While Excel is a perfect tool so long as your data can be maintained in simple lists, the moment you have to manage more complex data or make frequent changes in the data, you are better off using the Microsoft Access database. Of course, you may still need to exchange data between Excel spreadsheets and Access database to conveniently present some data or till all the data is managed in Access.
Excel spreadsheets are great to manage databases that can be maintained in the form of lists. For example, a database of the CDs or DVDs that you have is probably easily maintained in Excel. On the other hand, small and medium enterprises may need to maintain records of customers, sales and product inventory. Not only is the data more complex requiring frequent changes but you may often need to combine data from different sources. Microsoft Access is a wonderful database tool that can be used for small databases as well as fairly large databases. It is easy to build the databases and modify the data in Access. Further, there are powerful features built in Access that help it to protect the data in databases and carry out an Access recovery when the need arises.
- If you would like to create a quick view of just a few records from Microsoft Access, you can simply copy the data from a datasheet view in Access and then paste the data into Excel. If you would like to have a static copy of a large amount of data from an Access database, you can save the data from an Access table, form or report and copy it to an Excel worksheet. These methods work well when you do not need to refresh the contents of the Excel worksheet every time there is a change in the Access data.
- If you would like the data in the Excel worksheet to be linked to the Access data so that every time the data in the Access database changes, the Excel data refreshes too, you might have to create an Office Connection. For example, you might store all your employees’ payroll data in an Access database and only include monthly summaries in an Excel worksheet. If there is any change in the payroll calculations, there might be a change in the summaries as well. By using a query or an Office Data Connection you can link the source and retrieve data as required. The data in the Excel sheet will be refreshed when there are changes in the source. Of course, if there are problems such as corruption in the Access database, it might have an effect on the Excel worksheet as well. You might have to reconstruct the worksheet after carrying out an Access recovery.
- Similarly, you might want to move some Excel data permanently into an Access database in order to take advantage of the many features of Access such as multi-user capabilities, data management abilities and security. You can convert the data from an Excel worksheet to Access by converting an entire Excel range into an Access database. On the other hand, you might want to simply summarize or analyze the data from an Excel worksheet. You can create an Access report that will take the data from the range specified in the Excel spreadsheet.
The main problem with Access database is that it depends entirely on one MDB file that can easily suffer from corruption. If the tools provided by Access prove unsuccessful in restoring data from a damaged database, you should know how to carry out an Access recovery using third-party tools such as DataNumen Access Repair from DataNumen. These tools recover data from highly damaged databases including deleted records and tables.