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Browser-based or Access front end?

P: n/a
Hi,

I manage and develop an Access 2003/SQL 2000 based system for a real
estate company. It's quite extensive and has a level of Windows/Office
integration.

My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access in
favour of a web based front end?

Thanks,

Simon Lane
Nov 13 '05 #1
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16 Replies


P: n/a
sm*****@hotmail.com wrote:
Hi,

I manage and develop an Access 2003/SQL 2000 based system for a real
estate company. It's quite extensive and has a level of Windows/Office
integration.

My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access in
favour of a web based front end?

Thanks,

Simon Lane


If your users need to be able to use it outside your company LAN then a
web-based front end is useful. If not, you are expending a LOT of work to
basically design the front end all over again for a finished product that
your users will not like as much. Plus your Windows/Office integration will
for the most part be gone.

--
I don't check the Email account attached
to this message. Send instead to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
Nov 13 '05 #2

P: n/a
On 11 Jan 2005 04:27:49 -0800, sm*****@hotmail.com wrote:

What pros and cons have you come up with so far?
Why are you considering making this move?

-Tom.

Hi,

I manage and develop an Access 2003/SQL 2000 based system for a real
estate company. It's quite extensive and has a level of Windows/Office
integration.

My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access in
favour of a web based front end?

Thanks,

Simon Lane


Nov 13 '05 #3

P: n/a
You will find that a browser based front end is able to query your data much
faster
as the server does not have the overhead of Microsoft Office. Also, you can
access
your data from anywhere. You also have more control over the output of your
data,
if you know how to write ASP/HTML.

Cons, lots of work, security, learning curve is steep.

<sm*****@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:20**************************@posting.google.c om...
Hi,

I manage and develop an Access 2003/SQL 2000 based system for a real
estate company. It's quite extensive and has a level of Windows/Office
integration.

My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access in
favour of a web based front end?

Thanks,

Simon Lane

Nov 13 '05 #4

P: n/a
"Rick Brandt" <ri*********@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:34*************@individual.net:
sm*****@hotmail.com wrote:
I manage and develop an Access 2003/SQL 2000 based system for a
real estate company. It's quite extensive and has a level of
Windows/Office integration.

My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching
Access in favour of a web based front end?


If your users need to be able to use it outside your company LAN
then a web-based front end is useful. If not, you are expending a
LOT of work to basically design the front end all over again for a
finished product that your users will not like as much. Plus your
Windows/Office integration will for the most part be gone.


Let me second for emphasis this latter point: with Office
integration, it's not going to work very well as a browser-based app
unless you know how to do some pretty fancy things with COM.

And, of course, you can provide access to people outside your
company via Windows Terminal Server, without needing to re-engineer
your application.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #5

P: n/a
"miTch" <mi******@nospam.topsideinc.com> wrote in
news:1105456607.9581c70732bbf24f109126fd64168ad0@t eranews:
You will find that a browser based front end is able to query your
data much faster
as the server does not have the overhead of Microsoft Office.


Absolute rubbish.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #6

P: n/a
sm*****@hotmail.com wrote in
news:20**************************@posting.google.c om:
Hi,

I manage and develop an Access 2003/SQL 2000 based system for a real
estate company. It's quite extensive and has a level of Windows/Office
integration.

My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access in
favour of a web based front end?


A well designed web based front end may work without error on more machines
than an equally well designed Access front end, and it may have a wider
potential scope for implementaion.
HTML forms can have be more responsive and "programmable" than Access forms.
One always has the latest version of a web based application.
****
Developing a web-based front end may require more time and expertise than
developing an Access front end.
The quality and ease of creation of Access Reports may be difficult to match
with a web-based front end. (This is the most concrete of the pros and cons,
in my opinion.)
Access applications may be more secure than web based front ends.
****
After a dozen years or so using Access intensively I have abandoned it except
for simple utilities and very preliminary prototyping.

--
Lyle
--
use iso date format: yyyy-mm-dd
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/iso-date
--
The e-mail address isn't, but you could use it to find one.
Nov 13 '05 #7

P: n/a
Hi Tom,

We are exploring the idea of doing some web-based development, the
sense being that it's almost a must. I favour enhancing our current
Access/SQL work with ASP or the like that can be accessed from home or
at clients.

One option would be to gradually replace the Access front end, but
there clearly has to be a good set of reasons to do this.

There is also the sense that net technology is somehow the future.
Simon

Nov 13 '05 #8

P: n/a
Per sm*****@hotmail.com:
My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access in
favour of a web based front end?


I've had two MS Access applications replaced by web-centric systems by the IT
department of one of my clients.

The first one, delivered by me for less than $55,000 wound up costing something
in excess of 3 million....and it was largly a straight-up port.

The second one, delivered over a period of five years for something under
$225,000 was more than just a port: significant extra functionality was
added...let's say 30%. Last time I checked, they'd spent *over* 22 mil on the
thing and release one hadn't been put out there yet.

Bottom line for me: net-centric development takes a *lot* more manhours.

--
PeteCresswell
Nov 13 '05 #9

P: n/a
On 11 Jan 2005 16:28:11 -0800, sm*****@hotmail.com wrote:

Perhaps you could consider a hybrid: use the Access version in-house,
and develop a few web pages for outside clients.
If you're new to web development: make sure you can walk before you
try to run.

For new development, one would not use ASP, but ASP.NET.

