Microsoft SQL Server is the database server of choice for web application data and for Windows application development whenever data volume is large, multi-user access grows beyond a couple of dozen users or query times need to be highly optimized.
Microsoft Access is best suited for desktop use with a small number of users accessing the database simultaneously. People are more likely to have Access on their desktop computer than SQL Server and because MS Access is part of the Microsoft Office suite it is easily installed in almost any corporate environment. MS Access is the more sensible selection when responsibility for ad-hoc reporting and query writing is to be shared by users within the department.
We've designed and developed many applications that have used one or the other, or even both. There are some practical limitations in the Microsoft Access SQL processor that will impact database design decisions if you want the best performance from MS Access.
If in doubt about which product to select you might consider starting with MS Access and upgrading to SQL Server. We can help you select between SQL Server and MS Access and explain the risks associated with each choice and how they are likely to impact your system over time.
We have several clients with systems that use an MS Access front end and SQL Server backend to address the limitations and pitfalls that are inherent in an MS Access only implementation. Please contact us to discuss how a mixed implementation works.
Further comparison of Access and SQL Server can be found at the following websites:
Feel free to contact us for a no-cost consultation to learn how we can help.
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