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Visual Basic Application vs. Microsoft Office Access front end

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
What are the benefits of creating a Visual Basic application front end to a SQL server vs. a Microsoft Access 2007 front end client to a SQL server? Does someone know the pros and cons doing either?
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Question by:tkschultz1207
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16 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:albuitra
ID: 21754461
visual basic .NET is more portable. you could deploy in iPAQs, celullar phones, etc
access is more easy to design
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:NIMTUG_Simon
NIMTUG_Simon earned 200 total points
ID: 21754475
Using VIsual Basic you will be able to create more familar looking applications for your end users, Creating applications which work like other applications in Windows and Office ensure that your users get to grips with the application quickly.

It is more difficult to create things like reports in VB (I assuming that you are tallking about VB 6 rather than VB.Net) than access and depending on how complex your app is you will be able to do a access app relatively quickly. Saying that you are able to do alot more with VB.

IMHO currently access is really only for quick proto-types and small application with a very small user base. Building in VB6 (or better .net) will give you better experience in building your programming skills which will more sort after.
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LVL 75
ID: 21754494
The main difference is   Access is Desktop based and VB.Net is web (browser) based.  So, you need to decide that first.  The learning curve for a .NET app is bound to be longer than using Access - *Depending* on your knowledge of Access and VBA ...

mx
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:albuitra
albuitra earned 200 total points
ID: 21754512
VB is also desktop based
You can use windows forms in VB
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LVL 75
ID: 21754553
"You can use windows forms in VB"

Yes ... you *could* - but ... you can do a lot more with Access.

mx
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Author Comment

by:tkschultz1207
ID: 21754585
What about speed or performance do you get better performance with VB rather than MS Access?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:albuitra
ID: 21754627
IMHO you can better perfomance with VB .NET
With VB 6, I think is equal
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LVL 75
ID: 21754644
"IMHO currently access is really only for quick proto-types and small application with a very small user base"

Oh boy.  That is soooooo *not* true.  !!!!

mx
0
 

Author Comment

by:tkschultz1207
ID: 21754837
So what I hear people saying is this:
Reason to pick VB:
Looks Better
Web Based
opportunity to enhance programming skills
Hard to design and make reports
Not necessarily faster than MS Access
Access:
Easy to design, get reports, desktop based

I am an Access programmer, so I am not seeing the benefits of going to VB since we will need a lot of reports and it is not faster...am I missing something here? Our user bases will probably be at max > 25 users at a time.
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Author Comment

by:tkschultz1207
ID: 21754846
Sorry I meant less than 25 people at a time most likely around 5 at a time.
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LVL 75

Accepted Solution

by:
DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform) earned 1000 total points
ID: 21754885
(VB) "Looks Better"

On the contrary .... just simply not true.

Speed .... dependent on so *many* factors - in either case.  

"am an Access programmer,"
So ... you will have very little learning curve.  Access desktop vs VB Webform desktop ... no comparison as I see.  But ...  if you need browser based ... Access is out of the loop for all practical purpose.

Number of users - again ... many factors influence this.  I have many multi-user apps - across LANS, WANS and Terminal Services - all running with essentially no problems - typically 10-50 users.  

mx
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:cool12399
cool12399 earned 400 total points
ID: 21757337
I'm assuming you mean VB (although doesn't really matter if .net).

1. More compatible. if you use MS Office, and users have different versions, *some* stuff might not work on older versions.
2. Looks better/more familiar.
3. Easily deployable.
4. More support. Much easier to get help in creating the VB app, as opposed to creating the MS office app. (There are some ppl that are very good, but much less than VB coders).

Only *real* advantage to doing it in MS Access 2007 is that it is much faster to do if you know what you are doing AND you know everyone has MS Access 2007.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:cool12399
ID: 21757340
PS the first part is VB. I.e., do it in VB.
0
 
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:rachitkohli
rachitkohli earned 200 total points
ID: 21757687
I could see some significant differences :

Please correct me if am wrong in any of my points

1. Cannot make DLL in Ms Access === Can be done in VB
2. Cannot make ActiveX in Ms Access === Can be done in VB
3. Cannot make command line Application === Can be done in VB
4. VB.NET has lot of differences i would say since it has a capability of making large size complicated  Web Applications. Lot of new support for things which where very complicated & time consuming to do, using APIs. For example .NET has wonderful classes for GDI+, Net Handling (Upload/Download), Cross language programming compatibilities, Threading classes, etcc.. the list is huge.

Hope my points does make sense..
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LVL 75
ID: 21761397
Re 1,2 & 3 above.

The question is - does that really matter in this app?  And, you *can* reference a DLL or ActiveX control with no problem.

Again ... are you planning a desktop app or a browser based app?

mx
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:tkschultz1207
ID: 31466748
Thanks for your help! This was very interesting.  I think we are going to go with VB because I found a programmer who will create and support the software, therefore I will not have to, and I can still connect to the SQL server tables if I want to use an access client to run queries and reports.
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