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"Helping others to have a future assures our own."

Welcome to NVTech's "Skunkworks"

The Purpose of the Skunkworks

The purpose of the Skunkworks is to share interesting work (more like adventures!)with others in the hope some may find this thought-provoking or even useful.  Better still, there is the (vague?) possibility, some may like to join us in our work.  Here there is an open invitation.  Everything provided here is per the LGPL. For more information about these licensing conditions see the latest terms on the GNU licences website.

Click on a button opposite to go to the particular project. 

To help you, below is provided a summary of what each of the projects deals with.

This is actually one part of a two part project; the aim of which is to create a database that is not platform nor operating system specific but which has its origins in Microsoft's Access. 

If you know anything about databases the next paragraph or so will be a little boring but the idea is to cater for people with a little or a lot of expertise.  So if the following is a bit slow for you, just skim it and move on.  Otherwise, enjoy.

A modern multi-user, relational database usually consists of two components; a backend and a frontend.  The backend consists of tables containing data that can be accessed by a number of users at the same time.  The frontend provides users with an interface that allows them to add to and alter the data in the backend. 

Microsoft's Access most probably started life as a personal database to run on a modest PC, that is, it was not intended for a lot of people to be accessing the database at the same time.  MS Access is one of the easiest software tools to use for creating a database and one of the hardest to perfect.  The ease with which people can create a database using Access, combined with the dominance in the market place of the Windows operating system, has led to there being a very large number of useful MS Access databases that are often not well written. 

Microsoft Access suffers a number of problems, the most important being its lack of reliability and stability when the network being used is of poor quality.  In this situation, the data can easily become corrupted and the database unreliable.

Another unfortunate characteristic is that Access forms can be commonly developed by beginner programmers such that when focus moves from one field to another, any changed data in the field that loses focus, will automatically (or is it "automagically"!) overwrite existing data in the backend.  That can be a disaster if a folder on the desk accidentally drops onto the spacebar, or for that matter any other key, and then the return or tab key is hit moving the focus to the next field on the form.  When that happens, the data backend has been overwritten by random keystrokes and forever lost!

So the two components of this project are firstly to move the MS Access backend database to an Open Source SQL database and then to convert the frontend to a language that will run on most platforms and most operating systems.  Let's consider those two matters:

  1. Choice of SQL Database
  2. Choice of Frontend Programming Language

Technical Matters that Might be Helpful

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