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How are forms traditionally designed in SQL

Posted on 2008-10-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We have an access database and I want to eventually convert it to SQL Server.  It's probably unnecessary but I will get my hourly wage to learn SQL and have one more thing to add to my resume.

How are the forms made using SQL?  Should/Can I program them using visual basic or C#?  What is the prefered weapon of choice for form design?

For reports do people generally use Crystal reports?

Basically I am wondering how I can get all of the functionality of Access using SQL and other programs.

JOe K.
Question by:ClaudeWalker
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Assisted Solution

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3] earned 400 total points
ID: 22706591
>How are the forms made using SQL?
sql server does not have the forms concept like ms access.

> Should/Can I program them using visual basic or C#?  
that's one of many possibilities. you are free to choose any form/application coding solution you want, even ms access.

the "preferred" weapon is the one you know already.
if you want to learn, it's a different matter.

>For reports do people generally use Crystal reports?
same as above: it's what they have/know already.

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Expert Comment

by:Faiga Diegel
ID: 22706603
For reports do people generally use Crystal reports?
>> try reporting services instead :))
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Accepted Solution

Kevin Cross earned 800 total points
ID: 22706627
It depends on your environment and skillset of developers.  If you are starting fresh and have your choices, there are a few.

SQL Server itself from a raw database standpoint doesn't blend forms and data into one platform like MS Access.  You can actually keep your forms in MS Access and point to SQL Server backend as interim/transitionary step to a more up to date method.

SQL Server now offers Report Services which is an additional component that allows you to design reports using Visual Studio.

You can create user interfaces using Visual Basic or C# .NET either as a Windows Forms or ASP.NET application with LINQ and SqlClient connectivity to SQL Server built in.

You could use Crystal Reports, but with Reporting Services not sure you would necessarily want to go with an additional purchase when reporting services comes with paid editions of SQL.  I think you even get a form of it with SQL Express w/ Advanced Options, but I have standard edition myself.

Hope that at least gets you started.
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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
ID: 22706635
Looks like couple other posters beat me in.  So to save you some reading, I will just say "ditto."

Author Comment

ID: 22706757
Thanks for the rapid responses.

I am aware of SQL Severs lack of integrated form designer.

Which process would you suggest for creating forms to interact with a SQL backend?  Which one do you use?  Which is the one which would be most valuable on a resume in your opinions?    

In regards to reports I will try the integrated reporting services.

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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
ID: 22706806
Depends on your current environment as stated and for resume the environment of the organization doing the hiring.  I have personally interacted with SQL Backend from Excel, MS Access, Java, and VB.NET.  Would have used C#, but the application we purchased from 3rd party uses VB and made sense to stay consistent from resource perspective as we have VB development for that purpose.

Before we got that, everything was in Java due to API/connectivity to old system was only through Java and so did statistical processing through SQL from same code base.  I am a certified java programmer so went with what I know and what was available at the time as a combination.

Think you will find if you stick to that philosophy the rest works itself out.  Either you become stronger in what you already know or learn knew way out of necessity -- both strengthen your appeal to employers IMHO as I have gotten some jobs due to my experience and others due to my ability to adapt.

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Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 22706882
I interact with my database (mssql server, mysql, oracle) from all of the following (no particular order):
* C#
* vb6
* ms access
* php
* vbscript
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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
ID: 22707041
Oh yeah, forgot MySQL and PHP on my list too...just what was needed for each project.  Hopefully you are seeing recurring theme. :)
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Assisted Solution

by:Mark Wills
Mark Wills earned 800 total points
ID: 22713106
Embarking on using Visual Studio with either VB or C# sound much more terrifying than it really is. For simple things it is quite straight forward. For the more involved, then there are things like EE to help.

Access as a front end does work. It is not the most efficient, and can generate a lot of network traffic. Crystal works fine - arguably no need to change that. Reporting services is a bit different from Crystal and does require a small change in mindset - but should not be too difficult to pick up. Found the Reporting Server (ie the Web delivery of reports) a pain in the proverbial in the beginning, and ended up doing something different in terms of a web delivery method of reports. But, think that is the last area to tackle if you already have Crystal and a report delivery method - need to make sure that the critical pieces of information still gets to the decision makers reliably...

SQL Server as a back end is brilliant - there is a truck load of things you can do within the database space to help prepare / manipulate and code data related objects. Found VB.Net a little "friendlier" with syntax and case insensitive, but C# as I am told by a few employees / colleagues is the "real" language for "serious" developers - albeit without any further explanation.

If you look at the Visual Studio site - you can download Express (both VS and SQL) for free and it does have a series of sample applications that is very worthwhile going through whilst you are deciding which way to go.

In the longer term, your would be better off going into Visual Studio rather than Access with a SQL backend. For a start, it does give you the opportunity (maybe not the time or budget though), to take a fresh look at your database designs...

There is a ton of links on this subject - including a few within EE. Might be worth having a look at some of the other suggestions about SQL back end and Access front end. Here are a couple to whet the appetite

http://www.microsoft.com/express/download/   also have a look at the developer tools - there are good sample apps in there...


Author Comment

ID: 22736416
Thanks guys,

I started playing around with visual studio.  I am going to try to use C#.


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