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Access Versus Other Database Systems

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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



  • We have dozens of downloadable Access small business databases for you to learn and examine.

    With our new partnership with Jay McCormick we have extensive programming support in SQL/Server database, MS Access software, Power BI applications, .Net web development, PHP, Excel & Outlook customization.


  • Product support - can you call the company and speak to someone who knows what they are talking about?  Is there a separate support license required?

  • 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

FileMaker Pro

SQL Server

Oracle

(The following comparisons will be complete in the near future)
My Data Base
ThinkDB
Visual FoxPro
MySQL
Paradox

FileMaker Compared to Microsoft Access - Reviews

From FileMaker.com:  (may be a tad biased) this 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.

FileMaker Vs. 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....

From databasejournal.com:  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 products...



We have dozens of downloadable Access small business databases for you to learn and examine.

With our new partnership with Jay McCormick we have extensive programming support in SQL/Server database, MS Access software, Power BI applications, .Net web development, PHP, Excel & Outlook customization.


From 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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