Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is also abbreviated "MS Access", is a popular database application for Windows. It is a pseudo-relational database application from the Microsoft Office Suite of applications and is also available as a stand-alone product. It is a powerful personal database and data manipulation tool that is widely used in many small businesses. It stores data in its own format which is based on the Access Jet Database Engine. With Access one can even import or link directly to data that is stored in other applications and databases.

Microsoft Access software allows you to create databases, forms, tables and other reports that stores information in an organized structure. You can create an access file and also can customize them yourself or else use built-in templates to create them. Access offers you some of the tools and features to track sales figures, customer data or any other company-related information in a row-and-column format. You can even create a database for personal use or for sharing the information across departments.

MS Access offers a visual interface for creating custom forms, tables and also SQL queries. Data can be inserted into an Access database either using visual forms or a basic spreadsheet interface. The information that is stored in an Access database can be easily searched, browsed, and accessed from other programs including Web services.

File Extensions: .mdb (2003 and earlier versions) and .accdb (2007 and above versions)

Microsoft Access Versions

Summarized history of all the versions of Access and the supported OS are:

Version Release Date Access Jet engine Version OS version supported Office suite version
Access 1.0 1992 Jet Engine 1.1 Windows 3.0 NA
Access 2.0 1993 Jet Engine 2.0 Windows 3.1 x Office 4.3 Pro
Access 7.0 Aug. 24, 1995 Jet Engine 3.0 Windows 95 Office 95 Professional
Access 8.0 Jan. 16, 1997 Jet Engine 3.5 Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 SP2, Windows NT 3.51 SP5 Office 97 Professional and Developer
Access 9.0 June 7, 1999 Jet Engine 4.0 SP1 Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows 98 Office 2000 Professional, Premium and Developer
Access 10.0 May 31, 2001 Jet Engine 4.0 SP1 Windows NT 4.0 SP6, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000 Office XP Professional, Developer
Access 11.0 Nov. 27, 2003 Jet Engine 4.0 SP1 Windows 2000 SP3 or later, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista Office 2003 Professional, Professional Enterprise
Access 12.0 Jan 27, 2007 Jet Engine 12 Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP1 Office 2007 Professional, Professional Plus, Ultimate and Enterprise
Access 14.0 July, 15 2010 Jet Engine 14 Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8 Office 2010 Professional, Professional Academic and Professional Plus
Access 15.0 Jan, 29 2013 Jet Engine15 Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 Office 2013

Uses of MS Access:

Microsoft Access is an entry-level database that provides you a flexible environment for both the database developers and database users. It makes use of the Microsoft Office interface and allows integration with larger-scale enterprise databases such as Microsoft's SQL Server and Oracle.

Access is a registered database management system (DBMS) and hence it is compatible with other database programs since it supports Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). This allows data to be transferred to and from other database programs like MS SQL, Filemaker Pro, FoxPro, and Oracle databases. Due to this is compatibility, Access will also serve as a back end for a database-driven website.

The Access Jet engine offers support to most of the database features, like row-level locking, referential integrity, and multiuser support with up to 255 concurrent user connections. In addition, Microsoft FrontPage, Expression Web an d ASP.NET etc. all have built-in support for Access databases. Because of this, the websites that are hosted on Microsoft Windows servers often use Access databases for generating dynamic content.