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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 13062
Bernd Bollman wrote:
David W. Fenton wrote:
Well, I *am* an Access programmer, and I have yet to see a serious
critique of Access from a language standpoint

That saying after you read and replied to my extensive explanations?
Excuse me but I slowly start to think that you are a MS-paid troll.

I agree with you here. I have no idea why anyone would attempt to
learn Access by reading the manual. . . .


It's not reading the manual that's the issue. It's starting with
trying to learn the programming language without having learned how
to use Access itself first.

What the hell!? VBA is an essential part of Access and it can be
studied isolated from supergenious complete-form-with-all-bells-
and-whistles-creating Wizards and the like.

I give up...

Thank goodness. You don't seem to WANT to understand how Access is meant
to be used.
Now, please go away.
Nov 13 '05 #101
Bernd Bollman wrote:
Larry Linson wrote:
"Bernd Bollman" wrote
> David W. Fenton wrote:
> > Well, I *am* an Access programmer, and
> > I have yet to see a serious critique of Access
> > from a language standpoint
>
> That saying after you read and replied to my
> extensive explanations? Excuse me but I slowly
> start to think that you are a MS-paid troll.
"Extensive explanations"? You lost your credibility when you included C in
that list.

Aaahh, now we come to the point where ones credibility is completely
denied because of this and that opinion...

No. It means that you don't fully grasp the issues here.
I'm going to come right out and say it like I see it. You are an utter
idiot. You have an opinion and just because you were too stupid to
understand Access, you are now making moronic statements to cover your
ineptitude.

C is a mish-mash, not well structured,

It doesnt have the structuring techniques of OO languages but what it
provides is completely consistent. There are simply *no* ambiguities.
Thats why I consider it a cleaner, "nicer" design than e.g. VBA.

Let me guess: "nicer" means that you get the job done as easily?
Not a chance.
Every time that I have used C to program a GUI app, it has taken me MUCH
longer than an equivalent VB or Access VBA application.

but quite capable of
getting "close to the metal". That is why Stroustrup came up with C++, to
organize and structure it.

Its a common misunderstanding to think that C++ is the successor to or
a "better" C. Its a completely new programming language with a very
different way of approaching a problem. I wonder why Stroustrup
decided to retain C as a subset if it is that bad...

So - it is OK for you to say that C++ is totally different to C, but you
cannot see that BASIC and VB/VBA are NOT the same thing?
Excuse me, but C++ is a superset of C!
I can remember the Pascal bigots spitting at the
mention of C.

But, in any case, those are all _programming languages_, whatever their
individual merit. Access is not, it is a database development tool, which
shares a programming language

And this language was the topic. It can be compared to other languages
independently from the rest of Access.

No you moron - the topic is "Open source alternative for MsAccess?"

with lots of other software -- that language
is suitable for its needs and addresses particularly well the needs of the
non-professional developer audience.

I totally agree here! My point is just that while it perfectly meets
the needs for its application, I find it an ugly thing.

You have yet to give a single example of what is so ugly.

You think _David_ is a Microsoft-paid troll?

Not quite yet. But Im beginning to think it. I stated my dislike, he
asked why, I said why, he asked for specific technical reasons, I
provided them, he completely ignores them and still claims "he has
yet to see a serious critique of Access".

You provided NOTHING!

I don't know how long you've been in the computer business, Bernd, but I've
been in it since 1958, programming machines of all sizes, using a string of
languages longer than the average arm, at all different stages of language
development and maturity... I've bitswitched programs into a console and I
have dragged and dropped icons to create an application, and just about
everything in between. And, with those credentials, I say:

Access is an outstanding database development tool for a very wide range of
uses... from end-user data storage and manipulation all the way to client
applications for server databases, with some web-based capabilities as well.
It's not for writing operating systems, nor compilers, but the "normal
business database applications" for which it is suitable outnumber those by
the tens of thousands to one.

Ill say it one more and hopefully the last time: I dont think that there
are better alternatives to Access, Im not doubting its usefulness and
appropriateness for its problem area. I just think that its inner design
including the programming language VBA is very ugly and far from nice.
But Im *not* saying C or C++ or something else should be used instead.

What is the definition of theis thing that you keep calling "nice"?
What makes C or C++ "nicer" than VBA?
Give an example and you might have some credibility.

If you don't like it because it's not your favorite compiler, just give the
criticism a rest. The languages you like have their place, too -- but that
place is not "everywhere".

