Three Myths About Microsoft Access

Check out this article from Christine Harrell who documents well the main myths that I too have had to personally argued with the ‘IT experts’!

Three Myths About Microsoft Access

When a manager tries to get employees into Microsoft database training, many IT administrators will try to talk them out of it. They insist that the company would be better off with a different database system and actively discourage adopting Access.

Microsoft Access isn’t the solution for all database needs, but it is a great choice for many small and even large businesses. Unfortunately, IT people often believe many of the myths about it which makes it hard for managers to implement Microsoft database training.

Myth #1: Access Isn’t a REAL DatabaseIn the early days of database applications, you had to be a programmer to use one. The average person couldn’t hope to understand the complex database languages involved. Microsoft saw this and set out to develop a database for everyone else.

Many of the original Access developers were non-programmers. The application, like all Office products, was meant to be usable without needing to learn cryptic programming commands. Although Microsoft database training is often necessary, it’s still easier to learn Access than to learn other database applications.

So we have a database designed by non-programmers to be used by non-programmers. This has caused many IT people to immediately dismiss it as a toy, often without ever using it.

Its usability and accessibility is precisely why it is a good choice for many businesses. Organizations with simple database needs don’t need the complexity of a product like Oracle, or the cost of the database administrator that they’d have to hire to use it.

Myth #2: Access Is Only Useful For Personal Databases

This application is ideal for small databases, particularly those accessed by only one user. It is commonly used by consumers for such mundane tasks as tracking a DVD collection and examples used in Microsoft database training often illustrate these kinds of uses.

However Access is also useful for a variety of larger databases as well. Although it is not technically an enterprise solution, it can still be used on a large network by multiple users. Plus it is a lot less expensive than a true enterprise database.

Myth #3: Access Databases Get Corrupted

To be fair, this is only half a myth. Access databases are not as robust as those from other products and can become corrupted if they are used improperly. If users and administrators follow a few simple rules, database corruption becomes nearly impossible.

Traditional Microsoft database training should be supplemented by a collection of best practices and regular backups to ensure database integrity. A list of these practices is beyond the scope of this article, but can be found by consulting an experienced Access user.

Many of these corruption risks are due to server and network configurations. In other words, they are the responsibility of the very IT people who complain about Access corruption.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Microsoft database training, visit

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Three Myths About Microsoft Access – My Comments too!

I’ve met many IT specialists who dismiss Microsoft Access as a ‘toy’ and not big enough for the task(s) it was intended for.

The third myth in this great article is worth extending here; Access databases do corrupt but not to the frequency your “IT expert” is quick to claim. You need to learn about the housekeeping tasks that will reduce and mitigate such an infrequent and unwanted event which is why I agree trainers should include working practices over and above the standard Access objects and tools taken for granted.

Do some research on table designs, indexing, linking data correctly and understand the ‘Compact & Repair’ utility. You may prefer to invest in one of my eBooks How to Build an Access Database (there are others too) or how about some personal ‘one-on-one’ traning?

Contact me for further details.

This entry was posted in Database Theory, MS Access, Utilities and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Three Myths About Microsoft Access

  1. Buk says:

    Unless you are Bank of America with 100′s or 1,000′s of locations, how could you consider anything but MS Access. When the first version of Access came out (many years ago) it was the best thing since the invention of the computer. I already had done some programing in basic so the transition to Access wasn’t hard. I think anyone can learn how to create some pretty complex databases using Access. The help feature isn’t really all that helpful but using it with a book (or two) on Access and you’ll be not only crating that db of your CD collection but tracking inventories at work and maintaining lists of customers, call lists,etc…

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