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File Server Database Apps and SQL Server?

P: n/a
TC
Like a lot of database developers, I often choose Jet for the back-
end. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when Jet is
deprecated. Ostensibly, Jet users like me must switch to SQL Server
(or MSDE / SQL Express), but there's something I just don't
understand.

Without Jet, how will we create file server database applications? In
other words, how will we create multi-user apps which use a file
server to share data and don't require a database server? I've seen
many discussions of Access vs. SQL Server, but I've never seen this
question addressed head-on. I can speculate on three possible answers,
but I'm not sure which one Microsoft intends:

In a Jet-less world,
1) there will be no file server database apps, only database server
apps.
2) there will be file server apps implemented somehow with SQL Server.
3) there will be file server apps, but Microsoft will cede this niche
to its competitors; thus, we will use neither Jet nor SQL Server, but
some other product, to implement them.

If anyone knows where things are going, I'd be grateful if you share
your understanding.
-TC

Feb 9 '07 #1
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9 Replies


P: n/a
TC wrote:
Like a lot of database developers, I often choose Jet for the back-
end. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when Jet is
deprecated. Ostensibly, Jet users like me must switch to SQL Server
(or MSDE / SQL Express), but there's something I just don't
understand.

Without Jet, how will we create file server database applications? In
other words, how will we create multi-user apps which use a file
server to share data and don't require a database server? I've seen
many discussions of Access vs. SQL Server, but I've never seen this
question addressed head-on. I can speculate on three possible answers,
but I'm not sure which one Microsoft intends:

In a Jet-less world,
1) there will be no file server database apps, only database server
apps.
2) there will be file server apps implemented somehow with SQL Server.
3) there will be file server apps, but Microsoft will cede this niche
to its competitors; thus, we will use neither Jet nor SQL Server, but
some other product, to implement them.

If anyone knows where things are going, I'd be grateful if you share
your understanding.
There willl always be a file database format that could be used (even in the
unlikely event that you will see a jetless world in your lifetime). Having said
that you make it sound like moving to a server back end is some kind of big deal
(it isn't). I just installed SQL Server Express on my home PC last night. Took
about 20 minutes to have a database up and running.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com


Feb 9 '07 #2

P: n/a
TC wrote:
>Like a lot of database developers, I often choose Jet for the back-
end. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when Jet is
deprecated. Ostensibly, Jet users like me must switch to SQL Server
(or MSDE / SQL Express), but there's something I just don't
understand.

Without Jet, how will we create file server database applications? In
other words, how will we create multi-user apps which use a file
server to share data and don't require a database server? I've seen
many discussions of Access vs. SQL Server, but I've never seen this
question addressed head-on. I can speculate on three possible answers,
but I'm not sure which one Microsoft intends:

In a Jet-less world,
1) there will be no file server database apps, only database server
apps.
2) there will be file server apps implemented somehow with SQL Server.
3) there will be file server apps, but Microsoft will cede this niche
to its competitors; thus, we will use neither Jet nor SQL Server, but
some other product, to implement them.

If anyone knows where things are going, I'd be grateful if you share
your understanding.

That worry is a long way off. A2007 has many new features
including an enhanced version of Jet. You might wat to
wander through http://blogs.msdn.com/access/default.aspx

--
Marsh
Feb 9 '07 #3

P: n/a
TC
On Feb 8, 4:38 pm, "Rick Brandt" <rickbran...@hotmail.comwrote:
TC wrote:
Like a lot of database developers, I often choose Jet for the back-
end. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when Jet is
deprecated. Ostensibly, Jet users like me must switch to SQL Server
(or MSDE / SQL Express), but there's something I just don't
understand.
Without Jet, how will we create file server database applications? In
other words, how will we create multi-user apps which use a file
server to share data and don't require a database server? I've seen
many discussions of Access vs. SQL Server, but I've never seen this
question addressed head-on. I can speculate on three possible answers,
but I'm not sure which one Microsoft intends:
In a Jet-less world,
1) there will be no file server database apps, only database server
apps.
2) there will be file server apps implemented somehow with SQL Server.
3) there will be file server apps, but Microsoft will cede this niche
to its competitors; thus, we will use neither Jet nor SQL Server, but
some other product, to implement them.
If anyone knows where things are going, I'd be grateful if you share
your understanding.