I absolutely agree.

cheers, Bernd

Nov 13 '05 #102
In message <cb***********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>, smitty
mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> writes
Bernd Bollman wrote:
Larry Linson wrote:
"Bernd Bollman" wrote
> David W. Fenton wrote:
> > Well, I *am* an Access programmer, and
> > I have yet to see a serious critique of Access
> > from a language standpoint
>
> That saying after you read and replied to my
> extensive explanations? Excuse me but I slowly
> start to think that you are a MS-paid troll.

"Extensive explanations"? You lost your credibility when you included C in
that list.

Aaahh, now we come to the point where ones credibility is
completely
denied because of this and that opinion...

No. It means that you don't fully grasp the issues here.
I'm going to come right out and say it like I see it. You are an utter
idiot. You have an opinion and just because you were too stupid to
understand Access, you are now making moronic statements to cover your
ineptitude.


It's quite normal for people with different backgrounds to misunderstand
new systems that work with different assumptions. That's why a lot of
very smart people find themselves unable to use computer systems that
the designers think are simple to use.

I spend quite a lot of my time explaining this to young and relatively
inexperienced IT support people. It's not helpful to throw around words
like "idiot", "stupid" and "moronic". It doesn't make your arguments any
more convincing.

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

Nov 13 '05 #103
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
go away
You are an utter idiot
you were too stupid
you are now making moronic statements
your ineptitude
you moron


You dont expect me to answer you, do you?

Why is it that people must always get offensive when they have no more
arguments?
Nov 13 '05 #104
Bernd Bollman wrote:
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
go away
You are an utter idiot
you were too stupid
you are now making moronic statements
your ineptitude
you moron

You dont expect me to answer you, do you?

Why is it that people must always get offensive when they have no more
arguments?

Because I don't have an argument - I am attacking YOU.
I see that everyone in this forum has been trying to treat you with
respect and they have been trying to get an intelligent answer out of you.
Unfortunately, you are bigoted to the point where you cannot give a
decent answer.
In that light, I shall go where they don't want to go. Most of them are
decent people. I am not. Therefore, I will say what I am sure many of
them think but don't want to say: you are an idiot - plain an simple.
I've dealt with people like you and I cannot abide your bigotry. You
haven't tried the product, or were too dumb to fully understand it,
therefore you label it as bad. Then, when asked for actual reasons, you
supply facts that in NO way relate to the original posting.
In my book, that makes you a bigger moron than me (for trying to
irritate you into going away).
Nov 13 '05 #105
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
Bernd Bollman wrote:
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
go away
You are an utter idiot
you were too stupid
you are now making moronic statements
your ineptitude
you moron

You dont expect me to answer you, do you?

Why is it that people must always get offensive when they have no more
arguments?


Because I don't have an argument - I am attacking YOU.
I see that everyone in this forum has been trying to treat you with
respect and they have been trying to get an intelligent answer out of you.
Unfortunately, you are bigoted to the point where you cannot give a
decent answer.


You obviously didnt read the hole thread. Specifically the answer is
in <ca*************@news.t-online.com>
In that light, I shall go where they don't want to go. Most of them are
decent people. I am not. Therefore, I will say what I am sure many of
them think but don't want to say:
Im sure they are able to speak for themselfs.
you are an idiot - plain an simple.
I've dealt with people like you and I cannot abide your bigotry. You
haven't tried the product,
If you'd read the hole thread you would know that this is not true.
or were too dumb to fully understand it,
therefore you label it as bad. Then, when asked for actual reasons, you
supply facts that in NO way relate to the original posting.


Which original posting are you refering to? "Open Source alternatives
for Access"? Maybe the Subject should have been changed at some point.
Nov 13 '05 #106
Bernd Bollman wrote:
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
Bernd Bollman wrote:
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
go away
You are an utter idiot
you were too stupid
you are now making moronic statements
your ineptitude
you moron
You dont expect me to answer you, do you?

Why is it that people must always get offensive when they have no more
arguments?
Because I don't have an argument - I am attacking YOU.
I see that everyone in this forum has been trying to treat you with
respect and they have been trying to get an intelligent answer out of you.
Unfortunately, you are bigoted to the point where you cannot give a
decent answer.

You obviously didnt read the hole thread. Specifically the answer is
in <ca*************@news.t-online.com>

Actually - I did read the "W"hole thread, from beginning to end. It was
obvious to me that you were the one who missed to ENTIRE point of the
original posting.
In that light, I shall go where they don't want to go. Most of them are
decent people. I am not. Therefore, I will say what I am sure many of
them think but don't want to say:

Im sure they are able to speak for themselfs.

