Introduction and looking for advice

Hi I’m new here - (does it show :slight_smile: - I’m 63 years old and been programming for nearly 40, starting
out in COBOL/JCL, then on the RPGII/III/400 - a bit of dBaseIV in the middle there somewhere and
then on to VBA in MS Access. I am an architect, way back there somewhere, but through a number
of international moves “fell” into various programming roles. 20 years ago I wrote a system for a
company who became (and still are) a client - started out as a replacement for a building Contract
Administration system and developed into a fairly comprehensive Practice Management system
for Architects and related professions. I now have around 100 practices across Australia that use
it. The original requirement was for it to be in MS Access - and it still is for fairly simple and practical
reasons… I can hear you all groaning - it works - the way I use it… which is, I don’t use any of the
in-built relationships - I manage those mysef in the application, which has been used by one client
with 350 users across 9 offices - to a central terminal server.

Now it’s old and tired - and new technologies and generations of people are saying to me - "when
is this going to be web-based and on-line…??

I have been through a disastrous joint-venture where a so-called “developer” was going to provide
the “muscle” and get it done in 12-18 months - after 3 years they weren’t 50% complete and I had
to pull the plug on it.

I have been round-and-round trying to decide - the big question - “WHERE TO FROM HERE ??”
Looked at a number of heavy-duty “Builders” - but they all want lock me and the clinets into something.
And in the end I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to start from scratch - keep it simple and use
Open Source technologies to get there.

I am half-way through Kevin Yank’s “Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site” - and through that stumbled
on this (fairly obviously) forum - where I thought maybe I could find some “friends” that I could bounce stuff
off and maybe get some impetus and direction…

Am I in the right place…:cold_sweat:

Derek Elliot

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Hi derek22 welcome to the forum

I’m a bit curious why you would want to get into PHP and not NET.
Or maybe you’re thinking of having the backend as a service with PHP for the front end interface?

In any case, PHP is a “C family language” so you should be able to pick it up fairly quickly. And IMHO the PHP documentation is some of the best you’ll find.

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The JV I was involved in was done in .Net and I tried to get into that while it was on the go and got bogged down, and then
when the whole thing came unstuck it put me off that route. Need something lean and mean, but that will be powerful enough to do the job… my application has 250 tables and 50,000 lines of VBA code, so it’s quite big…

May I also suggest looking at CodeIgniter which is a free PHP Framework. It is robust and has been on the go for about ten years. The PHP MySQL routines are tried, tested and saves having to reinvent the wheel :slight_smile: Documentation is very good and no doubt a quick Google search will reveal solutions to any encountered problems. Last resort is to raise a topic on their forum. MVC is used and is a useful structure that helps to split the code into sensible compartments. It is also relatively small, easy to install and you should be able to create an online database driven blog quite quickly.

CodeIgniter is not restricted to MySQL, check their documentation.

You won’t be limited to using only MySQL, though that’s the most commonly used.

Great - thanks - this has been my problem - been stuck in a rut - Access/VBA - for so long - and now I poke my toe
out the door - there are some many options, so many ways to go, you could end up going nowhere trying to make a decision. I did set up a data based website for someone 20 years ago that was basically HTML with Active Server Pages - that originally went to an Access database but was later changed to SQL by someone else - but it’s still running 20 years later… and that was quite simple once I got the hang of it… So, basically, I have to go back to basics… and re-invent myself
for a 4th time… and some people are saying… Ah! you’re too old you’ll never do it… and I say… B%^&(*&() - :slight_smile:
I have had a look at a few frameworks, but I’ll have a closer look at CodeIgniter…

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for the framework try also LARAVEL ,lots of video in laracast to get you started…it is also robust.

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