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    Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Hey Guys,

    First off I know absolutely nothing about programming ( vb/sql etc), I created a database on Access 2010, and im noob even on that.

    I have an access DB that I hired someone to port that over into SQL for me and also do the VB/design.
    I told him, I want what I have now on my access database, put online so I can be able to login from anywhere.
    It has been very awful/stressful so far, and have lost most of my patience as he said it would be complete in 2-3 months and it has dragged on to now 10 months, add to that, he recently told me I am his lowest priority at this point. (YES, slap in the face)
    I have already advanced him $2,000.00 and he has about 90% of the site complete ( But, its been that way for the past 4 months though.)
    Coupled with the fact he will not respond to e-mail/txt/phone call messages for 2 weeks-month at a time, until which he will finally respond by e-mail only.
    This pretty much happened the second he received the majority of the money ( $1,500 was sent 4-5months ago).

    So I have a few questions, because we had a disagreement on certain areas.
    In access, It is very easy to create a basic query, how long does it usually take in SQL/Visual basic to accomplish the same thing? Or I guess more importantly, how long would it take to replicate this specific situation.

    This is a truck transportation database.
    tblCustomer
    tblOrder

    On my access database I have a listbox grabbing all the names from my tblCustomer ( Attached a pic from my access db)
    When I select the Customer, out pops the results of the past loads I have done for that customer, It is about 10 different fields, Order#, Carrier, Rate$, Date, etc.


    How Long would it take to duplicate this using sql/visual basic. ( believe he is using php , again im very new but it is what I see in the url on what he has done)

    Any other info you need to give me a time approximation on this kind of query, just let me know , bare with me , as I have close to zero knowledge on this.

    Thanks everyone.
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    Super Moderator Joacim Andersson's Avatar
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    First of all when you say SQL do you mean Microsoft SQL Server, MySql or something else?

    To answer your question about how long it would take: Assuming you've given all the necessary information above and that all the infrastructure are already in place (web server - with the .Net framework installed and the ability to run ASP.Net, and the database server) and you're not interested in the time it takes for designing the web site (or you accept very rudimentary design) I would say that this could be up and running within a few hours, that is to query and get the display you have above without any way of entering new data.

    If the developer you hired is using PHP then that is of course not Visual Basic and I suspect that MySql is used in the background.
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    I agree... a couple hours... if the query and display is in addition to the already designed site, then it should take even less time than that. Personally, I'm surprised it's lasted this long. You may be better suited giving the coder a deadline, then terminating the contract and refuse any more payment since it's clear he hasn't fulfilled his end of the agreement.

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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Quote Originally Posted by Joacim Andersson View Post
    First of all when you say SQL do you mean Microsoft SQL Server, MySql or something else?

    To answer your question about how long it would take: Assuming you've given all the necessary information above and that all the infrastructure are already in place (web server - with the .Net framework installed and the ability to run ASP.Net, and the database server) and you're not interested in the time it takes for designing the web site (or you accept very rudimentary design) I would say that this could be up and running within a few hours, that is to query and get the display you have above without any way of entering new data.

    If the developer you hired is using PHP then that is of course not Visual Basic and I suspect that MySql is used in the background.
    I would think that setting up the infrastructure you mentioned is the biggest part of the project and I would doubt the OP had that in place. That is, I'm assuming that the OP was sitting at home with an Access database on his PC and wanted it made available from a web site and that is the work he contracted for. Just slapping out a form to display is a piece of cake if everything is in place as you say. Putting all the "infrastructure" in place in a safe, maintainable, secure way takes time. Still that being said it sounds like the OP is being screwed to me.

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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    I think Joacim's being positively generous. The query would take minutes. Wacking the result in a grid on a web form would take about the same. Testing the result, maybe a little more if he's diligent but not much.

    As both Joacim and TG have averred to, it's designing the front end to look nice that generally takes a bit of time. That and understanding the busines logic (which should only be neccessary if you're allowing the user to enter/update the data). If you're expecting him to close those gaps for you then that might be pushing the development time up but if you're really just wanting to query the existing data and display it on screen then it should take no time at all.

    It does sound like you're being thoroughly fleeced so I would recomend cutting your losses and getting rid of him. Try to make sure he's given you the code he's written before he goes (it may or may not be any use to the next developer).

    BTW, how much did you percieve the whole project costing? $2,000 of a $100,000 contract wouldn't be so bad. Of a $2,200 contract it would be a whole lot worse.
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    Fanatic Member SJWhiteley's Avatar
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    If you ask a programmer 'how long will it take' you will always get a woefully low answer.

