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5 reasons to ditch MS Access for MYSQL

September 6 2019

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5 reasons to ditch MS Access for MYSQL

Microsoft Access logo

Microsoft’s database application, Access has been around since 1992 and chances are you have come across it on your desktop.  As it’s bundled in with Microsoft’s Office suite, many businesses use it as the go to system for managing their data. However, with so many new developments and the increase in need for cloud based systems, now could be the right time to reconsider your business needs and ditch Access altogether.  MySQL is one of the most popular open source databases in the world and our first choice here at Wirebox.

These are our top 5 reasons why you should think about transitioning to MYSQL.

1. Desktop restrictions

MS Access only works on Windows computers.  Prefer working with a Mac? Then Access is not really a viable option.  There are of course ways and means of doing this but none are particularly straight forward.  In today’s modern working world, and with an increase in remote working, if your employees need to access Access then they must drag themselves into the office, wasting time and energy.  This is a huge factor when considering your business needs and workforce and who needs to access data from multiple and or various locations. MySQL works on almost every platform making it easy for users to gain entry from anywhere.

2. Performance

If your business is growing, then inevitably so will your database.  MS Access is best suited to a small number of desktop users accessing it at once and, as above, in a single location.   As it gets larger, MS Access performance becomes slower. It has a maximum size limit of 2GB so if you have a larger number of data records, then you will not only experience a slower performance, but also quickly run out of space.  MySQL was designed and optimised for web applications and is therefore a quicker and more reliable option that easily allows for scalability to grow with the business.  

3.  Users

MS Access can only handle a limited number of users, around 20 concurrent users, in comparison to MySQL which can cope with hundreds and even thousands of users at any time and from multiple locations.  MySQL databases can be accessed anywhere and anytime and it can be stored in multiple locations meaning that performance and speed are rarely compromised. Any number of users can input data at the same time whereas Access limits this ability.

4.  Security

With new GDPR laws, data security is a large consideration factor for any business.  MySQL has enhanced security features, not just relying on a standard username and password.  There are also options for encryption functions for particularly sensitive data. Secondly, with users inputting and editing information directly, there is a high risk of data corruption.  With MYSQL everything is stored via the cloud keeping the data secure. In addition, everything is automatically backed up, giving you extra peace of mind that the data cannot be lost or compromised.  Access’s security relies on internal expertise and support, something that is not always available for smaller businesses.

5.  Cost

MS Access charges for its licensing per user, so the costs can quickly add up.  With MySQL there are no licence costs making it a much more cost effective database option for most businesses, including smaller ones.  

While Access does have some benefits, it is highly likely that as your business expands it will become constricted by Access.  Talk to our experts about how we can smoothly transition your database from Access to MYSQL. This will enable you to find a better, safer and cheaper way to store and manage your data. For more information check out our Escaping MS Access page.