Difference between MS Access and MS SQL Server?

What is the basic difference between & MS Access MS SQL Server? How to decide when we should use access or sql server? Is there any criteria for that?

Also, what is the difference between these two and Oracle?


  • SQL Server is a "database engine" as opposed to Access which is a "database application". It is much more robust than MS Access.

    With SQL Server you get:

    * transaction logging that extends beyond the current recordset.
    * much more robust Foreign Keys (like Relationships in Access)
    * triggers that automatically trigger something to happen when database contents are updated (so you don't have to code for it in every application).
    * constraints that can be more complex and can cross tables
    * stored procedures which can automatically look up, format or alter data without putting the same instructions in every application.

    Additionally, SQL Server handles much larger databases (MS Access 97 has a 2 GB limit; I'm not sure what newer versions have).

    Finally, if you split your Access databases into a front end/back end all processing and I/O still takes place on the computer running the front end. In SQL Server a lot of the processing can take place on the computer (server) running the back end. This can be critical across a network. For example, if you run an Access query that selects one record from a dynaset of 1,000,000 records all of the records have to come across the network because the Access logic to select the records is running on the client computer. In SQL Server the selection logic can run on the server computer and only the one selected record has to travel across the network back to the client computer.
    [blue][b][italic]Cruising the Information Superhighway[/italic][/b]
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