[clug] MS Access Replacement

Rasjid Wilcox rasjidw at openminddev.net
Sat Oct 4 16:19:52 EST 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Saturday 04 October 2003 09:31, Randall Crook wrote:
> Hi Y'all,
> I have been slowly migrating from windows to Linux and am now down to
> the last final MS hang over.
> I have a number of Access database/apps (pretty menuing systems an cool
> reports) am I have been trying to find an easy way of migrating these
> DBs across to Linux. BUT I have no idea as to what application for linux
> can give me the same style of front end development that access has.

I've been looking for something similar for quite a while, and as Brad points 
out, there are various things 'in progress'.

For myself, I particularly want cross-platform compatibility so I can easily 
have both a Linux, Windows and ideally Mac client with the same codebase.  
For me, this unfortunately rules out both the KDE and Gnome projects working 
on this kind of thing.  [1]

I am in the process of checking out the database and reporting functionality 
of OpenOffice at the moment.  I have just got ODBC connection to a MySQL 
database all working.  See http://www.openoffice.org/product/dbase.html.  I 
got the 'native' java access working once, but not twice.  However, I've got 
the ODBC access working just fine.  See 
http://www.unixodbc.org/doc/OOoMySQL9.pdf for details.  Some of the 
instructions will vary from distro to distro, but is basically okay.  (Typo 
in the odbc test - don't put the ; at the end of select version()).

With a little bit of learning, I think the OpenOffice stuff is probably as 
close to a free cross-platform MS Access type setup as one is likely to find.

Personally I am more after a 'real' programming environment.  Once a database 
project gets to a certain complexity, MS Access (and I suspect OpenOffice 
too) just becomes too unweildy and too hard to maintain.  I have (mostly) 
decided upon Python / wxPython.  Currently looking very closely at both 
Boa-Constructor and PythonCard.  Boa-Constructor has just added Sizer support 
(although it is still a bit unstable) and someone on the PythonCard list has 
stated that they are in the process of adding Sizer support to it too.  I've 
also tried wxGlade, and it seems to most stable wxPython GUI creating tool of 
the lot so far.

> The back end is easy enough, I was planning on using MySQL, but I am
> after a simple (ie. don't want to spend 6 weeks learning a new complex
> database language) front end tool that allows me to develope reports and
> a use friendly gui.

For cross-platform database reporting generation so far I have found (but not 
really tested):
http://datavision.sourceforge.net/ (Java)
http://www.jfree.org/jfreereport/index.html (Java)
http://jasperreports.sourceforge.net/index.html (Java)
http://reportman.sourceforge.net/ (Delphi/Kylix)
http://www.gnu.org/software/grg/grg.html (C)

If anyone knows of others I'd be interested to hear.

For more info http://cbbrowne.com/info/rdbmsquery.html is a good source.



[1] I could personally try running KDE on Cygwin (on Windows), but I'm really 
not going to expect other potential users to do so.

- -- 
Rasjid Wilcox
Canberra, Australia (UTC +10 hrs)
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