Database and Web Server Technology Choices for Small Database Application

Web development
Hello, We are developing a small web-based database application that will need to be accessed by all department staff and managers (maximum 100 clients). Internet access to the database from outside the Agency is not required. It is not desirable to install any client software other than MS-Windows 2000 on individual PCs. The department PCs (Dell Optiplex GX240) are currently hosted on an Ethernet LAN and are installed with MS Windows 2000 with Internet Explorer. The size of the database is expected to grow over several years to a maximum of around 2 GB. Please kindly advise as to which database and web server technologies and operating systems are suitable for this application and networked environment. Maintenance costs need to be minimized. Thank you for your help.

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Time and Money – it is always about time and money.

If you have the time for the learning curve then use L_A_M_P [Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP] lowest cost overall but the most time consuming it you are not already a Linux user. Easily handle many more users, fast web services, thousands of frontend programs to provide the glue between database and web.

If you are a ‘Windows’ shop and like it that way. Setup a W2k3 server, IIS 6.0, SQL Server 2000 and if it fits ‘SharePoint Services’ [MS Portal]. You can use many methods to control the ASP.NET feed between web and database. (Personally i like DreamWeaver.)

Somebody is sure to recommend MS Access (a good program), BUT not suitable for your projected database size, and you did not say if MS Office is installed on all your clients.

Last are the dedicated solutions with internal web servers and fully capable of locking you into a solution. Zope is a perfect example. If you know exactly what you want and can write detailed specifications, then a programmer can deliver a complete package at a reasonable cost. DON’T plan on any changes though. Changes can cost as much as the original progam. [Basically changes are a complete new program.]

Good luck and welcome the wonderful world of web services. Just make sure you are ‘the man behind the curtain’ and know how it works

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