Request for recommendations: shared database without a server

Diez B. Roggisch deets at
Thu Oct 5 21:57:37 CEST 2006

> --  A database application on a network drive
> --  A variety of users will access the database application at various
> times
> --  All computing is done on the client machines (Windows XP), as there
> is no server
> --  I'll not be able to install a database program, or Python, on the
> client machines

This pretty much leaves you out of any options - and contradicts your 
last paragraph.

> While this seems just the sort of application servers were designed
> for, the absence of a server is a firm constraint (no technological
> reason, just an arbitrary wall of infinite height)
> I currently have some of the required database tables populated in
> MySQL, but I can migrate them as long as I have SQL capabilities in the
> new database.
> Can I get there with MySQL?  Or do I need to pair a pure python
> approach (including the database) with py2exe?  Has anyone achieved
> this with a db framework like Dabo?  Or is there another, entirely
> different and better approach?
> The common wisdom around the halls is to just use MS Access, because
> apparently everyone has that on their client machines, or can be
> asked/expected to install it.  That's not my preference, but I need to
> forget my biases, be pragmatic and get the application done.

Access might really be the best solution. It is pretty good for what it 
is supposed to do, and the quick prototyping and UI-designing are strong 
arguments for it, especially if there already is a bias towards it.

I also _think_ that the whole "db on a shared volume" thing works 
comparably neat.

However, there _can_ situations arise where it might get corrupted, as 
e.g. file locking on a network share isn't as reliable as one wants it 
to be - so if you do anything to tear down some infinite walls, try it.


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