Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is Microsoft Access Still Relevant?

With a new wave of online "databases" (which are arguably not fully functional databases, but spreadsheets with fantastic Ajax entry screens), I wondered today whether Access remains as relevant as other office productivity tools.

You might argue that Access has always been an under-utilized asset in most companies, with Excel spreadsheets being stretched to the limits to become Access-like with extensive vlookup and hlookup references. Imagine my surprise to learn that Access actually receives more searches on Google generally (click here for the trend graph source)

Note that the blue line is Access, red is Excel, and orange is (not surprisingly) Word.

Access is probably more relevant than ever, if not a bit outdated in it's delivery method (desktop only). The personal micro-databases that are quick to create, inexpensive, and don't require a computer science degree is vital to many businesses in a difficult economy where hiring consultants isn't an option, and efficiency can help you stay in business. From what I've seen so far, Access 2010 will go a long way in making Access even more relevant as a micro-database for the masses.