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Open source alternative for MsAccess?

At this moment I use MsAccess and i can build about every databound
application i want. Who knows about a serious open source alternative?
Because Windows will be a client platform for some time, i prefer a
solution that (also) supports Windows.
On the net I found a number of products that i looked at, but none of
them gave me the impression of a serious candidate at this moment
(KNoda, Gnome DB Manager, InterBase...).
2 additional questions:
1) OpenOffice + MySQL is suggested sometimes. Is OO fit for
developping 'serious database applications' (and not just thinks like
mail/merge)??
2) Is Php-gtk, the win taste of php, a serious platform for developing
windows apps? And if so, is there a good IDE that works in a visual
manner like Ms products like Access and Vb do ?
Nov 13 '05
115 14232
In message <Kc************ ******@nwrddc02 .gnilink.net>, Larry I Smith
<la***********@ verizon.net> writes
paii, Ron wrote:
I don't see anything in AquaFold that supports an end user interface and
reports. I looks like it is only a GUI interface to the SQL server.
"Larry I Smith" <la***********@ verizon.net> wrote in message
news:Ux******** ***********@nwr ddc01.gnilink.n et...

Please don't 'top post'

<snip>

The original OP asked about GUI development tools.


The OP asked about replacements for MS Access, which is not quite the
same thing. The difficulty is that Access is a single tool that does a
lot of different jobs, whereas the UNIX style is to use a separate tool
for each job. Aqua Studio looks like a useful replacement for a very
small part of what Access does.

I use Access a lot and it's the main reason why I haven't switched to
Linux on the desktop yet. To replace Access I need a well-integrated
suite containing:

A database engine, like MySQL or PostgreSQL supporting views and
hopefully triggers and stored procedures. (If the engine doesn't support
triggers then I need them in the forms designer, which is why MS Access
is a good front-end for MySQL.)

A data management tool able to import and export data in a wide variety
of forms. For instance importing data from a flat text file and linking
that with data in an external Oracle database. It needs to support some
sort of scripting language for data transformations and validation
during the import.

A visual database management tool, like AquaFold

A visual forms designer supporting an easily learned macro language (the
same one as used in the report designer)

A visual reports designer supporting an easily learned macro language
(the same one as used in the forms designer)

In a large production database system it is
almost never a good idea to allow individual
end-users to do ad-hoc queries.


That isn't usually an issue in the applications that Access is used for.
It's very definitely an end-user tool used for building small
applications or quick and dirty prototypes. If runtime speed is an issue
then Access isn't the tool to use.

Access is designed to make ad hoc queries easy to write, not efficient
to run. It's not a programmers tool and a Linux replacement should make
it possible to build a simple application like an address book without
writing a single line of code.

--
Bernard Peek
London, UK. DBA, Manager, Trainer & Author. Will work for money.

Nov 13 '05 #11
In message <94************ ********@megapa th.net>, R Baumann
<ry**@9yahoo.co m> writes
Larry,

The OP asked for an Open Source alternative for MSAccess. That implies a
tool with the ability to create tables, forms, queries, reports, menus,
etc., and, the ability to develop and run some kind of scripting
language(VBA , Python, etc.) so as to have programming control over the
application. Access is much more than a utility program like Aquafold.
While Aquafold certainly looks like it has it's place as a utiliy, that's
not what we're looking for here.

By your own admission, you say you don't know very much about Access. No
DUH! Perhaps you should learn something about it before you make a
recommendation , PARTICULARLY to this ng.

By the way, when you visit a newsgroup, you should take the time to learn
that group's posting etiquette before you tell anyone to "Please don't 'top
post'". Some members 'top post', some "bottom post'. Either way is
acceptable here, and we don't need some pseudo-religious sermon about which
way is right or wrong.
Larry was replying to a cross-posted message, and there is no easy way
of telling which newsgroup he originally posted to, or what it's
policies are. Your reply was only posted to comp.databases. ms-access so
if he was reading another group he won't see your reply.

By the way, Access fits in very nicely as a GUI application front end to
Oracle, SQL Server, MySql, etc., etc., etc.


It fits particularly well with MySQL.

--
Bernard Peek
London, UK. DBA, Manager, Trainer & Author. Will work for money.