There willl always be a file database format that could be used (even in the
unlikely event that you will see a jetless world in your lifetime). Having said
that you make it sound like moving to a server back end is some kind of big deal
(it isn't). I just installed SQL Server Express on my home PC last night. Took
about 20 minutes to have a database up and running.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

Rick,

I still don't get it. From my perspective, switching to a client/
server back-end is a big deal. A very big deal.

If you're talking about single-user applications, then I agree --
converting from Access to SQL Server is easy. However, that doesn't
help me much; most of my applications are multi-user applications
using the file server architecture. To convert them, I must convince
my clients to set up and maintain a database server on their network.
That is a hard thing to do.

Furthermore, my sales pitch to new clients becomes much more
difficult. I can no longer assure prospective clients that my software
will run on their computers after a two-minute install. I must now
explain to them that my software requires a database server, and, yes,
their IT department needs to get involved in the discussion, and, no,
we can't use the same database server which drives their accounting
software, and, yes, they may need to buy a new box for this purpose,
etc., etc.

If database servers were as common as file servers, this would be a
non-issue. In the real world, however, I just don't see how SQL Server
can presume to be a substitute for Jet.
-TC

Feb 11 '07 #4

P: n/a
TC
On Feb 8, 4:41 pm, Marshall Barton <marshbar...@wowway.comwrote:
TC wrote:
Like a lot of database developers, I often choose Jet for the back-
end. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when Jet is
deprecated. Ostensibly, Jet users like me must switch to SQL Server
(or MSDE / SQL Express), but there's something I just don't
understand.
Without Jet, how will we create file server database applications? In
other words, how will we create multi-user apps which use a file
server to share data and don't require a database server? I've seen
many discussions of Access vs. SQL Server, but I've never seen this
question addressed head-on. I can speculate on three possible answers,
but I'm not sure which one Microsoft intends:
In a Jet-less world,
1) there will be no file server database apps, only database server
apps.
2) there will be file server apps implemented somehow with SQL Server.
3) there will be file server apps, but Microsoft will cede this niche
to its competitors; thus, we will use neither Jet nor SQL Server, but
some other product, to implement them.
If anyone knows where things are going, I'd be grateful if you share
your understanding.

That worry is a long way off. A2007 has many new features
including an enhanced version of Jet. You might wat to
wander throughhttp://blogs.msdn.com/access/default.aspx

--
Marsh- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

Marsh,

Perhaps this is a difference of opinion, but I feel that .NET has made
Access obsolete. I just don't feel comfortable building applications
with VBA any more. However, .NET works poorly with Jet databases.
OLEDB works with Jet, but the performance is terrible.

In other words, Microsoft's best front-end tools aren't being built
with Jet in mind. That is why I worry about this issue now. It seems
like Jet is already suffering from neglect.
-TC

Feb 11 '07 #5

P: n/a
TC wrote:
On Feb 8, 4:38 pm, "Rick Brandt" <rickbran...@hotmail.comwrote:
There willl always be a file database format that could be used
(even in the unlikely event that you will see a jetless world in
your lifetime). Having said that you make it sound like moving to
a server back end is some kind of big deal (it isn't). I just
installed SQL Server Express on my home PC last night. Took about
20 minutes to have a database up and running.

Rick,

I still don't get it. From my perspective, switching to a client/
server back-end is a big deal. A very big deal.

If you're talking about single-user applications, then I agree --
converting from Access to SQL Server is easy. However, that doesn't
help me much; most of my applications are multi-user applications
using the file server architecture. To convert them, I must convince
my clients to set up and maintain a database server on their network.
That is a hard thing to do.
But you are hypothesizing a world in which jet is no longer around (or at least
no longer viable). Surely in that environment it would be much easier to
convince clients to install a server database. Particularly when you show them
how little is actually required to do so.

