The first version of Microsoft Access was released in 1992 - over two decades ago. As with any such platform, the question naturally arises whether newer and "better" solutions have rendered it obsolete. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! Specifically, it's Microsoft Access's ability to integrate with and capitalize on modern technologies that makes it such a valuable business data management platform.
Originally, Microsoft Access was limited in scope and performance to its native Microsoft Jet Database architecture. This relational database technology was well suited for small workgroup environments; however, due to its lack of robust transactional and record-locking management, it did not scale effectively in multi-user environments. Eventually, Jet was replaced/upgraded with the Microsoft Access Database engine, which addressed many of those shortcomings, but still failed to offer a true enterprise-class database back-end, due to its file server-based underpinnings.
More recent versions of Microsoft Access have met this challenge head-on, by facilitating interaction with external data sources including Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft SQL Server. These liberated Access from its former shackles and made it possible to deploy large-scale Access applications company-wide, without sacrificing the efficiency of the rapid development environment that makes Microsoft Access such a compelling tool.
In the past few years, myriad online relational database platforms have emerged to challenge Access, as they claim to emulate most of its functionality in a more readily accessible web-based context. The reality is that while they do typically offer simpler deployment modes through browser-driven interfaces, they often fail to deliver the deep customization and robust security potential of a native Microsoft Access database application. The equivalent of Access's powerful VBA scripting largely is absent in this online toolsets, and while they're often well suited to basic contact management and data collaboration tasks, they're seldom robust enough to facilitate much feature growth without reliance upon third-party API-driven supplementation.
Microsoft has guaranteed product lifecycle support for Access 2016 through at least 2025, and new and improved versions of Access have been released with every major Microsoft Office iteration for the past two decades. So, if you're considering commissioning or enhancing a custom Microsoft Access application, there's good reason to believe it's a sound investment for many years to come. Call us now to discuss your needs. In our expert opinion, Microsoft Access's future is as bright as ever!