Database management systems (DBMS) are a set of computer programs that allow businesses to place control of the creation, maintenance, and use of a database in the hands of database administrators. These software packages allow different user application programs access to the integrated collection of files called databases. Spreadsheet applications are programs that allow a person to create and manipulate spreadsheets on a computer. This paper will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the DBMS Microsoft Access over using the spreadsheet application Microsoft Excel as a database.

Microsoft Access Access is a relational model meaning it is a model based on first-predicate logic that uses tables to store data and manage the relationship between the tables. It is a DMBS that is primarily used to store data for retrieval in the future, and is usually set up so that employees may access it from multiple locations in order to add, change, or query information. When employees use Access, rather than locking up the entire database while in use, the program simply restricts those records that are in current use. The program has the capability to store data in more than one table and relate or link the tables on common fields. This eliminates the redundancy of a “flat” file and makes entering information easy, with data entry forms using features which eliminate or reduce typing and ensure valid data is entered; this is one advantage that it has over Excel (GEE, 2009). ” Access is not user friendly and does require a background in programming in order to be used most affectively unless it is first set up for the user.

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However, Access is a very powerful program that is suited to the more complex requirements of most databases. Microsoft Excel Excel is a spreadsheet application that is primarily used to arrange and tabulate data for printed paperwork and presentations by analyzing and manipulating data using tables and formulas (Ben, 2011). However, when in use Excel locks up the whole spread sheet; thus changes to entries and or the addition of entries can only be made by one person at a time. This can cause delays and errors if entries are replicated by others.

Excel is very user friendly and does not require a person to have much in the way of programming skills; this is the advantage that it has over Access. Conclusion Both programs have their advantages and disadvantages, however they can both conversely transfer data between each other, So in the end it is simply a decision based on the complexity of the tasks to be performed and ones comfort level with the program that can be the deciding factors in which program effectively meet the user’s needs.

References

Ben, Joan; 2011; Difference Between Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access; Retrieved from http://www. differencebetween. net/object/difference-between-microsoft-excel-and-microsoft-access/ Gee, Billy; 2009; Access vs. Excel – Which should I use for my database? ; Retrieved from http://www. articlesbase. com/computers-articles/access-vs-excel-which-should-i-use-for-my-database-895831. html