May not be an access question! Develop in Windows deploy on Mac! (1 Viewer)

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
I've been asked to develop a small database. It'd fairly trivial to do in access but to deploy to a Mac I'd have to get them to install some sort of version of Windows, they'd have to but an access license and if anything goes wrong which turn out to be environmental I can't really test.
So what's the best way forward?
On some post here I've seen reference to Filemaker and OpenOffice Base.
I have already started to look at Base. It looks a bit flaky in places but that could be not knowing how to get the best out of it.
I have no experience at all with FileMaker.

So
1. what is the best way forward and does anyone here have experience in developing on one platform and deploying on another. What are the pros and cons of Base, FileMaker and/or any other DBMS.
2. Can you split into front end and back end
3. I'd want the end product to be secure enough so the user can't break in and edit tables/forms etc etc

Any info will be gratefully received!
 

Pat Hartman

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Today, 17:14
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
31,957
I wouldn't use OpenOfficeBase and FileMaker is expensive. I think the Mac comes with a Windows emulator which is pretty stable. The user's won't need an Office license unless your Access app needs to automate Word or Excel. To run just Access, you can use the FREE Access Runtime that you can download from the MS site.

Citrix is also a possibility depending on how many licenses they need to buy. It costs about $30 per month per user if you don't need an O365 license
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
I wouldn't use OpenOfficeBase and FileMaker is expensive. I think the Mac comes with a Windows emulator which is pretty stable. The user's won't need an Office license unless your Access app needs to automate Word or Excel. To run just Access, you can use the FREE Access Runtime that you can download from the MS site.

Citrix is also a possibility depending on how many licenses they need to buy. It costs about $30 per month per user if you don't need an O365 license
Why not OpenOfficeBase? I'm playing around and it's a bit naff but for a simple DB may be OK.
I discounted FileMaker for the same reason as you.
One reason I'm shying away from access is the Windows emulator. I don't think it comes with a Windows emulator there are plenty around. I'm pretty sure they take up a fair amount of space. Main issue though is the person I'm dong this can just about switch the Mac on. I live too far away to do anything on site. I'm not that familiar with Macs either although I don't see that as a stumbling block. Anyway to get her to download an emulator, install it and then install access runtime would be painful.
I like the idea of something t just runs under both OSystems. That said I don't know if OpenOfficeBase can do that either.
All that said if access can work and doing the rest isn't that painful then why not bite the proverbial.... At least I'm comfortable developing in Access.
 

Isaac

Lifelong Learner
Local time
Today, 14:14
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,163
Here's kind of a wild idea that you may find thought provoking or perhaps may not be helpful at all, but I'll just throw it out there.

I've used IONOS (former 1&1) VPS (virtual private servers) quite a bit. If you choose a cheap configuration like single core, it's extremely cheap...$2 for the first month (try it out), and if you choose to continue, $10/mo, no contract beyond a single month.

You get a Windows 2019 Server (or can choose 2016, used to be you could choose 2008 R2), on which you can install and run anything you want.

You get full RDP access, (remote desktop, start>run>mstsc), with password saving enabled, which means you could give your end user an RDP shortcut and a single click (ok, maybe a double click!) logs them into the server and you can fire up whatever app you want on login. Personally, I've just used it with Admin login, which has obvious security drawbacks, but I've mostly used it for my own purposes. And there may be a dozen better options like AWS, I'm just mentioning one that I've tried that really opened my mind to the possibilities of virtual private desktops in general. I'm unsure about concurrent logins on these VPS's, because I've never tried much. But $10/mo per user is not an awful worst case, IMO.

I don't know much about licensing and install when it comes to Citrix, although conventional wisdom highly recommends it, as Pat has mentioned, but I don't know how feasible it is for an individual outside of a large entity to setup and use.
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
Here's kind of a wild idea that you may find thought provoking or perhaps may not be helpful at all, but I'll just throw it out there.

I've used IONOS (former 1&1) VPS (virtual private servers) quite a bit. If you choose a cheap configuration like single core, it's extremely cheap...$2 for the first month (try it out), and if you choose to continue, $10/mo, no contract beyond a single month.

