Personally, I would love to move to a full SQL database down the line, but I don’t think we’re quite ready for that yet. Getting the pupils to create a database via SQL is a little over kill and not in the scope of Higher Computing.
I would be interested in using a tool similar to SQL Workbench where pupils can use a UI to draw an ER diagram and set up the properties of the entities and attributes then use the “Reverse engineer” feature to produce the code that the pupils can then run to create the database. Pupils can then use the SQL constructs that are included in the Higher course to manipulate their database.
As for the server issues, its nothing I have looked into as of yet and I’m sure it’ll be a headache for every network manager in the country. We’re concentrating on getting the theory to a high quality while relying on the familiarity of access. As stated earlier, it is something I’m keen to look into down the line but at the moment it is not as priority while I have a working alternative.