Jun 07

Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers

Last month I spoke at the Portland Access Users Group Conference at Silver Falls State Park. I gave a presentation introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch and how it could be used for SQL Server applications deployed on a variety of platforms. As a follow-up, I’ve created a summary matrix and discussion that highlights the features and limitations of the variety of platforms from Microsoft Access, Visual Studio LightSwitch, and Visual Studio.


Microsoft Access started at the beginning of the Windows revolution 20+ years ago and became the most popular database of all time. More recently, additional technologies have become significant, so it behooves the Microsoft Access community to be aware of the trends and options.

Database Platform Matrix

Ultimately, it’s about being able to create solutions that help you and/or your users accomplish their mission. Sometimes the user’s platform is critical, sometimes, it’s the data source, and other times it’s the permissions you have to deploy a solution. A variety of platforms and options are available with benefits and limitations with each. Meanwhile, Microsoft Access is also evolving with their latest Access 2013 version offering new web based solutions.

We’ve written a new paper Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers  that summarizes what we’re seeing and experiencing.

Oct 22

Microsoft LightSwitch Application Development with SQL Server

Microsoft LightSwitchMicrosoft Visual Studio LightSwitch for Microsoft Access, SQL Server, and Visual Studio .NET Database Developers

The Visual Studio team has introduced a development platform called LightSwitch which simplifies the creation of database applications in Visual Studio. This rapid application development environment lets you create solutions that can be easily deployed on Windows or Mac platforms from a public web site or Intranet.

We’ve been using LightSwitch for the past year and find it to be ideal for a particular class of SQL Server based solutions. Here our first article providing an overview of the benefits and limitations of the LightSwitch platform for the Microsoft Access community. The paper includes:

  • Sample screens
  • The Visual Studio .NET Platform
  • Working with SQL Server and SQL Azure
  • Rapid Application Development
  • Silverlight Dependency and Limitations
  • Supporting Windows, Mac, and Web Browsers
  • Future Support of HTML5
  • How Microsoft Access Applications can Evolve into LightSwitch

If you’re interested in learning more about our help developing custom solutions based on LightSwitch, visit our LightSwitch Consulting page.

Feb 27

The Hot Mommas Project Website Update

HotMommas Web SiteLongtime client Kathy Korman Frey, George Washington University School of Business professor and GWU Entrepreneur in Residence, has engaged the FMS Professional Solutions Group to enhance her HotMommas Project website.

The site is the world's largest collection of public case studies for entrepreneurial women. It is a community where women can learn from the experiences of other women addressing their businesses, family and personal challenges.

Visual Studio
The revamped website is built on Visual Studio .NET, SQL Server with a modern, dynamic interface incorporating our technical and graphic artist resources.

Contact us if we can help you with a similar solution.

Jun 06

Consulting Services and Custom Software Solutions for Large Businesses

Serving Large Organizations and Public CompaniesFMS Professional Solutions Group logoSince our beginning in 1986, we've served large organizations with our leading-edge solutions designed to help people make better data-based decisions. Whether it's on PC desktops, networks, the Internet, and more recently mobile devices, we recognize you need to have the data you need, where and when you need it, in a format that helps you make decisions and avoid mistakes. We also understand the challenges of balancing application functionality with the cost and requirements of regulators, auditors, and enterprise IT.

Our general philosophy is to quickly create sophisticated solutions built on a solid database foundation. Designed to scale and expand, our solutions evolve as your business demands it. Sometimes we can anticipate future needs in our design, but more often, the application evolves based on unforeseen events such as changes in the economy, regulations, new products and customers, or competitive pressure. With our staff of experienced developers, we can quickly adapt our solutions to meet your needs. Rapid development and deployment, fail quickly and cheaply, and water and nurture the seeds that grow and justify additional investment.

We understand the needs of large organizations and deliver the quality you demand. FMS products are used by tens of thousands of customers in over 100 countries including 90 of the Fortune 100.

Learn more about our experience and services to large organizations in our new page Consulting Services and Custom Software Solutions for Large Businesses.

To find out how we can help your organization, please contact us for a Risk-Free Assessment.

Jan 27

Considering Cloud Computing with Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure
The Microsoft Azure platform is now available for production use.

We’ve been using Azure over the past year for web/asp.net hosting and SQL Server solutions. We have been very impressed with its features and capabilties. We believe it will revolutionize how we create and deploy applications, and look forward to providing commercial and custom solutions and services with Azure.

We’re already working on several projects including the merging of the Windows desktop/Microsoft Access/Office with the web. We look forward to sharing more with you in the near future.

What do you think about Azure and cloud computing?