-Tom.

Hi Tom,

We are exploring the idea of doing some web-based development, the
sense being that it's almost a must. I favour enhancing our current
Access/SQL work with ASP or the like that can be accessed from home or
at clients.

One option would be to gradually replace the Access front end, but
there clearly has to be a good set of reasons to do this.

There is also the sense that net technology is somehow the future.
Simon


Nov 13 '05 #10

P: n/a
On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 23:55:58 GMT, "David W. Fenton"
<dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote:

Your "unless" seems unwarranted. Review
http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;257757 and you
would have to conclude Office on the server is a no-no.

-Tom.
<clip>
Let me second for emphasis this latter point: with Office
integration, it's not going to work very well as a browser-based app
unless you know how to do some pretty fancy things with COM.

<clip>
Nov 13 '05 #11

P: n/a
sm*****@hotmail.com wrote:
Hi Tom,

We are exploring the idea of doing some web-based development, the
sense being that it's almost a must. I favour enhancing our current
Access/SQL work with ASP or the like that can be accessed from home or
at clients.

One option would be to gradually replace the Access front end, but
there clearly has to be a good set of reasons to do this.

There is also the sense that net technology is somehow the future.
Simon


You seem to be getting "swept along with the current" in your decision
making here. A change in the technologies you use should be done to address
a business need that is REAL. Not because "it's the future (we think)" or
because "everyone elses appears to be going that way".

If you do this you risk spending a lot of time and money and if that effort
does not deliver something that is tangibly better *for the user* at some
point you will be asked to justify why you made the change. Do you really
want to answer with either of the two reasons stated above?

--
I don't check the Email account attached
to this message. Send instead to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
Nov 13 '05 #12

P: n/a
Tom van Stiphout <no*************@cox.net> wrote in
news:7n********************************@4ax.com:
On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 23:55:58 GMT, "David W. Fenton"
<dX********@bway.net.invalid> wrote: <clip>
Let me second for emphasis this latter point: with Office
integration, it's not going to work very well as a browser-based
app unless you know how to do some pretty fancy things with COM.

<clip>

Your "unless" seems unwarranted. Review
http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;257757 and
you would have to conclude Office on the server is a no-no.


I'm not talking server-side. I'm talking about COM on the
client-side, initiated from the browser. It's likely impossible with
any browser other than IE, but I've read about it. It's brutally
difficult and subject to failure.

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

P: n/a
sm*****@hotmail.com wrote in
news:11*********************@c13g2000cwb.googlegro ups.com:
We are exploring the idea of doing some web-based development, the
sense being that it's almost a must. I favour enhancing our
current Access/SQL work with ASP or the like that can be accessed
from home or at clients.
If what you need is access to the application from offsite, Windows
Terminal Server is the no-brainer method for supplying this
capability.
One option would be to gradually replace the Access front end, but
there clearly has to be a good set of reasons to do this.

There is also the sense that net technology is somehow the future.


Rubbish.

If there is no business need for a web-based application, then don't
spend money on building it.

Most people who think they need to web-enable their apps are really
confusing "we need to give remote access to the app" with "we need
to make the app available through the web browser." The latter is
*one* method of doing so, but the former is a broader goal that can
be implemented a number of ways.

In other words, you've chosen a single implementation solution
before having defined the problem you're trying to solve.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #14

P: n/a
"(Pete Cresswell)" <x@y.z> wrote in
news:8c********************************@4ax.com:
Per sm*****@hotmail.com:
My question is this: what are the pros and cons of ditching Access
in favour of a web based front end?
I've had two MS Access applications replaced by web-centric
systems by the IT department of one of my clients.


I've had this happen to me once.
The first one, delivered by me for less than $55,000 wound up
costing something in excess of 3 million....and it was largly a
straight-up port.


In my case it was c. $50K vs. c. $150K.

The replacement app, by the admission of its own developers, had
less than half the functionality of my app.

This was a pointy-haired-boss solution, implemented when management
changed (the partner who never liked me ended up in control of the
firm).

That firm ceased business operations 2 years ago.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #15

P: n/a
Per David W. Fenton:
That firm ceased business operations 2 years ago.


I guess it's a character flaw, but I've always derived a certain amount of
perverse satisfaction from seeing outfits go under after I've told them about
something they're doing wrong and they've ignored it.

Not that what they were doing wrong probably had that much to do with their
demise...but still...
--
PeteCresswell
Nov 13 '05 #16

P: n/a
"(Pete Cresswell)" <x@y.z> wrote in
news:jj********************************@4ax.com:
Per David W. Fenton:
That firm ceased business operations 2 years ago.


I guess it's a character flaw, but I've always derived a certain
amount of perverse satisfaction from seeing outfits go under after
I've told them about something they're doing wrong and they've
ignored it.

Not that what they were doing wrong probably had that much to do
with their demise...but still...


Well, this firm was a bunch of people that I really, really liked. I
sub-leased an office from them, managed their network, did all sorts
of things for them.

But the boss lost interest in her company about 4 years into it, and
the whole thing basically collapsed at that point.

I learned a very important lesson: businesses based on personality
don't scale. In fact, they don't even survive once the inspiriring
personality departs.

--
David W. Fenton http://www.bway.net/~dfenton
dfenton at bway dot net http://www.bway.net/~dfassoc
Nov 13 '05 #17

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