Database Services

Is your spreadsheet showing its age? putting on weight? wearing your computer down?

Most spreadsheets start as simple rows and columns of numbers that are totaled. As the spreadsheet ages it receives more data and/or is modified to satisfy multiple requirements, perhaps even the requirements of multiple people. Eventually the spreadsheet becomes a monster that no one quite understands. Even worse, it becomes an inefficient tool to accomplish the purpose for which it was designed.

You should consider converting your applications from spreadsheets to Microsoft Access or SQL Server when your spreadsheets reach this stage. The following are normally some of the benefits of using a database program such rather than a spreadsheet.

  • A database program is designed for working with a large number of records (i.e. rows). You can literally have millions of rows in a database table.
  • Database programs do a better job of data entry validation. Remember the old saying: “Garbage In = Garbage Out”.
  • Database programs are multi-user; there can be many concurrent users manipulating the data in a database.
  • Database programs include more security features than spreadsheets. You can assign rights to various portions of the program. For example, a payroll clerk would be allowed to view payroll data, but not to make any salary changes.
  • Database programs have more flexible report writing capabilities.

With a database program and automation you can have the best of both worlds. A database to crunch the numbers followed by an automatic export to Excel for customized report formatting, charts, and pivot tables.

Which database should you choose – Access or SQL Server?

While Access is a great database, especially for departmental or work group applications, SQL Server is designed for enterprise applications. The following are some of the advantages of SQL Server over Access.

  • Ability to handle more concurrent users
  • Larger physical data files
  • Decrease in network traffic (only needed records are sent across the network)
  • Ability to ‘roll-back’ a series of transactions if the entire series is not properly handled
  • Near elimination of corrupt data files
  • Faster recovery from data disasters due to SQL Server’s event logs
  • Choice of multiple front-ends including Access, Visual Basic, or web browser

Contact us if you need a company to help you get your applications under control.


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