Microsoft Access vs. Microsoft SQL Server

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Microsoft Access
Score 7.6 out of 10
N/A
Microsoft Access is a database management system from Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools.
$139.99
per PC
Microsoft SQL Server
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database.
$1,418
Per License
Pricing
Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL Server
Editions & Modules
Microsoft Access
$139.99
per PC
Subscription
$1,418.00
Per License
Enterprise
$13,748.00
Per License
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL Server
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL Server
Considered Both Products
Microsoft Access
Chose Microsoft Access
Visual FoxPro is a discontinued software, and no longer has support. Also, very few people still use it, or ever know how to use it. Excel is very popular, but [Microsoft] Access can do things like data joins much easier and faster
Chose Microsoft Access
Although SQL is a full-blown platform for heavy database management, Microsoft Access serves the purpose perfectly for small and mid-scale enterprises. It is also perfect for people just getting started with database management. The graphical user interface is a major plus …
Chose Microsoft Access
Unlike enterprise-level databases, MS Access doesn't require setting up a complex server environment with user security schemes. It's an excellent tool for small scale databases where purchasing and setting up a product like MS SQL Server could be an overkill. Unlike …
Chose Microsoft Access
Microsoft Access is a bit dated compared to other database tools. It is slower, not able to handle quantities of data that are as large as the other tools, and a bit more finicky. However, it is sometimes the preferred tool for some clients. It also has a lower barrier to entry …
Chose Microsoft Access
MS Access is the little brother to all these products. In no way is it as feature-rich as the competition I have selected. It is, however, great when used properly. It does not have the same level of security, availability, access, or recoverability as anything listed above. …
Chose Microsoft Access
Access is more robust than Excel in terms of data-centricity and robustness. It however isn't meant to support an enterprise-level use case like SQL Server is. That sweet spot in the middle (a departmental solution that requires more than Excel can offer) is the sweet spot for …
Microsoft SQL Server
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Access while a data tool cannot scale to number of concurrent users or the great amount of files needed to run a business. Microsoft Access can attach to sql server as a backend but the interface is still limited to less than 20 concurrent users at a time.
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
All of the platforms have their own benefit. I was not the decision maker in selecting Microsoft SQL Server, as it was already being utilized when I joined the company, 7 years ago. I can say that I feel more comfortable with utilizing this platform as opposed to the other ones.
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
The free version is very powerfull and easy to install and use for small companies.
Going to Professional and Standard, gives you all the support and the flexibility needed. It is known within the Database Administrator crew, and you can get support very easily over the …
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
I use Crystal and Microsoft SQL Server with each other. Each has a unique role that it brings to every query. Microsoft SQL Server allows me to write and refine my base query. Crystal allows me to take that query and make it more visually appealing and easier to interpret.
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
SQL server is a better software because of its support by Microsoft and it's data table pop up function. Also it has pivot function that others lack.
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server is a better choice for quick time to market solutions and for easier maintenance. Oracle Database setup and programming to support solutions has a harder learning curve and it requires more time and effort to hit the ground running.

An organization having invested …
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
I started working with databases many years ago with Access, which allows you to create relational database and provide an old-fashioned desktop interface. I had a look at Oracle but I never had the opportunity to get to the bottom (also because of the budget that had the …
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
Access is simply too small and the options too slim for our current needs.
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
Years ago I used Oracle and Oracle Data Integrator and I hated it. It was cumbersome and archaic and I couldn't believe the product could be so popular. Given a database related task and a choice between Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server, SQL Server wins hands down in ease of use, …
Chose Microsoft SQL Server
I have used Microsoft Access, MySQL, and I have been a user of systems that run on Oracle database servers. All but Oracle are really intended for smaller scale projects and teams as they start to get slow or the performance will suffer once you start getting lots of data input …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL Server
Small Businesses
SingleStore
SingleStore
Score 9.5 out of 10
SingleStore
SingleStore
Score 9.5 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
SingleStore
SingleStore
Score 9.5 out of 10
SingleStore
SingleStore
Score 9.5 out of 10
Enterprises
SingleStore
SingleStore
Score 9.5 out of 10
SingleStore
SingleStore
Score 9.5 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL Server
Likelihood to Recommend
8.3
(99 ratings)
9.5
(96 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
10.0
(15 ratings)
9.0
(6 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(4 ratings)
9.9
(10 ratings)
Availability
8.0
(1 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Performance
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Support Rating
6.4
(5 ratings)
7.9
(25 ratings)
In-Person Training
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Online Training
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
9.0
(5 ratings)
Configurability
-
(0 ratings)
10.0
(1 ratings)
Ease of integration
8.0
(1 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Product Scalability
5.0
(1 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Microsoft AccessMicrosoft SQL Server
Likelihood to Recommend
Microsoft
Microsoft Access can be easily implemented with training. It doesn't require expert level skill for basic reporting functions - but can be scaled to a complex database with sophisticated users. Its appropriate to consider if excel needs to be used to create reports, or if there are data entry needs - with corresponding reports.
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Microsoft
Microsoft SQL Server is a great RDBMS and meets all of our requirements. If you need a stable DB platform to support your line of a business application you'll be well served. Licensing costs are far cheaper, more portable and a lot more user friendly than Oracle. Product support and security patches from Microsoft are strong.
