Re: A quick jump start on VB
I would use MySQL. You can do it a few ways. There is a nice plugin available to write your own apps and have it run queries on the MySQL server. I have done it before with an indexing program I was working on a year ago that was designed to index files across networks.
The alternative is to host an Apache/MySQL server on a local network and run all your queries through that using a simple web page written in ASP or PHP.