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Our organization has a small MySQL database that tracks when customers had their propane tanks checked. We can then query the information on demand for our insurance company, which ultimately is the point of the database. 2 users access it on our Intranet and conduct the data entry. In its current state, it doesn't have much functionality and is cumbersome at best.

I'm wanting some redundancy and ultimately to improve on the product. What I'm thinking is that I could import the information into MS Access, and then provide a data entry option utilizing SharePoint. Is this a viable solution, or would you suggest something else? I'm at the pre-planning stage right now and would value any input. I did read that they are sun-setting InfoPath, so I'm not sure I want to put in my eggs in the proverbial basket long term with that.

I would value any feedback, thank you!

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There is no need for MS Access in this scenario. You could just use one or more SharePoint lists to model the information and then the data would be all managed within SharePoint.

You don't need InfoPath to develop the forms to allow your users to create/read/update/delete (CRUD) this data. The default forms capability of SharePoint is good enough.

Given a proper backup strategy, your data will be much safer in SharePoint and MS SQLServer than it would be in MS Access.

  • Hmmm, thanks for the reply tyshock. I had read a short article on how SP is not a DB, so just wanted to fill the gap with something SQL driven. – Dylan Feb 6 '14 at 0:26
  • There are many parallels between a RDBMS and SharePoint lists. There are also differences, especially in regards to transaction management, complex relationships and handling 'big data'. For the purposes you've described, SharePoint lists should be OK to use. – tyshock Feb 6 '14 at 0:39
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How big is this mysql db? Depending on the size, I would skip lists and use sql database. This would also require a custom page to accept user input. I don't know any tools off hand but I imagine moving from mysql to sql would not be difficult at all.

  • Well, it's not that big. About 2,000 records or so. It's not memory intensive. I don't think management is going to let me get MS SQL server. I get Access bundled in with my Office365. Or, maybe I can just manage it in SP. I don't know what the answer is yet. I know that I don't have thousands to spend on it though. – Dylan Feb 6 '14 at 14:12
  • I should have asked what your farm setup looks like since depending on your install and version you already have sql server. 2k records sound fine but at some point you will hit performance issues. Sharepoint lists are not indexed like sql and when you search for items via code, you are iterating through every single item unless you've setup clever filters / views – swrhim Feb 6 '14 at 17:57

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