Nov 13 '05 #12
Bernard Peek <ba*@shrdlu.com > wrote in
news:8Q******** ******@shrdlu.c om:
In message <Kc************ ******@nwrddc02 .gnilink.net>, Larry I
Smith
<la*********** @verizon.net> writes
In a large production database system it is
almost never a good idea to allow individual
end-users to do ad-hoc queries.


That isn't usually an issue in the applications that Access is
used for. It's very definitely an end-user tool used for building
small applications or quick and dirty prototypes. . . .


I think the definition of "small" needs to be qualified here.

The size of the data set for your application is not really
relevant. Yes, if you're using Jet (Access's native db engine) to
store your data, you need to be careful about concurrency issues and
you need to design your Access app to be as efficient as possible.
Of course, that's also true with a server database as your back-end
data store, now isn't it?

The applications you can build with Access are not limited by
anything at all. They can be extremely complex and full-featured.

So, I see no justification at all for the claim that Access is for
"small applications," even if you're talking about Access with a Jet
back end.
. . . If runtime speed
is an issue then Access isn't the tool to use.
I don't see this. What is slow about Access? Nothing at all. The
working set is not going to be smaller than any other application
you use as a front end, nor is it going to be slower in operation.
Access is designed to make ad hoc queries easy to write, not
efficient to run. . . .
On the contrary, Access is designed to make ad hoc queries both easy
to write and efficient to run. Jet does an awfully good job
optimizing what it requests from a server back end. It doesn't
always guess correctly, of course.
. . . It's not a programmers tool . . .
Er, yes, it *is* a programmer's tool. I program in it for a living.
. . . and a Linux
replacement should make it possible to build a simple application
like an address book without writing a single line of code.


You can't even do that decently in Access. You certainly can't do it
efficiently.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #13

"Bernard Peek" wrote
Larry was replying to a cross-posted
message, and there is no easy way
of telling which newsgroup he originally
posted to, or what it's policies are.


Interestingly, I've never seen a USENET newsgroup charter that included
netiquette to the depth of specifying top or interspersed posting. I have
also not seen any adopted RFDs prohibiting it, so I believe it to be a
matter of personal preference. (And, it's one on which good friends can
differ -- ask David Fention. <GRIN>)

BTW, if his munged email had been accurate, he'd have gotten a copy of my
response, but it was not... take out the Xs and you get "returned mail". But
I saw no compelling reason to cross-post my response to a self-appointed
authority on posting style.

Larry Linson
Nov 13 '05 #14
"David W. Fenton" wrote
Er, yes, it *is* a programmer's tool.
I program in it for a living.


As do I, and many others here.
. . . and a Linux replacement should
make it possible to build a simple application
like an address book without writing a
single line of code.


You can't even do that decently in Access.
You certainly can't do it efficiently.


On the other hand, a colleague in my user group wrote the food ordering,
tracking, and distribution application for a major metropolitan school
district's food service, that has been running and serving them well for
over 10 years, and it hasn't a single line of code in it that was not
generated by the Control Wizards! I was _very_ impressed!

(See, David, I didn't top post, even though I cautioned whats-is-name about
ordering someone not to do so! <GRIN>)

Larry Linson
Microsoft Access MVP
Nov 13 '05 #15
David W. Fenton wrote:
Bernard Peek <ba*@shrdlu.com > wrote in
[Microsoft Access]. . . It's not a programmers tool . . .


Er, yes, it *is* a programmer's tool. I program in it for a living.


Damn! I'm feeling *really* sorry for you :(

cheers, Bernd
Nov 13 '05 #16
"Larry Linson" <bo*****@localh ost.not> wrote in
news:85******** **********@nwrd dc03.gnilink.ne t:
"David W. Fenton" wrote
Er, yes, it *is* a programmer's tool.
I program in it for a living.
As do I, and many others here.


Most Linux users (and, apparently, a large number of Access users)
have no comprehension of this fact.
. . . and a Linux replacement should
make it possible to build a simple application
like an address book without writing a
single line of code.


You can't even do that decently in Access.
You certainly can't do it efficiently.


On the other hand, a colleague in my user group wrote the food
ordering, tracking, and distribution application for a major
metropolitan school district's food service, that has been running
and serving them well for over 10 years, and it hasn't a single
line of code in it that was not generated by the Control Wizards!
I was _very_ impressed!