    While it's not really possible to really answer your specific question, what others have noted is quite true. Writing simple queries, and making them work, is a fairly quick process. The interface can be quite time consuming. There are often business rules which may appear quite trivial on paper can be a real bug-bear to implement in code such that it operates reliably and consistently.

    Programmer experience is also a big factor: an experienced programmer would probably take less than a week to complete what you want, with a review after several weeks/months later to tidy up some minor glitches (could be hours or days). Most of the time involved would be pre-planning, design, post-planning, documentation and ensuring a smooth hand-over. Actual coding would be a matter of hours, but that's not what you are paying for - you are paying someone to understand your problems and be able to architect a solution.

    An inexperienced, but capable, programmer can quite obviously perform this job, but it's these odds and ends critical to the solution which can take weeks and months to resolve. I believe you may be in this situation. As time goes by, interest also wanes considerably.

    Also remember that custom software can be 100's if not 1000's times more expensive, with less functionality, than commercial off-the-shelf software.

    You may have to cut your losses: how much is your time worth chasing down the final X% of the work? You may be able to spend a few hundred bucks getting an experienced (trusted) programmer to look it over, see where and big issues are (if any) and note the small issues. As long as there are no major flaws, you may be able to live with the results. The drawback in this, of course, is that programmers are a very critical bunch and may condemn poorly written, but functional, code and have a tendency to advise a re-write, particularly if it's incomplete and/or undocumented. This would put you back to square one, and opening up the wallet.

    Bottom line, if you can live with it, it's functional and doesn't impact your core business significantly, cut your losses and learn from the experience.

    [I've been on both sides of this fence and can understand both motivations].
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    If you pay up front, then completing the contract is often the lowest priority.
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley View Post
    If you ask a programmer 'how long will it take' you will always get a woefully low answer.

    While it's not really possible to really answer your specific question, what others have noted is quite true. Writing simple queries, and making them work, is a fairly quick process. The interface can be quite time consuming. There are often business rules which may appear quite trivial on paper can be a real bug-bear to implement in code such that it operates reliably and consistently.

    Programmer experience is also a big factor: an experienced programmer would probably take less than a week to complete what you want, with a review after several weeks/months later to tidy up some minor glitches (could be hours or days). Most of the time involved would be pre-planning, design, post-planning, documentation and ensuring a smooth hand-over. Actual coding would be a matter of hours, but that's not what you are paying for - you are paying someone to understand your problems and be able to architect a solution.

    An inexperienced, but capable, programmer can quite obviously perform this job, but it's these odds and ends critical to the solution which can take weeks and months to resolve. I believe you may be in this situation. As time goes by, interest also wanes considerably.

    Also remember that custom software can be 100's if not 1000's times more expensive, with less functionality, than commercial off-the-shelf software.

    You may have to cut your losses: how much is your time worth chasing down the final X% of the work? You may be able to spend a few hundred bucks getting an experienced (trusted) programmer to look it over, see where and big issues are (if any) and note the small issues. As long as there are no major flaws, you may be able to live with the results. The drawback in this, of course, is that programmers are a very critical bunch and may condemn poorly written, but functional, code and have a tendency to advise a re-write, particularly if it's incomplete and/or undocumented. This would put you back to square one, and opening up the wallet.

    Bottom line, if you can live with it, it's functional and doesn't impact your core business significantly, cut your losses and learn from the experience.

    [I've been on both sides of this fence and can understand both motivations].
    Very good answer!

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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Like others have said generating a simple query is very easy if you know what you are doing. The query itself at most would take a few minutes. The display would vary depending on what method is used to display the data. If using a grid control that also would not take more than a few minutes. If the query needs to be designed to accept multiple filters then that would take a bit longer and all of that depends on the knowledge and experience of the programmer in question. I have saw many programmers that could do this in an hour with ease and others who would struggle to get it done in a week

    Site design is another matter, that can take a good bit of time especially if the programmer is not into web design and/or does not have a clear idea of what you want or things change along the way which is often the case.

    Normally the most time consuming part of a small project is getting the details ironed out.

    As for advance payment you should never pay more than 50% before a project is completed.

    In some cases I will ask for 30% up front, 30% upon delivery and the remainder after the customer has tested the project and any bugs that may have slipped through have been corrected. The time on the final payment varies. Typically I expect to either have a report of some issue(s) within 30 days of delivery and if not then consider final payment due. If there are issues reported then the date of the final payment may be delayed.

