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  • #963933
    design101
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    I’ve got a database that was setup for me in MS Access that I use to track time and billing on projects – I have a couple of things I’d like to change in it but they’re too technical for me.. does anyone know of someone who they’d recommend to do this? Any other IT help references would be good too..

    Cheers.

    #1001099
    Linden – Agile IT
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    Hi, I am a part of the flying solo community and love receiving the newsletter. Our company provides IT support and support services to Small Businesses. We have MS Access Skils available to us.

    Can you tell me what version of Microsoft Access the original database was setup in? If you would like to contact me directly to discuss, feel free to do it through my profile.

    Linden Jackson
    IT Services, Computer Repairs & Support – Your IT Advisor – Agile IT Solutions

    #1001100
    @HeatherSmithAU
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    Fantastic a response within 2 hours!

    If the previous respondant can’t help you, I suggest you drop [email protected] a line, she works with me and is a database guru.

    #1001101
    BrightSpark
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    I would suggest that when you get the database updated that you make it odbc & SQL compliant rather than using the sloppy coding that access does allow. It may not mean much to you at this stage but at a later date when you need to upgrade or web enable your database it will be sooooo much easier.

    #1001102
    Adam Randall
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    I second Brightspark, it might seem a huge job now but I personally would get an off the shelf ready built database specially for the job you want it to do and base it on a common database format.

    #1001103
    gregpritchard.virtualcio
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    Without descending into a total rant…..and I don’t mean to offend, but if an IT provider suggests building an application in Access; you need to find another IT provider. Brightspark and Adam Randall should be complimented for their restraint in their wise comments. Access is a whole bag of pain.

    I agree with the comments on migrating to either a commercial (desktop or Software-as-a-Service) application that provides the functionality you require out of the box, or if the application is very bespoke to your needs, migrating the functionality to a database (MySQL, SQL Server, PostGreSQL, etc) and having something written (in Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, anything but Access) which satisfies your requirements.

    Commercial time tracking software has come a long way in the last couple of years. It may be time to review your requirements and the available solutions in this space.

    #1001104
    ActiveCounselling
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    Hi,

    I would just like to add a balancing entry into the debate. From a technical standpoint I agree 100% with those suggesting your application be redeveloped.

    However there can be a significant cost to any redevelopment that many soloists cannot justify.

    In any applications life there is a point when the existing application is about to be too small, awkard or inappropriate for your business as it grows and changes. Trying to pick that point before it becomes a problem is the trick.

    If your Access application only needs minor tuning and is still running fast and supporting your business then it is probably worth sticking with it if your funds are a bit tight. If however you expect a growth spurt or significant changes to the way you do business then definately look at redeveloping.

    One more point while I am on my soapbox is that guys like those that have responded are the sort of people you want developing your applications. The reason is that they appear to have worked out their development concepts and philosophies in advance. This usually results in a far higher quality product than someone who has not considered these philosophical aspects.

    Good luck with it.

    #1001105
    Ken Wood
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    I 100% agree with all those saying, “get a real database” for your application.

    I’d actually go one step further and say, “get a real OPEN SOURCE database”.

    There are a number of excellent open source database products in widespread use that you could choose from. Unless you have very unusual or unique technical requirements, there is NO REASON whatsoever to pay for database software these days.

    The most popular open source database is of course MySQL, see http://www.mysql.com

    Cheers,
    Ken

    #1001106
    ray_223
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    I agree with “ActiveCounselling”.

    I’m a software developer and have been for over 15 years. In the last 5 years or so I’ve turned into a huge Open Source fan (i.e. not a big Microsoft fan).

    BUT

    MS Access is a reasonably good product and it does a reasonably good job for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people.

    I do agree that time based billing software has come along way recently (including open source and web based apps) and it may be time to review some alternatives.

    I can’t suggest moving to another technology without any major benefit.

    I guess the point of my post is to look very critically at the decisions you make and what benefits you gain from making those decisions. It’s not worth paying huge somes of money, or taking huge chunks of time for a small improvement.

    #1001107
    design101
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    Thanks all for the level of responses. Greatly appreciated and also good to see that the FS forum is getting alot of use.

    Without wanting to get into an IT debate I recognise the advantage of either a custom database or specialist time tracking software but for now due to cost and simplicity reasons am happy to continue with the template setup in Access and only looking to tweak a couple of bits.

    In the longer term I can see the benefit of a more targetted product.

    Thanks again.

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