Er, um, that's a pretty important exception that the original poster
did not include. I was assuming no control wizard code.
(See, David, I didn't top post, even though I cautioned
whats-is-name about ordering someone not to do so! <GRIN>)


Well, I dislike top posting, but only because so many people who do
it don't trim what is irrelevant to their replies.

Also, top posting makes little sense at all when you're replying
inline -- it only makes any sense at all when you're replying in a
single block at the top.

And, of course, I think top posting is most appropriate for email
correspondence, where it may be important to have the whole history
of the discussion in each email message. I can't see a use for it
all on Usenet, but as long as quotations are trimmed to the
essential, I won't complain.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #17
David W. Fenton wrote:
Bernd Bollman <be***@hotmail. com> wrote:
> [Microsoft Access]. . . It's not a programmers tool . . .

Er, yes, it *is* a programmer's tool. I program in it for a
living.


Damn! I'm feeling *really* sorry for you :(


Why?

Because I can do anything I need to do with a tool that allows me to
do it in 1/3 or less the time it would take with any other tool?


I know Access is very mature and feature-rich and all of you who
program in it daily and create applications that are useful to some
have my deepest respect! I couldnt do this.

The reason is the total lack of a design. It is a lumped up
collection of components without clean interfaces and lots of
features taped all over it. Its based on Basic! The documentation
totally sucks. The user has to have Access installed. Its just
damn ugly. The only thing I would hate more than having to use
Access is having to maintain the source of it.

"Feature-rich" in this case would better be described as opaque
monolithic Monster-Bloatware.

cheers, Bernd
Nov 13 '05 #18
TheAd wrote:
At this moment I use MsAccess and i can build about every databound
application i want. Who knows about a serious open source alternative?
Because Windows will be a client platform for some time, i prefer a
solution that (also) supports Windows.
On the net I found a number of products that i looked at, but none of
them gave me the impression of a serious candidate at this moment
(KNoda, Gnome DB Manager, InterBase...).
2 additional questions:
1) OpenOffice + MySQL is suggested sometimes. Is OO fit for
developping 'serious database applications' (and not just thinks like
mail/merge)??
2) Is Php-gtk, the win taste of php, a serious platform for developing
windows apps? And if so, is there a good IDE that works in a visual
manner like Ms products like Access and Vb do ?


Search for

"DATABASES"
"ReKall"
"MySQL"
"Gambas" !

on http://www.futuredesktop.org (link jungle -;))
Consider also to use PYTHON language.
It's easy yet very powerful tool. (eg. with wxPython toolkit).

// moma
http://www.futuredesktop.org/how2burn.html
Follow the "mirror site" link...
Begin with eg. Mandrake if newbie.



Nov 13 '05 #19
th*****@hotmail .com (TheAd) wrote in message news:<c1******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
Thanks for all the replies. My personal conclusions are:
1) at the moment Access is (for me) the best allround tool for
developping forms/report oriented applications. It's forms development
capabilities are unmatched at this moment. Development goes much
faster then via any of the other applications I think (incl. Microsoft
products like Vb and the .Net products).
Finding good gui-products to manipulate a database or select/update db
data is no problem.
The only product that looks like a serious candidate at this moment is
Rekall. The concept looks okay but to me using Python as scripting
language is not attractive; yasl->yet another scripting language :(
2) Access is definitly fit for "big environments" when you use it
wisely. Especially when it is used as a frontend with a "real backend
database". But I made a realy complex application that can be used by
1500 users and it still uses a Jet backend db of about 80M now
(fortunatly only 20 or so users use it at the same time; 255 at the
same time would be a 'slight' problem).
3) I continue to hope for an OpenOffice component (nearly) as good as
Access. At that time it would be an even bigger MsOffice killer as it
already is (come on you OO developpers!). Until then I think I stick
to Access. The coming years with Windows (os-desktop or via terminal
server), and then possibly via a product like Crossover from Linux.
4) at this moment php-gtk look to me like a tool that's not yet fit
for production puposes but who knows one day it will grow big like
it's great webscripting brother?

Any further suggestions are always welcome of course !

gr Ad
Nov 13 '05 #20

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