worn, replaced, etc.
    -Track usage, replenishment
    -Reports out the wazoo
    -Queries out the wazoo

    So, what do you think?? Argue for all-Access, do an Access front end? Try to make a web-based front end??
    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>
    <big>John</big>

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    If you're comfortable with Access, I'd build an Access frontend to a SQL Server backend. You could even start with an Access backend, then migrate it to SQL Server later on.

    The advantage of using an Access frontend is that you can build all the forms and reports in Access, which you already know how to do. If you went for a web-based frontend you'd have to learn that from scratch.

  3. #3
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    It is hard to win an Access vs. SQL Server argument for a backend database, especially with your boss. And since he is fine with an Access frontend, I'd go with that solution.

    As Hans mentioned, you can start the development process with an Access backend and then upsize to SQL Server. However, I'm not crazy about the Upsize Wizard; I have a conversion to do soon, and I'm going to look at some 3rd party products.

    I've found the key to a successful use of Access and SQL Server is the use of pass-through queries from Access. You can create the SQL string in code (pulling in parameters from forms, etc.) and then submit the string via the pass-through query to the SQL server; I've found this to be easier than trying to manipulate SQL Views from Access. Be aware, however, that there is a slight difference in syntax for building an SQL string for use in Access vs SQL Server (including use of different characters for wild-cards, etc.). But you can build some Views in SQL Server to start learning how to construct them.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  4. #4
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    alrighty, thanks for the replies guys... I'll see if I can convince him to do an access front end. But I know the argument will be: "what if I want to check the database from someone else's computer who doesn't have the front end?"

    This will be my answer: ->

    edit: is there any support for that sorta stuff here? I'm guessing I'll also be a lot more on my own if I go after the web-based front end...
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    <big>John</big>

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    You might create a simple web-based frontend to view data in tabular form; I'm sure you can find some boilerplate examples out there. But to build a full-fledged web-based frontend is something else.

    The Lounge is mostly MS Office-oriented, and several Loungers have experience with Access as frontend to SQL Server databases. We're probably not the best site for help on web-based database frontends.

  6. #6
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    What exactly does "check the database" mean? If you want to do anything from anywhere and you don't have Access and the frontend available, then I think you are back to square 1 in the design. What can it be designed in to give him the capabilities he wants from "anywhere"?
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  7. #7
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    [quote name='officespacer' post='763376' date='04-Mar-2009 10:18']alrighty, thanks for the replies guys... I'll see if I can convince him to do an access front end. But I know the argument will be: "what if I want to check the database from someone else's computer who doesn't have the front end?"

    This will be my answer: ->

    edit: is there any support for that sorta stuff here? I'm guessing I'll also be a lot more on my own if I go after the web-based front end...[/quote]

    We do both web-based SQL Server user interfaces and Access based UIs and web is a lot harder. First, I agree with Hans and Mark that an Access front-end to ODBC connected SQL Server tables is an excellent approach. It is a much faster development environment than web based interface development - we use .Net and ASP for the things we do. And you are correct that not many Loungers are doing .Net/ASP development. Most of our stuff is done by one of our associates, and he doesn't usually frequent the Lounge. But we can give you lots of help with the Access side of things - so do that first and then see if you have to do a web-based interface as well.
    Wendell

  8. #8
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    OK, I'm going to approach this by designing it in Access and then probably convert the back-end to SQL after it's set up. Finally, I may eventually re-do it as a web-based interface "in my spare time" if such a thing exists

    Expect lots of Access questions in the near future
    <img src=/w3timages/blueline.gif width=33% height=2>
    <big>John</big>

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