Some newbie questions and advice.

Needs some advice on pros and cons on using different files.

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6 Replies - 830 Views - Last Post: 27 April 2009 - 09:01 AM Rate Topic: -----

#1 Phantom Coder  Icon User is offline

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Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:31 AM

Hi, I want to say thank you in advance for all the help I might receive.

I want to make a program that will track Do Not Rent (DNR) People.
I'm a intremediate vb6 programmer and have not coded in a long time.
I do have and wanting to do this on VS2008 professional in VB2008.

I did a simular program from a vb6 book about 12 years ago. it was a address book that i changed a little to add some things I needed it to keep track of, and it saved everything in a text file.

I want to know what the pros and cons are for using a text file? xml file? or a data base?

the data i be keeping track of will be vital statistics as name, state id number, id type, ect. and a picture of the id from a scanner or import from a .png, .jpg, or tiff image.

If i use a data base file either Access 2007, MySQL, or SQL 2005/2008 file, do i need to have Office, MySQL, SQL 2005/2008 programs installed on the the computer im doing the programming on? do i need to have the above programs installed on the target computer?

I do not think a txt file will work for me because of the picture i want to keep with the data not seperatly. So to make it a little more clear I want to be able to add, append/update, not to be able to delete a record, and be able to search the file for a record.

I want to be able to navigate the records or file with first, previous, next, and last. each record will be showed seperatly.

I would like to have a STATUS (lol thingy) that only my wife or I can change but let my employees be able to enter the rest of the information on there own. the STATUS Levels will be like 1st warning, 2nd warning, 3rd warning, DNR, and Rentable at our discression. I want it to only allow changes to status if they have the proper password. so i do not know if this also elimates txt files or xml files as an option.

and when the wife, my employees or I make an entry I wanted it to add the time and date with the comments we entered in with the initials of the person whom entered the data. so i was thinking i will need to have security levels in my program and give each person a password so the program can fill out most small data itself.

if i do decide to use a database file to store the data, picture, and employee information can it be done with 1 table, or should i try to seperate the data in seperate tables? should i use one to one or one to many? I do not think one to many would be the best solution? it been like 12 years since I did any database programming in school and it was dBase3. If u think it be best to use multiple tables could u give me an example as to how to seperate the data.

The client info would be like a address book with a picture and a comment box that will automatically add a date/timestamp and the users initials with a space between every updated or appended entry., and the employees would have there login in name and password, and initials

I was thinking of making a wizard to enter the data in for both employees and the DNR's as for people changing the date on the computer and entering info so to make it look they entered data on an earlier date I was thinking of having it log onto the internet time server and setting the date/time of the computer in the background as it loads up.

Well I hope I jotted down enough info so you can give me some informed and educated answers. I consider myself a newbie when it comes to database and vb 2008 since i only worked with vb 4, 5, 6 a long time ago.


Thanks in advance again
Phantom Coder

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Replies To: Some newbie questions and advice.

#2 June7  Icon User is offline

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Re: Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:36 AM

Might should be in Databases forum.

I code in VBA for Access and have not used other databases so can only say that Access works fine for my needs. If you code in VB don't know if you need Access as well in order to read the Access file, offhand, think not.

This post has been edited by June7: 27 April 2009 - 12:41 AM

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#3 jens  Icon User is offline

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Re: Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:55 AM

Hi!

I've become kind of fond of the MS SQL CE database. It's a one-file database (one user at a time) that is very simple to work with. You can create the database from within VB2008 either through code or by using the IDE.

Regards
Jens
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#4 Phantom Coder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 05:55 AM

I thank you all for the imput you have given so far, but it seems noone has acutally answered my questions. one said it might should have been in the database forums, the other said there fond of MS SQL CE and sent me to a link. I need to have the above questions answered so i can have an informed dission on how to proceed with my coding.

Thank in advance.
Phantom Coder
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#5 RPGonzo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:15 AM

Actually both repliers are speaking of databases, meaning their input would be to go with a database.

