Convert MS Access to Web App

Bill Ross
Bill Ross used Ask the Experts™
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We need to convert part of our MS Access DB to a web app.  ASPX or .net.  No experience in web apps.  Ideas?
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Jim Dettman (EE MVE)President / Owner
Most Valuable Expert 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Commented:
<<Ideas?>>

 What is it your looking for....it's a total re-write.   You can by the way have a web app talking to the "back end" and an Access FE in the office to the same "back end".

Jim.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
Well the short and hard answer would be...."get some GOOD experience on Web Apps" and then  consider the move to  the Web.
Web and all the technologies is a wonderful and vast world with limitless possibilities BUT it does require quite some learning/programming/testing to get to an acceptable level.
Just pick a technology that should follow to the end and start reading....probably ASP .NET Core is your best bet as Ms really tries to gather everything under one roof....but do start from the basics : HTML ,CSS...every technology around eventually boils down to prepare a BIG text file (html) that a browser will render and display the "magic"
Dale FyeOwner, Dev-Soln LLC
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Or you can use an Access FE with an Azure BE (if you have good bandwidth), and if you need mobile, and it doesn't have to be extensive, you could use Power Apps for the mobile portion of things.
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Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys.  Our MS application has been used for many years - 20 screens - 50 reports - SQL backend.  I think I need to hire someone to help as the learning curve is too long and I'm crazy busy.  There used to be a "hire an expert" section but i can't find it on the new EE layout.
Éric MoreauSenior .Net Consultant
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
it might be easier to install your app on a server and access this server using remote desktop.
Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
I have it set up that way on Azure now but it's becoming a distribution/new user set up pain - especially for my Apple users.  I've got 100+ users and RDP licenses are killing me.
Éric MoreauSenior .Net Consultant
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
A complete rewrite is required then. I would hire a consultant to develop it and sit with him/her to learn and continue to support the project once completed.
Developer & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I think I need to hire someone to help as the learning curve is too long and I'm crazy busy.
There used to be a "hire an expert" section but i can't find it on the new EE layout.

At the bottom of the page in the footer there is a link for Topics https://www.experts-exchange.com/topics/. If you search for asp.net  https://www.experts-exchange.com/topics/asp-net/ on the right side of the page will be a scoreboard of sorts that shows the top experts for the month/past 30 days/yearly.  If you look at the top few there you can get a sense of which experts are active in a topic. You can use this to look up their profile and send a private message asking if they would like to bid on your project.

ASP.NET, Node.js/javascript, Java and PHP are all good possible topics to find Experts to suite your needs.
Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys.  I'll check it out.
Daniel PineaultPresident / Owner CARDA Consultants Inc.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Not sure of the exact reason you are wanting to do this, so there may be consideration that would oppose it, but what about pushing your BE to Azure and keeping the FE as is.  Then the FE could be run from anywhere, by anyone as long as they had an Internet connection?  Speed could be an issue, although steps can be taken to improve that.

That said, a proper web application will require a complete re-write.  The only thing that can be salvaged is the data assuming the current structure is sound.  This will take months (possibly longer depending on who you hire and how well defined the project is from the start).
Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Problem is that some users have Apple and others have slow connection. The RDP/VM solution woirks fine but with 100+ users the cost to MS for RDP sessions is huge.
Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
BE and FE are on Azure now.  Works great - just very expensive long term.
Dale FyeOwner, Dev-Soln LLC
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Daniel, you missed the part about a lot of Apple users and RemoteDesktop costing an arm and a leg.
Daniel PineaultPresident / Owner CARDA Consultants Inc.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
@Dale -Yep.  sorry!

@Bill - Then a web app makes sense to me.  Take your time on this.  Develop proper specs before hiring anyone!!!!!!!  Review your current db properly to identify what works really well and what needs to be reworked, and define the rework properly.  Only once you have exactly what you are after, start looking to find a competent developer.  I like MySQL/PHP (with a proper framework) simply because it is easy to host and doesn't cost much to host, also lots of developers.  If this is all in-house, you can use what you already have as BE databases or easily install MySQL.  Just don't rush into this.  I've seen far too many people hire developers before they truly knew what they were after and get charged to rework, rework, rework the project and cost just balloon out of control (quite often projects get scrapped before completion and no one wins in the end).

Good luck with your project.  It can be a fun journey.
Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Thanks to all.  I'm looking down the road a year or so.  Maybe even port parts to web at a time.

Bill
Distinguished Expert 2017

Commented:
The RDP client is included in the "pro" versions of Windows so there is no extra charge.  There is no help for Apple users but that was Apple's deliberate choice to be incompatible with the PC world.  That's why few corporations make the effort to support small numbers of Apple users.

I don't know if Citrix ends up being cheaper than RDP if you run your own server but Citrix is what most of my clients use.  That should allow all users to work with the app as long as they have a compatible browser.
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
First start with moving the BE to the Cloud ( a VPS costs a few dollars and the performance can be great)...even on experimental stage...little by little you can  move on ...for start creating simple HTML/PHP pages that show a few data to the users without having to connect..probably by just pushing data to the cloud database...no manipulation...no interaction,,,just using them to feed the pages i mentioned before...like reports...then you start to really use this BE...along the way you start isolating the logic (maybe you already have) so you could migrate them to another platform (.NET, PHP,Node.js)...
Bill RossProgrammer

Author

Commented:
Thank you all for your help and advice.  I'm investigating a redo.

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