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I am currently in the process of converting our company's database from a proprietary software to PostgreSQL, and would like a form-based front-end that is simple for computer laymen to use.

Most people in our office (7-10 users) use the current software to insert/update/delete records, as well as generate reports and other documents. Our largest table contains about ~13,000 records. Stability on a local network is a must. The ideal software would have the following:

  • Allows for creation of custom forms and reports
  • Simple for the end-user to navigate
  • Easy to deploy updates to the client over a local network.

I'm considering using Access as many of our employees are very familiar with Office software and it seems simple to get off the ground, but I have also heard it can struggle with large datasets, and VBA seems somewhat limited. I am largely unfamiliar with webapps, but would be willing to invest the time to learn if the benefits outweigh the costs.

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    If your largest table is about 13,000 records, it doesn't seem to me that you are in the "large dataset" territory that Access (might) struggle with. (But I should note that I do not have much personal experience with Access.) – John Y Sep 13 at 22:41
  • @JohnY I am still relatively new to business-level databases and their scale so I appreciate the insight. I would say scalability is somewhat of a concern but I doubt we'll be breaking 20k any time soon, so it likely won't be an issue in that case. – A. W. Sep 13 at 23:12
  • If it is basic CRUD stuff I'd set it up as a web app and have them use a browser to access. No client worries. Provide exports to CSV for the power users to generate reports on their local machine using appropriate tool. – ivanivan Sep 14 at 4:26
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In addition to its native database engine (HSQL) LibreOffice Base easily connects to Postgres, and it contains tools to build forms and reports, similar to Access, for front-end applications. Although not as polished as Access, it is free and straightfoward to deploy and update for multiple users.

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