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Which DBMS?

P: n/a
Hi

I have been asked to implement an error logging/management database for the
network technicians in our company. The idea is that staff using
workstations can enter a database and log any problems they are having,
while the technicians can pull off details of faulty equipment. The users
will have little experience of databases so the system needs to be
customized to allow users access to facilities via simple a gui. The network
is win98 based.

Currently the company does not have a dbms. My initial reaction is to do it
using MS Access as this is a database that I am familiar with. However, with
so many databases systems out there, I was wondering what dbms others would
choose and what advantages/disadvantes it would have.

Many thanks for the help

Dave


Nov 12 '05 #1
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20 Replies


P: n/a
Dave wrote:
Hi

I have been asked to implement an error logging/management database
for the network technicians in our company. The idea is that staff
using workstations can enter a database and log any problems they are
having, while the technicians can pull off details of faulty
equipment. The users will have little experience of databases so the
system needs to be customized to allow users access to facilities via
simple a gui. The network is win98 based.

Currently the company does not have a dbms. My initial reaction is to
do it using MS Access as this is a database that I am familiar with.
However, with so many databases systems out there, I was wondering
what dbms others would choose and what advantages/disadvantes it
would have.

Many thanks for the help

Dave


If the users aren't that familar with using databases and you don't want the
trials of installing an app onto each workstation then why not consider
running a web-based app.
It minimises the reliance on having a front-end working on each workstation,
which may not be working in any case if the workstation has developed a
fault, and most people are familiar with how to use a web-browser.

In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the user to be
able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else was web-based and
worked quite well using SQL Server and various scripting languages. Another
option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.

IMO your initial spec sounds better suited for something like that rather
than Access. Then each new workstation simply needs a link to the intranet
site that hosts the app and you never have to worry about the individual
machine configuration.


Nov 12 '05 #2

P: n/a
Quoth "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com>:
In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the user to be
able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else was web-based and
worked quite well using SQL Server and various scripting languages. Another
option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.


Why would you consider PHP/MySQL a "cheaper" route? The vendor has
pretty clearly stated that if the software being used with it isn't
licensed under the GPL, then they expect you to pay full price,
$495/host. PHP isn't available under the GPL, and whatever code you
write in PHP probably won't be, either.
--
If this was helpful, <http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=cbbrowne> rate me
http://cbbrowne.com/info/rdbms.html
"war is an inappropriate analogy; ``flame war'' is a misnomer.
in any usenet exchange, the only casualty is time.
there are better uses for regret."
--thi <tt*@netcom.com>
Nov 12 '05 #3

P: n/a
What's the cost of a SQL Server licence?

P
"Christopher Browne" <cb******@acm.org> wrote in message
news:bm************@ID-125932.news.uni-berlin.de...
Quoth "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com>:
In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the user to be able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else was web-based and worked quite well using SQL Server and various scripting languages. Another option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.


Why would you consider PHP/MySQL a "cheaper" route? The vendor has
pretty clearly stated that if the software being used with it isn't
licensed under the GPL, then they expect you to pay full price,
$495/host. PHP isn't available under the GPL, and whatever code you
write in PHP probably won't be, either.
--
If this was helpful, <http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=cbbrowne> rate me
http://cbbrowne.com/info/rdbms.html
"war is an inappropriate analogy; ``flame war'' is a misnomer.
in any usenet exchange, the only casualty is time.
there are better uses for regret."
--thi <tt*@netcom.com>

Nov 12 '05 #4

P: n/a
Christopher Browne wrote:
Quoth "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com>:
In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the
user to be able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else
was web-based and worked quite well using SQL Server and various
scripting languages. Another option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.
Why would you consider PHP/MySQL a "cheaper" route?


Because I don't know what i'm talking about! In that respect anyhow...
At my last job I'm pretty sure we didn't pay up for the PHP/MySQL solutions
which were used pretty extensively.

The vendor has pretty clearly stated that if the software being used with it isn't
licensed under the GPL, then they expect you to pay full price,
$495/host. PHP isn't available under the GPL, and whatever code you
write in PHP probably won't be, either.


