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Access 2013: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 21. Linking Access to SQL Server

As you probably know, Access isn’t the only game in town. SQL Server is Microsoft’s other relational database system. And while Access is known as a friendly desktop database and a great tool for quickly building small-business solutions, SQL Server is the high-powered (and massively complex) software that you’ll find powering the back end of an e-commerce shop or tracking financial records at a multinational bank.

Most of the time, Access and SQL Server stand on opposite sides of the room. People and businesses choose one or the other, depending on their needs, skills, and time constraints. If Access meets your needs, you’ll find that it’s the quickest, easiest way to create a database and get on with your life. Not only is Access easy to set up (it’s a regular Windows application, after all), it bundles together features like reports and forms in one place. If you were to use a SQL Server database, you’d need to use another tool to view and edit your data. Or—more commonly—you’d need a programmer to create a custom program that does those tasks. (Flip back to Access vs. Excel for more details about the difference between client-side databases and server-side databases.)

Despite their differences, Access and SQL Server can work together. In fact, this combination gives you the best of both worlds. You get to use a supremely reliable database engine (that’s SQL Server), without giving up the friendly user interface that makes it easy to get ...

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