Sure, but they are all too polite to treat you the way you SHOULD be
treated: with utter contempt. (And with stronger language). I on the
other hand am a scummy, back-woods hilly-billy who has no problem with
telling someone that they are clueless, WITH the language they deserve.
(In case you are wondering - yes, I have been pounded for being too
forthright with my opinions, but that is where the Internet is such a
wonderful thing. I can always ignore things (or people) that REALLY
annoy me.)
you are an idiot - plain an simple.
I've dealt with people like you and I cannot abide your bigotry. You
haven't tried the product,

If you'd read the hole thread you would know that this is not true.

Read the WHOLE sentence: the inference that I make is that you couldn't
be bothered to get to know the product before bad-mouthing it.
When I first tried C and Delphi, I was lost at sea. I hated them because
I didn't know how to do what I wanted and I didn't know how to find out
how to DO what I wanted. That didn't stop me from pushing on. Now, I
have a healthy respect for the languages and for what they can do. That
doesn't mean that I think that they are "nicer" or that they are
suitable for everything though. I have enough knowledge about them now
that I know what is better for a particular application.
If speed is not a major issue, then I use VB for rapid application
development. If I want something to shuffle lots of bytes around - C or
C++ is the logical solution.
In the same way - if I have a client who needs an app to make sense of
data, or handle data in complex ways - Access is the fastest way to
produce such an app.
I have an app that is used by multiple branches with multiple users and
multiple databases. The apps are Access MDE files and the BE is MySQL
running on Linux. It is so stable that the only time I visit the clients
is when I want to upgrade and I want some time away from the office.
I am passionate about computers - without OS or language prejudice,
because I have taken the time to get to know more than one OS PROPERLY.
The same applies to languages and IDE's.
By the way - whole is spelt with a "w", otherwise you indicate an empty
space.
or were too dumb to fully understand it,
therefore you label it as bad. Then, when asked for actual reasons, you
supply facts that in NO way relate to the original posting.

Which original posting are you refering to? "Open Source alternatives
for Access"? Maybe the Subject should have been changed at some point.

Why should the subject of an ORIGINAL post be changed?
You are replying to that post, so you should STICK to that post.
Oh, wait - it wasn't what you wanted to spew your garbage about, was it,
so you attempted to subvert the thread.
If you are so passionate about languages and such - go start another
thread somewhere else, and then we can discuss it there.
By the way - I agree with you about a number of things, but I still
don't agree with the way you present them here. Which is, again, why I
am attacking YOU, not your ideas, and not the languages.
Nov 13 '05 #107
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
Actually - I did read the "W"hole thread, from beginning to end. It was
obvious to me that you were the one who missed to ENTIRE point of the
original posting.
Now that I know that "original posting" refers indeed to "Open Source
alternative for Access" let me say this: it is not uncommon that
discussions drift away to topics completely unrelated to the very first
posting of the thread. It just happened again. The last preceding topic
was about artistical as well as straight technical characteristics of
Access in general and specifically VBA. Now we're talking about going
offtopic as the reason for invalidating ones arguements (if I understand
you correctly).
you are an idiot - plain an simple.
I've dealt with people like you and I cannot abide your bigotry. You
haven't tried the product,


If you'd read the hole thread you would know that this is not true.


Read the WHOLE sentence: the inference that I make is that you couldn't
be bothered to get to know the product before bad-mouthing it.


And I repeat: if you'd read the whole thread you would have noticed
that I once had to work with Access and my opinion is based on this
terrific experience. By simulating a complete newbie I wanted to show
how awful the docs are and that VBA is inconsistent even at the lowest
level possible.
By the way - whole is spelt with a "w", otherwise you indicate an empty
space.
Thanks! I wish more people would correct me especially in regards to
grammer and phrasing. (again very OT ;)
or were too dumb to fully understand it,
therefore you label it as bad. Then, when asked for actual reasons, you
supply facts that in NO way relate to the original posting.


Which original posting are you refering to? "Open Source alternatives
for Access"? Maybe the Subject should have been changed at some point.


Why should the subject of an ORIGINAL post be changed?


Because it is common practice. I should have done it earlier.
You are replying to that post, so you should STICK to that post.
I already excused for starting this (sub)thread. I didnt know how
contentious people are over here :)
Oh, wait - it wasn't what you wanted to spew your garbage about, was it,
so you attempted to subvert the thread.
If you are so passionate about languages and such - go start another
thread somewhere else, and then we can discuss it there.


Im really sorry for my initial posting. But I merely stated my
opinion. It was actually one other person asking for specific
details. Blaim that.
Nov 13 '05 #108
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb***********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>. ..
Bernd Bollman wrote:
I have an app that is used by multiple branches with multiple users and
multiple databases. The apps are Access MDE files and the BE is MySQL
running on Linux. It is so stable that the only time I visit the clients
is when I want to upgrade and I want some time away from the office.
I am passionate about computers - without OS or language prejudice,
because I have taken the time to get to know more than one OS PROPERLY.
The same applies to languages and IDE's.


