Microsoft Access Replacement: Overcoming Legacy Limitations

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Microsoft Access, once a popular choice for database management systems, has become increasingly outdated as modern alternatives have emerged. Businesses that continue to rely on Access face numerous problems and risks, which can be detrimental to their operations.

InterSoft Associates specializes in developing custom business software solutions, offering Microsoft Access replacement and Microsoft Access alternatives to modernize and streamline legacy systems. Learn about the specific issues associated with using Microsoft Access and how InterSoft Associates can help businesses transition to a more efficient and secure platform. Our dedicated team has adeptly handled a range of legacy projects, including MS Access.

Problems and Risks of Continuing to Use Microsoft Access

First introduced in 1992 as part of the Microsoft Office suite, Access was designed to manage data by storing information for reference, reporting, and analysis. It is basically a database management system, with its own graphical user interface and built-in functionality for building applications with data. As a RDBMS (relational database management system) it provides an interface between users and applications and the database, by storing data in its own proprietary file format based on the Access Database Engine. It also has administrative functions for managing data storage, access, and performance. Access was great at indexing allowing one to use an index to help Access find and sort records faster. At the time Microsoft Access accomplished these tasks more efficiently than Excel or other spreadsheet applications. It was an easy DIY solution even for people who were not IT professionals.

Historically, Microsoft Access has been shipped as part of the Microsoft Office suite of tools. Objects stored in Access are supported by Office’s Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), an event-driven programming language that enables you to extend the Office app through automation operations that one would normally preform with a keyboard, mouse, or a dialog box. Both Access macros or Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code processes added functionality to the database.

Microsoft Access was and is still not included in Office for the MAC and will not work under MAC OS unless one were to dual boot a Windows emulator application such as Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion. These two virtualization software enable the use of both the functionalities of MacOS and Windows OS at the same time without compromising on the other. Apple’s Boot Camp is another option for MAC users if the MAC has intel components. However, if using Apple’s Boot Camp, you can only download Windows 10 and cannot run both OS at the same time. In addition, Microsoft Access cannot be run on Linux or Unix server operating systems, since it requires a Windows operating system to function.

As businesses grow and their organizational needs evolve, any piece of software that is being used needs to be able to grow as well. If design flaws or errors develop in their database management systems (DBMS) because of its limitations, it can become difficult to maintain and expand causing complications, slowdowns, and inefficiencies and requiring time consuming troubleshooting.


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The Microsoft Access database also has a number of limitations that may affect its relevance in 2023.

Microsoft Access remains a desktop application. It is available with a Microsoft 365 subscription. But industries are moving away from desktop applications to web applications. Microsoft Access is not mobile, nor is it GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulation – EU’s new data protection law) compliant. It has limited security features and may not be suitable for handling highly sensitive data. If you are part of the growing businesses finding that Microsoft Access lack of scalability, its restraining 2GB limit, its use of a solitary file for the database, and an unfortunate potential for database corruption when handling multiple users and simultaneous connections, it might be time to consider a custom software solution.

For growing companies who have continued to use Access, problems have emerged ranging from:

Limited Scalability:
Microsoft Access was primarily designed for small-scale applications, with a maximum size of 2GB for its database file. This limitation means that as your business grows and data accumulates, Access may struggle to handle the increased volume, resulting in database corruption, slow performance, and limited concurrent user access.

Poor Performance:
Access’s outdated architecture makes it less suitable for handling complex queries and large datasets. This can lead to slow query response times, frequent crashes, and system instability, negatively impacting productivity and user experience.

Security Vulnerabilities:
Microsoft Access lacks the advanced security features that modern database systems offer, such as row-level security, data-at-rest encryption, and two-factor authentication. This leaves your sensitive business data at a higher risk of unauthorized access, data breaches, and potential regulatory violations.

Lack of Integration:
Microsoft Access has limited compatibility and native integration capabilities with other software, APIs, and web services. This makes it difficult for businesses to create seamless workflows, automate processes, and share data between applications, resulting in inefficient operations.

Limited Support:
As Microsoft phases out support for Access, businesses are left without access to critical updates, patches, and technical assistance. This exposes them to unresolved bugs, security risks, and diminishing user and developer communities.

In addition, Microsoft Access is a desktop application. The industry has moved away from desktop applications to web applications. Microsoft Access is not mobile, nor is it GDPR compliant. If you are part of the growing businesses finding that Microsoft Access lack of scalability, its restraining 2GB limit, its use of a solitary file for the database, and an unfortunate potential for multiple-user database corruption, it might be time to consider a custom software solution.

How InterSoft Associates Can Address These Issues

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InterSoft Associates offers custom software solutions tailored to the unique needs of your business, providing Microsoft Access replacement and alternatives that modernize your database management system.

We have found many companies prefer to upgrade to a custom software solution rather than an off-the-shelf software that is frequently not robust enough to address their company’s specific challenges.

Our team of skilled developers can create a secure, efficient, and scalable platform to replace your outdated Microsoft Access system.

Benefits our custom software solutions provide:

Our custom software solutions are designed with scalability in mind, ensuring that they can accommodate your business’s growth without compromising performance. As a Microsoft Access alternative, we utilize technologies such as cloud-based infrastructure and distributed databases to provide flexible scaling options and robust data management capabilities.

Improved Performance:
InterSoft Associates leverages modern technologies and optimized database structures to deliver fast query response times and minimize system crashes. As a Microsoft Access replacement, our custom software translates to increased productivity, a more satisfying user experience, and a more reliable system for your business operations.

Enhanced Security:
Our custom software incorporates industry-standard security measures, including data encryption, access control, regular security audits, and compliance with relevant regulations. As a Microsoft Access alternative, this ensures that your sensitive business data remains protected from unauthorized access and data breaches.

Seamless Integration:
We design our custom software solutions with integration in mind, allowing them to connect with other applications, APIs, and web services. As a Microsoft Access replacement, this facilitates efficient workflows, process automation, and data sharing across your organization, streamlining your operations and reducing manual data handling.

Ongoing Support and Maintenance:
InterSoft Associates offers ongoing support and maintenance for our custom software solutions, ensuring that your system remains up-to-date, secure, and bug-free. As a Microsoft Access alternative, our team is committed to helping you adapt and evolve your software to meet changing business needs and technological advancements.


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Continuing to use Microsoft Access exposes businesses to significant risks and limitations. InterSoft Associates can help you transition to a custom software solution that addresses these problems and offers improved performance, scalability, security, and integration. As a Microsoft Access replacement and alternative, our custom software solutions provide the modernization your business needs to stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Contact InterSoft Associates today at (516) 374-8898 to discuss your custom software development needs and leave outdated systems like Microsoft Access behind.

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