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> Nubuilderpro Open Source Web Database Option Similar To Ms Access    
post Jan 16 2016, 06:13 AM

Posts: 78
Joined: 25-November 11
From: Edinburgh

I've been searching for a long time for a relatively cheap web database option. I love MS Access and I will continue to use it when I can especially for the more complicated tasks. I have however found an open source option that seems very good its called nuBuilderPro for simple web based applications - I'm still getting into it and its got some of the wacky complications of 3 tier web applications but it seems very simple and I could create a simple form with login after about 2 hours of investigation. Still to get sub forms working but seems like it is a real goer.

Its called nuBuilderPro


It works on the LAMP stack - and I don't have that at home so I just splashed out on a subscription to a development environment which I felt was very reasonable at about $14 a month. This will give me a year or so to see if I can really make something useful.


Before this I had been looking at things like zoho creator and alpha 5 I even went and tried alpha 5 for the 30 day free trial and it was good but at 1,500 dollars a year it really isn't practical similarly zoho creator just feels like you have an evil rented landlord

I guess if I get committed to the project enough I could go out and get my own lamp stack.

Thought I should bring it to your attention. I could see this working well with access if you have to make up simple data entry forms for distributed users which can easily be fed back to a back end and linked up to more powerful forms associated with access.

Something for people to think about. Its open source built by some guys in Australia and the forum is a bit desolate there are instructions but only one set and they are quite short. It is not as easy or flexible as MS Access but its accessible , cheaper than anything else I've seen and not terribly difficult but most importantly it is web based. I hope to document my use of it if I am successful and maybe publicise it a bit more. I think it deserves to be better known. By the way I stay in Edinburgh and have not been asked by the developers to make this post - I actually more often hang out on the Access World Forums site but this site has sometimes helped me in the past. Anyway hope some of you try it.smile.gif)
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post Jan 16 2016, 06:55 AM

UtterAccess Administrator
Posts: 10,466
Joined: 7-December 09
From: St. Augustine, FL

FWIW, you can install WAMP onto a windows machine and run it locally. I do that for most of my LAMP dev work: http://www.wampserver.com/en/

Personally I tend to shy away from open source solutions like this though: they don't often get a lot of community support and the stability and longevity of the platform is usually questionable as well. That's not to say that it isn't good, but I prefer to put my focus areas into mature, broadly used technologies.

If you're interested in developing web stuff on Windows, I have an article that covers .NET technologies as well as how they apply to a basic 3-tier architecture here: http://www.dymeng.com/netcom/overview-of-technologies/

Fun stuff... big learning curve to move to the web from Access no matter which route is taken.

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post Jan 16 2016, 01:43 PM

UA Admin
Posts: 36,988
Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA

Jack's quite right about staying power of initiatives like this. While there is nothing wrong with trying out new technologies, when it comes time for a developer to SELL solutions based on them, one has to consider that fact. I, for one, would think long and hard before committing -- or trying to commit -- a paying customer to something that only a handful of other developers could support if need be. It's never turned out well for me.

Other "web databases" have come and gone over the years. Alpha Anywhere, as it is now called, is one of the few exceptions. Like it or not, there's a lot to be said for a track record of success.

Like Jack, when I recommend a solution to paying clients, I want to be sure it's something that's going to be supported and viable over the long run, even if someone else takes over for me. Take for example, the recent attempt by Microsoft to create "web databases" using SharePoint lists as tables. Sounded fine at first, but as we learned, it simply wasn't a viable solution and MS had to withdraw their commitment to it. They're still around, but slowly fading away. Who'd want to be in the position of building a solution for a client using that technology only to discover it was a dead end after a couple of frustrating years? Your new tool seems very vulnerable to exactly that problem.

It also sounds like this application is going to set you back at least twice as much as a comparable Office 365 plan would ($14.95 versus $6.95). With Office 365 you get the ability to create Access Web Apps, and a good deal more infrastructure. And I know for sure that Microsoft is not going away any time soon. I would imagine nuBuilderPro would like to make that commitment, but it has to be at a lower level of certainty.

All in all, I think that tackling new technologies is a great way to spread your wings, and I applaud your effort.

All of that said, of course, you may find that this particular tool works for you and that's good. Best of luck with your project.
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post Jan 16 2016, 04:51 PM

Posts: 78
Joined: 25-November 11
From: Edinburgh

Thanks for your comments guys

I really understand what you are saying most of the stack is open source and the database is actually My SQL so I take your point that the front end code might not be supported but the stack and the important information should be ok

I really wanted to go with Lightswitch but its disappointing that they have dropped it from inclusion in Visual Studio 2015. I mainly develop for myself I haven't developed really anything for a paying customer so provided I can get the backend information out into even an excel spreadsheet at short notice. I am really going to use this as a distributed front end for data import and very simple list showing. It comes with log in form set up and real simple. Importantly if you get an account you can create as many applications as your VPS can hold and none of your users will need to spend any money to get in.

We have had a lot of problems with web applications recently at work. Vendors poorly implementing things and then our IT department setting things up poorly. This will give me the opportunity to bypass both and be a true developer operator. Likewise I don't have access to sharepoint at work and Microsoft has had a succession of technologies Silverlight, Windows Phone 8, Lightswitch which they seem to be keen on for a bit and then drop. I've actually been quite successful with open source. QGIS, Blender, Linux, Apache and Postgres.

Who knows but I managed to create a web application in 2 hours that is usable at work. I've never been able to do that before. Like I said if I can get the information out into an excel spreadsheet I think it will be more important that I can literally get anyone from anywhere in the world to enter information for no additional cost. Fingers crossed we will have a variety of good tools in the future.
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