database - which software to use?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Hi,

I'm currently searching for a database software/language I can use on a project I'm working on. Since I haven't learned to work with any software yet, I would like to here your suggestions.

Some examples I've found:

* MySQL

* SQL Server

* MS SQL SERVER

* MS Access

* Filemaker pro

This database will have to be windows compatible (use and development), and I'm looking for a "not to complicated" software.

Thank you for any suggestions

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by future-ex-pc-user

    Hi,

    I'm currently searching for a database software/language I can use on a project I'm working on. Since I haven't learned to work with any software yet, I would like to here your suggestions.

    Some examples I've found:

    * MySQL

    * SQL Server

    * MS SQL SERVER

    * MS Access

    * Filemaker pro

    This database will have to be windows compatible (use and development), and I'm looking for a "not to complicated" software.

    Thank you for any suggestions




    If you are developing the database on a Windows PC, then use Access. If you need cross platform (usage and development, then use FileMaker).



    Dave
  • Reply 2 of 20
    4fx4fx Posts: 258member
    Filemaker is probably your best bet. Access is not Mac compatible and Im not impressed at all with its capabilities, look or feel (coming from a user standpoint, not a developer standpoint). Filemaker has some cool capabilities that Access doesnt, like direct compatibility with PDAs. The most flexible option would be to use MySQL/PHP/HTML, then you could do everything over the web, but it is the most complicated and time consuming.



    But for what you need, it sounds like Filemaker is the way to go. They have a number of products available and depending on your needs, you might be able to utilize several of them, but for most needs you will be fine with the standard version.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I second the nomination for FileMaker Pro. In short order you will be able to create fairly sophisticated databases. FMP has been around a long time. Lots of help and documentation is available.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    Use MySQL. Its free and its very fast.

    A very popular RDBMS espcially for web apps.

    I think its pre-installed on OSX Server (not sure).

    If you want a powerfull database with Oracle/MS SQLServer then try Informix. Zero administrator overhead which is more than what Sybase/Oracle and MS SQL Server are.

    Yahoo uses MSQL so does Slashdot and I have even heard that NASA uses it.

    See

    http://developer.apple.com/internet/...urce/osdb.html



    Talking to the DBA's here at Citibank and mentioning Access or FileMaker is like discussing MSPaint with Photohop/Freehand people.



    Dobby/
  • Reply 5 of 20
    keshkesh Posts: 621member
    Filemaker. It's the best combination of ease-of-use, power, flexibility and cross-platform.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dobby

    Talking to the DBA's here at Citibank and mentioning Access or FileMaker is like discussing MSPaint with Photohop/Freehand people.



    Not quite... Access/FileMaker have legitmate roles. They fill the gap between what can support large corporations and what can support smaller entities. A Hummer may be a great vehicle, but there are some places it can not go... so it doesn't make sense to claim that "real" travelers should only use Hummers. Even in large corproations there is a need for smaller DB capability such as Access/FMP provide.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by GrayShades

    A Hummer may be a great vehicle, but there are some places it can not go...



    The average Italian city, for example
  • Reply 8 of 20
    To continue on what GrayShades was saying... FileMaker and Access are both "Database Solution" systems, that means they contain both a database, and system to provide a GUI and logic to make that data useable by normal people. Pure databases like MySQL, Ingres, PostgreSQL are much more powerful than FileMaker, but making an interface for them is a full time job. And we are not talking about the admin/troubleshooting GUIs that these provided... that is something different.



    FileMaker clearly is not up to the tasks that financial institutions need taken care of, in the same way that a motorboat is not up to the job of transporting crude oil. However, I don't want to take a supertanker out on my next fishing trip.



    FileMaker provides an easy development environment that non-programmers can easily get simple task done, and enough head room that mid level developers can get some astonishing things done. And you don't need to be a $80K/year Oracle developer to make mom's recipes into a database.



    Speaking on the MySQL front... lets take a quick example. Create a database solution for Mom's recipes with 5 fields, the ability to search on any of those fields, with a GUI that she can use, printing that looks good, and that she can put on a floppy (this is mom here...) and take with her to a new computer.



