The only DB experience I have is (unfortunately) with MS Access. I'm now creating a software application that interfaces with a DB, so I just went with what I know (Access). But, I don't really like the user interface, especially for dealing with relations. Also, it has a very limited range of data types (no real numbers, Booleans use a strange convention for storage, etc.). And most recently, I've run into an intractable problem whereby I cannot programmatically add or update records (covered in a separate post). So, now I'm seriously considering moving to another platform. The two I'm considering are Filemaker Pro (Is that different from Filemaker?), and MS SQL Server. But, I know essentially nothing about either. So, I'm looking for some advice on the trade-offs / suggestions for which way to go. Also, of course I'm wondering what is involved with importing / translating my existing DB to one of the other tools. (If it matters, the DB has 38 tables, and about 200 fields, but very little data so far.)
On the surface, I like what Filemaker Pro offers but it costs more than Access and doesn't seeme to offer more (unless you need web access) and there is a big learning curve.
If you don't like booleans, use integers.
What problem are you having with relations? As someone who works both with SQL Server and Jet/ACE, I would take the Access inteface hands down over what SQL Server offers for schema maintenance. The only "better" piece that SQL Server offers is the relationship diagram is more flexible.
If you prefer working with SQL Server as the BE, Access will be fine. I use it for most of my aps. If it is the FE you have issue with, good luck finding something as good as Access.