I apologize for getting in the middle of this entertaining
vituperation, but I have a question or two. I am interested in trying
out MySQL as a BE for Access97. I noticed that MySQL has some
differences from SQL Server such as not allowing a text field to be a
primary key. What special precautions need to be taken to use MySQL
as a BE for Access? Also, what is the best way to convert the tables
from Access to MySQL? I currently have A97 as the backend on a samba
server using Linux and MySQL is ready to go.

Thanks in Advance,

James A. Fortune
Nov 13 '05 #109
Bernd Bollman wrote:
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
Actually - I did read the "W"hole thread, from beginning to end. It was
obvious to me that you were the one who missed to ENTIRE point of the
original posting.

Now that I know that "original posting" refers indeed to "Open Source
alternative for Access" let me say this: it is not uncommon that
discussions drift away to topics completely unrelated to the very first
posting of the thread. It just happened again. The last preceding topic
was about artistical as well as straight technical characteristics of
Access in general and specifically VBA. Now we're talking about going
offtopic as the reason for invalidating ones arguements (if I understand
you correctly).

you are an idiot - plain an simple.
I've dealt with people like you and I cannot abide your bigotry. You
haven't tried the product,

If you'd read the hole thread you would know that this is not true.


Read the WHOLE sentence: the inference that I make is that you couldn't
be bothered to get to know the product before bad-mouthing it.

And I repeat: if you'd read the whole thread you would have noticed
that I once had to work with Access and my opinion is based on this
terrific experience. By simulating a complete newbie I wanted to show
how awful the docs are and that VBA is inconsistent even at the lowest
level possible.

By the way - whole is spelt with a "w", otherwise you indicate an empty
space.

Thanks! I wish more people would correct me especially in regards to
grammer and phrasing. (again very OT ;)

or were too dumb to fully understand it,
therefore you label it as bad. Then, when asked for actual reasons, you
supply facts that in NO way relate to the original posting.

Which original posting are you refering to? "Open Source alternatives
for Access"? Maybe the Subject should have been changed at some point.


Why should the subject of an ORIGINAL post be changed?

Because it is common practice. I should have done it earlier.

You are replying to that post, so you should STICK to that post.

I already excused for starting this (sub)thread. I didnt know how
contentious people are over here :)

Oh, wait - it wasn't what you wanted to spew your garbage about, was it,
so you attempted to subvert the thread.
If you are so passionate about languages and such - go start another
thread somewhere else, and then we can discuss it there.

Im really sorry for my initial posting. But I merely stated my
opinion. It was actually one other person asking for specific
details. Blaim that.

Actually, you shouldn't be. I think that we entertained a number of
people here.
One should never be afraid to air ones opinion, not matter who it
irritates. Especially if it gets people thinking about things.
(Of course, when people like me start throwing insults around, it
becomes a tad annoying, but that is part of what makes life interesting.)
So, having said that, I hereby tender a public apology to Bernd (and
anyone else who may have taken offence at my language). Sometimes I just
go off the deep end - other times, I go completely off the deep end.
Nov 13 '05 #110
James Fortune wrote:
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb***********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>. ..
--SNIP-- I apologize for getting in the middle of this entertaining
vituperation, but I have a question or two. I am interested in trying
out MySQL as a BE for Access97. I noticed that MySQL has some
differences from SQL Server such as not allowing a text field to be a
primary key. What special precautions need to be taken to use MySQL
as a BE for Access? Also, what is the best way to convert the tables
from Access to MySQL? I currently have A97 as the backend on a samba
server using Linux and MySQL is ready to go.

Thanks in Advance,

James A. Fortune

From my experiences, there are very few gotchas.
However, having said that, there are some truly strange things that you
need to keep in mind when using MySQL as a backend.
1) All tables MUST have a timestamp field so that Access can keep track
of a record.
2) Cascaded deletes and updates don't seem to work as well as when using
an MDB as the backend, and not at all when using version 3.xx (as far as
I know). If you delete and update through code, this is not much of a
problem.
3) Your ODBC connection must be set up with the right options; these are
the ones that worked best for me;
Tick the following options:
Don't Optimize Column Width
Return Matching ROws
Change BIGINT Columns to INT

As for getting the data into MySQL: perhaps the easiest way is to create
a new ODBC connection with the above options. Then click on the tables
and export them to the ODBC connection.
Do this with a database that has all the tables but no data - I found
that when setting up it is easier to just work with the empty tables and
no data.
Once the data has been exported into MySQL (which happens quite easily,
MOST of the time), I would suggest using an administrative tool to
fine-tune the data structure. (Something like MySQL Control Center,
which can be downloaded free of charge from www.mysql.com).
I have had issues with memo fields getting a little messed up as well as
currency fields doing strange things. YMMV - testing with a small amount
of data worked well for me.
I found that setting up a currency field as decimal 18,4 gave me the
most flexibility.

