You may ask “MS Access has such great features, is really user friendly, why would I change my preferences and use other database package?” If you ever heard about SQL, you may be asking about the pros and cons.
MS Access is a VB (Visual Basic) based application. Microsoft Access allows SQL (Structures Query Language) statements to be used in association with VB scripts and macros. MS Access also includes a Jet database engine. The graphical interface makes MS Access very attractive, providing ease of use in creating front-end applications. MS Access is used frequently by beginners, programmers with no experience, to handle small databases. It is a very useful tool for advanced programmers to provide applications in short time.
MS Access has a great disadvantage: it does not scale correctly for multiple access, large databases and network environment. The Jet database performs at the client level. MS Access is not created for multi-user environments, to perform on shared files simultaneously.
MS SQL Server incorporates the industry standard SQL. It comes from the enterprise level Sybase, designed for mainframe operating systems, such as VAX VMS and UNIX. SQL Server has a client-server interaction more solid than MS Access and can handle huge volume – multi user environment. MS SQL Server is Microsoft’s BackOffice server, developed to handle client/server applications using the industry standard, ANSI compliant. MS SQL Server works great for multi-processing, having the capacity to perform database functions and data warehousing.
SQL Server has another great advantage: it can be configured to efficiently accommodate multiple users, 24x7x365, and is perfect for demanding and complex applications, such as e-commerce, messaging systems, web hosting and real time transactions. The client-server configuration allows successfully the manipulation of multiple, large databases and also allows performing continuous, multiple and complex data warehousing functions. SQL Server is robust and reliable, reduces the possibility of database corruptions, as well as data read and write conflicts.
When talking about tools for application development, the cost is an important factor. We want the best feature set available with the best price. Fortunately, SQL Server and MS Access are affordable. And if someone thinks to upgrade from MS Access to SQL Server, he must not panic; it is not as scary as it looks!