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Microsoft Access is an excellent “step up” from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. It provides users with software tools to create and manage their business tasks, such as tracking inventory, payroll and customer transactions. 

However, there are limits to Access. As your database grows and more people use it, Access may no longer be able to support your needs. For example, an Access database has a size limit of 2 GB and can’t support more than 255 concurrent users. 

When it’s time for your database to move to the next solution, you can migrate to SQL Server. SQL Server supports larger amounts of data, more concurrent users and has greater capacity than the JET/ACE database engine. 

Let’s learn more about SQL Server and why this may be another “next step” for your business. 

What is SQL Server? What are the Benefits? 

SQL Server is a relational database management system from Microsoft that was built to manage and store information. If you plan to migrate Access to SQL Server, you can still maintain the front-end Access database, giving users the same look and feel they’re used to. 

The difference is that the front-end database will link to SQL Server tables on the back-end, allowing you to have a larger, more complex database with more concurrent users. The benefits to migrating to SQL Server are:

  • Higher performance. SQL Server performs better than Access, especially when it comes to large databases. Also, SQL Server processes queries much faster and more efficiently, handling user requests without hesitation. 
  • Better security. With SQL Server, you essentially get two security systems. This is the case because SQL Server integrates with Windows system security.
  • Increased availability. Having SQL Server allows you to back up the database while it’s in use. You do not have to force users to leave the database during these periods. 
  • More concurrent users. If you have more than 255 users using your database at a single time, you’ll need to upgrade. SQL Server can handle many more users than Access and uses far less memory when users are added. 

SQL Server Options to Choose From 

If you are migrating to SQL Server, you have several options to choose from: Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server on Azure VMs and SQL Server 2019. The latter is a great option for on-premise servers, and the Express edition is free. This link compares options so you can determine what features you need. 

Regardless of the option you select, you can expect many useful features such as automatic updates and patches, disaster recovery, high availability and performance tuning. Azure also constantly monitors your data for threats and has multi-layered protection with built-in security controls. 

If you’re ready to upgrade your Access database, contact Arkware for a consultation. We are experts in both Microsoft Access and SQL Server and can make this transition seamless for you!