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Converting Microsoft Access to Perl/Tk/DBI

by bibliophile (Parson)
on Jun 15, 2005 at 18:26 UTC ( #467004=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
bibliophile has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Esteemed Monks,

I've recently been handed a crufty old (well, MS Access 2000) Access db application to maintain.

As this is a little-used app, I thought I'd take the opportunity to rewrite it in Perl/Tk/DBI (probably MySQL as the backend)... purely as a learning excersise.

I see three paths to follow, here:

  1. Dump the data from Access, load it into MySQL, and point the Access front-end to the new backend. Then rewrite the front-end in Perl/Tk.
  2. Rewrite the front-end in Perl/Tk, and use DBD::ODBC to get to the data. Then convert the data to MySQL.
  3. Do both at the same time (basically, just rewrite the app from scratch).

Has anyone here had any similar experience? Recommendations? Red flags over looming snake-pits?

Basically just looking for opinions :-)

  • Comment on Converting Microsoft Access to Perl/Tk/DBI

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Re: Converting Microsoft Access to Perl/Tk/DBI
by marto (Archbishop) on Jun 15, 2005 at 18:44 UTC

    As far as moving data from Access to MySQL I would use this tool (if possible) that the MySQL guys have crafted for this very task.

    Hope this helps,


      Excellent! Thanks for the link, Martin.

      Now if only there was a way to automagically convert the forms and reports... :-)

        Or a point and click tool to design web forms and reports. I've converted 15+ databases to a MySQL backend for speed (and other) reasons but leave MS ACcess as the front end. It tends to do that job well, although it is not very usefull if you need web access.

        Eric Hodges
Re: Converting Microsoft Access to Perl/Tk/DBI
by samizdat (Vicar) on Jun 15, 2005 at 18:44 UTC
    Dump it as tab-delimited text, and you should have no problem. I wouldn't spin your wheels attempting to point Access at MySQL, though, just go ahead and build a TK front end. Building a database from your old data won't take long and you'll be on to the GUI.

    Is this local-access only? Personally, I prefer using web front ends wherever possible, especially with Embperl, but that might not be appropriate for you. Worth considering if the opportunity warrants.
      That makes sense. I'm kind of leaning toward the move-the-data-first approach, so I can compare the functionality of the two systems.

      This particular app is local-access only (although if my planned conversion pans out, there are a couple of other network-aware (ie - multiple clients, one db) apps in my sights...).

      I wouldn't have the ability to put stuff up on the intranet (that's reserved for "real" developers, sigh).

      Update:My twitchy fingers had toasted the first paragraph.

        :-) Keep the faith! It's so easy, it's fun. I just made a presentation on my work that puts out graphical web pages from a 1.2GB MySQL database, and I've already had inquiries about it from other divisions of the Labs clear across the base. Pretty stuff sells almost as well as sex!

        I see I've been downvoted several times for my initial answer to you, and the tool they're describing is probably neat, but very few Access databases I've ever sucked up are complicated enough to require any more juice. Of course, I used to think hand-crafting assembler code was fun... ;-) :D

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