Access Databases, Alternatives

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Utah

Postby BlackRG » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:16 am

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.

New Member
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:29 am

Postby llama-p40 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:17 am

Related to this topic...
I am a big database nut, and use MySQL and PHP mostly. For a quick UI try using dadabik ( It's an easy way to get a UI up quickly for a MySQL database.

Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 am

Ruby on Rails

Postby The_Earl » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:44 pm

You might give Ruby on Rails a test drive. It works pretty simply with a MySQL DB backend, is well supported as a framework, and does a lot of things out of the box.

I prefer Java, so I have tried Trails, a Java framework that tries to be like ROR. Trails has a few warts, but you end up with a proper J2EE app when you are done.

I think we would all be better served by a description of the types of uses you are trying to replace. Maintaining any DB / Reporting system locally is going to be problematic. We should be trying to help you get the tools you need to do the jobs you have, rather than proposing alternative ways of digging the same hole you are in. Maybe some of these apps can be pulled into the LUWS, or into MLS. Maybe we can start a side project based on the published Java Stack that you could use.


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