Thursday, 7 May 2009

VistaDB, SQLite and Microsoft Access

Recently I've been carrying on my investigations into databases. SQLite originally looked promising as an alternative to Microsoft Access - read my SQLite investigation post for more info. SQLite looked small, fast, robust and very easy to install. However, I eventually decided it wasn't going to work as an Access replacement for me.

The main reason I decided not to replace Microsoft Access with SQLite was that I'd got too used to ease with which I could get when using the .Net datatypes seamlessly with Microsoft Access, e.g. I could read and write the .Net Decimal type straight to Access. With SQLite it seemed that I might have to convert to and from strings to preserve accuracy. This wasn't a big showstopper but I'm afraid I like my programming to be as easy as possible.

I'd pretty much resigned myself to using Microsoft Access but then I came across a really neat database system called VistaDB. VistaDB looks (I suspect) like it may have been originally based on SQLite but the great thing about it is that it has the rich data type support you get with Microsoft Access - plus extras like stored procedures - without losing the no hassle deployment of SQLite. I've spent a few hours evaluating VistaDB and so far it looks ace. For my particular application it solves all the downsides of both SQLite and Microsoft Access.