Comparison of Microsoft Access vs. Other Database Systems
Before you decide what platform to use for your database projects you'll want to become familiar with the features and capabilities of all the leading
database software products available.
Issues to Consider For a Microsoft Access Alternative
Initial cost of software license - site license, per workstation, etc.
Strength of company - will they be around 5 years from now?
Complexity and cost of management of the core database system, separate from the database application - user management,
backups, periodic updates
Product support - can you call the company and speak to
someone who knows what they are talking about? Is there a separate support
Will you be purchasing an off-the-shelf database application
or developing one from scratch? Off-the-shelf products will likely
lock you into are particular vendor but will likely reduce initial costs.
Developer choices - how many 3rd party product developers are there for you to choose from?
Scalability - how easy or difficult is it to move from 10 users to 1000 users?
Web-based - Do you need an internet based database product?
Development costs - depending on the database developers, may get $50 to $250 per hour.
Rather than re-hashing information from dozens of reviews we have compiled links to comparison articles from across the Internet.
These comparisons are listed below with links to each one.
Table of Contents
(The following comparisons will be complete in the near future)
My Data Base
FileMaker Compared to Microsoft Access - Reviews
From FileMaker.com: (may be a tad biased)
white paper details the differences between the two products.
It shows that, while Access includes powerful tools in the SQL
programming realm, it requires a great deal more knowledge to get started. The author describes how Access databases will also
require more development time and ongoing support, and therefore higher cost of ownership, to keep them working efficiently. Scaling
Access database usages beyond a few users requires the expense and develop time of integrating Microsoft SQL Server, while scaling
FileMaker workgroups up to 250 simultaneous users is easy. Therefore, the author concludes that FileMaker delivers real business
solutions at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time as required with Access.
Microsoft Access: FileMaker and Microsoft Access are similar database
applications, each having its own unique features. Let us now learn more about
both applications and their features.
CNet Reviews: The
FileMaker Pro 6.0 relational database provides power without forcing you to learn a programming language like Access does. For
newcomers and business experts alike, FileMaker is a powerful, intuitive, less expensive alternative to Access.
developerfusion.com: The purpose of
this report is to explain the differences between Microsoft Access and Filemaker Pro databases. Both of them have multiple positive
and negative aspects and it depends on the needs of the company, which of them to choose. This report is based on facts and opinions
I was able to find. There is a list of links at the end of this report where I was able to find this information.
SQL/Server Compared to Microsoft Access
From informat.com: Access databases
are relatively inexpensive. In fact, you can open an Access database, modify the database structure using SQL, fetch records, modify
and update data, and delete records using a Visual Studio application without buying the Access product itself....
Often people in newsgroups ask about some comparison of Access and SQL Server databases. In this article, I want to tell you about
some general characteristics of Access 97/2000 and SQL Server 7.0/2000, about their restrictions, and about the comparison of these
sqlservercentral.com: Most of the small and medium scale organizations are used to start their operations with Access 2000
due to many reasons. Main influence behind this is the licensing fees. Other than the above use, more developers are using Access as
a prototype. Nevertheless, after a while there are many complains from the access users about the corruption, data losses,
etc. Therefore, there are many issues needed to be consider before selecting a
database system for your organization or for your duties.
From Paul Stanley Software: SQL Server does not
have its own user interface and runs only on a server. It can provide the server end of a Client-Server application. SQL Server
applications typically require higher investment in programming but provide a higher level of reliability and better suited to very
high volumes of transactions. There are many rivals to SQL Server in end-end corporate database market most notably Oracle.
Oracle Compared to Microsoft Access
Oracle can be considered the big brother of Microsoft Access. Oracle can serve as a departmental-level database as well as a
corporate database for the largest database applications.
We have extensive experience creating databases in Oracle's Developer
2000 environment. In our opinion there are more similarities between Oracle and Microsoft Access compared to Access and SQL
Server. Oracle provides a comprehensive development environment with forms, navigation and reports all created within a single
robust user interface - similar to the Ingres development environment. Where Oracle diverges from Access is fine control of
events in forms and within the database itself. Where Access may have 20 event triggers for a control Oracle may have 100.
Below are a few other discussions we found while searching:
See discussion at Oracle
FAQ: I was looking to install oracle or access for my company. This is a small company, 10 employees, with data
information relating to the insurance field. Everyone works in their homes across the northeast. What are the major systems
differences and which is the best for me? Cost is relevant, but not of major concern...
From Blog O' Rama:
Microsoft Access was not designed in the same way as Oracle's RDBMS was. As you learned in CIS 301, Access is a file-based database
system that is intended for use by a small number of users (or applications) at once.
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