Microsoft SQL Server is relational database management system provided by Microsoft. Being a database server, its main function is to store and restore data as per requested by other software applications running on the same computer or any other computer across the same network. SQL Server is primarily designed for large organizations and enterprises. The primary languages used by SQL Server are T-SQL (Transact-SQL) and ANSI SQL.

There are many relational database management systems (RDBMS) available, such as: Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2, IBM Informix, SAP Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise, SAP Sybase, Teradata, Microsoft Access, etc. But the two most popular among Microsoft users are Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access (included in MS Office suite).

Many a time, users may be thinking this: I’m getting enough features in Microsoft Access. So why would I switch to any other database program? You must be heard about Microsoft SQL Server. If you are planning to switch from Microsoft Access to SQL Server, you must know the difference between these database management systems.

Difference #1: The major difference between them is the price value. MS Access is a component of a well-known Microsoft Office suite. And we all know that Microsoft Office suite is a commercialware program that will cost around $100 to $150. On the other hand if we talk about Microsoft SQL Server, its Express Edition is freely available.

Difference #2: Microsoft Access is a desktop utility program that allows a small number of users to access it simultaneously, while SQL Server has been designed to provide access to thousands of users at the same time.

Difference #3: Compatibility or sharing is another difference between Access and SQL Server. Being a desktop user, it would be easy for you to share a copy of your database through email. SQL Server is not available on individual desktops, they are generally found on developers’ computers/servers or on production server machines.

Difference #4: In SQL Server, users get some advanced database administration tools which enable organisations to schedule tasks, receive alerts, optimize databases, configure security accounts/roles, transfer data between other disparate sources, etc. But MS Access contains limited features.

Difference #5: Microsoft SQL Server is the highly suitable for database driven websites while Microsoft Access should not be used for database driven websites.

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