Just glad I don't have to pay that in order to use it personally.
Nov 12 '05 #5

P: n/a
If you are comfortable with Access, use Access. The only obvious problem is
sharing Access files with a large number of clients.

--
John Weinshel
Datagrace
Vashon Island, WA
(206) 463-1634
Associate Member, Filemaker Solutions Alliance
"Dave" <de***************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:bm**********@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk...
Hi

I have been asked to implement an error logging/management database for the network technicians in our company. The idea is that staff using
workstations can enter a database and log any problems they are having,
while the technicians can pull off details of faulty equipment. The users
will have little experience of databases so the system needs to be
customized to allow users access to facilities via simple a gui. The network is win98 based.

Currently the company does not have a dbms. My initial reaction is to do it using MS Access as this is a database that I am familiar with. However, with so many databases systems out there, I was wondering what dbms others would choose and what advantages/disadvantes it would have.

Many thanks for the help

Dave

Nov 12 '05 #6

P: n/a
> What's the cost of a SQL Server licence?

http://www.microsoft.com/sql/howtobuy/default.asp

HTH - Peter

--
No mails please.
Nov 12 '05 #7

P: n/a
The world rejoiced as "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com> wrote:
Christopher Browne wrote:
Quoth "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com>:
In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the
user to be able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else
was web-based and worked quite well using SQL Server and various
scripting languages. Another option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.


Why would you consider PHP/MySQL a "cheaper" route?


Because I don't know what i'm talking about! In that respect anyhow...
At my last job I'm pretty sure we didn't pay up for the PHP/MySQL solutions
which were used pretty extensively.


The licensing of MySQL has changed lately, which has had the effect
that the PHP distribution can no longer include MySQL client libraries
since they are incompatible with PHP's licensing.

The PHP people now apparently include an integrated version of
SQLLite, an embedded SQL database. (Rather weakly typed, but hey,
it's freer than MySQL...)
--
(reverse (concatenate 'string "gro.gultn" "@" "enworbbc"))
http://www3.sympatico.ca/cbbrowne/
Rules of the Evil Overlord #147. "I will classify my lieutenants in
three categories: untrusted, trusted, and completely trusted.
Promotion to the third category can only be awarded posthumously."
<http://www.eviloverlord.com/>
Nov 12 '05 #8

P: n/a
There are a number of factors to be taken into account when considering an
Access multiuser configuration, including the requirements, design, and
implementation and the hardware, software and network environments. For an
overview of Access multiuser, you can see the presentation I did for my user
group at http://appdevissues.tripod.com/downloads.htm. For the best
collection of detailed info and links on the subject, visit MVP Tony Toews'
site, http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm.

If you are seriously interested in using OpenSource, you might check
PostgreSQL to see if its licensing terms are more favorable for use with PHP
than MySQL's terms.

If you only have a modest number of users (say never more than 25 - 30
accessing the web based DB at a given time), then MSDE (Microsoft Data
Engine, aka SQL Server Desktop) might work, and it comes wiht a free license
with a number of different Microsoft products. AFAIK, your server would have
to be running Windows.

Larry Linson
Microsoft Access MVP

"Dave" <de***************@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:bm**********@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk...
Hi

I have been asked to implement an error logging/management database for the network technicians in our company. The idea is that staff using
workstations can enter a database and log any problems they are having,
while the technicians can pull off details of faulty equipment. The users
will have little experience of databases so the system needs to be
customized to allow users access to facilities via simple a gui. The network is win98 based.

Currently the company does not have a dbms. My initial reaction is to do it using MS Access as this is a database that I am familiar with. However, with so many databases systems out there, I was wondering what dbms others would choose and what advantages/disadvantes it would have.

Many thanks for the help

Dave

Nov 12 '05 #9

P: n/a
Christopher Browne <cb******@acm.org> wrote:
Rules of the Evil Overlord #147. "I will classify my lieutenants in
three categories: untrusted, trusted, and completely trusted.
Promotion to the third category can only be awarded posthumously."
<http://www.eviloverlord.com/>


Very cool. Thanks!

