What are the benefits of using a database?
The two most obvious benefits are that it will save you time and money.
The initial cost of designing and building the database is often the biggest expense, which is then recovered over time.
The time spent dealing with volumes of data if you were using Excel spreadsheets or paper, will be significantly reduced.
What are the advantages of using MS Access Database?
MS Access is a great tool to use, especially if you are already using other products within MS Office Suite, because of its ability to integrate and share data with other Microsoft programs such as Excel, Word, and Power Point etc.
MS Access has a great set of tools, which can be used for development of tables, queries, forms and reports. However, it's most powerful feature is allowing the developer to write VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code to manipulate even the smallest details.
Can I transfer my existing data from Excel spreadsheets to Access Database?
There are various methods used for transferring your data from Excel to MS Access Database, but the simple answer is, yes this can be done.
It can also be transferred from Access into Excel.
Can I share data between MS Access Database and other (non Microsoft) products?
In a lot of cases, yes.
For example, if you are using MYOB accounting package, there are methods, which can be used to share the data between the two products.
What are the limitations of using MS Access Database?
MS Access works really well if it's used on a single machine by a single user and you are not manipulating or trying to search through millions of records.
It can also work very well in a multi user environment, but this however will depend on a number of factors.
It is essential that the database is designed and developed by experienced professionals who will make a full assessment and take down user requirements before deciding if MS Access will be the appropriate tool to use.
The number of users that can simultaneously manipulate the data will depend on amount of processing they will be doing and the volume of data they will be working with.
It also depends on physical factors, such as network reliability. For example, if you are using a wireless or remote access infrastructure, which tends to drop out, it will cause problems. Bad network connectivity can leave records locked (inaccessible to other users) or even corrupt the database.
To summarise the information above, here are a couple of scenario's which may determine the database parameters.
Say you have a business with 20 people, who all need to use the database during the day, but they only need to read information regarding their next job. Only one person in the office is actually updating the data and they might enter about 100 records per day and you need to produce reports on weekly basis.
The network is hard wired and very stable.
In this situation, MS Access database is an ideal solution.
There are 5 employees, which work in an office, using wireless network connections. They need to produce complex reports, using tables, which contain over 100 000 records each.
Network connection sometimes tends to drop out and is not very reliable.
In this situation, you would experience lots of problems, such as slow data retrieval, database freezing up or database corruptions.
Is it possible to convert my existing MS Access DB into SQL Server database?
Possible options are to convert only the back end database and reconnect it to the existing MS Access database or to upgrade the back end and completely re-design the front end using a different application.
Can I still run MS Access applications if I don't have a full version of MS Access installed?
Yes you can.
There is something called MS Access Runtime program, which you can download for free from a microsoft website.
This will allow you to run MS Access databases, but you will not have the functionality to modify the design of the forms, tables etc.
The following are the links where you can obtain these files:
MS Access 2007
MS Access 2010