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Java alternative to MS Access?

Jane Jukowsky
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Joined: Mar 28, 2009
Posts: 145
I am writing a very simple application for a tiny business. I started out in Java/Swing, and then felt it was a huge overkill for them, they'll be stuck with the maintenance costs they won't be able to afford, so I started looking for alternatives.

I am looking for something just like MS Access, only (preferably) Java-based. I tried Open Office Base Forms, and while it's tempting, it's just not ready for prime time IMHO: lacking features, buggy, and shows SQL errors to end users whenever a constraint is violated. Has anyone used it successfully at all?

So I have to do an ugly thing: maintain MS Access and Java/Hibernate/Swing side by side, and somehow integrate between them. There has to be a better way, no?
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38497
    
  23
Derby? It is a database included with Java6.

An open source database eg MySQL, PostgreSQL?
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41621
    
  55
Is this a single-user application? If so, you could use an embedded Java database like HSQLDB or Derby. The DB file could also be put on a file server, enabling access from multiple computers (although not simultaneously).

Why do you think the maintenance cost will be so much higher for a Java-based solution than for an Access-based solution?


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Jane Jukowsky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2009
Posts: 145

I don't have a problem with Derby or H2; I do like them better than Access database, of course. It's Access as a rapid software development platform that I find attractive. Access forms and such. So... any competition to it?
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
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Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968
    
    1

What about Cloudscape?

-Cameron McKenzie
Jane Jukowsky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2009
Posts: 145
I thought Hyperion is financial software? Can it do everything Access does? What language does it use?
Chris Keene
Greenhorn

Joined: May 20, 2008
Posts: 20
This is something of a holy grail in the Java world. The challenge is to balance ease of use with flexibility - the world is littered with failed RAD tools that look great in demo but fall apart when you try to build something useful.

If you want something that is more of a traditional IDE but still easy to use and focused on Java developers, you could try the following solutions:
1. Project Zero (from IBM labs): free download at www.projectzero.org
2. Servoy: popular Java product based on browser plug-in www.servoy.com
3. WaveaMaker: open source download www.wavemaker.com/download {disclaimer: I work here}

Alternately, If you want something that is completely cloud-based, try bungee connect from Bungee labs


Chris Keene
www.keeneview.com
Jane Jukowsky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2009
Posts: 145
We are getting closer. But I prefer something that is a rich client (preferably Swing), maybe an Eclipse plug-in?

(I've evaluated about every GUI builder for eclipse, I am looking for something that can do quick data access).
John Kimball
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Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 96
First, why Java-based?

Jane Jukowsky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2009
Posts: 145
Several reasons. First, I have already developed some Java code. A Java app should provide some hooks for integration.

Second, those applications tend to have triggers and such in some sort of program language, right? It might as well be Java. But I am open! What else is there, that works and does not cost an arm and a leg?

John Kimball
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2009
Posts: 96
If it's truly a simple app, why not get rid of the Hibernate portion and make it a Swing/JDBC solution?

Or would that still be too expensive for them to maintain?

Edit: At the risk of incurring the wrath of the Java gods, there's always Visual Studio Express VB.NET + ADO.NET. Apparently, VB.NET developers make less money than their C# counterparts.
Kai Witte
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2004
Posts: 356
hello,

this is an application I started to develop years ago: http://kaiwitte.org/software/datenkai/ It's not exactly what you are looking for and will probably not help, but won't hurt either.

Kai

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Jane Jukowsky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2009
Posts: 145
Kai Witte wrote:hello,

this is an application I started to develop years ago: http://kaiwitte.org/software/datenkai/ It's not exactly what you are looking for and will probably not help, but won't hurt either.

Kai


Thanks! Can you translate it to English? Also - can I have the source code?

On an unrelated note - your JOptions library is very cool; does it fire any events though? You know, sometimes you want to enable or disable options based on some other option, can it be done? And does it come with source code?

Thanks. Very interesting work.
Kai Witte
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2004
Posts: 356
Hello Jane,

the public interest in Datenkai is not very high compared to my other open source projects, so a translation of the user documentation to English is not planned. The source code documentation is in English: http://kaiwitte.org/download.php?file=datenkai-source.zip

JOptions does not have a way to register listeners and fire events right now. I thought about that, too, because I would need it myself :-) I think it would be easy to add.

For both programs you can download the source code and modify and use it according to the included licenses.

Kai
 
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