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Nov 12 '05 #10

P: n/a
In article <uW***************@nwrddc02.gnilink.net>,
bo*****@localhost.not says...

If you only have a modest number of users (say never more than 25 - 30
accessing the web based DB at a given time), then MSDE (Microsoft Data
Engine, aka SQL Server Desktop) might work, and it comes wiht a free license
with a number of different Microsoft products. AFAIK, your server would have
to be running Windows.


Larry,

Please correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't that "25-30" users
limitation depend greatly just how much load the users were placing on
the server? MSDE is throttled by throughput, not number of users or
connections, yes?

As for the "...server would have to be running on Windows...", this is,
of course, true for the the database server (SQL Server or MSDE) but
certainly not for the web/application server.
Nov 12 '05 #11

P: n/a
"Jawn" wrote
Please correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't
that "25-30" users limitation depend greatly
just how much load the users were placing on
the server? MSDE is throttled by throughput,
not number of users or connections, yes?
"Throughput" probably isn't the word I'd use to describe the throttling
mechanism for MSDE. My understanding is that after five internal "batch
processes" it begins to add some delay (earlier versions were simply limited
to 5 batch processes, IIRC). If your application is such that one user input
results in many accesses to the data, then, yes, of course.

25 - 30 is the range of concurrent users that I have seen documented for the
earlier versions of MSDEin a client-server environment; I have seen no
figures for a web-based application using the newer versions. In general, it
is my observation that client-server apps put a heavier load on the database
than web-based apps (perhaps mostly because of the limitations of the
browser UI).

So absent any contradictory information, I make the assumption that a
well-designed, well-implemented web-based application should be able to
handle 25 - 30 concurrent users, AS A RULE OF THUMB. It may well handle
more, but if I knew the user base was going to grow above that, I'd plan for
replacement of MSDE with SQL Server itself at some future date. But, because
MSDE _is_ SQL Server with the throttle and the size limitations, that would
be a simple change.
As for the "...server would have to
be running on Windows...", this is,
of course, true for the the database
server (SQL Server or MSDE) but
certainly not for the web/application
server.


Yes, the database server would have to be Windows. It is certainly possible
that the web server could be on a different machine/OS. If a different DB
(say MySQL, PostgreSQL which have already been mentioned, or Informix or
Oracle or others which haven't) were used, there would be no requirement for
a Windows machine on the server-side.

Larry Linson
Microsoft Access MVP

Nov 12 '05 #12

P: n/a
After takin a swig o' Arrakan spice grog, "Larry Linson" <bo*****@localhost.not> belched out...:
25 - 30 is the range of concurrent users that I have seen documented for the
earlier versions of MSDEin a client-server environment; I have seen no
figures for a web-based application using the newer versions. In general, it
is my observation that client-server apps put a heavier load on the database
than web-based apps (perhaps mostly because of the limitations of the
browser UI).


HTTP is connectionless, with the result that web-based applications
have no conceivable way of keeping long-lived transactions alive. In
contrast, a typical Access user might keep a particular record 'open
with changes' for minutes, which would certainly increase the
opportunity for conflicts and increases the need for concurrent
transaction management, which is what has traditionally been real
fragile there...
--
(reverse (concatenate 'string "gro.mca" "@" "enworbbc"))
http://cbbrowne.com/info/linuxxian.html
Profanity sucks.
Nov 12 '05 #13

P: n/a
Caught the tail-end of this thread, but. . .

Take a look at IBPhoenix at http://www.IBPhoenix.com. This is an Open
Source(free) implementation of Borland's Interbase that has been around for
several years now. It's a full blown cross platform Client Server DBMS, has
very low administrative overhead, and there is a full team maintaining and
enhancing it. Interbase itself has been around since the 1980's.

There's also Sap/DB that has just been open sourced, and can be downloaded
from their website for free at http:://www.sapdb.org. Sap & MySql have
entered into a technology & partnership agreement that should offer lots of
possibilities for each. Sap has been re-branded as MaxDB.