    With FileMaker Developer I can make this inside 5 minutes. It is not possible with MySQL because of the floppy part, and even removing that condition the MySQL+PHP solution is going to take longer than 5 minutes... and is going to require a lot of programming.



    I could spend 30 minutes teaching my mother how to create and modify the database we just created in FileMaker, and she would be able to do it (my mother is a bit of a techno-phobe). There is no way I would be able to teach her how to do this with MySQL+PHP+Apache, she would not stand for it.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    There's also Webobjects, wich I believe Disney is using (and Apple, offcourse).
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BigBlue

    There's also Webobjects, wich I believe Disney is using (and Apple, offcourse).



    WebObjects is not a database, but is rather the interface layer. It requires an underlying database such as Oracle, MySQL, Ingress, etc... I have developed several applications using it, but I don't think it should really be in this discussion any more than Oracle forms should be.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by future-ex-pc-user

    Hi,

    I'm currently searching for a database software/language I can use on a project I'm working on. Since I haven't learned to work with any software yet, I would like to here your suggestions.

    Some examples I've found:

    * MySQL

    * SQL Server

    * MS SQL SERVER

    * MS Access

    * Filemaker pro

    This database will have to be windows compatible (use and development), and I'm looking for a "not to complicated" software.

    Thank you for any suggestions




    4th Dimension is free to academic users.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    jaredjared Posts: 639member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by GrayShades

    Even in large corproations there is a need for smaller DB capability such as Access/FMP provide.



    We have Access at where I work (a pretty large bank...I am internal of course), and being that I am a very pro Mac user, forced to use Windows 2000 and Office 2000, I thought I would see what Access is all about. Now, I had never used Access before in my life and within twenty minutes of using the program I figured out the rudimentary basics, and within four days of dabbling I created an exact digital replica of the paper form that we use to do business on a minute to minute basis.



    Now, with this digital form I created, it has not only increased productivity by well over 50% but it also utilizes Reports, Inquiries and a lot of other things that would never have been accessable with the paper form, including dabbling into a Six Sigma workflow!



    Now, do not get me wrong, I still hate Windows, and Office (on the PC) but I am pretty impressed so far of what I have been able to accoplish in such little time.



    Kind of makes me wish Access was available for the Macintosh just so I could further my learning in the program. \



    [EDIT] I should also mention I have no database background at all, besides just rearranging a FileMaker database, but I never made anything from scratch like I did with Access.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jared

    We have Access at where I work (a pretty large bank...I am internal of course), and being that I am a very pro Mac user, forced to use Windows 2000 and Office 2000, I thought I would see what Access is all about. Now, I had never used Access before in my life and within twenty minutes of using the program I figured out the rudimentary basics, and within four days of dabbling I created an exact digital replica of the paper form that we use to do business on a minute to minute basis.



    Now, with this digital form I created, it has not only increased productivity by well over 50% but it also utilizes Reports, Inquiries and a lot of other things that would never have been accessable with the paper form, including dabbling into a Six Sigma workflow!



    Now, do not get me wrong, I still hate Windows, and Office (on the PC) but I am pretty impressed so far of what I have been able to accoplish in such little time.



    Kind of makes me wish Access was available for the Macintosh just so I could further my learning in the program. \



    [EDIT] I should also mention I have no database background at all, besides just rearranging a FileMaker database, but I never made anything from scratch like I did with Access.




    Taking nothing from your experience, Microsoft Access is probably the most unreliable application ever released by a major commercial developer. It is probably Microft's least reliable application which is saying a lot, given Microsoft's low standards. Access is probably Microsoft's only application that owes its continued existence to the fact that is "there" in Microsoft Office.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    jaredjared Posts: 639member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    Taking nothing from your experience, Microsoft Access is probably the most unreliable application ever released by a major commercial developer. It is probably Microft's least reliable application which is saying a lot, given Microsoft's low standards. Access is probably Microsoft's only application that owes its continued existence to the fact that is "there" in Microsoft Office.



