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One of the most common questions we hear from clients is how many users Microsoft Access is capable of supporting. It’s a misconception that Access can only support 20 users or less. In fact, the answer is quite the opposite. A well-designed database can support hundreds of users.

On the flip side, if a database is not designed properly, it may not support any users. In other words, as long as the Access solution is well-built by a knowledgeable database expert, your organization shouldn’t have any problems supporting multiple users.

The more important question, however, is how many users Microsoft Access can support at the same time. Let’s address this question so that you have a clearer understanding of how many people can use Access across your network.

Using Access with Simultaneous Users

Roughly 200 users (or more) can use Access simultaneously. That said, there are limitations based on what people are doing within the database. For example, if everyone is viewing data or entertaining data into a table, hundreds of users can be supported. This isn’t a lot of work and doesn’t require much power.

On the other hand, if users plan on running large reports and queries, fewer people will be able to use the database. The same number of users can be supported, but performance will be compromised. It’s similar to any type of technology. The more people using the Wifi in your home, the slower it becomes. This doesn’t mean that you can stream movies or upload pictures, but it does mean that the performance will be slower.

What if I Need to Support More than 200 Users?

If you need to support more people and/or need to allow more complex tasks, the best option is to have the back-end of the database in SQL Server. This way, you won’t have the same limitations as you will with the Jet database in Access. People can access the database from their front-end copy of the application. Still, SQL Server doesn’t solve everything. It can actually be slower than Access for some tasks. Always evaluate what users will be doing once inside the database, not just the number of users.

Arkware is your Microsoft Access database expert. Call us today for a free consultation and let’s discuss ways you can support a large number of Access users across your network.