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Pros
Microsoft
  • Very easy to create entity-relationship diagrams for various tables and designing mock layouts.
  • Really easy to navigate as it hold[s] the classic Microsoft UI. Another good thing is that it comes with the complete MS Office Suite.
  • It is really fast when joining multiple tables no matter what type of join.
  • Works on pretty much same SQL scripts so no need to learn a new language!
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Microsoft
  • Easy to configure and use with Visual Studio and Dot Net
  • Easy integration with MSBI to perform data analysis
  • Data Security
  • Easy to understand and use
  • Very easy to export database and tables in the form of SQL query or a script
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Cons
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Access has not really changed at all for several years. It might be nice to see some upgrades and changes.
  • The help info is often not helpful. Need more tutorials for Microsoft Access to show how to do specific things.
  • Be careful naming objects such as tables, forms, etc. Names that are too long can get cut off in dialog boxes to choose a table, form, report, etc. So, I wish they would have resizable dialog boxes to allow you to see objects with long names.
  • I wish it could show me objects that are not in use in the database for current queries, tables, reports, forms, and macros. That way unused objects can be deleted without worrying about losing a report or query because you deleted the underlying object.
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Microsoft
  • The import/export process can be tricky to follow with lots of steps and could be better for importing flat files
  • Obtaining help from Microsoft is cumbersome and often other internet sources are better and quicker
  • The documentation is not great and again it's generally better to obtain help elsewhere if needed
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Likelihood to Renew
Microsoft
I and the rest of my team will renew our Microsoft Access in the future because we use and maintain many different applications and databases created using Microsoft Access so we will need to maintain them in the future. Additionally, it is a standard at our place of work so it is at $0 cost to us to use. Another reason for renewing Microsoft Access is that we just don' t have the resources needed to extend into a network of users so we need to remain a single-desktop application at this time.
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Microsoft
We understand that the Microsoft SQL Server will continue to advance, offering the same robust and reliable platform while adding new features that enable us, as a software center, to create a superior product. That provides excellent performance while reducing the hardware requirements and the total cost of ownership of our solution.
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Usability
Microsoft
Microsoft Access is easy to use. It is compatible with spreadsheets. It is a very good data management tool. There is scope to save a large amount of data in one place. For using this database, one does not need much training, can be shared among multiple users. This database has to sort and filtering features which seem to be very useful.
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Microsoft
SQL Server mostly 'just works' or generates error messages to help you sort out the trouble. You can usually count on the product to get the job done and keep an eye on your potential mistakes. Interaction with other Microsoft products makes operating as a Windows user pretty straight forward. Digging through the multitude of dialogs and wizards can be a pain, but the answer is usually there somewhere.
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Reliability and Availability
Microsoft
I don't think the program has ever failed me. It is one of those programs where there is always a solution if you know where to look.
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Microsoft
Its does not have outages.
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Performance
Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
SSAS data cubes may some time slow down your Excel reports.
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Support Rating
Microsoft
While I have never contacted Microsoft directly for product support, for some reason there's a real prejudice against MS Access among most IT support professionals. They are usually discouraging when it comes to using MS Access. Most of this is due to their lack of understanding of MS Access and how it can improve one's productivity. If Microsoft invested more resources towards enhancing and promoting the use of MS Access then maybe things would be different.
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Microsoft
We managed to handle most of our problems by looking into Microsoft's official documentation that has everything explained and almost every function has an example that illustrates in detail how a particular functionality works. Just like PowerShell has the ability to show you an example of how some cmdlet works, that is the case also here, and in my opinion, it is a very good practice and I like it.
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In-Person Training
Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
It was good
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Online Training
Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
very hands on and detailed training
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Implementation Rating
Microsoft
there is no key idea, since it is easy to implement Microsoft Access
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Microsoft
Other than SQL taking quite a bit of time to actually install there are no problems with installation. Even on hardware that has good performance SQL can still take close to an hour to install a typical server with management and reporting services.
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Alternatives Considered
Microsoft
Crystal is easier for report writing, but isn't a database solution. Salesforce is lovely, but much more expensive than an old copy of Microsoft Office. For a small budget, [Microsoft] Access was really the only viable option. I only wish it was easier to write complex reports.
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Microsoft
[Microsoft] SQL Server has a much better community and professional support and is overall just a more reliable system with Microsoft behind it. I've used MySQL in the past and SQL Server has just become more comfortable for me and is my go to RDBMS.
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Scalability
Microsoft
No answers on this topic
Microsoft
SQL server does handle growing demands of a mid sized company.
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Return on Investment
Microsoft
  • Our ROI has not increased as much since using Microsoft Access to mobilize and manage the company's databases, but if you take into account the entire Microsoft office 365 suite, the overall gains have been great.
  • The ROI increase for our small development company, taking into account the use of the entire suite including Microsoft Access, is up to 700% of the annual upfront payment.
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Microsoft
  • Increased accuracy - We went from multiple users having different versions of an Excel spreadsheet to a single source of truth for our reporting.
  • Increased Efficiency - We can now generate reports at any time from a single source rather than multiple users spending their time collating data and generating reports.
  • Improved Security - Enterprise level security on a dedicated server rather than financial files on multiple laptop hard drives.
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