Why It’s Time to Switch Away from an Access Database

Outdated technology and legacy technologies are increasingly becoming threats to the organizations for which they were originally designed to be solutions. They increase operational costs and are often the cause of expensive downtimes. Once parent companies stop supporting legacy technology with updates, that technology can become the source of incompatibilities with new systems and software and even become a security liability. Legacy systems over time also become difficult to maintain because technology moves faster than professionals can adapt, and the pool of talent familiar with older, outdated technology is dwindling.

If your organization has legacy software, and you use a database management system, chances are your database is built around Microsoft Access. In the following discussion, Charlotte-based Apex Technology takes a quick look at what Access Database is, what the modern alternatives are, and how our IT managed services team can help you transition to a modern database solution.

A Brief Discussion of Access Database’s Long History

To give a sense of scope, when we talk about Access Database still being used in a business setting, we’re talking about a software that was first launched as part of Microsoft Office in 1992. Of course, it’s been modified, added to, and updated since then, but the core relational database management system has been part of the Windows suite of software for more than 25 years. While it never was embraced by other developers the way Word and Excel were, its ability to be attached to the front end of other successful database management systems and act as a conduit to other database management systems, such as Oracle and SQL, has allowed it to retain relevance.

The Long Road Goodbye

One of the most used database applications for desktops in 2011, Access experienced a major decline in subsequent years, until Microsoft announced in 2017 that they would discontinue support of and remove the software from the online productivity suite in April 2018.

Landing in Limbo

Despite announcing that the software would no longer be supported as part of the online SaaS Office product starting in April 2018, Microsoft did include a version, Access 2019, as part of the non-cloud based Office 2019 suite. It remains accessible and purposeful in the self-build market, but the rapid rise and expansion of other cloud-based alternatives leaves Access as mostly irrelevant to future businesses.

Modern Alternatives to Access

There isn’t enough room on the page to list all of the database development alternatives to Microsoft Access when it comes to database management systems. Various SQL-based alternatives, such as SQL Server, among others, have grown in popularity as relational-based databases provide strong backend foundations for modern applications. Azure, MongoDB, and Amazon-hosted solutions are just a few of the alternatives that have arisen from the gap left by Access. Which you go with depends entirely upon your needs and the existing software infrastructure being supported by your current Access database.


The Managed Services Shift to A Cloud-based Database Solution

Technology has changed drastically since Microsoft Access was the default go-to database management system. And the database development landscape has become highly competitive. Luckily, operating in Charlotte’s highly competitive managed services market has given Apex Technology the edge we need. We can help transition your legacy systems to a new, future-proof database management system. Our managed services approach to IT allows us to be as involved as you need us to be in the ongoing management and maintenance of the systems we help you upgrade.