Many of our clients have Microsoft Access, SharePoint or SQL databases, but more and more, there is a need to view & edit that data on mobile devices. Here are some of the technologies we utilize, and why.
Access Web Apps
This solution is the fastest Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool for the web. Access Web Apps are browser-based applications for use on tablets or PCs, but are designed using Access. This allows you to run it without needing to install Access or Access Runtime. Downside: AWAs use macros instead of VBA, C#, HTML5 or other coding environments, so it’s not practical for projects that require a lot of special functionality. It also requires you to be online in order to use it (unlike Alpha, below).
Alpha is ideal for Rapid Application Development (RAD) for smart phones & tablet apps. It allows us to develop custom solutions that work well on any iPhone or Android phone and can connect directly with existing Access, SharePoint or SQL databases (as well as other data sources). Alpha also works well with tablets including iPads and Android tablets. Alpha also allows you to work offline and “sync” your data once you are connected via 3G/4G or wifi. Downside: Although it is considered a RAD tool, these projects often take 3-4 times longer than an Access Web App. But you also gain significant customization capabilities and it works on multiple platforms.
If you’re looking for a web-based system which is highly customizable and fast, we use ASP.NET (C#/MVC). This provide the most flexibility of any other solution, and is ideal for large and/or complex systems. Downside: This is not a RAD tool, so typical projects takes much longer to complete, test and implement. Most ASP.NET projects take anywhere from 6-18 months to complete, depending on complexity.
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