With all the data you want to process, store and retrieve the database would be your best method. Especially as you want multiple people to access it.

With multiple users accessing it though I would NOT use the MS SQL CE because its weak with multi user update, and does not offer all the commands of a full database such as MySQL which would allow you to host the main database on a single server and ( your networking allowing ) let you connect, modify and update accordingly.

View PostPhantom Coder, on 26 Apr, 2009 - 11:31 PM, said:

the data i be keeping track of will be vital statistics as name, state id number, id type, ect. and a picture of the id from a scanner or import from a .png, .jpg, or tiff image.

If i use a data base file either Access 2007, MySQL, or SQL 2005/2008 file, do i need to have Office, MySQL, SQL 2005/2008 programs installed on the the computer im doing the programming on? do i need to have the above programs installed on the target computer?


Using MySQL you can actually store your images directly in the database for future use, or , as many would probably recommend, store the path of the file and using your program simply upload the image to a directory specified by yourself.

I know with MySQL i use the free version of SQLyog which allows you to view, edit, create, delete, etc all the tables in the created database.


View PostPhantom Coder, on 26 Apr, 2009 - 11:31 PM, said:

if i do decide to use a database file to store the data, picture, and employee information can it be done with 1 table, or should i try to seperate the data in seperate tables? should i use one to one or one to many? I do not think one to many would be the best solution? it been like 12 years since I did any database programming in school and it was dBase3. If u think it be best to use multiple tables could u give me an example as to how to seperate the data.


the only reason needed for separate tables is if your wanting to use the table as a authenticating source as well. I, personally, never like storing more in a table that has to do with username, password, userid, permission levels, etc than is necessary. Saying that you should be able to do what you want with 2 tables , 1= user table .. 2=data table.

Keeping your database organized would help alot so if multiple tables helps you in this aspect by all means do it!

The rest of your questions really deals with how you make your application so with that , there is my 2 cents.

I myself am a beginner/novice VB.NET user but i have used MySQL ALOT along side PHP for a ticket database ( help desk software basically )

GL and HF :)
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#6 Phantom Coder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 07:30 AM

Ok I see what u are getting at and thank you for the input but the only 2 questions I was really asking is:

Q:I want to know what the pros and cons are for using a text file? xml file? or a data base?

the data i be keeping track of will be vital statistics as name, state id number, id type, ect. and a picture of the id from a scanner or import from a .png, .jpg, or tiff image.

Q:If i use a data base file either Access 2007, MySQL, or SQL 2005/2008 file, do i need to have Office, MySQL, SQL 2005/2008 programs installed on the the computer im doing the programming on? do i need to have the above programs installed on the target computer?

since everyone so far has been leaning towards a database I probably will use one to store data in my program. I still would like to know the answers to the 2 above questions, the rest of my post was to give u detailed info on what i was going to do with my program so you gals/guys could give me a more complete answer.

Thanks Alot
Phantom Coder
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#7 jens  Icon User is offline

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Re: Some newbie questions and advice.

Posted 27 April 2009 - 09:01 AM

Hi!

I'll give it a shot... :)


1) Database helps you to store retrieve data in a consistent way and you have a lot of options on organizing your data without having to take the local file system into consideration. Also, with SOME data base systems you have the capability of concurrent reads and/or writes which will otherwise be a problem with files of any kind that are managed by the operating system.

Databases are - or can be - complex to handle and maintain. If you DO want concurrent read/write capabilities you'll probably end up with a separate database server and that's not easy to handle from the start.

A database will also help you with user rights. You can define what users are allowed to do with different parts of the data.


2) Answers pertaining to the target system...

If you use Access 2007 I don't really know if you need Office on the 'puter. To use MySQL you'll need to run MySQL server on the computer as far as I understand, this is free though - same goes for MS SQL Server Express Edition. The latter can be slightly easier to handle since VB2008 is prepared for use with it.

MSSQLCE and SQLite are one file databases that need no server and just "sit there", very simple. They do not offer concurrency though but you still get the benefits from having a SQL database.

Hope this helps!
/Jens
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