MS Access vs MS SQL Server

Posted on 2002-04-23
Last Modified: 2010-05-02
Does anyone have a URL to a comparison chart between Access and SQL Server.  I have a client who is trying to determine which database to use with a VB front end.  The database would house approximately 500 MB worth of data.  And, it would be accessed by one client machine initially, but may be used by two are three machines in the future.

The main concern is execution time of queries.  The queries would perform mathematical calculations on the data and return an answer to the screen.  No fancy GUI.

I'm trying to provide him with a comparison between the two databases:  cost, ease of use, ability to manipulate up to 1 GB of data, speed of execution, etc.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:cnealy
LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:Anthony Perkins
ID: 6963688
This is not exactly what you are looking for, but may get you in the right direction:

When to upsize a Microsoft Access database to Microsoft SQL Server

Another, option you may want to consider is MSDE.  This is a SQL Server database with some limitations, but without the prohibitive SQL Server cost.

LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 6964680
when you have 500 MB of data, you certainly never go for Access. It has to be SQL Server.
If cost is the deciding factor, then as acperkins suggested, go for MSDE.

Accepted Solution

corvanderlinden earned 50 total points
ID: 6964859
The queries would perform mathematical calculations
on the data and return an answer to the screen.
This asks for stored procedures, use SQLServer or MSDE

The amount of data you are talking about also indicates SQLServer is the one

You could use SQLServer for development (easy to use, analysis tools etc) and give your client MSDE

3 Use Cases for Connected Systems

Our Dev teams are like yours. They’re continually cranking out code for new features/bugs fixes, testing, deploying, testing some more, responding to production monitoring events and more. It’s complex. So, we thought you’d like to see what’s working for us.


Author Comment

ID: 6967001
Thanks all for your comments.

I just noticed that I said that the database would be 500 MB - I reviewed my notes from a meeting with the client and it's actually 100 MB.  But, based on my experience with Access 97, 100 MB can be very slow.  I don't know if Access 2000 is any better.

Assuming that 100 MB is still too large for Access 2000, then based on your suggestions, MSDE and/or SQL Server is the way to go.  I just purchased Visual Studio Enterprise (was previously using Pro) and I'm clueless as to how to use the MSDE tools that came with it.

Can someone give me an analogy between using:

Access and VB
SQL Server and VB


Expert Comment

ID: 6971347
MSDE and SQL server is the same thing, MSDE is a freeware version of SQL Server, as long as you have VS or office.  It is optimized for 5 users, but I have used it for about 30 users without a problem.  Access is just too slow in a network environment, and I've had problems with database corruption the moment you go over 5 users. So I would use MSDE if I were you, same costs as Access to the user, but much more stable.

Author Comment

ID: 7047269
Does anyone know of a resource to get me started using MSDE to write stored procedures?  I have no idea where to begin.


Featured Post

Is Your AD Toolbox Looking More Like a Toybox?

Managing Active Directory can get complicated.  Often, the native tools for managing AD are just not up to the task.  The largest Active Directory installations in the world have relied on one tool to manage their day-to-day administration tasks: Hyena. Start your trial today.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Background What I'm presenting in this article is the result of 2 conditions in my work area: We have a SQL Server production environment but no development or test environment; andWe have an MS Access front end using tables in SQL Server but we a…
I was working on a PowerPoint add-in the other day and a client asked me "can you implement a feature which processes a chart when it's pasted into a slide from another deck?". It got me wondering how to hook into built-in ribbon events in Office.
Get people started with the process of using Access VBA to control Outlook using automation, Microsoft Access can control other applications. An example is the ability to programmatically talk to Microsoft Outlook. Using automation, an Access applic…
Show developers how to use a criteria form to limit the data that appears on an Access report. It is a common requirement that users can specify the criteria for a report at runtime. The easiest way to accomplish this is using a criteria form that a…

825 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question