For databases where the size, security, and concurrency limitations of jet have
not been a problem then I fail to see why setting up a free SQL Server Express
database would be a problem. SQL Server is a lot of extra work *at the
enterprise level*. To support databases at the workgroup and/or small business
level the amount of extra work is minimal compared to file based system and most
of the increased difficulty is a one time expenditure, not anything on-going.
Furthermore, my sales pitch to new clients becomes much more
difficult. I can no longer assure prospective clients that my software
will run on their computers after a two-minute install. I must now
explain to them that my software requires a database server, and, yes,
their IT department needs to get involved in the discussion, and, no,
we can't use the same database server which drives their accounting
software, and, yes, they may need to buy a new box for this purpose,
etc., etc.
Again, in your hypothetical jet-less world they will have to deal with many of
these issues no matter what you switch to no? There are already tools that make
installing a developed app that includes SQL Server Express as part of the
install just about as easy as a file-based engine. A dedicated server (while a
good idea) is not a requirement for the level of client that you are describing.
If database servers were as common as file servers, this would be a
non-issue. In the real world, however, I just don't see how SQL Server
can presume to be a substitute for Jet.
When I browse for SQL Server instances on our LAN I see over a dozen these days.
Only three of which are "corporate enterprise" installations supported by IT.
MSDE and Express instances are becoming just about as common as Access power
users. That trend will continue in my opinion.

Even though it didn't quite work out with Vista, I believe that in the future
all MS operating Systems will have a database server engine built in. Getting
an instance that is already present to run a new database included with an app
will be as simple as a few lines of script.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
Feb 11 '07 #6

P: n/a
TC wrote:
>On Feb 8, 4:41 pm, Marshall Barton <marshbar...@wowway.comwrote:
>TC wrote:
>Like a lot of database developers, I often choose Jet for the back-
end. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when Jet is
deprecated. Ostensibly, Jet users like me must switch to SQL Server
(or MSDE / SQL Express), but there's something I just don't
understand.
>Without Jet, how will we create file server database applications? In
other words, how will we create multi-user apps which use a file
server to share data and don't require a database server? I've seen
many discussions of Access vs. SQL Server, but I've never seen this
question addressed head-on. I can speculate on three possible answers,
but I'm not sure which one Microsoft intends:
>In a Jet-less world,
1) there will be no file server database apps, only database server
apps.
2) there will be file server apps implemented somehow with SQL Server.
3) there will be file server apps, but Microsoft will cede this niche
to its competitors; thus, we will use neither Jet nor SQL Server, but
some other product, to implement them.
>If anyone knows where things are going, I'd be grateful if you share
your understanding.

That worry is a long way off. A2007 has many new features
including an enhanced version of Jet. You might wat to
wander throughhttp://blogs.msdn.com/access/default.aspx

--
Marsh- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Marsh,

Perhaps this is a difference of opinion, but I feel that .NET has made
Access obsolete. I just don't feel comfortable building applications
with VBA any more. However, .NET works poorly with Jet databases.
OLEDB works with Jet, but the performance is terrible.

In other words, Microsoft's best front-end tools aren't being built
with Jet in mind. That is why I worry about this issue now. It seems
like Jet is already suffering from neglect.

You are welcome to your opinion of course, but you asked for
other opinions. I agree that .Net is a superior development
environment for web based apps, but web based apps are not
the only thing in the world. Choose the tools that best fit
the problem and go from there. In any case, Jet or it's
future incarnations will still be one of the possible
choices.

--
Marsh
Feb 11 '07 #7

P: n/a
"Rick Brandt" <ri*********@hotmail.comwrote in
news:x8******************@newssvr27.news.prodigy.n et:
When I browse for SQL Server instances on our LAN I see over a
dozen these days. Only three of which are "corporate enterprise"
installations supported by IT. MSDE and Express instances are
becoming just about as common as Access power users. That trend
will continue in my opinion.
If I were to browse every network of every one of my clients, I
doubt I'd find more than two or three SQL Server instances. Many of
many clients don't even have a dedicated file server (a two-PC
network hardly needs one, you know).

--
David W. Fenton http://www.dfenton.com/
usenet at dfenton dot com http://www.dfenton.com/DFA/
Feb 11 '07 #8

P: n/a
TC
On Feb 11, 10:21 am, "Rick Brandt" <rickbran...@hotmail.comwrote:
TC wrote:
On Feb 8, 4:38 pm, "Rick Brandt" <rickbran...@hotmail.comwrote:
There willl always be a file database format that could be used
(even in the unlikely event that you will see a jetless world in
your lifetime). Having said that you make it sound like moving to
a server back end is some kind of big deal (it isn't). I just
installed SQL Server Express on my home PC last night. Took about
20 minutes to have a database up and running.
Rick,
I still don't get it. From my perspective, switching to a client/
server back-end is a big deal. A very big deal.
If you're talking about single-user applications, then I agree --
converting from Access to SQL Server is easy. However, that doesn't
help me much; most of my applications are multi-user applications
using the file server architecture. To convert them, I must convince
my clients to set up and maintain a database server on their network.
That is a hard thing to do.