You get a Windows 2019 Server (or can choose 2016, used to be you could choose 2008 R2), on which you can install and run anything you want.

You get full RDP access, (remote desktop, start>run>mstsc), with password saving enabled, which means you could give your end user an RDP shortcut and a single click (ok, maybe a double click!) logs them into the server and you can fire up whatever app you want on login. Personally, I've just used it with Admin login, which has obvious security drawbacks, but I've mostly used it for my own purposes. And there may be a dozen better options like AWS, I'm just mentioning one that I've tried that really opened my mind to the possibilities of virtual private desktops in general. I'm unsure about concurrent logins on these VPS's, because I've never tried much. But $10/mo per user is not an awful worst case, IMO.

I don't know much about licensing and install when it comes to Citrix, although conventional wisdom highly recommends it, as Pat has mentioned, but I don't know how feasible it is for an individual outside of a large entity to setup and use.
Funnily enough I actually have another guy I do some work for and we have 1 access licence on a server where he works and everybody RDPs in. The boss actually has a mac (with the emulator on as well!).
With your solution I think we'd need to get an access licence which will double the price straight away without the on going costs. We actually live in the canary islands but I'm sure in this day and age we can piggy back off a US server although I'm not sure to how ideal it is. But it is worth a thought. Thanks for reminding me all about this. May be worth looking into.
 

Pat Hartman

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Today, 17:14
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
31,957
You do NOT need Access licenses for the users. They can use the Access Runtime. Only you need a license because only you will be doing development. To test how the app looks to the users, rename the .accdb to .accdr. That tells Access to pretend to be the Runtime engine. That way you can make sure that you have menu items and forms and reports for everything they need to do.
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
You do NOT need Access licenses for the users. They can use the Access Runtime. Only you need a license because only you will be doing development. To test how the app looks to the users, rename the .accdb to .accdr. That tells Access to pretend to be the Runtime engine. That way you can make sure that you have menu items and forms and reports for everything they need to do.
Yes I know but I'd obviously forgotten that by the time I'd responded to Isaac!
I've been looking at running Windows on the Mac and doing it all in access. The emulator on Macs I believe is something called boot camp. My user has a 10 year old Mac and doesn't have boot camp.
The other stumbling blocks are
1. Installing boot camp. I don't know if this can be done. with the OS she has
2. Installing windows. I think there will be cost associated with this. My user is not that computer literate. So unless this is straightforward then it could be tricky. This applies to 1 above as well.
3. Whilst typing this I see that to do this for MacBook they have to be after 2012. She has said hers is 10 years old so could be on the cusp. The showstopper is there has to be 64gb free space. She has just over 4. (ref https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201468)
I'd love to be able to use access but unless she switches to WIndows or buys a new Mac I think this is a no.

You never did say why no to OpenOfficeBase.
 

Pat Hartman

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Today, 17:14
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
31,957
It doesn't support code so validating data could be problematic. You also have to learn a new tool and you would not be paid for this unless you can bill the client for this time. If there was a market for applications developed with the tool, you could justify the investment given the possibility of making money on the next project.

I'm currently logged into an Access conference taking place in Vienna. The presentation that just finished was how to use Excel with a SQL Server BE as an application. Much harder than Access but certainly doable and has lots of upside given the potential for new clients.
 

Isaac

Lifelong Learner
Local time
Today, 14:14
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,163
Funnily enough I actually have another guy I do some work for and we have 1 access licence on a server where he works and everybody RDPs in. The boss actually has a mac (with the emulator on as well!).
With your solution I think we'd need to get an access licence which will double the price straight away without the on going costs. We actually live in the canary islands but I'm sure in this day and age we can piggy back off a US server although I'm not sure to how ideal it is. But it is worth a thought. Thanks for reminding me all about this. May be worth looking into.
You can select your country where your server will be located

1619116993335.png


All you need is the free Access runtime for your users as Pat mentioned.
 

