So I'm currently looking at modernizing our company's (<50 employees) database system, which is pretty archaic. The system uses Alpha Five, the database in question isn't even really relational, and the "front end" used in-house comprises of forms and reports created using Alpha Five's built-in tools. That includes managing contacts, generating invoices, etc. When looking at modernizing this system, the obvious choice seemed to be developing a new MySQL relational database, which I've done a bit of work on constructing.

Where I find myself a bit lost is how to go about re-creating the graphical applications we've been using up to this point. It seems from googling around that the way this is typically done is a bit too high-code for me, involving creating a bespoke application in any number of programming languages. What I'm wondering is essentially: Is there a more low-code way of developing frontends for MySQL Databases? Basically what I'm looking for is something like Alpha Five, but more modern.

Am I approaching this entirely the wrong way? Should I use some kind of program which handles both the database and the applications in a low-code way? Or should I just suck it up and learn more programming to develop nice graphical applications? Ideally I'd like something in the middle, matching my skillset, where I can develop applications with relative ease that connect to my bespoke MySQL Database.

Any help would be much appreciated!

  • Are you aiming for a standalone client that uses the OS UI and directly access the database or a web based UI where only the webserver has access to the database and generates the HTML base UI the clients can access via web browser?
    – Robert
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 20:27
  • Since you've tagged Windows, MS Access comes to mind immediately. It can do some rudimentary forms over external data quite easily.
    – Alejandro
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 12:53

2 Answers 2


One possible option.

Generally you would use a programming language that includes database support.

For example PHP.

You can added PHP modules for mysql or any database easily.

Then you use apache to host the web page.

After that you have your PHP output HTML (the webpage GUI), and interact with the database in the background.

PHP has frameworks which can make the process easier once they are setup.

  • This is what the OP doesn't want to do, to develop a frontend.
    – Alejandro
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 12:51

If you are into R, you can have a look at Shiny rapid development tool. See Shinyapps.org or RStudio Showcasing site. R is not for everybody, but coding up these applications results in very little code.

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