But you are hypothesizing a world in which jet is no longer around (or at least
no longer viable). Surely in that environment it would be much easier to
convince clients to install a server database. Particularly when you show them
how little is actually required to do so.

For databases where the size, security, and concurrency limitations of jet have
not been a problem then I fail to see why setting up a free SQL Server Express
database would be a problem. SQL Server is a lot of extra work *at the
enterprise level*. To support databases at the workgroup and/or small business
level the amount of extra work is minimal compared to file based system and most
of the increased difficulty is a one time expenditure, not anything on-going.
Furthermore, my sales pitch to new clients becomes much more
difficult. I can no longer assure prospective clients that my software
will run on their computers after a two-minute install. I must now
explain to them that my software requires a database server, and, yes,
their IT department needs to get involved in the discussion, and, no,
we can't use the same database server which drives their accounting
software, and, yes, they may need to buy a new box for this purpose,
etc., etc.

Again, in your hypothetical jet-less world they will have to deal with many of
these issues no matter what you switch to no? There are already tools that make
installing a developed app that includes SQL Server Express as part of the
install just about as easy as a file-based engine. A dedicated server (while a
good idea) is not a requirement for the level of client that you are describing.
If database servers were as common as file servers, this would be a
non-issue. In the real world, however, I just don't see how SQL Server
can presume to be a substitute for Jet.

When I browse for SQL Server instances on our LAN I see over a dozen these days.
Only three of which are "corporate enterprise" installations supported by IT.
MSDE and Express instances are becoming just about as common as Access power
users. That trend will continue in my opinion.

Even though it didn't quite work out with Vista, I believe that in the future
all MS operating Systems will have a database server engine built in. Getting
an instance that is already present to run a new database included with an app
will be as simple as a few lines of script.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -

Rick,

I may have given the impression that I know more than I really do. In
fact, I'm looking for answers. Your replies are helping me fill in the
details, and I am grateful. Thanks.

In that spirit, I'd like to sieze on one thing you said:
There are already tools that make
installing a developed app that includes SQL Server Express as part of the
install just about as easy as a file-based engine. A dedicated server (while a
good idea) is not a requirement for the level of client that you are describing.
Can you describe this in more detail? I can't visualize the
architecture you are suggesting. Why would you want the application
installation to include SQL Server Express? How does it help to have
SQL Server installed on every workstation in a multi-user application?
Also, when you say a dedicated server is not a requirement, are you
saying no server is required? Are you proposing some kind of peer-to-
peer architecture?
-Todd

Feb 12 '07 #9

P: n/a
TC wrote:
Rick,

I may have given the impression that I know more than I really do. In
fact, I'm looking for answers. Your replies are helping me fill in the
details, and I am grateful. Thanks.

In that spirit, I'd like to sieze on one thing you said:
There are already tools that make
installing a developed app that includes SQL Server Express as part
of the install just about as easy as a file-based engine. A
dedicated server (while a good idea) is not a requirement for the
level of client that you are describing.

Can you describe this in more detail? I can't visualize the
architecture you are suggesting. Why would you want the application
installation to include SQL Server Express? How does it help to have
SQL Server installed on every workstation in a multi-user application?
Also, when you say a dedicated server is not a requirement, are you
saying no server is required? Are you proposing some kind of peer-to-
peer architecture?
This would obviously only be done on a single user application, but I can easily
see how the same install CD/DVD could have one setup procedure for the client
app and another setup procedure that would be used on whatever PC is going to
host the SQL Server database. That second setup process would automate the
stuff that would ordinarily be done manually when setting up a SQL Server
instance and would even attach the database files also included on the install
disk.

As stated previously, in a small organization a dedicated server would not be a
requirement. If they are currently sharing a jet mdb hosted on one of the
workgroup PCs that same PC could host the SQL Server instance as well. Although
in today's market a dedicated box would hardly be an extravagance. We typically
see SQL Server on enterprise level boxes because they are running enterprise
level databases, not because SQL Server requires high level hardware.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com
Feb 12 '07 #10

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.