Program Conversion - Archaic Databases

'Archaic' databases might refer to, in general, 'character oriented' systems run on MS-DOS or 'Unix/VT100' terminals and their like.  Examples would include dBase, FoxPro, Informix, Paradox, ancient versions of Oracle, and Clipper.  Some of these have Windows/GUI counterparts, and other databases designed for GUI environments are also grossly out of date, including for example the Macintosh based Omnis.  As a general rule, these are 'single user' or allowed sharing in small workgroups; they may or may not implement SQL, and generally use proprietary programming languages.

Migrating one of these systems to Microsoft Access (or a similar user level database) is appropriate when the use remains localized.  Depending on the database involved, it is possible to import the tables and run wizards to create new forms.  Any business rules will have to be recoded line by line.

A disadvantage with Access is that it's convenient to modify the programs, although it is possible to create a 'compiled' run-time that users can't change (.MDEs).  A stricter development environment suggests implementation in C# with an SQL-Server data store: this keeps development in the hands of programmers: no one else will touch it.

In campus or public facing systems, the best development path is web-based, which might be ASP.NET or Ruby-on-Rails.  This limits the need to install runtimes on particular computers.  Security will need to be implemented with username/password accounts.

Often a 'lightweight' application now belongs on a smart phone or PDA.  When implemented as web apps, these share data with their deskbound counterparts.  When implemented as standalones maintaining data on the device, the user will be able to control physical as well as electronic security.

For those that feel like their system is way overdue for an upgrade, please call 210-734-5575 for free initial consultation.

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