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    Hyperactive Member DavesChillaxin's Avatar
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    This guy must be scamming..or very inexperienced, that or he just doesn't know PHP as well as he thought (given the situation).

    I've been working for a developing company for a year now, and I myself have seen dozens of projects from customers come through dealing with this exact situation you described.. They hire someone to do a simple database project, they half a$% it then give you the most difficult time about every little detail. Blow past deadlines and suck in more money than a boat. They don't just target you either, the ones (like me) who pick up this unfinished project now have to deal with the other guy just to pick up where they left of. Ironically to it's always PHP guys, go figure - not trashing PHP or anything just call em' like I see em'.

    So having said, the task you describe, if It were me would take only a couple hours (and that's with all the little fine details). The project you have describe here seems very basic. Especially when half the work is already complete. The database design is practically finished, so all he had to do was port it to another language - if they choose, and make it web based.. In fact I have to do this soon to our work orders project (all written in access, but now we want it internally web based and written in c# or vb).



    I'm strictly a developer and no business man, so I can give no suggest on how these contracts should go. But I feel and believe he should keep to his word, stop biting off more than he can chew and be truthful with you.
    Please rate if my post was helpful!
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    A couple of hours for a project? Generally it takes that long or longer just to get a clear idea of what the customer wants before you can even begin to write code or design pages

    Always allow extra time, nothing ever gets done in a couple of hours in the real world.

    Sure I could write the query and display it on screen in a prefect scenario in about 15 minutes. I would probably estimate 1/2 day just for the query and display in a grid and that is assuming that I have all the details needed up front.

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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    A couple of hours for a project? Generally it takes that long or longer just to get a clear idea of what the customer wants before you can even begin to write code or design pages
    The question wasn't how long it would take to finish a complete project but how long would it take to get a UI where you can select a customer and get a result of all orders in a DataGrid or something similar. This could be thrown together in minutes, if all infrastructure is in place and if that would be the only thing you wanted to do. But in reality there is always something more that should be done but for this simple requirement it still shouldn't take more than a few hours. The OP posted an image of what he has today in Access, he wanted the same but on a webpage.

    Then there are things like security, login and permissions. New customer forms, order forms and so on... That would be the whole project which of course would take more than just a few hours but 2-3 months to move a 2 table Access app to the web sound like a very long time, not to talk about 10 months.
    Last edited by Joacim Andersson; Feb 27th, 2013 at 12:38 PM.
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Is there a better forum for this?
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Quote Originally Posted by Joacim Andersson View Post
    The question wasn't how long it would take to finish a complete project but how long would it take to get a UI where you can select a customer and get a result of all orders in a DataGrid or something similar.
    I know, I was responding to this
    So having said, the task you describe, if It were me would take only a couple hours (and that's with all the little fine details)
    This could be thrown together in minutes, if all infrastructure is in place and if that would be the only thing you wanted to do. But in reality there is always something more that should be done but for this simple requirement it still shouldn't take more than a few hours. The OP posted an image of what he has today in Access, he wanted the same but on a webpage.
    Agreed, but the other thing that must always be considered is the time spent before you begin work, getting the details and coming up with the price. Even on a tiny project that is very simple there is always some time there. I have did several projects where the back and forth emails, phone calls and such exceeded the time it took to do the coding and testing.

    Then there are things like security, login and permissions. New customer forms, order forms and so on... That would be the whole project which of course would take more than just a few hours but 2-3 months to move a 2 table Access app to the web sound like a very long time, not to talk about 10 months.
    Agreed, 2-3 months is a very long time even if the programmer is only working a few hours a week on it.


    Is there a better forum for this?
    It would seem a bit out of place in this section since it seems to be about PHP

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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    I know, I was responding to this
    I wasn't talking about the entire project either, that would be more like a week to a months worth of time. I was saying a couple hours for the task he wanted to know how long we'd think it would take us.

    By specifying "fine details" does not in anyway mean the entire project. I'm implying the task at hand is complete to the best of its capabilities and ready for full implementation, or use by the general public and/or another developer.
    Last edited by DavesChillaxin; Feb 27th, 2013 at 06:19 PM.
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    Super Moderator Joacim Andersson's Avatar
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    Moved to the Project Requests Forum
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    What an interesting thread, as all have said the query itself would take mere minutes.

    Sorry to hear about your hard time.
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    Re: Hired someone for SQL Server/ Visual Basic-getting screwed

    nothing ever gets done in a couple of hours in the real world
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