SQL, Database, and RDBMS questions

August 19, 2009 at 09:20:22
Specs: Windows XP Pro SP3, Intel E8400/3 GB OCZ
I find myself very confused regarding database tools and a matter of what does what and what is capable of what.

For a personal endeavor of mine, i will be writing a program to analyze some financial data. i would like to store all the data that i receive permanently on my machine. i am uncertain on how to do this though. it seems possible to simply save everything in csv files that are readable by just about anything.

the program could use these files as needed and read/write to them as well. or, it seems equally possible to use a databse and the appropriate software to go with it.

first question - is there any particular advantage in my case to using the database and software rather than just housing individual files?

as for what i would like clarified...

SQL is what is used as the language to manipulate/view the data, correct? currently, at my job, we use Visual FoxPro 9.0 which has it's own query language but also acts as the RDBMS (relational database management system).

also of confusion...what are the differences between Microsoft Access, Microsoft Visual FoxPro, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and which one should i use if i go this route? i would assume FoxPro should not be used since it's outdated and won't be having future updates. but what about Access vs. SQL server.

and can i manipulate the data like i do in FoxPro in both of these or are they just file servers for large databases and i need something else to manipulate the data?

or should i be looking at something like MySQL or something else entirely?

i am very confused about all this.

thanks in advance.

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September 1, 2009 at 14:58:30
MS Access is good for address books, recipe card holders and single user small time tasks. It doesn't scale well and isn't at al quick. MS SQL server is much faster if you tied to MS. mysql is substantially faster and doesn't have the licensing burden that SQL server has.

Anything CAN read csv files but to be really useful, the information should be kept in a rdbms. Periodically export as dump files or csv if it will put your mind at rest.

Foxpro, as you've said is EOL. Don't start a new project with dead software.

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September 1, 2009 at 16:14:22
Thanks for the input. I am having a tough time deciding between MySQL and SQL Server. But I think I will probably go with SQL Server because the other half of our system at work runs on it. Figures I should probably stay with what I'm going to have to use soon anyway.


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