I'm using an Access DB on NT Server without any trouble. It is very fast.
How large is the data you are retrieving? (bytes per record I mean)
My apps are typically running on a MDB with 10,000 records
I've noticed some issues that relate to Access queries. Here they are in the order I'd check them:
1) If Zope is running in a DOS window (haven't used it on 98) you might be running into a background processing problem. Use a PIF file to start it and make sure that Background processing is allowed. There is a checkbox to suspend in background I believe. What happens is that the app gets shut off when if doesn't have the focus and runs extremely slow if at all. Also your performance settings in the system tuning are may be set to provide foreground apps higher priority.
2) The DB should be on the same machine as Zope
3) The way in which queries are built can cause some problems. You may want to create a query that presort & preselects the results you want to obtain and then use that query as your data source in the Zope SQL Method. That way the results are pre-indexed and return quicker. This provided me a 97% performance improvement. (3 minutes down to 5 seconds) For Example: table->join query sorted by name->ZSQLMethod instead of table->ZSQLMethod (join sort)
4) You may want to run the Access database analysis tool and see if it recommends indexing.
5) You can adjust the number of records returned to improve performance in some cases.
Sorry I'm an NT guy, and I agree 98 is for home user desktops not servers, NT workstation should be the bare minumim at the desktop IMHO. I don't want to get into the third grade OS wars either. It certainly isn't worth it to me to go thru the learning curve to switch to unix. The migration to NTW is much more tranparent.
Alan Capesius, MCSE
Technical Support Engineer
Sysmex Corporation of America