Some Drawbacks to Using a Client Side Approach for QUESBMI


Some More of the Story.  So I got the Access database working along with all the forms. I also had most of the reports and queries actuated that they wanted.

But, now it is possibly best to tell more as a bit of a story.

One obvious difficulty with using a client database in this setting was that there were three people that were usually making use of the database,

  • Matt Smith the director,
  • Matt Frese the grad assistant
  • Patty the secretary

It was decided that Patty would keep the main source on her desktop since she had the best computer.  The two Matts both had laptops.

But there was no way I could get Quinnipiac central computing to configure some sort of VLAN for this group so that they might access the database on Patty's computer when they were logged into the network.  In addition Matt Smith was in one building, Patty was in another and Matt Frese was always mobile.  Even more trouble came about when we discovered that Matt Smith's laptop was working at its limits and we couldn't even get Access to install on it!

I had always been concerned about continuing to use paper forms and then re-entering the data.  Which was done by Patty and Matt Frese.

So after much struggle with Quinnipiac central computing we finally got them to agree to let an Access database reside on one of their servers.  Then I embarked on the effort to develop the web based forms for inputs and reporting.  I had just recently gotten one of the Quinnipiac server administrators to allow us to start developing ASPs on one of the web servers.  Fortunately, we were able to put an Access database on this same server.

At this point, all of the data was in one central location and all users that had appropriate security clearances could access the data directly.  There were web forms for people interested in QUESBMI to use.  There were also web based reports for those that had the appropriate security clearances.

All in all this worked much much better.  Matt Smith enjoyed showing off this setup to people interested in QUESBMI even while he was traveling since it was all accessible through the web.  About the only thing I was disappointed with was using Access as the database rather than SQL Server.  Eventually, we made this transition after much arm twisting with Quinnipiac central computing.

So, again, in this instance there are many reasons for preferring a server side database over a client side database.  In fact, quite a few more than with Madam Curry.  This system had multiple users who were more often not in an office.  The web based forms and web based reports also proved invaluable.