Ruben
"Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:hK*******************@wards.force9.net...
Dave wrote:
Hi

I have been asked to implement an error logging/management database
for the network technicians in our company. The idea is that staff
using workstations can enter a database and log any problems they are
having, while the technicians can pull off details of faulty
equipment. The users will have little experience of databases so the
system needs to be customized to allow users access to facilities via
simple a gui. The network is win98 based.

Currently the company does not have a dbms. My initial reaction is to
do it using MS Access as this is a database that I am familiar with.
However, with so many databases systems out there, I was wondering
what dbms others would choose and what advantages/disadvantes it
would have.

Many thanks for the help

Dave
If the users aren't that familar with using databases and you don't want

the trials of installing an app onto each workstation then why not consider
running a web-based app.
It minimises the reliance on having a front-end working on each workstation, which may not be working in any case if the workstation has developed a
fault, and most people are familiar with how to use a web-browser.

In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the user to be able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else was web-based and
worked quite well using SQL Server and various scripting languages. Another option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.

IMO your initial spec sounds better suited for something like that rather
than Access. Then each new workstation simply needs a link to the intranet site that hosts the app and you never have to worry about the individual
machine configuration.

Nov 12 '05 #14

P: n/a
In article <bm************@ID-125932.news.uni-berlin.de>,
Christopher Browne <cb******@acm.org> wrote:
HTTP is connectionless, with the result that web-based applications
have no conceivable way of keeping long-lived transactions alive.


Uhh, that is a bit of a leap. It was true when all that was invoked were
CGI programs.

AFAIK web apps can keep long-lived transations alive because sessions
continue running on the server (eg: J2EE using Borland's Internet Beans
Express framework has a 'session' object and will automatically fail
over from using cookies to indicate the session to using additional
parameters if necessary).

--
Andy Dent BSc MACS AACM
OOFILE - Database, Reports, Graphs, GUI for c++ on Mac, Unix & Windows
PP2MFC - PowerPlant->MFC portability
http://www.oofile.com.au/
Nov 12 '05 #15

P: n/a
Andy Dent <de**@oofile.com.au> wrote in message news:<de************************@funnel.arach.net. au>...
In article <bm************@ID-125932.news.uni-berlin.de>,
Christopher Browne <cb******@acm.org> wrote:
HTTP is connectionless, with the result that web-based applications
have no conceivable way of keeping long-lived transactions alive.


Uhh, that is a bit of a leap. It was true when all that was invoked were
CGI programs.

AFAIK web apps can keep long-lived transations alive because sessions
continue running on the server (eg: J2EE using Borland's Internet Beans
Express framework has a 'session' object and will automatically fail
over from using cookies to indicate the session to using additional
parameters if necessary).


True. There most certainly are ways "of keeping long-lived
transactions alive" for web-based apps.

It's a simple matter to maintain state on the application server -
without resorting to cookies - all you do is write the state variables
to the database keyed on a "browser instance identifier" (let's call
it BII for short) and post to the browser (with the BII as a hidden
field on the form) and then, when you get a post back from the
browser, use the BII to reinstate the app. You don't need anything to
continue running on the app server in this case. Apps developed this
way must use "optimistic locking" or no locking at all.

If you want to use pessimistic locking however, which is necessary for
transaction handling, you can use a single "lock manager" process to
handle all of the read-locks for all BIIs for all apps running on an
application server. Again - apart from the lock manager, you don't
need anything to continue running on the app server.

For true transaction-handling (with roll-back etc.) you do need to
have a process on the application server running continually from
transaction-start through to completion of the transaction-commit.
This is connection-persistence as opposed to data-persistence.

All of these options are available to you with FlashCONNECT
(http://www.rainingdata.com/products/...fc/index.html). You get
the first (data-persistence with no pessimistic locking) and third
(connection-persistence with full transaction-handling capabilities)
options "out of the box" and can easily switch back and forth between
the two options within the same app. The middle option (using a
lock-manager to handle pessimistic locking and yet using
data-persistence instead of connection-persistence) is a roll-your-own
option - or you can buy it from me or others who offer similar
solutions.

