MS Access: a hidden gem in database design
September 12, 2019

MS Access: a hidden gem in database design

Doreen Giles | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is being used to organize data collected using Excel spreadsheets as well as through direct input using MS Access form features. I find the reporting feature of MS Access very useful in displaying the data in a professional and uniform way to communicate information and provide statistical data to colleagues including management, peers, and customers. I get the best performance when used in a client/server environment. I create input forms for users to easily input data and provide links to a dashboard to easily access reports and to run queries. Queries are excellent for filtering information and allowing the use of parameters to extract data. In addition, users can see real-time information because the information can be generated instantly.
  • Importing data from external sources such as MS Excel and creating tables for use in queries and reports.
  • Linking to external data sources so that users can use existing data entry tools and MS Access can pull that information to instantly query or generate reports.
  • Creating queries using wizards - allows even novice users to create desired results when running a query.
  • Reporting - made easy using the wizards and is easily edited using the built-in design tools.
  • Forms - creating dashboards to easily access different views of data including queries and reports.
  • Not as accurate with calculating numeric values using decimals - when dealing with financial data, it is not as accurate as MS Excel. I have to calculate in Excel and only use Access for generating the report.
  • When using wizards to design reports, it is difficult to remove some of the default properties easily.
  • I preferred the navigation panes in earlier versions of MS Access that had a straightforward view of tables, queries, etc. I find it difficult navigating to only see tables.
  • Access is very sluggish over a network and it gets bloated the more you open and close objects. It should have a way, or at least a setting , that automatically compacts to get rid of excess memory usage
  • Improve security to prevent data from being compromised. There should be a way to prevent users on the client-side from seeing the database objects and changing settings. Maybe prompt for a password or set the application to identify the owner/creator automatically.
  • Allowed me to present reports in a professional way that was easy for the reader to understand.
  • Create and design a data entry tool quickly for distribution over a LOCAL AREA NETWORK.
  • Easily use queries to quickly manipulate data through the use of filters, queries, calculated fields, etc.
  • Create different form views using wizards and display different data depending on user input.
MS SQL is a more powerful tool but I love the reporting feature in MS Access. MS Excel is useful for complex calculations but to me, MS Access helps me organize that data. InfoPath is similar to MS Access in that you can create forms for data entry, but it does not include methods for presenting data. It needs a separate application to do so.
Within my organization, support for MS Access is minimal. Although we have a license for the software, ITO is a very limited resource for supporting issues with using Access. Microsoft provides technical support and helps with using features but it is very limited. I do better using google to figure things out. In addition, I have not found any Advanced class that has truly helped with answering my technical questions. It truly has been trial and error and collaborating with other users who have found ways to get things done. Google is my friend.

Do you think Microsoft Access delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Microsoft Access's feature set?


Did Microsoft Access live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Microsoft Access go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Microsoft Access again?


More suited for a local area network. Performance degrades over a wide area network. It is very useful for quickly generating reports, designing specific queries and setting up different views. I would not recommend for use where you have a lot of users that need to touch the system. It is well suited if you want to use it as a tracking system or reporting system to maintain information such as inventory, contacts, daily reporting, etc. I am not as confident in its use for calculating complex numbers. Use Excel to do the calculating and then design your professional report linking to the Excel spreadsheet.