Microsoft Database Solutions
We create and support a wide variety of database solutions including:
- Access Client/Server Databases
- Access Client/Server Databases with SQL Server
- Visual Studio Databases using SQL Server
- Cloud Based Azure Databases using Access
- Cloud Based Azure Databases using Visual Studio
- Web Databases using ASP.net
- Mobile, Web and Database Integrated Solutions with Azure
- SharePoint Solutions
Access Client/Server Databases
Our old simple friend! If your needs are not extremely complicated and you want a database that resides internally in your organisation, then an Access client server database is our most cost effective solution with the quickest turnaround times. Generally we use this solution where you have a server and client PC’s that all link to the server or a single user only requires access. Also where the total concurrent users are around 10-15 or less. It can also be used via a VPN and remote desktop in some cases.
If you have a small/medium size company, then this solution might be right for you. The only disadvantage of the Access client/server model is it can be slow when the user’s numbers are high or the database model is very complicated, in which case we would at the very least recommend an SQL Server backend. Again though as far as costs go, this model is the one that cannot be beaten and remember is can be upgraded to a SQL Server or Azure SQL Server in the future as your company grows.
Access Client/Server Databases with SQL Server
This solution basically means that we use Access for the front end or GUI of the database and the backend where all the data is stored resides in SQL Server. We tend to do this where clients already have SQL Server installed or the business has a larger amount of concurrent users. It also means that we can link in and sometimes use existing databases or their data if you have existing SQL Server databases. Access can also use what is called pass through queries and server side processing to speed up the database.
Only disadvantage of this method is that SQL Server needs to be setup if not already and can add some extra cost to development.
Visual Studio Databases using and SQL Server
A very traditional style of database that is best used in larger companies for internal and remote desktop use only. If clients have a lot of con-current users, a sizable database and generally have SQL server setup, then we will head development down this path. The front end or GUI would be developed in VB.net or C#.net.
It is more expensive than an Access solution, but for a high level of concurrent users is the best option as it provides server side processing and is quicker. Also if your company doesn’t permit Access to be installed but are happy to install a custom .net solution, then this path would be taken.
Cloud Based Azure Databases using Access
This solution is similar to the “Cloud Based Databases using Visual Studio and Azure” solution, except that the front end or GUI is built in Access and not Visual Studio. Again though this cloud based solution allows external staff or customers can run the application without having to be connected to a server either in house or via a VPN or remote desktop. This is the most cost effective way for us to produce a cloud based database solution. Also note that with Azure we can setup ASP web pages in Azure that link to your database. This is an extremely cost effective way to create web pages that can gather data from your clients on any device and store the data in your cloud database that can then be accessed by your database.
This solution costs slightly more than an Access Client/Server database and has a monthly hosting cost of approximately $35 per month.
Cloud Based Azure Databases using Visual Studio
This solution is similar to the “Desktop Databases using Visual Studio and SQL Server” solution, except that the backend data reside in an Azure SQL Server database that is hosted with Microsoft in the cloud. This means that the Front End or GUI can run on any PC in or out of your organisation. So external staff or customers can run the application without having to be connected to a server either in house or via a VPN or remote desktop. We tend to use this type of solution where portability is essential, all devices are Windows based and Access is not a viable solution.
This solution costs roughly around 25-50% more than an Access Azure database.
Web Databases using ASP.net
This is web browser based database that will run in most web browsers and is device independent. When it is not known what devices your database will run on because your clients/general public will be accessing the solution, then this may be your only alternative. If you are also creating a resalable solution for your clients to use, then this solution gives you the most flexibility and security. You can control custom logins/subscriptions and cancel users very easily.
The biggest downfall of this solution is the cost. Compared to our simplest database solutions, it may cost up to 4 times to develop plus ongoing hosting costs.
Mobile, Web and Database Integrated Solutions with Azure
With Azure’s cloud solutions it is possible for us to host a SQL server or MySQL database with Microsoft. Then integrate Mobile Apps in the 3 major platforms, ASP web pages and database front ends or GUI’s in Visual Studio, Access, Excel and Outlook. We can even integrate to other 3rd party solutions in your organisation. Azure with its one stop shop approach is changing everything in the Microsoft development world. Tell us your ideas and we will let you know what is possible for your budget.
SharePoint does more than just capture data or store documents. It is also about automating and improving the business process surrounding the data capture. With company documents, it can also be used to capture context and versions of these documents and not just store them as files. If there are pain points in your organisation then we can help you identify and utilise SharePoint to help you improve your company’s process.
SharePoint is one of many benefits offered as part of the Office 365 suite. We can help move your business to the Microsoft cloud for a truly mobile office. The solution cost depends on your requirements.
Help Designing your Database
Excel Expert’s developers can work in most areas of Microsoft database development. If you need help designing or determining what is best for your organisation, then our experienced developers / programmers can help analyse and develop a database solution that suits your organisations requirements. Give us a call or send us an email and an experienced database consultant will help you out.