Mike.
Nov 12 '05 #16

P: n/a
Christopher Browne <cb******@acm.org> wrote in message news:<bm************@ID-125932.news.uni-berlin.de>...
The world rejoiced as "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com> wrote:
Christopher Browne wrote:
Quoth "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com>:
In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the
user to be able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else
was web-based and worked quite well using SQL Server and various
scripting languages. Another option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.

Why would you consider PHP/MySQL a "cheaper" route?


Because I don't know what i'm talking about! In that respect anyhow...
At my last job I'm pretty sure we didn't pay up for the PHP/MySQL solutions
which were used pretty extensively.


The licensing of MySQL has changed lately, which has had the effect
that the PHP distribution can no longer include MySQL client libraries
since they are incompatible with PHP's licensing.


Could you tell us how MySQL has changed the licensing?

Thank you
Nov 12 '05 #17

P: n/a
Oops! ja**********@yahoo.de (Jaques) was seen spray-painting on a wall:
Christopher Browne <cb******@acm.org> wrote in message news:<bm************@ID-125932.news.uni-berlin.de>...
The world rejoiced as "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Christopher Browne wrote:
>> Quoth "Deano" <ma************@hotmail.com>:
>>> In my last job, only the more complex apps that also required the
>>> user to be able to workoffline used Access. Mostly everything else
>>> was web-based and worked quite well using SQL Server and various
>>> scripting languages. Another option is the cheaper PHP/MySQL route.
>>
>> Why would you consider PHP/MySQL a "cheaper" route?
>
> Because I don't know what i'm talking about! In that respect anyhow...
> At my last job I'm pretty sure we didn't pay up for the PHP/MySQL solutions
> which were used pretty extensively.


The licensing of MySQL has changed lately, which has had the effect
that the PHP distribution can no longer include MySQL client libraries
since they are incompatible with PHP's licensing.


Could you tell us how MySQL has changed the licensing?


Client libraries used to be available under the LGPL (Library GPL)
license; they are now only available under the GPL.

The vendor seems to think that this means that any application that
connects to the database must either:
a) Be licensed under the GPL, or
b) You'll have to pay the $425/$495/whatever for a "commercial
license."
--
If this was helpful, <http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=cbbrowne> rate me
http://cbbrowne.com/info/rdbms.html
"I'm thinking of having my whole body surgically removed."
-- Lintilla
Nov 12 '05 #18

P: n/a
Dave wrote:

Hi

I have been asked to implement an error logging/management database for the
network technicians in our company. The idea is that staff using
workstations can enter a database and log any problems they are having,
while the technicians can pull off details of faulty equipment. The users
will have little experience of databases so the system needs to be
customized to allow users access to facilities via simple a gui. The network
is win98 based.

Currently the company does not have a dbms. My initial reaction is to do it
using MS Access as this is a database that I am familiar with. However, with
so many databases systems out there, I was wondering what dbms others would
choose and what advantages/disadvantes it would have.

Many thanks for the help

Dave


FileMaker can be set up very easily to do this. FileMaker Pro can serve
10 users concurrently (up to 25 if only one or two files are being
shared). If you expect to have ore than 10 people using the database
over a network at one time, then you would need FileMaker Server.
--
Return address intentionally altered to avoid spam.
Nov 12 '05 #19

P: n/a
Dave <de***************@btinternet.com> wrote:
what advantages/disadvantes it would have


THE advantage of FMP is that dev takes 5 times less than Access and 20
less than MySQL.

as I can understand your problem, it seems that users enter datas
infrequently and don't use them ; technicians use datas intensively.

with FMP, you'll use web acces for users data entry (free) ans FMP
licences for technicians. They'll have many more ease in datas mining
than with Acces (don't even speak of sql querys... arf !!!)

--
Philippe Manet
Nov 12 '05 #20

P: n/a
Phobos <la******@spammers.co.uk> wrote:
What's the cost of a SQL Server licence?


and the cost of FMP ?
Nov 12 '05 #21

This discussion thread is closed

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