Pat Hartman

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Today, 17:14
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
31,957
Funnily enough I actually have another guy I do some work for and we have 1 access licence on a server where he works and everybody RDPs in.
I'm assuming that would be one user at a time. Otherwise, it is a violation of the license agreement.
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
I'm assuming that would be one user at a time. Otherwise, it is a violation of the license agreement.
An access licence, if my memory serves me right, allows up to 5 users. There's only 3/4 of them and in the main I'd be surprised if more than 1 accesses at anyone time. Besides it's been shelved because of the panyouknowwhat.
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
You can select your country where your server will be located

View attachment 91010

All you need is the free Access runtime for your users as Pat mentioned.
Just had a look at this and and the low prices refer to self managed servers. I don't know exactly what that means but if that means we're responsible for firefighting, upgrades in OS etc then it's probably a no go unless it doesn't need managing for what we want.
Also it seems that the cheap price is for a Linux based environment. I've no idea if a run time licence for access will work but if not Windows is an extra 10 per month. That may not be a show stopper.
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
It doesn't support code so validating data could be problematic. You also have to learn a new tool and you would not be paid for this unless you can bill the client for this time. If there was a market for applications developed with the tool, you could justify the investment given the possibility of making money on the next project.

I'm currently logged into an Access conference taking place in Vienna. The presentation that just finished was how to use Excel with a SQL Server BE as an application. Much harder than Access but certainly doable and has lots of upside given the potential for new clients.
Ah ok. It's a real simple system but I'm going to need a few lines of code so that's a bit of a show stopper.
I don't mind the learning about it. I'm more or less retired but just do a bit here and there on request and it really isn't about the money! That said if she wants to buy me a Mac so I can do this properly.....
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
I've just found out that OpenOffice has a successor called LibreOffice. Anyone with any experience with Base in that or is it as flaky as he Open Office one?
 

Isaac

Lifelong Learner
Local time
Today, 14:14
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,163
Just had a look at this and and the low prices refer to self managed servers. I don't know exactly what that means but if that means we're responsible for firefighting, upgrades in OS etc then it's probably a no go unless it doesn't need managing for what we want.
Also it seems that the cheap price is for a Linux based environment. I've no idea if a run time licence for access will work but if not Windows is an extra 10 per month. That may not be a show stopper.
The route I went is to click on "VPS", rather than self managed servers.

I have never done anything beyond zero maintenance of any of them. The only things I have ever done to my VPS's is log in, log out, restart and then do things inside them (installation of sql server express or other programs, development, etc)
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
The route I went is to click on "VPS", rather than self managed servers.

I have never done anything beyond zero maintenance of any of them. The only things I have ever done to my VPS's is log in, log out, restart and then do things inside them (installation of sql server express or other programs, development, etc)
Yes I went down the VPS route as well. I think self managed servers is the default and probably in reality you don't have to do anything. I'm trying to het further info from them
 

Isaac

Lifelong Learner
Local time
Today, 14:14
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,163
Ahh.
Yes, I've never had to, anyway. There are options you can select in your configuration for a few dollars a month here, few dollars a month there, that provide increase levels of blocking and security. I generally left those off and left the defaults, which I'm pretty sure include any basic patching and updates, but possibly not next-level SMTP security, for example.
 

ryetee

Registered User.
Local time
Today, 22:14
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
951
Ahh.
Yes, I've never had to, anyway. There are options you can select in your configuration for a few dollars a month here, few dollars a month there, that provide increase levels of blocking and security. I generally left those off and left the defaults, which I'm pretty sure include any basic patching and updates, but possibly not next-level SMTP security, for example.
Definitely needs a bit more of investigation. One down side is you need an Internet connection. In this day and age shouldn't be a problem but she lives on an island of the North West cost of Africa! Upside is you can get access wherever you are. Thanks again for the heads up.
 

Isaac

Lifelong Learner
Local time
Today, 14:14
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
5,163
Definitely needs a bit more of investigation. One down side is you need an Internet connection. In this day and age shouldn't be a problem but she lives on an island of the North West cost of Africa! Upside is you can get access wherever you are. Thanks again for the heads up.
That's definitely a challenge! I have no solutions in my toolbox at all that don't require a connection. Good luck, hope you find something workable!
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom