I need some insight here for those that have traveled down this road. We have an Access 2000/3 database that we distribute to our customers on a quarterly basis. The database has a user interface and an installation script.
We distribute this to them on a quarterly basis so they can have updates to the data which is what they really want. The database gets distributed to about 20 companies. Within those companies there are 10 or so users. We are considering moving to something that gets hosted on the web. We are considering the web hosting approach so that when a companies years subscription is up, we can cut them off. Right now we have some customers that only purchase every two years because we are actually giving them the database and they figure they can live without the data updates for a year.
A few people that we have mentioned it to suggest moving to SQL server and ASP.NET. I'm aware that you can publish Access forms pages to the web, which we have not attempted to do yet. We have concerns over security, stability and scalability of the application to more users and greater functionality. We are in the information gathering mode now before deciding on a path.
The current database application is about 15 MB, with 10 tables and over 60 forms, reports, and queries. We add about 2 MB worth of data a year. This is a core offering of our business so we want something that will continue to grow as our customer base does. Whatever we do, we also want to make it easy to use by our customers and not alienate them.
If you want a feel for what the database does, you can see a demonstration here:
Also, I know nothing about ASP.NET and SQL server. I'm willing to learn, but feel very comfortable with the Access 2003 environment and VBA.
Advice from someone who has undertaken a similar effort would be appreciated, taking into account security, stability, and scalability. Thanks very much.