Microsoft Access 2010 - A Great IT Solution for a Small Team
December 17, 2014

Microsoft Access 2010 - A Great IT Solution for a Small Team

Alyssa Moy, MBA, PMP | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Databases, Queries, Visual Basic

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Access

Currently our department uses Microsoft Access to create ad hoc application tools that are needed by our business. Our application tools are used by all users of our Infusion and Respiratory business but not by other lines of business. It addresses the business problems of needing a solution that promotes data integrity of user inputs, and needing a solution quickly that regular application management methodologies cannot meet the needs of. It's easy and simple to use and provides a user-friendlytool for our users to use on daily basis.
  • Once tables are created, it is fairly easy to generate queries within Microsoft Access, even if the user is not proficient at SQL or MYsql. Users are presented with a visual way to create queries based on the tables that have been created for the project.
  • Importing data into Microsoft Access is very easy to accomplish and is a quick way of creating a database. Access even has the ability to analyze your data and to suggest ways of compacting your database. Again, this is useful if an organization doesn't have the funds for an established database team; a single person can manage small Access databases if needed to.
  • Microsoft Access provides a streamlined way of managing data within databases to ensure data integrity. An example of this is that user fields can be locked down or restricted to only allow certain inputs (such as 10 digits for a phone number field) which increases the reliability of the data stored within a database.
  • With all of the user support for creating database tables, macros, queries and objects, Microsoft Access lacks the same level of support for writing code in Visual Basic. This code acts as the glue between the visual objects and the database. I feel that additional visual tools could be available to users to help them write the code needed for their applications.
  • Applications and databases created within Microsoft Access can only be used on a local computer; they do not have the ability to be web hosted where concurrent users can access it at a given time. We have run into this as an obstacle where we had to go through converting the code from an Access application over to a .NET application just so that we could allow more than one user to access it at the same time. In this case we wanted multiple people to collaborate on the same project and each person working on their own local copy of the application could not accomplish that.
  • Users who are proficient at SQL will actually find that writing queries within Access will be harder than in other tools such as Toad, Golden, etc. This is because Access wants the user to use their visual query creation tool and not to free-write their own queries, as these are not always willing to run correctly within Access.
  • Our department has seen a vast increase in patient satisfaction by providing our customer service representatives with a quick and easy-to-use tool written within Microsoft Access that helps the patient decide which location is closest to them where they can get their service provided from.
  • Employees have had increased efficiency by using the tools that we have provided within Microsoft Access because our tools perform all of the legwork for our employees. They no longer have to perform various look-ups or comparisons of data to get the answers that they were looking for. This allows our employees to take more calls and to enter more orders during the course of a work day.
  • Employees are already familiar with Microsoft tools so using a published Microsoft Project already reduces the learning curve necessary for a user who may not be computer-savvy.
  • FileMaker Pro,DB2,Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Access can be used on the Windows platform, which most organizations use, especially our own, which is one of the reasons why we selected Microsoft Access. Access was also part of the standard Windows image that our company uses when imaging desktops and laptops so our users already own licenses for Microsoft Access so it was cost effective in that front. We could only dedicate 1-2 resources at any given time to managing our solution, so Microsoft Access allowed us to do that instead of SQL Server which would require more of a standard database management team. Lastly, using a desktop solution such as Microsoft Access allowed us to reduce the security risk by not having to host a server on the network for our database; the Microsoft Access database wraps up into a simple file which can then be placed anywhere on the internal network.
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.
Microsoft Access is better suited to an organization who is smaller and has less IT resources available to create and maintain standard object-oriented databases. It is also better suited to organizations who have shared drives where users can access the same copy of the Access application or database, but where it is not necessary to accomodate multiple users collaborating on the same application or database at the same time. Some key questions to ask during the selection process to see if Microsoft Access is best suited for your needs is to ask: how many users will need to use this? Do I need my solution quickly? Do I have a full time resource who can maintain this after it is created?

Evaluating Microsoft Access and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Usability
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
The most important factor in our decision to select Microsoft Access for our solution was the price. Our company is focused strongly on cost savings so anywhere where we could use existing tools at no cost would be the best choices for our decision. Microsoft Access fit into this category as well as it was part of the MS Office suite that our team already had.
If we had the funds to select a new product, we might have gone with another product that allowed us to have more flexibility where it would not have to be a single desktop application. We would like to expand our applications but Access lacks the ability for us to do so without porting it to another language.