The company I work for has been using an Access database for the past eight or so years (I've only had to put up with it for five). We're beginning work on an online ordering system so it's about time (actually, well past time) to move on to something more robust. We have a SBS 2003 server with MSSQL 2k, and we also have a MSSQL 2005 database through our web host, so SQL seems the way to go.
I've thought of a few scenarios for how to handle this and would appreciate any input SF has to offer.
1) Internal SQL database for everything.
Advantages: total control over security, fast internal access via whatever application platform we want.
Disadvantages: potential to bog down our internet connection during heavy ordering periods.
2) Internal SQL database for day-to-day operations. Replicate what's necessary to support the ordering system to the online database.
Advantages: total control over security for internal portion of the database. fast internal access. Separates customer processes from employee processes.
Disadvantages: duplicated data, extra interface required to migrate data between sites
3) Migrate completely to web server.
Advantages: Single database supporting both admin and customer processes. Easier access for mobile employees.
Disadvantages: Full faith in host for security/backups. Slower direct DB access from our location (in case we want to use a non-web interface).