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    13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 17, 2012 1:31 PM by richardalgor

    Access database.  Is it the best way to go?

    puzzleman Tracker
      I currently run a database with Access. It is starting to have problems which I can no longer patch. I know just enough to be dangerous. I was wondering if Access is the best way to go with a database or is there something better or opensource that would be good? Are there programmers for these database formats? Can they run macros in Corel Draw?

      My current system was built for me about 6 - 7 years ago and I need to make changes as well as solve some of the problems that have erupted. I am looking for a programmer and want information beforehand so I can have a little knowledge when I interview.

        • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
          DomainDiva Ranger
          What kind of data are you managing? Is there visual information that goes with it?

          DO NOT go out and just get a programmer. Get someone to analyze the system and where the breakdowns are..then proceed to repair the system breakdowns. My guess is that you have a lot of different data layers, meta data, data, object, class, element etc and the system isn't able to handle the different classifications.

          Get THE SYSTEM analyzed THEN repair THE SYSTEM not the individual problems you are seeing.
            • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
              puzzleman Tracker
              The data that I have is customer info, orders etc. I am only storing and accessing information.

              I have entertained the idea of using the old db as on outline and building a new one that will be able to do more and do it more efficiently. Computing has changed alot in the last 6 years and I want to be able to do things like an automatic email going to my customers when their order ships, automatic email billing to wholesale customers when their order ships, change the way info is displayed and change the template of different forms.

              My system if not very complicated with under 50 mb and under 10 users.

            • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              I have two clients that use Access for action tracking, but I'm not a big fan. The database seems to corrupt rather easily when opened by other apps or multiple users, and I've seen automatic updates on end-user platforms create some messy compatibility issues.

              It doesn't sound like you need a solution that's as complex and pricey as SAP Business One, but I wonder if something like Intellisoft's ManageMore might be the type of alternative you're seeking (I don't have any connection to them -- it's just an option I'm aware of). I know their database is open source (which would make transition/migration from your existing system easier), there's an integrated suite of functional applications in the package, and the price seems reasonable for a small enterprise (perhaps less than the cost of rebuilding the system yourself, or hiring an expert to analyze, recover, and repair your existing system).

              You may have specific business requirements that make this a poor fit (or a great one) off the shelf . . . but it does sound like your business may have "outgrown" the proprietary solution you have now, and that a revised system built around Access may still not provide the long-term results you want. Whatever option you choose, best of luck!
              • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
                IAmSpartacus Adventurer
                Hi Jim,

                Access is not the best solution for a business application for many of the reasons already cited. It sounds like you could use a developer to help you out, but it is not an easy task to find the right person when you only "know enough to be dangerous." I'd recommend you read through two short blog posts that I wrote on this subject that might help you to go about getting the help you need.

                • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
                  wildgift Newbie
                  You might want to try doing an "upsize" to SQL Server, and see if that stabilizes the system.

                  Aside from that, the right thing to do is analyze the current database, apply any "quick fixes" to make things faster, then, try to rebuild it. The process of rebuilding should happen in parts -- break the big app into parts, and rebuild each one.

                  I'm generally against "big rewrites". Your system has probably accumulated features, and possibly contains data that doesn't really conform to the original data structure. It's easier to preserve these features and data if the new code has to interact with the old code and data.

                  If you have expansion plans, then, the app will probably factor into the tables (in an external DB), code modules, reports (probably in HTML instead of Access), and the Access forms. The intention (most likely) will be to glue these parts together with VB.NET or C#.

                  I'm working in an app that's not really being refactored, but is being expanded via exports -- data is being shuttled out of the database into Outlook and text files, so more people can use the data. Later, I'm going to try and publish data via web pages. My situation is that one user likes Access, and everyone else isn't into it. To increase usage of the data, I have to make it work for everyone else.
                  • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
                    MarcoRamirez Newbie
                    We use Zoho ( to manage our client list, create tasks, and create forms (e.g., invoices, purchase orders, and quotes). It's free if you have less than 3 users. You should give it a try to see if it fits your business needs.
                    • Re: Access database.  Is it the best way to go?
                      intechspecial Ranger
                      I probably should not be posting here, as my experience is with HTML, CSS, Java Script, etc.

                      So I am going to refrain from posting my views(or lack there of) as I might learn a thing or two about databases.

                      Any resources out their for learning PHP, MySql, SQL 2008, please share.

                      I currently use and

                      I could use some more resources specifically to learing database implementation.