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OT: Moving a legacy MS Access db to a nix/MySQL serverby wfsp (Abbot)
|on Oct 25, 2010 at 08:45 UTC||Need Help??|
wfsp has asked for the
wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:
We have an MS SBS 2003 server with 35 users. All the clients have MS Office 2003 and now that Office 2007 has been and gone and Office 2010 is being launched we're faced with upgrading. This would cost in excess of Ł10k and I'm looking at alternatives. OpenOffice would be able to replace MS Word and MS Excel but it is MS Access that I think would be a problem. We are heavily reliant on a huge Access db which has separate front ends for various departments, e.g. circulation, finance, organisation. There is a db with “base” data and various dbs that consist mainly of “switchboard” forms consisting of buttons which open other “switchboards”. I'm not sure OO Base would be suitable.
SBS 2003 comes with, amongst other things, IIS and the ability to set up intranet web sites. I'm thinking it might be feasible to add an Ubuntu/MySQL server to the network and building a web front end using Perl through IIS (see, Perl got a mention eventually :-). There would be no access from outside so the MySQL ports could be locked down on the firewall.
For quick “one off” reports connecting via OO Base could be an option.
As an aside, I must say that for all the faults of the MS products we are using (Exchange is a complex beast) this set up has worked well for the 12 years we've been using it (and its predecessors). No one gives it a second thought, which is as it should be – it just works. On the very rare occasion the network goes down (say, loss of broadband) everyone sits round twiddling there thumbs wondering what to do. :-) It is the “cost of ownership” that has provoked a rethink.
Translating the Access db (tables, queries, forms, reports, etc.) into Perl/MySQL/HTML would be a mammoth task, risky, but I think doable. I'm well aware of the view that tinkering with old, creaking legacy dbs is dangerous (been there, done that). It is by no means ruled out that the best thing to do is spend the money.
What do you think?