What Is the Access Database?

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The Microsoft Access database program is a management system included in the Microsoft Office application suite, and an Access database is a file that one creates while using this software program. It comes with the professional edition and higher levels of the Office suite, and it is also available as a separate program. It stores data in a proprietary format and can link to or import data in other programs.

The Microsoft Access database program can use its own storage files, but it can also serve as a front-end using other products at the back-end, like Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server. The .accdb and .mdb formats of Access databases can use more than one back-end source. Also, some programs like ASP.NET, Visual Basic and Visual Studio .NET uses the Access format for their queries and tables. It is also possible to integrate Access with other programs in the Office suite, as well as ActiveX Controls.

It is possible to automate repetitive tasks in Access by setting up macros that have point-and-click options, and it is also simple to put a database up on a shared network so that users have the ability to update and share data without erasing the work of anyone else. Whereas Excel locks the whole spreadsheet, Access locks it one record at a time.