Advice needed - MSDE vs. Access

Advice needed - MSDE vs. Access

Post by John » Fri, 02 Sep 2005 00:15:17

Hi, I currently have a application that is being used throughout the
country at different customers. Currently it is a VB6 application accessing
DBF/CDX standalone tables via ODBC. We are developing the 'next
generation' of the program in VB.NET and will do data access via OLEDB.
Here is the issue: Stand alone Visual Foxpro DBF tables do not return
'primary key' information, so we lose a lot of potential functionality by
not being able to set relations in a Dataset. Therefore, we are looking
for a new database to host the application. The application DB requirements
are basic INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE. No data replication, or anything fancy.
No "DB security" required. In reality, the application is coded so that it
will actually run on a SQL server or Oracle enterprise DB, too. But
customers that choose that option have an IT dept with appropriate
expertise, so I'm not worried about them.

Here's the problem... most of our customers are in small shops and are
barely computer literate. We need something REALLY simple. With the DBF
files it couldn't be simpler... install the program and then run it. No
real maintenance (except backup of course) is needed. I'm looking at
either MS Access or MSDE as a replacement database. Given that my
customers are the types that use the CD drawer as a cup holder, I'm
concerned that MSDE might be too much for them, and that Access might be
easier for them. Right now this is just my initial thought, as I'm not
familiar with MSDE. Before I get too far down the road, I wanted to tap
some expertise for advise.

So, the application will be coded to the 'lowest common denominator' but
will able to run on SQL server and ORACLE also. The question is, given the
small shops I need to cater to, what should that 'lowest common denominator'
be? Access or MSDE?

Any advice graceously accepted... Thanks.

Advice needed - MSDE vs. Access

Post by Andrea Mon » Fri, 02 Sep 2005 00:38:42

hi John,

difficult question, as the 2 engines can not be compared... ok they are both
database engines, but very different..... from my point of view I'd go with
MSDE as it can be easily scaled to full blown SQL Server editions with no
harm at all... and as you already know, JET database engine is in
maintenance and no additional features will be provided for it..
on the other side, MSDE, and soon SQLExpress, could require some more
maintenace (you can include in you application, for quite all administrative
tasks)... but they are another level of db engines, comparable with Oracle,
where the JET engine is not...
for SQL Server connections I'd go for the SQLClient name space versus the
OLEDB conterpart asi it provides better and targeted support for the SQL
Server worls, where the OLEDB provider is quite generic... but this is
another story..
more... SQLExpress will support easy setup and deployment for your database,
as long as XCopy support...
provides additional info..
Andrea Montanari (Microsoft MVP - SQL Server) ://
DbaMgr2k ver 0.15.0 - DbaMgr ver 0.60.0
(my vb6+sql-dmo little try to provide MS MSDE 1.0 and MSDE 2000 a visual
--------- remove DMO to reply