    You are taking nothing from my experience? I am a little lost on your opening statement. I understand Access is just a very low level database program but that does not change the fact that it has increased my productivity by over 50% and has implamented new features that would never have been available before in the paper form.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    I don't think MySQL can do stored procedures where as Access and Filemaker can.



    Dobby.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dobby

    I don't think MySQL can do stored procedures where as Access and Filemaker can.



    FileMaker is not a SQL-based database... therefore it does not have stored procedures. It is a different enough system that the name stored procedures does not even apply. FileMaker Scripts are much more powerful (but much more costly) than stored procedures.



    I am not sure if the anemic database that Access ships with has stored procedures, but if you were doing something that involved you would only be using Access as an interface to some other database (such as MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle, etc...) and that database could have stored procedures, but Access would not directly help you to use them. Access also can use VisualBasic scripts... but that is also not close to stored procedures.



    I don't think you really know what stored procedures are. And besides that... FileMaker and Access are "Database Solution" systems, not pure databases. Pure databases require interface layers to make them useful (eg. Access, PHP, WebObjects, WebObject's Direct-to-JavaClient technology, Oracle Forms, etc...). A number of people start suggesting MySQL every time someone mentions FileMaker, and those people have little understanding about what they are talking about.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    Taking nothing from your experience, Microsoft Access is probably the most unreliable application ever released by a major commercial developer. It is probably Microft's least reliable application which is saying a lot, given Microsoft's low standards. Access is probably Microsoft's only application that owes its continued existence to the fact that is "there" in Microsoft Office.



    You really don't have a clue about what you are talking about. You or your company must have really no idea how to develop an Access database. I have been using Access for nearly 8 years, and it is one of the most stable and powerful applications I have ever used.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    Just wanted to point out that Access doesn't have stored procedures. You can build scripts to automate job flow, but Access won't just kick off a job without being told to do so.



    Just curious, do you folks look at stored procedures & triggers as the same thing? I think of a trigger as a job that automagically date/time stamps a record when it is added for example.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PBG4 Dude

    Just wanted to point out that Access doesn't have stored procedures. You can build scripts to automate job flow, but Access won't just kick off a job without being told to do so.



    Just curious, do you folks look at stored procedures & triggers as the same thing? I think of a trigger as a job that automagically date/time stamps a record when it is added for example.




    Triggers and stored procedures are different things, but triggers often call stored procedures, so they are often mentioned together, and this confuses some people.



    Stored procedures are like small programs that you can call on a database through SQL. For example if you are creating a new entry into a table and there has to be entries made to correspond in other tables with default (or calculated) values, then you can create and use a stored procedure. Then any client that uses a SQL method can use that procedure... this can simplify complex database solutions by grouping some common functions inside the database, and sometimes can solve concurrency problems that would be next-to-impossible to solve and enforce on complex projects. But the SQL caller must specifically use the stored procedure.



    Triggers on the other hand automatically get called when something touches the table. The methods and limitations of triggers vary wildly by the database... as do the programming languages available. But the important thing about triggers is that they happen without any specific calls from the end client.



    Triggers can be very powerful things, enforcing database rules and preventing bad data from getting in, unfortunately the calling programs have to pay particular attention to details, because triggers don't actually do anything to signal that something might have gone wrong (let alone what). Because of these limitation s they are often used to do only trivial things, like keeping track of modification stamps.



    One other note, triggers work directly on the rows that are affected by the select, update, insert or join command that trips the trigger. In some implementations they have free reign on the database, but that is implementation dependent.



    As you said, Access does not contain either of these in its built-in database, but both are available through it if you are using Access as a front-end for another database... but I don't believe that it will help you directly in using either of them (it is possible by writing direct SQL).



    And to get back to point, nothing in FileMaker or Access's native bag of tricks are directly comparable to either triggers or stored procedures... but you can wind up constructing things that will get the jobs done.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    Thanks for the informative reply, Karl.
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