Monday, January 19, 2009

Rails verse Microsoft Access

Like everyone with significant Microsoft experience I've done some Access Applications.
The reality is, I'd prefer to do it in Rails. Ruby on Rails let me gain the power of using
any ruby gem or rails plug-in. I have access to practically every database in Rails.
And I have access to nice Menus as well. Plus the ability to define a web api,
using REST.

For me, for a small app, I can host it as a windows service directly on Windows with Mongrel. I can
use single sign-on, so if your in the domain, your automatically authenticated. Using role-requirement,
I can define user roles, and even have dynamic menus.

Even better I can use PRAWN or Pdf::Writer to directly generate reports. Or Scruby to scrape web pages.
And Add to the Data on the fly.

The other thing I've seen with Access applications, it too easy to get the file locked by one user, and
no one else able to access it. Scaling on Rails is Easy compared to Access. And on top of all of this is
easy cross platform functionality.

The nice thing is that the language of Rails is Ruby. And Ruby is significantly easier and faster to develop on than VBA.


Terrymod said...

Tripped upon your site trying to find out what you can do with Ruby and Rails in a business framework. I have my business running and wrote all the code using Cold Fusion and want to leave their environment. I have read some about Ruby / Rails but, have not found many applications written that are business based - project management, sales management and construction documentation.

I have everything running web based with MYSQL having switched from Access.

Many thanks for your comments.

Glenn West said...

Pretty well anything you can do in CF.
Except you can code it faster.
MySQL is a natural DB for use with ROR.
Ive done quite a few apps on Oracle as well.
The apps I did were time and materials management in manufacturing. Project Management I've seen open source projects in ROR. Sales management is easy too in rails.

The nice thing with ROR, and the right plugins is you can focus on your application logic. And for almost everything else there is a plugin or a gem.

Feel free to drop me a mail at glennswest at yahoo dot com dot sg