microsoft access web html5 pages

Posted on 2014-10-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-12-05
I am in the process of convincing my colleagues to build a CMS database to store all our files / customer content etc.

The challenge I have today is that due to confidentiality of the data in this proposed database it can't be stored outside of either:
(a) Our work Network or
(b) Our local laptops

I have started creating the database using forms to display the results but I wanted to use the richer functionality of HTML5 to query the database and render the results.   In this way I could:

a) Store a HTML5 file which is like a search report that lists all the content based on filters etc selected by user
b) Store the underlying access database

I don't wish to use "Data Access Pages" because I believe those seem very limited visually.
I don't wish to use Forms because once again I am finding they tend to be very archaic in the appearance especially once we start nesting the forms.
I basically want to leverage all the benefits of 'client side' web programming but the benefit of database access that is typically the domain of server side programming like PHP.  Yet I can't use PHP, ASP etc because everything has to stay within the 'walls' of the network or laptop.

I found a JavaScript library that claims to be able to connect to an Access DB even if the end user doesn't have MS Access installed! I guess you store the javascript files in same directory as the DB - not sure if it works.

Anyway, wanted to know what thoughts people have.  The reason I suggest MS Access is that it is normally installed by default on everyone's laptop and if the network solution (no.1 choice) is not possible, at least I can set up some kind of synchronization feature that allows a localized version of that database that can be queried using HTML5 search / report features.

The option of getting a server at work or commissioning a system is not going to be possible until I get a working solution that proves the value and also gets the traction / usage by the rest of my colleagues.

Many thanks if you got this far! :-)
Question by:hennanra3
  • 2

Author Comment

ID: 40396321
Sorry - just to add we won't store files on the database - rather the database will link to files stored on the network or local laptop (if network not possible).   We are using something called mobile docs - similar to dropbox where we share all content so this is why even the local solution is possible but the network one is preferred of course.

Also I am looking for something that doesn't require the users to do lots of configuration (e.g. setting up ODBC, installing a .NET application etc) on their laptops as I know they won't do that - the fewer barriers - the greater adoption / sponsorship this will garner.   Also it puts more roadblocks potentially if IT decide to upgrade or some users don't have admin rights etc etc.

LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Big Monty
ID: 40397019
I'd highly recommend against using MS Access, it's slow and doesn't handle loads of traffic very well. Also, instead of re-inventing the wheel here, have you thought about using a 3rd party system? MS SharePoint would be ideal for this situation, as it allows you store the files in a secure manner, as well allows you to customize the privileges for each user quite easily. The money spent on SharePoint would be vastly less than the man hours that would be spent on building it from the ground up.

you may also want to look into Kentico, another document library system:

Author Comment

ID: 40397282
Hi there, thanks for responding but I put down reasons for not using a 3rd party system in my post.  At this stage I am looking only for alternatives that allow a file based approach like MS Access if alternatives are suggested, although I am quite confident there is no alternative that comes close based on the limitations I have put (happy to be proven wrong of course).

I don't have the ability to implement a sharepoint system for now and this is something that is a tactical system that will work functionally.

I have used MS Access on network before and for the volumes we are talking about (records in the hundreds / thousands) and the concurrent users (less than 3 at a time max for a given record set) is not such to warrant a strategic system yet.

Anyway, I want to avoid going for reasons for using MS Access as I think they are well stated, I also know sharepoint and server based CMS approaches but once again it either requires a company based server (we won't get for political reasons) or an external server (we cannot use because it needs to be within the network or laptop).

LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Murfur earned 2000 total points
ID: 40399172
Can you install XAMPP or WampServer on a laptop? Or Visual Studio Express for Microsoft flavoured coding. These are all local installations of a server web hosting environment, typically used by developers for testing, but there is nothing to say it can't be used to host live data and you can also get them to talk to the Access database.

Once up and running then all the other workstations can access the data via pointing their browser at the IP of the hosting machine and they will see the data laid out however you want. Also has the advantage of allowing you to build a proper UI for interactive pages like a search facility, result pagination etc. rather than presenting static pages with a lot of page scrolling to see the data

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