JerAnderson wrote:I've seen a lot of neat tools built on MySQL, too (including some of the good open-source wiki's), but even if the back end is in a bigger database engine (MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, etc...), you still have an interface to develop & maintain. I'd love to see some sort of framework put together that developers could easily plug their database into and get a simple system up and running. Something that's about as easy as building a database in Access, but more standards based, scalable and robust. I've figured out enough on my own to get a few small websites running, and they're much easier to maintain than their Access counterparts, but there's still a lot of hurdles to get over.....
I think this mostly depends on the application.
If it's small/simple and you have a clueful user using it, then a good GUI tool for interfacing with something like MySQL or MS SQL whether connecting to a remote or local server may be all you need.
If the user isn't clueful or the application is more involved, then identify whether a requirement for network access to the DB is acceptable, if so, go with your choice flavor of DB. If it's not acceptable, then unless it just can't meet your needs, something internal to the program is often the best choice as it provides simplicity on the user's end.
If you find yourself doing a lot of what looks to be repetitive development though, consider building tools to write code. My brother wrote a nice little piece a few years ago in perl that takes a simple config file and generates PHP code from it. The PHP code generates html tables from MySQL tables with several nice abilities like easily sorting the data by columns. The perl code is flexible enough to allow you to exclude/include specific data, rename the columns, customize some of the html code, add additional columns with form buttons linked to URLs generated on the fly from the SQL data, or what not, etc. Suddenly what he might blow a few hours messing around with he was cranking out in minutes on a whim.