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SQL server as a back end for Access


SQL server as a back end for Access

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todd.ayers
todd.ayers
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Looking for good and/or bad reasons to use SQL server as a back end component to access 2007 and use the Forms and Reports of Access as the GUI for the user environment. Any Takers?
J Livingston SQL
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todd.ayers (5/7/2013)
Looking for good and/or bad reasons to use SQL server as a back end component to access 2007 and use the Forms and Reports of Access as the GUI for the user environment. Any Takers?


it will work...a lot will depend on your Access skills and what the front end is required to do.

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you can lead a user to data....but you cannot make them think
and remember....every day is a school day

todd.ayers
todd.ayers
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ok... well I am an access noob and have only been using it since the middle of March... Next question is on a scale of 1 to 10 How well do I need to know access? I would put myself at about a 4 or 5 right now....
Sean Lange
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todd.ayers (5/7/2013)
Looking for good and/or bad reasons to use SQL server as a back end component to access 2007 and use the Forms and Reports of Access as the GUI for the user environment. Any Takers?


It somewhat depends on how many users (copies) of your Access database you will need. If you have a lot of users this can become a real pain when you need to update and such. I would recommend using SSRS for reports if that is possible because otherwise you are locked into Access as your front end unless you rewrite the reports so that another application can consume them. That leaves only the actual front end in Access and I find that the front end is clunky and kind of cumbersome to deal with.

Personally I abhor Access. That is mostly because we have people that will create their own Access project and then get to a point where they are beyond their skill set and ask me to come behind them and fix it. All too often this ends up being a complete rewrite because it was built with no knowledge of data structures and normalization.

By no means am I saying that it is a bad idea to use Access like you are thinking. I don't know all the details about the project, your company and your abilities. All I am saying is that for me I would not use Access as a front end.

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todd.ayers (5/7/2013)
ok... well I am an access noob and have only been using it since the middle of March... Next question is on a scale of 1 to 10 How well do I need to know access? I would put myself at about a 4 or 5 right now....


That somewhat depends on what you need the application to do. If this is just a couple of forms with simple data entry then you should be able to pull this off fairly easily. If this is more complicated then it might become very challenging. Of course with that kind of challenge comes a lot of learning which is never a bad thing.

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whats the application going to do?
how many users?
what volume of data are you expecting to store in SQL
are users on the LAN or WAN?

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you can lead a user to data....but you cannot make them think
and remember....every day is a school day

todd.ayers
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The applications consist of an inventory manager db, a workorder db, an ops db, and a lumber inventory db. Each of these databases have multiple tables on the back end with around 20 users total. The users are on a LAN. We are basically one company underneath a parent company located elsewhere but the dev and prod instances are located locally. And the largest database that would reside on the SQL server is around 400 MB
Grant Fritchey
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Funny you should ask this because the newest version of Access is running SQL Server. The Jet engine is gone. It's just a really fancy GUI on top of SQL Server Express way deep under the covers.

As to the utility of it, it depends on how you program it. Yes, it works fine with sQL Server as a back-end, but, by default, no other settings modified, it takes locks on tables that make multi-user access difficult. You can just use it as a programming/reporting front end, running everything through stored procedures and, from the SQL Server side, it works as well as any other application. But, this means learning quite a bit of Access Basic (or whatever they call it these days).

So, the simplest, easiest way to use it is not the best for SQL Server. The more complex approach works great with SQL Server.

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Sean Lange
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Grant Fritchey (5/7/2013)
Funny you should ask this because the newest version of Access is running SQL Server. The Jet engine is gone. It's just a really fancy GUI on top of SQL Server Express way deep under the covers.

As to the utility of it, it depends on how you program it. Yes, it works fine with sQL Server as a back-end, but, by default, no other settings modified, it takes locks on tables that make multi-user access difficult. You can just use it as a programming/reporting front end, running everything through stored procedures and, from the SQL Server side, it works as well as any other application. But, this means learning quite a bit of Access Basic (or whatever they call it these days).

So, the simplest, easiest way to use it is not the best for SQL Server. The more complex approach works great with SQL Server.


Interesting that Jet is finally gone. Too bad that one of the biggest challenges of using it (table locks) still exists.

Is the code still VBA?

_______________________________________________________________

Need help? Help us help you.

Read the article at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ for best practices on asking questions.

Need to split a string? Try Jeff Moden's splitter.

Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns
Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 2 - Dynamic Cross Tabs
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 1)
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 2)
Grant Fritchey
Grant Fritchey
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Sean Lange (5/7/2013)
Grant Fritchey (5/7/2013)
Funny you should ask this because the newest version of Access is running SQL Server. The Jet engine is gone. It's just a really fancy GUI on top of SQL Server Express way deep under the covers.

As to the utility of it, it depends on how you program it. Yes, it works fine with sQL Server as a back-end, but, by default, no other settings modified, it takes locks on tables that make multi-user access difficult. You can just use it as a programming/reporting front end, running everything through stored procedures and, from the SQL Server side, it works as well as any other application. But, this means learning quite a bit of Access Basic (or whatever they call it these days).

So, the simplest, easiest way to use it is not the best for SQL Server. The more complex approach works great with SQL Server.


Interesting that Jet is finally gone. Too bad that one of the biggest challenges of using it (table locks) still exists.

Is the code still VBA?


You're asking the wrong guy. I just know the basics at this point in time. Access is WAY off my radar (thank the gods).

----------------------------------------------------
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
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