Microsoft Access Database: The Pros With Less Cons When Using Microsoft Access As Your Database

I remember trying to piece together a database using Microsoft Access finding that it just wouldn’t provide the functionality and usability I was looking for, getting very frustrated with it and that I just wanted to buy a piece of ready-made software and start running reports.

The problem for me at that time (and we are talking about 1993) was buying software that really met my objectives and being cost effective at the same time; which really didn’t exist. Even today, it’s still expensive and there is no ‘out of the box’ software solution that will provide and fulfill your full objectives.

Since Access is part of the Microsoft Office (Professional) suite then you already have invested in the software before you start. Now you need to assess the product functionality and scope for your requirements and Microsoft Access should satisfy most if not all requirements.

The advantages (pros) of Microsoft Access are:

A return on your investment – this being the most cost effective solution that you or some knowledgeable person can control.

Quick development time – since the objects and components are ready made with various wizards and templates, you are up and running in quick time.

Integration with other Office applications – Access works with all Microsoft software and is particularly happy with Excel and Pivot tables at a click of a button (or two).

Easy to deploy – sharing an Access database over the network (LAN) is straightforward and there are several approaches to this methodology.

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Connecting with other databases – using Microsoft Access as the front-end, you can use alternative and more scalable back-end database applications namely Microsoft SQL Server.

Great and easy reporting – Microsoft Access has a built-in reporting tool that not many other database applications can claim as a standard feature.

VBA programming – is available for the more professional and polished database system that can be considered a little more exclusive if using a third-party vendor.

I’m not going to spoil the party and talk about the cons here though they’re always some when working with an Access database. But if you are looking for better security (for sensitive processes) or want better back-ups, roll-backs and a large audience of (20 plus) concurrent users, then some further research is required as Microsoft Access will not always be the perfect tool.