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How to Use Microsoft Access on Azure?

Microsoft Access has been the preferred database management system for several businesses since the early 1990s. It was one of the first solutions that combined database engines with a graphical user interface. While most businesses use Microsoft Access as a substitution for spreadsheet applications such as Excel to organize, store and retrieve large amounts, the application was designed for on-premises usage which restricts scalability.

While there are more advanced solutions that can handle this challenge, some businesses might prefer to continue to use Microsoft Access for daily operations. In this article, we will explore how businesses can use Microsoft Access with Azure for superior, scalability, security, and accessibility.

What Are the Advantages of Using Microsoft Access with Azure?

Below are some of the benefits of using Microsoft Access with Azure.

  • Users can take advantage of significant improvement in performance with the fast and highly scalable Azure SQL service that using which thousands of records can be updated in real-time.
  • Both in-house and remote staff can access the information they need using any internet-enabled device, including mobiles, which is not possible with the desktop-based Access application.
  • Updates and bug fixes to Access databases and applications can be rolled out using the auto-update capability.
  • It facilitates the creation of modern web tools that can work with MS Access databases while taking advantage of cloud capabilities.
  • It reduces the dependence on hardware, as data is automatically backed up online. Moreover, information of customers, vendors, and employees can be stored in private folders in the cloud for better protection.
  • By hosting MS Access on Azure, businesses can minimize capital and operational costs on consultants, programmers, and new hardware, thereby expediting the return on investment.
  • It will provide a significant competitive edge with more productivity, better usability, improved connectivity, and superior accessibility. Consequently, businesses can provide better services to their customers and streamline operations within their teams.

How to Connect Microsoft Access with Azure SQL Service?

Microsoft Access can be used Azure SQL using Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). There are two ways of using Microsoft Access with Azure SQL service.

Using Microsoft Access with Azure SQL with the Data Import Method

With this method, the ODBC connection is used to import data into Microsoft Access from Azure SQL Server.

  • Start the MS Access database, and click on the External Data tab in the ribbon.
  • Click on New Data Source> From Other Sources> ODBC Database.
  • Select the “Import the source data into a new table in the current database” option in the Get External Data – ODBC Database dialog box, and then click on OK.
  • Navigate to the Machine Data Source tab in the Select Data Source dialog box.
  • Choose the Data Source Network (DSN) configured for Azure SQL Service and click on OK.
  • Import the tables using the Import Objects option. The imported tables should appear in MS Access when they are double-clicked.

Using Microsoft Access with Azure SQL By Linking Tables

With this method, data is imported using the unique record identifier instead of importing the entire table. While most steps are similar to importing tables, users have to navigate to the Link Table dialog box, instead of the Import Objects dialog box. Then, the Select Unique Record Identifier dialog box will appear, in which fields that uniquely identify each record in each of the chosen Azure SQL Server tables must be selected. Instead of the imported tables, the linked tables will appear in the Tables navigation pane. Double-clicking the linked tables will display the content.

Apps4Rent Can Help with MS Access Virtualization

Using Microsoft Access with Azure SQL Server revolutionizes the way applications are created, tested, hosted, and deployed. It provides businesses far greater computing power without having to worry about licenses, downtime, hardware, and other factors.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner and a Tier 1 CSP, Apps4Rent can help businesses upgrade their Microsoft Access solution with our managed Azure services. Reach out to our Microsoft-certified cloud consultants available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email for assistance.

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