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Migration from ACCESS front end for SQL Server to web-based front end--advice needed!

Posted on 2012-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-03-20
Hello,

I have a MS Access with a lot of forms and reports that is connected to a SQL Server backend.  This has been working out ok for some years.  However, since everyone in the office is on a MAC, I would like to make the front end to the SQL Server database accessible from the web (or even program installed on MAC OS of each computer).  I am familiar with Dreamweaver (have just downloaded Visual Studio, but am not convinced), but was wondering if anyone perhaps had a better suggestion....time is of the essence as I need to deploy this rapidly.

Many thanks in advance.

Cheers!
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Question by:cougarsy
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8 Comments
 
LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 37713297
not sure but things that come to mind

maybe look at asp.net (have a look at the asp web matrix free software to look at the easy way of developing apps) http://www.asp.net/web-pages

is there some kind of emulator for windows that can run on mac? maybe something like winehq. I have never used a mac so am not too familiar with it.
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LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 37713300
did a quick google search for possible products and found this. a trial is available. maybe it might help?

http://dbconvert.com/convert-dbforms-access-to-aspnet.php
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Author Comment

by:cougarsy
ID: 37713324
Hi,

I do have Access running on the Macs via Parallels, but I guess I should have added in my first post that not only is there a drawback of having to launch Windows to run Access, but also that Access is just limited.  As we have people accessing the database from different locations, I wanted to get away from having to have Windows and Access installed.  So, I wanted to migrate to a front end that is web-based and login protected.  

I am downloading WebMatrix and will see if that might work.  Your second link looked interesting but on further inspection I think that they are taking Access databases and front ends and migrating both to ASP.NET and SQL Server.  I already have a SQL Server database and I just want to find a tool to use that will allow me to quickly set up forms for web-based GUI that perform functions the Access forms are doing.

Thanks again,
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Kelvin Sparks
ID: 37713640
You could look at Office 365 and move the database(s) to the cloud. Relatively easy to setup, not too expensive (you'd need the medium sized business package. There are a few gotchas though. All connections have to havean IP address specified for security - for some businesses that is a problem. If you can make it work, it saves the hassle or redevelopment. Internally, perhaps Citrix (can that be delivered to a Mac?).


Kelvin
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LVL 85
ID: 37713821
Given that you write this:
.time is of the essence as I need to deploy this rapidly.
and
with a lot of forms and reports that is connected to a SQL Server backend.
Then I'd have to agree with kelvin that a Citrix/Terminal Server setup would be the quickest route to success, given your requirements/limits/needs.

There's also eqldata.com, which is a paid service that would make your existing db instantly available to your users. It's not cheap, but it is the single easiest route to sharing data with remote users.

If you have extra time, then moving the application to a web-based frontend, using the technology of your choice, would make sense. Personally, if you have experience with Access and VBA then a move to ASP.NET would probably be the least painful, but of course your experience may be different.
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Author Comment

by:cougarsy
ID: 37713876
Hello all,

Thank you for your responses....very interesting--all of it--and programs I didn't even know existed.  Our SQL Server DB is already on a web server, so I really just need a front end.  I have worked in Dreamweaver, so am going to evaluate if WebMatrix, Visual Studio or Dreamweaver would be the most efficient for me, time-wise.

I was hoping to find more of a WYSIWYG program to recreate the Access forms without a lot of coding.

Thanks again!
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

by:
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 500 total points
ID: 37713885
Visual Studio is very similar to the Access interface in terms of drag-drop. There's also Microsoft Expression Web, which is a dedicated web editor along the same lines as VS.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Kelvin Sparks
ID: 37713889
The momemnt you move from Access you get two problems - forms - replace with some web system and reports - they don't readily convert to the web - you'll need a report server - these days either Crystal or SQL Server's SSRS (Sql Server Reporting Services). If you're in a hurry, and you have lots of forms and reports - then its just not achievable as LSM has already indicated. If it were me, I'd be going for Citrix or Terminal services as a short term one while you evaluate your options and determine the effort - it will be substantial. Access has survived as it is one of the very few complete packages out of the box that provide a rapid application development tool. You''' be surprised how much time redevelopment will take unless your forms and reports are very simple.

Kelvin
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