1.2. Is Access the Only Database I'll Ever Need?

The simple answer to this question is no. Access is not the only database product on the market, nor is it the only database product available from Microsoft. There are times when you might want to use a different type of database such as SQL Server or Microsoft Development Environment (MSDE). If you've only ever used Microsoft Access for your database needs you might be wondering why you'd need another type of database program. Well, there are several reasons that are detailed in the following paragraphs.

1.2.1. Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access works very well for single-user applications. You can get by with Access for multiuser applications; however, you need to be aware of how record-locking options affect your data. It's also possible that you'll encounter users who like to open the database exclusively, thus locking out other users from the application. If you have multiple users with differing versions of Access trying to use the same database, you'll probably end up with some compatibility issues as well. In addition to the single-user and multiple-user scenarios, Access works very well when you have multiple users but a single code base that makes all of the requests to the database. For example, a front-end application written in Visual Basic can take advantage of ADO to make calls to the back-end Access database. This type of application works very well in a single- or multiuser environment as the only time the data ...

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