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Database - Web Based

I have a potential new customer that runs a non-profit organization that wants a web based database; it would be used to find and track donors, referrals, do some billing and follow up.  Right now, as I have been told, there are running multiple Access databases along with some Excel spreadsheets.  They want to do web based data entry accessible via the Intranet or Internet with Secure Login; ablility to make adjustments to the fields and they are open to any programming languages.  Although this is a minimum amount of information - is there anything anyone would recommend in order to do this?
Daren Anderson, MSIS
Daren Anderson, MSIS
2 Solutions
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
This will be a "Huge" undertaking.
Especially if you are new to database design and website design...

The Access 2010 "Web Database" may not be up to the task (New technology, Macro based, limited security, ...etc)

Most of the time when a "Web Based" solution is needed, it is usually advised to move the Backend to a SQL Server , .. and use a web development platform to build the interface:
(.net, ...etc)

But again, this will be a Huge undertaking, and the specifics will depend on many factors:
Skill level
Existing infrastructure

So there is no clear solution, unless we are intimately familiar with all your business rules, requirements, constraints, ...etc

Daren Anderson, MSISPresidentAuthor Commented:
I do have many years experience using Access as well as many other higher end databases - SQL/Oracle; as well as a lot of experience in web design.  So I will agree this would be a huge undertaking for someone with less experience.  I probably should have not put this in the Access category.  Also, the details were very incomplete for anyone to make a educated guesstimate on it.  I am not sure on their budget but since it is a non-profit; I would think it is minimal.  Also, I am trying to find out there existing infrastructure - i.e. servers, SQL, etc.  I dont have that information as of yet.  I was thinking of looking at doing something in asp.net or something along those lines but with time constraints, I was wondering if anyone may recoomend something else with the very bad specs I have given.....
Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)Commented:

i would suggest using sql express ( it is free )

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Daren Anderson, MSISPresidentAuthor Commented:
Yes I have used SQL Server Express in the past....good thought..
Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:

 If the current setup does what they want, then you may consider simply putting the Access databases on the web with something like this:


Another alternative is to run a terminal services server and have users remote in.

However if there truly a need for a web based end user app then you have two choices:

1. Use Access with Sharepoint - Expensive and as Jeff pointed out, may not be capable of doing everything you want.

2. Re-write the apps with something like ASP.Net.

Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:

Thanks for the clarifications.

We always have to mention the skills required, because many user (with limited experience) will presume that this will be easy
(Just click the "Make web database" button)

Then all my initial posts should still be valid.


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