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One of the first steps in building a database is to decide whether you want to build a web app or a desktop database. There are benefits for both, so you’ll need to consider your needs, the people you’re looking to share the database with and your purpose for the database. Luckily, Microsoft Access offers a gallery of templates to make your job easier, regardless of which option you choose.

Let’s discuss the differences between a web app and a desktop database and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a Web App?

An Access web app is a web database that runs on most browsers. Everyone on your team can open and use this database in their browsers, no matter where they are or the device they are on.

Microsoft recommends using Microsoft PowerApps to build web apps without using any code. You can even use this program if you don’t have Microsoft Access. The fastest way to get started is by using a template. All web app templates have a picture of a globe in the background. You can also customize a web app from scratch, though this takes longer.

What is a Desktop Database?

A desktop database is a database system that runs on a single computer. Everyone can connect to the computer that the database is stored on, though each user will need to have Access installed.

Microsoft has a number of templates that can be used to build a database. All Access desktop database templates have a table icon in the background. You can also create one from scratch by making your own forms, tables, reports and other database objects.

Deciding Whether to Use a Web App or Desktop Database

Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you choose whether to build a web app or desktop database.

  • IT requirements. Use an Access app if you want the reliability and scalability of storing data in SQL Server. Also, you can benefit from the latest features as soon as they become available. Though you will have to wait longer for these features to come to desktop databases, use this option if you need to consolidate data from different data sources.
  • Data and design. Web apps are best if you want to share the data with people from inside and outside of your organization. Anyone who has permission can view and edit the data, even if they don’t have Access. Choose a desktop database if everyone will be using the database from a networked computer and has an Access account.
  • Business goals. We recommend web apps for straightforward business needs and simplified solutions. Also, any changes made in a web app are immediate. Databases are more complex but also more customizable. You have full control of the user experience and access to complex functions like Visual Basic and linking to external data.

If you need to build a web app or a new database for your business or organization, contact Arkware today. Even though you don’t need to be a coding expert to use Microsoft Access, it helps to know what you are doing. We can set up your web app or database properly and make sure it provides your business with consistent, accurate and trustworthy information. Contact us today for your free consultation.