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Access vs. VB

Posted on 2007-07-26
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I need to create a ultra-secure database which will contain employee reviews for my company. I am thinking of creating the back-end on mysql with a front end on access. I created a while back two databases using only access, and so far, they have been working fine. I haven't heard of any missing data or anything like that. I disabled the ALT key (I think it's that one), and allowed the users to access it as long as they used the shortcut on their desktop. In spite of this, I'm still a little aprehensive about using Access as the Back-End ever since I found some code on the Internet which gives you the password of a database. My question here would be, how much better could it be if I developed the front-end in VB? I have never done anything in VB except in school, and that was a while back. What advantages do I have if I use VB instead of Access? Thanks!
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Question by:horalia
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by:jpaulino
jpaulino earned 600 total points
ID: 19577890
VB creates a locked file (exe) and Access its always possible to break.

With VB (VB6 or VB2005) you can develop a professional and ultra secure application, not with access.
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Patrick Matthews earned 800 total points
ID: 19577913
Hello horalia,

The devil is in the details.  MySQL has excellent security; if you push all of the heavy lifting to
the MySQL database layer you should be able to get a very secure app even with an Access
front-end, unless you do things like hardcode passwords into DSNs or the VBA code.

Regards,

Patrick
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 19577976
Oh, no, no password in the code! They will all reside in the db
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LVL 38

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by:PaulHews
PaulHews earned 600 total points
ID: 19578179
The pluses for VB6:

-fewer attack vectors in terms of security.  I agree with jpaulino, that one can get to all the Access code pretty easily.  That's going to give an attacker more information, even if you find a way to keep the security in the MySQL db.  .NET can be decompiled rather easily unless you are using an obfuscator.  VB 6 executables cannot be decompiled.

-More professional looking UI.  The VB application doesn't run within another application.  It will be faster, more responsive, and you will have a nicer user experience (this is subjective, so this is from my POV.)

The pluses for Access:
-faster development for database functions.
-Built in reporting.
-VBA can do pretty much everything you can do in VB6.
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 19578241
If I look at the scenario from a user point of view, there would be only about 15 people which will have access to the front end, and if I'm not mistaken, most of them except only one user don't have enough skills (or time!) to be trying to break into the database. I already have a server running mysql which is used for a database driven website. I like the idea of generating an .exe file, and yes, it looks more professional. The downside, at least for me, is that I haven't had much experience with VB. I do get around pretty well with VBA for Access, so time would not be completely on my side. I have never worked with VB.NET. Is the learning curve very steep? Besides working with VBA for Access, I also use PHP. Let me know what you guys think...
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by:PaulHews
ID: 19578285
From VBA to VB6, not so much of a learning curve.
From VBA to VB.NET, a fairly big learning curve.  Expect to spend a few weeks learning a new language so that you can work in it.  And maybe a few months to really master it.
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by:jpaulino
ID: 19578368
>> And maybe a few months to really master it.
I will say Years.

horalia i think thats it's a big step but in the right direction. Theres allot of examples on the internet and theres always the EE than can help you.
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Author Comment

by:horalia
ID: 19579292
Thanks guys for your suggestions. I'm going to use Access and MySql server for the moment, this will be just the beginning of even a bigger project. If corporate likes the end results, then I will ask for a VB or VB.NET license in order to create a better application. Thanks!
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by:PaulHews
ID: 19579388
>horalia i think thats it's a big step but in the right direction.

Agreed.  Pretty much any new development I do these days is in .NET.  Microsoft's extended support for VB 6 will peter out in the next couple of years, so it makes less sense to use it for new development.
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