Linking the data is very easy and has never been an issue.

I've been running a largish system (about 25 users at any time) with
Access as the frontend and MySQL as the backend and never had any
problems with the data. (Users are a different matter though.)

One thing I did find - my tables are all set as InnoDB and not MyISAM.
When I was using MyISAM tables, I DID have data corruption, but the
minute I switched to InnoDB, the corruption went away.
Also, use the latest MyODBC drivers - the earlier ones are slower.

Hope this helps!

-----------------
Smitty the crank.
Nov 13 '05 #111
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
Actually, you shouldn't be. I think that we entertained a number of
people here.
Well, I hope so :)
So, having said that, I hereby tender a public apology to Bernd (and
anyone else who may have taken offence at my language).


Ok, I forgive.

Happy hacking
Bernd
Nov 13 '05 #112
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb**********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>.. .
James Fortune wrote:
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb***********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>. ..

--SNIP--
...
Smitty the crank.


Thanks for the useful information. I can't wait to see how MySQL
performs with Access 97.

James A. Fortune
Nov 13 '05 #113
Bernd Bollman wrote:
smitty mittlebaum wrote:
Actually, you shouldn't be. I think that we entertained a number of
people here.

Well, I hope so :)

So, having said that, I hereby tender a public apology to Bernd (and
anyone else who may have taken offence at my language).

Ok, I forgive.

Happy hacking
Bernd

You want to know something - I actually don't REALLY like working with
Access. The real and only reason that I do is because I cannot find an
alternative to it in the linux world.
At the moment I am using a combo of PHP, MySQL, python and a few other
obscure programs. It's not a solution, but it is a quick-fix.

I love the ease of use of MS products, but I REALLY love the freedom of
choice that linux offers.
Nov 13 '05 #114
James Fortune wrote:
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb**********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>.. .
James Fortune wrote:
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb***********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>. ..


--SNIP--
...
Smitty the crank.

Thanks for the useful information. I can't wait to see how MySQL
performs with Access 97.

James A. Fortune

My Pleasure.
I think that you will be pleasantly surprised.
My application has 250,000 active records with about 55 fields per
record. This doesn't include related records. I have a table that holds
remarks and there are over 3,000,000 records in there.
All of this data has to be accessible and none of it can be archived,
but even so, the performance is nothing short of amazing.
I haven't even done any real optimization on the system (not enough
funds...) and the performance is still great.
A search through all the records takes less that .5 seconds, and some of
the searches are pretty complex.

Enjoy!
Nov 13 '05 #115
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb**********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>.. .
James Fortune wrote:
smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb**********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>.. .
James Fortune wrote:

smitty mittlebaum <sm****@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<cb***********@newsreader02.ops.uunet.co.za>. ..
--SNIP--
...
Smitty the crank.

Thanks for the useful information. I can't wait to see how MySQL
performs with Access 97.

James A. Fortune

My Pleasure.
I think that you will be pleasantly surprised.
My application has 250,000 active records with about 55 fields per
record. This doesn't include related records. I have a table that holds
remarks and there are over 3,000,000 records in there.
All of this data has to be accessible and none of it can be archived,
but even so, the performance is nothing short of amazing.
I haven't even done any real optimization on the system (not enough
funds...) and the performance is still great.
A search through all the records takes less that .5 seconds, and some of
the searches are pretty complex.

Enjoy!


I hope to be able to do this soon, but Access 97 on the samba server
is still running flawlessly (about three months). Logic dictates that
I wait until at least one error occurs before trying to switch to
MySQL and potentially upsetting the apple cart. There are now 44
simultaneous users on the system and there has not even been a locking
error. There are even some forms with bound controls on them. One
user reported that reading and writing a complete file to the file
server is about twice as fast as before. At $495 for a MySQL Pro
license it's going to be a tough sell to the company unless the speed
is truly amazing. Maybe I can get them to try it on a new project
instead. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your results.

James A. Fortune

The 9/11 Commission Report is available in pdf format at:
http://www.9-11commission.gov
Nov 13 '05 #116

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