PDA

View Full Version : New user -- Access comparison questions


ABC123

CANLOGIC
04-20-2008, 10:45 PM
I am currently running the 30 day demo and thinking about purchasing V9.

I have been developing fairly complex solutions for the aerospace industry with Access since version 1. Typical system would have anywhere from 100 to 300 tables and up to 500-600 forms reports etc. I give the users a compiled front end (mde) on the local C: drives while the datatables are on servers. I am quite comfortable with VB. I am not happy with performance once there is a fair amount of data in the tables ie. 40k records in some tables. Also when the number of users gets over about 15 performance drops off.

So what I need to know is from anyone who has moved to A5 what they have found as far as.

Security - Keeping users from modifying or even seeing the design elements. Also user security for access to forms reports etc. In Access I wrote my own security module.

Performance -- Assuming I will use an sql backend and putting the forms, reports etc on the local C: drive (If this is where the 'front end' should be). Will there be a significant performance gain.

Ease of putting in updates to the front end ie new screens or changes to screens reports etc. I often have to compile a new front end in Access then zip it and email it to a client, is this possible with A5.

Ability to create large and fairly complex systems that are visualy and functionaly appealing to the users.

Thanks in adance for any info you can provide.

DaveM
04-21-2008, 12:01 AM
I have been developing fairly complex solutions for the aerospace industry with Access since version 1. Typical system would have anywhere from 100 to 300 tables and up to 500-600 forms reports etc. I give the users a compiled front end (mde) on the local C: drives while the datatables are on servers. I am quite comfortable with VB. I am not happy with performance once there is a fair amount of data in the tables ie. 40k records in some tables. Also when the number of users gets over about 15 performance drops off.


I don't think you will see the drop off in performance. You won't need the compiled front end, although you could write your own exe in VB to start the app if desired. The data( the way I see you using it) will be on the server, It is real easy to do an update => update the server and reset the version and the workstations will recieve the update on next start(or you can set up a button to do it)



Security - Keeping users from modifying or even seeing the design elements. Also user security for access to forms reports etc. In Access I wrote my own security module.

Alpha has built in security if you choose to use it or you can roll your own as I and others did. I use native tables and also encrypt them. Sql has a security you can set up too.
As far as the users seeing the back side. You can program it out. Be sure to catch any errors and code your own responses. Coming from VB and access, you will have a ball here, but a little familiarity will go a long way.



Ability to create large and fairly complex systems that are visualy and functionaly appealing to the users.

This is always a matter of taste, but YES!


Performance -- Assuming I will use an sql backend and putting the forms, reports etc on the local C: drive (If this is where the 'front end' should be). Will there be a significant performance gain.

Remember the word "Shadow". Leave this one for someone else to answer. I use the native .dbf right now. I may switch with the web side though. You can use both if it helps.

Something you did not ask. The report writer is almost on the level with Crystal and you can use crystal if you choose. I do not and it is very available to me. ALSO = There are hundreds of functions and you can make your own.

There are some major differences between Alpha and access, After the inevitable shock, you will NEVER go back. This message board will become a great friend and can really get you through those first few humps.

Welcome to Alpha!

NOTE: VB - ACCESS - done some of both and more - It is fun mow.

timveach
04-21-2008, 12:56 AM
I have programmed in Access and VBA for a number of years, since Access 1.0. We can talk offline if you want. My experience with Access is substantial, as is Filemaker. I certainly would be willing to give you my thoughts.

Steve Workings
04-21-2008, 09:07 AM
Welcome Tim! You're going to love A5 and wonder why you didn't switch earlier.

What Dave said. Faster, easier updating, all of your concerns are solved here.

And, you found this message board - a resource apparently unmatched by other db platforms.

Use the Search feature first, then feel free to ask.

martinwcole
04-21-2008, 11:16 AM
Tim, I have an app made for the aerospace industry thats been running for about 5 years. It has 400 tables, 392 screens, and about 170 reports.

We started out in Alpha 5-V5 and are currently running in Alpha 5-V7. And we are working on moving it to V9.

We are running XP-Pro SP2 on all workstations and Server 2003 on the server. We have licenses for 20 concurrent users, but rarely ever exceed 10.

We run a straight DBF system. Since the tables rarely ever exceed maybe 100,000 records, the DBF system works just fine. As it would be a massive undertaking to convert to run SQL, I doubt we will ever convert. If we had million-record-tables, it would be a different matter.

The more users you have, the better the server needs to be. And V8 and V9 have methods for distributing users to different processors.

You will find Alpha is more than up-to-the-task.

CANLOGIC
04-21-2008, 11:34 AM
Thanks for all the replies! I am impressed with both the software and these message boards. So used to the MS forums where you get no answers. Going to convert one of my systems tables to sql and try a few forms in A5.

Thanks again.

Doug Page
04-21-2008, 10:02 PM
Ability to create large and fairly complex systems that are visualy and functionaly appealing to the users.

Have a look at this example done in version 6!

http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/alphaforum/showthread.php?p=403666#post403666

CANLOGIC
04-21-2008, 10:47 PM
Yes very well done!

khawar
04-25-2008, 09:24 AM
hi tim i am having research on alpha five currently i am developing applications in Access VBA and VB6 I have a question like we use union queries in access and vb whether there is a way to do this in alpha 5
one more thing aggregate queries in access with inner and outer joins are many times faster than summing in alpha five am i right or am i doing it in a wrong way one more thing like we can build unbound forms in access an vb i didnt find out is there a way to do that to run a action independently.

Bill Parker
04-29-2008, 01:12 PM
Khawar,

I can't answer your questions on the comparison with Access queries.

There are two ways to create unbound forms.
1. Xdialog is used to create dialogs that are not bound to a table. Start with the xdialog genie.
2. "Forms" in Alpha are always bound to a table. However, a form does not need to use/display any fields from that table. In this way, some developers bind a form to a "dummy" table in order to take advantage of the form builder GUI.

Bill.

Selwyn Rabins
04-29-2008, 04:23 PM
hi tim i am having research on alpha five currently i am developing applications in Access VBA and VB6 I have a question like we use union queries in access and vb whether there is a way to do this in alpha 5
one more thing aggregate queries in access with inner and outer joins are many times faster than summing in alpha five am i right or am i doing it in a wrong way one more thing like we can build unbound forms in access an vb i didnt find out is there a way to do that to run a action independently.


a union sql query would be equivalent to an 'append' operation in alpha five.

group by queries are equivalent to 'summarize' operations.

if you are working with native alpha five tables, then you will use the above operations.

however, if your alpha five application is built on active-link tables then you can use the backend database to do your summaries for you.

you would define a readonly active-link table that has GROUP BY in its SELECT statement

khawar
04-30-2008, 07:17 AM
a union sql query would be equivalent to an 'append' operation in alpha five.

group by queries are equivalent to 'summarize' operations.

if you are working with native alpha five tables, then you will use the above operations.

however, if your alpha five application is built on active-link tables then you can use the backend database to do your summaries for you.

you would define a readonly active-link table that has GROUP BY in its SELECT statement
my question was regarding speed difference

DaveM
04-30-2008, 10:54 AM
I can do an append on 2700 records with over 100 fields to the same table on another machine in about 5 seconds. That is going over a LAN. server is an older slower machine with xpsp2 and the recieving machine is a fast xpsp2 machine. The lan is average. Twice the records would take very little more. Generally, this takes place wile other operations are also going on and unattended.

When we did it in VB with similar tables within access dbs, it took about the same or more. Definitely was not faster.

I do not have an access db with those sizes to compare.

Wish I could help better.