Advice needed: moving a MS Access DB to the cloud..
December 3, 2012 8:09 PM   Subscribe

Our small office uses a MS Access database daily for non profit work. The database is small enough where I'm not certain it warrants upgrading to SQL. Most of the work done in the database is remote (7 users total) so we are looking to move from a standalone PC w/remote access to the cloud. I would greatly appreciate any advice with regard to moving the DB to a cloud service provider that supports MS Access. One that is reliable, is relatively easy to admin e.g., backups and lastly, inexpensive.
posted by Sagres to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Could you put some figures to the term "inexpensive" ?
posted by odinsdream at 8:15 PM on December 3, 2012

Upgrade to Access 2010 and convert your database to a web database that you host yourself, or on Amazon Web Services, or
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 8:24 PM on December 3, 2012

There are many reasons to move from a file based Access DB to SQL. One is, as you've mentioned, data set size. But another is certainly concurrency.

Right now you have a perfect Access situation: everyone uses the database file from one machine. A slightly worse situation is everyone using the same database file from multiple machines on the same network. An idea waiting for disaster is to move your Access forms to ASP.NET and still use the single database file. And finally... the idea of sharing an Access database file over the "cloud" makes my blood run cold.

You're obviously at the point where you need to grow the availability of your Access database. The next question is: how important is this database to your business? If it's not critical, and you can stand losing information sometimes, try a web forms based solution. But if your database is critical then it's time to look at an MSSQL solution.

Just a quick search tells me that you can migrate an Access file database to an MS SQL server running in the Azure cloud. If I were you I'd be looking at pricing for that solution.
posted by sbutler at 8:27 PM on December 3, 2012

If you're a non-profit and money is a concern, PostGRE SQL and MySQL are both free, industry accepted solutions that should support your usage. Both can work with ASP.Net just fine. The administration tends to be a bit tougher, so it kind of depends on your level of comfort with learning new systems (the fundamentals are pretty much the same, but Postgres, Mysql, and MSSQL all have their own quirks).
posted by krisak at 7:02 AM on December 4, 2012

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