Access vs SQL Server versions

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Access vs SQL Server versions

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ESdat operates with either an Access or SQL Server database used for data storage.  Standard ESdat uses the Access database; usage with the SQL Server database is available for an upgrade fee.


The key driver for upgrading to the SQL Server option is if companies want centralized data storage for all their projects.  In the standard Access implementation the databases are stored separately in each project folder.  The Access based system is best for small to mid-sized companies, or companies that don’t require central database storage.


A comparison of features is below:



SQL Server

Data storage

Each project is stored in a seperate Access database typically stored in your project directory.


Data for all projects/sites in the company are centrally stored in the single SQL Server database

Multi-site/project data access

Only one project/site can be opened at a time

Data across multiple projects/sites can be opened at the same time.

Database Access

Over a Local Area (ie Office) Network

Over a Local or Wide Area Network (ie better for multiple offices accessing data for the one project)



A password can be specified. Otherwise anyone who can access the database can open/edit it.


Read Only, Read/Write, Power User options.  Can be customised.


Users can customise the database

General users can't customise the database.  Power users can.


IT Requirements

Standard Desktop Application

Additionally requires allocation of a Server running SQL Server, and IT input to set up user permissions and database connections.


Data Volume

Access databases are adequate for the data requirements for even very large investigations.  In rare cases (extremely large datasets) they may become slow if operating over a network.  This may be expected to occur at approximately 40,00 samples, or 800,000 chemistry results.

There is no effective limit on the data volume in a SQL Server database.