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SQL server vs Access in the job market Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, August 5, 2011 4:11 PM
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I am currently working with SQL server for my current job, but still am not an expert. As you know SQL server is very broad and deep sets of multiple technologies that will get bigger and broader.

I am beginning to wonder, will it be wiser to shift my area of concentration from SQL server to Microsoft Access? The reason being that large # of small to medium, and even big fortune 500 companies cannot operate without Access. I know that some local governments' detention center are still operating with Access for inmate management. Another reason is that it's easier and takes less time to develop expertise in my opinion.

Your opinion?
Post #1155419
Posted Friday, August 5, 2011 4:59 PM


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Major paycut and limitations as to what you can do with MS Access.

It takes time to be an expert in either, honestly. You're right, MSAccess is a powerful tool for smaller businesses, but do you want a job with a company that has nowhere for you to go once you've got them on track?

MSAccess is usually where you start, not where you end up, if you have the choice.



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Post #1155442
Posted Friday, August 5, 2011 5:31 PM


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Also consider that most DBAs do not consider Access as a Database. It is something more typically used by business persons to achieve a short term goal without long-term planning.



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Post #1155450
Posted Sunday, August 7, 2011 11:39 AM
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Well, IMHO, at least to me, I don't care at all about where the company is going or whether it's a long term or short term solution. In this day and age, the management at the companies are over-stretching the limits of free and cheap solutions before considering enterprise level solutions. In these kind of situations, what I'm interested in is whether my skill will get me a job and retain job with least competition and most ease whether it be MS Access or SQL or mySQL or whatever.
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Posted Sunday, August 7, 2011 12:32 PM


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Sql server has sql express R2 which allows you to store 10 GB of data (5 times more than access last time I checked).

That version is free and only has CPU and RAM limitations. Extremely viable replacement for access... which can still be used as the front end rather than data store.


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Posted Monday, August 8, 2011 3:00 PM
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It's been a few years since I've had to work with Access but I don't miss it much. There were several shortcomings such as 1) Trying to do complex queries in that awful query designer, 2) the database expanding everytime a temporary table is created and having to contract it manually, and 3) The possibility of the entire database becoming corrupt and unusuable.

Given a choice and especially with the advent of Reporting Services, I would never choose a career in Access as opposed to SQL Server.
Post #1156419
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 5:17 AM
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Also consider that most DBAs do not consider Access as a Database


Access may not be an enterprise level database, but it is a database. Like any tool, there are things it is very appropriate for, and other things for which it is not at all suited. I have seen lots of "tiny" databases put on SQL Server that should have been Access databases. Instead they sucked time and resources from the databases that should have been on there.

Personally, I enjoy working with both.



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Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 5:26 AM


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RonKyle (8/9/2011)
Also consider that most DBAs do not consider Access as a Database


Access may not be an enterprise level database, but it is a database. Like any tool, there are things it is very appropriate for, and other things for which it is not at all suited. I have seen lots of "tiny" databases put on SQL Server that should have been Access databases. Instead they sucked time and resources from the databases that should have been on there.

Personally, I enjoy working with both.



+1 Actually Access used as front-end + sql server as back end is a dream to develop in. I might preffer SSRS for reporting capabilities but only because I've not really explored the access reports that much.
Post #1156706
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 5:40 AM
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Access would probably pay no more than 60% of what SQL pays. Myself, and many DBA's like me would not consider Access to be a database and a person who work in access is a Access Developer, not in any form a DBA. Sorry, but it's the brutal truth. Besides, I'm not sure is access is even technically a RDBMS on the back end.

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Post #1156715
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 8:17 AM


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As someone that has been around the industry since the 0.1b days of Access and Sql Server 7 and before...(the brain fogs with age sometimes) the question you pose is not an easy one to answer.

While it is true that many small and medium size companies have and are using Access, finding jobs with them may not be the easiest thing to accomplish.

While I have to agree that where the opportunity presents itself, using Access as a front end to a SQL back-end; whether express or enterprise is a pleasure to work with and in, the reality of finding businesses that will pay a living wage for someone with Access skills compared to someone with SQL skills in most areas in the country today is like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

My two cents is to concentrate on SQL and if you are targeting smaller businesses as a generalist, not specifically as a DBA, then get up to speed with .NET and web based access to data.

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