Microsoft Access Database: How many users can it support?

Microsoft Access Database: User one, two, three …. thirty?

About six years ago, I was asked to build an Access Database for over 30 users to utilise and place orders, process them and have other members fulfil the goods in a production module (again an Access database system).

First of all, I had to establish not how many users but how many concurrent users would be expected to use the Microsoft Access database application. The client confirmed probably 25-30 users would need to hit the same database at the same time.

Microsoft Access database solution…

There are a lot of opinions whether a Microsoft Access database can actually handle such volume and for sure there are pros and cons (which is not going to be covered here) – are there Access limitations?

There’s a saying in any field of expertise:

Put 7 experts in a room and ask them for an opinion 
and you will get 21 different answers.

There is no right or wrong answer just simply a point of view and a personal preference to whether you are a fan of Microsoft Access or not.

My personal point of view is that anything more than 10 concurrent users and you should be investigating alternative database applications unless of course the client (and the client is always right – right?) insists and already has Microsoft Access with valid licences installed.

Access Database – The ‘Concurrent User’ Myth

There is a persistent myth that Microsoft Access ‘Jet’ databases can only support 10 or so users. Well, depending on which version of Access you are using and how you plan, design and implement an Access database; will go a long way to making the right decision.

I built that powerful 30 user database system in Access using Front-End (FE) with Back-End (BE) splitting the Access Database, setting indexing to key fields, not loading too many forms with sub-forms and tab controls, keeping the reports and sub-reports optimised, making sure the data tables and fields were also optimised and dealing with unbound forms using VBA code to help mitigate conflicts.

There was more but you get the idea and my message to you is PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!

With Microsoft Access 2010 you now have a web version too which is a scalable application that can improve performance but you know what? this shouldn’t stop you building multi-user systems using the hybrid version.

To understand how to plan and build an Access Database, I suggest two of my eBooks; How to Build an Access Database and Understanding Access Database Relationships .

If you are thinking of purchasing the two which by the way has a money back guarantee and email support, why not take the bundle offer of all six eBooks?

This entry was posted in Database Theory, Forms, Modules, MS Access, Reports, Tables, Utilities, VBA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Microsoft Access Database: How many users can it support?

  1. Ben Beitler says:

    When creating a multi-user system, you will need to understand and learn a little about the maintenance of an Access database which should include Compact & Repair, Indexing and running some of the anlusis tools to help keep your system clean and optimised just in case the database file grow too large too quickly.

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