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I had built a small cRM database in MS Access. The database is outgrowing its life in access so i was thinking of porting the backend to SQL server express.

I was curious on what people's favorite/best frontend for forms and reports was. ie keep my access forms/reports on top of the sql express, or use php or something else? Thanks

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Last Post by icccapital
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If you are planning to manage all that by yourself then it will depend on your level of expertise and your budget.

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If you are planning to manage all that by yourself then it will depend on your level of expertise and your budget.

Debasisdas thank you for the thoughts. In response, the level of expertise is probably amateur on a beginner-amateur-professional scale. And budget would be small, but the system use and needs is also very small, which is why I had started the project using Access. For functionality we are growing out of that and so I am working on porting the system to a SQL Server Express backend and am trying to decide if I should leave the frontend as Access or if I should move to PHP or ASP.Net. And trying to weigh ease of development/management (as you note it is just me) and functionality/performance

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There many options if you are looking at buying some tools to achieve that. But if you are comfortable with writing code, PHP is the way to go.

For getting your forms functioning, VB should more or less allow you to connect to any data source, be it access or SQLServer. Jasper reports and crystal reports are pretty popular reporting tools.

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Thank you for the reply. Actually I haven't been given the option to buy anything so that is why i was asking about PHP or other options. so it sounds like it is either PHP or stick with Access? Does that sound about right? Does anyone have an opinoin on whether Access or PHP is better?

While I am perfectly comfortable with writing PHP code the times i have done it I have found the formatting a bit cumbersome, but maybe I haven't found a good design environment.

There many options if you are looking at buying some tools to achieve that. But if you are comfortable with writing code, PHP is the way to go.

For getting your forms functioning, VB should more or less allow you to connect to any data source, be it access or SQLServer. Jasper reports and crystal reports are pretty popular reporting tools.

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Facts:
crm system using access - front end and database
growth --> expanding the database
database - sql server express

Consideration:
beginner-amateur-professional
single fighter
no "buy" option
small budget

Situation:
front end - access / PHP ???

recommendation:
with a no "buy" option and small budget, the open source tools should fit you the most. the options are: PHP, java, python, etc.
it seems like your application is a desktop application. you are a beginner-amatuer-pro who "fights" alone.
best recommendation for you front end is PHP. Assuming that you have chosen SQL Server Express as your "new" database engine. If you are not, you can choose other open source tools such as java with variety database engines you can choose. it's not hard to develop a simple desktop application. and the tutorials are everywhere on the net.

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Thank you vee that is a very good summary with some more thoughts that help a lot as I narrow down my thoughts on the topic.

anybody else with more thoughts are all welcome since it is really an open ended question about preferences and development functionality/ease experiences.

As far as my level of expertise it certainly depends on the area. I am an Amateur on the side of beginner when it comes to databases so that is the reason for the topic. As for other developing I am an Professional on the side of Amateur in the scale.

Thanks again everyone

Facts:
crm system using access - front end and database
growth --> expanding the database
database - sql server express

Consideration:
beginner-amateur-professional
single fighter
no "buy" option
small budget

Situation:
front end - access / PHP ???

recommendation:
with a no "buy" option and small budget, the open source tools should fit you the most. the options are: PHP, java, python, etc.
it seems like your application is a desktop application. you are a beginner-amatuer-pro who "fights" alone.
best recommendation for you front end is PHP. Assuming that you have chosen SQL Server Express as your "new" database engine. If you are not, you can choose other open source tools such as java with variety database engines you can choose. it's not hard to develop a simple desktop application. and the tutorials are everywhere on the net.

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