Several businesses have been using Access databases for decades to support business-critical applications. These databases are typically hosted on on-premises servers and computers, which need to be upgraded periodically. As modern workplaces continue to evolve and hybrid work becomes a norm, businesses are looking for options that will allow employees to use data stored in Access databases remotely while scaling operations. The most practical method to do so is by migrating legacy Access systems to the cloud. In this article, we will see how to convert Access databases to web applications and a better alternative to this approach.
What Are the Benefits of Transforming Access Databases to Web Applications?
Here are some of the advantages of converting an MS Access database to a web-based application.
- Access data can be made available to any user, on any device, using a browser almost instantaneously.
- Multi-user applications can be supported making it possible for several users to work in parallel and collaborate.
- Web-based applications are easier to deploy and support.
- The performance is not compromised for larger datasets.
- Web applications are more scalable, and the usage is not restricted to local networks.
- It reduces dependency on one or more persons to maintain and manage the database and minimizes vulnerabilities.
How to Convert MS Access Database to Web Application?
Converting or migrating an Access database to a web-based application can be complex. Here are the steps to convert an MS Access database to a web-based application.
- If the data is stored in MS Access tables, migrate the data to a database management system such as SQL Server. While many businesses opt for SQL Express or MySQL, these are not scalable and lack features, such as SQL agent. It is therefore advisable to opt for a hosted SQL Server for scalability and remote access.
- After migrating data from Access tables to SQL, recreate the queries as views. This can be done using the SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access. Note that only the SELECT queries can be converted using the tool. Other queries involving the use of INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE will have to be recreated manually.
- Access queries are often linked to forms. These forms have to be recreated as database-backed websites using programming languages such as ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, Java, or Python.
- Similar to forms, Reports also have to be recreated. While simple queries can be recreated easily with existing tools and libraries, more complex ones might have to be recreated completely. Other libraries might be required if reports have to be exported to Excel or PDF files.
- As Microsoft Access could contain code written in Visual Basic in macros and modules that may not be compatible with the web-based application, these might have to be rewritten before forms and reports can be used in the web application.
Apps4Rent Can Help with MS Access Modernization
Migrating from an on-premises Access database to a web application is not a straightforward process. Data often has to be restructured, forms and reports have to be recreated, and codes have to be rewritten. While the migration tool can simplify processes, it cannot automate them. The other alternative is to migrate legacy Access systems to the cloud.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner and a Tier 1 CSP, Apps4Rent can host Microsoft Access in our top-tier SSAE 16 datacenters or Azure. We can also help with SQL Server licensing and hosting to complement cloud-based Access deployments. Contact our Access virtualization experts, available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for assistance.