Which Database Software?

  • Ron Moffat

    Hi folks!
    Could you please let me know if you are using MS ACCESS for the database component, or it you are using other software such as MySQL?

    I’m a “mature” student on the PGDE Secondary Computer Science at the University of Strathclyde, and have around 20 years experience in Database applications development, primarily with something called Progress/OpenEdge.

    I note that Chris Wilson asked the question around 7 years ago, but I thought it would be interesting to get an update on the question of which database software is in use.

    Many thanks

    Mrs Janet McDonald

    We’re using MS Access, but I’d also be interested to hear what others are using. We’re looking at moving away from Access if we can find an alternative (suitable for N5 level). We found that it was the one piece of software that was really hard for our pupils to access (pardon the pun) in any form during lockdown (I believe it may be available through Glow, but we’re an independent school and our pupils don’t have Glow) since it isn’t part of Microsoft’s cloud Office suite. We’d like something they can use at home and in school if possible. Janet


    Using Microsoft Access for National 5, using MySQL for higher and advanced higher. Thinking of moving National 5 to MySQL too.

    Iain Purdie

    Janet, that’s the one main issue with Access / O365. It’s fine if the pupils have a PC at home they can download it to, but it’s not accessible(!) on the cloud. I’m not sure if there’s even a Mac version any more.

    Richard Scott

    I have been using sqlite3 in Python for some time now and love it. There is hardly any code overhead with the only tricky bit being parsing the results from queries but pupils quickly get the hang of it and copy and paste old code. I know Python has SQL connectors but using sqlite3 it is all self contained and just works out the box. When I get to my computer I’ll copy in some small sample code. If you use Python then doing it this way is slick…

    Richard Scott

    import sqlite3

    conn = sqlite3.connect(‘:memory:’)
    conn.execute( “””
    CREATE TABLE artist(
    artistname TEXT PRIMARY KEY,
    country TEXT,
    genre TEXT

    conn.execute( “””
    INSERT INTO artist(artistname, country, genre)
    ( “ACDC” ,”Australia” ,”Rock”),
    ( “Beatles”,”UK” ,”Pop”),
    ( “Cramps” ,”USA” ,”Psychobilly”),
    ( “Danzig” ,”Germany” ,”Rock”)

    print (“Rock bands…”)
    results = conn.execute(“””
    SELECT artistname, country
    FROM artist
    WHERE artist.genre = “Rock”
    for record in results:
    print( “Artist =”, record[0])
    print( “Country =”, record[1])
    print ()


    Paul Gardner

    I introduce databases using MS Works 9. It offers a simple introduction to field definitions and has an easy query tool. Then I jump right to SQLite, setting up and querying databases using its command line interface. There are some nice utilities for SQLite for Windows or the Raspberry Pi that give you a GUI and can create E-R diagrams from the data dictionary. I’m planning to use SQLite in repl.it this year and hoping that it will be available in repl.it classroom soon. Paul

    Richard Scott

    It looks better in the editor…

    here is a link to an image of it:

    Code in the editor

    Ian Simpson

    Hi everyone. We use repl.it but as someone else said it’s not a part of repl classroom yet. So students have their own accounts or use an anonymous account and paste the code into a Google Form for marking. Absolutely love repl, it saved our courses during lockdown.


    I did this with an implementation of WAMP or XXAMP and used phpMyAdmin (which is bundled with these implementations) to make the MySQL database engine more accessible.

    Could also run LAMP or any of these virtualised.

    Chris Wilson

    Hi all,

    Still using MySQL after all these years via EasyPHP and MySQL Workbench. Workbench also great for design work.

    Still show them phpMyAdmin too out of respect!



    Generally MySQL Workbench with an old version of EasyPHP churning away in the background.
    Little bit of Access at N5 level for implementing validation checks from given data dictionaries.
    Then drop that completely (and gladly) for Higher.

    Kirsteen Nakau

    We are using Repl.it and SQL Lite for N5 and Higher.

    Kirsteen Nakau

    You can set up SQL projects in Repl.it classroom. We are currently using it to deliver SQL


    For those using Repl.it have you got a DPIA for it in your authority?

    I have asked in mine about using this and was advised that I would need to submit one prior to using with pupils. I know there are anonymous account, but these still take an email and are public accounts and pupils can change the profile details of.

    Anyone got a DPIA to start me off?

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