How can I replace Microsoft Access?

Firstly, What is Microsoft Access?

The Latest version of Microsoft Access is part of the Microsoft 365 product (see here Microsoft 365 for Modern Work here Microsoft 365 Sheffield and here Microsoft 365 and the Hybrid Office for more information about M365).  However, Microsoft Access pre-dates the Office 365 environment by more than 25 years!  Find out below, about “How can I replace Microsoft Access?”. Microsoft Access is a database management system and application front end service.  It was originally released by Microsoft to bring relational databases to the mass office markets.  It provides a simple platform on which reasonably competent office workers can build applications to be used within their organisations.  It was originally born out of Microsoft’s Cirrus database application and was originally called Access way back in 1992!

person sitting front of laptop

OK, so what’s the problem with Microsoft Access and how can I replace it?

Well, given that you are here, reading this article, then you’re asking the question; How can I replace Microsoft Access? and I’m sure you have already recognized some of the limitations of the product when used within your own business, but nevertheless, let’s look at some of it’s limitations below;

  1. It is not available over the internet, or via a web-browser.  This is probably Microsoft Access’ biggest problem and indeed it’s biggest weakness.  In the era of hybrid working and working from home, it’s imperative that business applications and software are able to work from anywhere, at any time.
  2. Microsoft Access is not suitable for large team use. Although Microsoft suggest that it can be used by a large number of users (255 in fact), it simply doesn’t work very well once there are more than 5 or so users accessing the system, due to it utilising a single file, rather than a relational database.
  3. It is not suitable for large databases.  Each Microsoft Access Database file has a maximum size of 2Gb.  Given that some businesses need thousands, millions or even billions of records, it falls very short in this area.
  4. Microsoft Access is a Microsoft product and so it works very well with Windows, but doesn’t play very nicely with other Operating Systems and Platforms. 
  5. Difficulty of use.  Microsoft Access originally set itself out to be far more user friendly than it’s competition and for years, it achieved that goal.  However, with the invention of low-code and no-code platforms, it really is a million miles behind today’s available systems.   
  6. File Corruption.  Microsoft Access has a long history of file corruption.  Regularly used and accessed databases receive regular reports of database corruption.  It’s been a bug-bear of Access users for a number of years now.
Microsoft Office to become Microsoft 365 - A phone showing Microsoft 365 Logo

What are some alternative systems?

How can I replace Microsoft Access? The answer, with some more upto date systems!

Air Table. 

Air table has been around now for a number of years.  It’s main feature is giving you a Table view which is editable right there, very similar in a lot of ways to Microsoft Excel.  It has it’s limitations however, Especially lower down their available plans.  On the Free plan for example, you are only able to hold 1200 records in each table.

Microsoft Dynamics.

Microsoft Dynamics is Microsoft’s go to CRM application.  However, it has another side, if you have the correct permissions, you can easily build new “entities” using a no-code environment to create tables and forms on-the fly.  These entities can be connected together to form really complexed business processes.  Dynamics can be quite difficult for standard users to get to grips with in terms of building new forms and processes.

Microsoft Power Platform

Another Microsoft option is it’s Power Platform. It’s a relatively new addition to Microsoft’s arsenal.  The Power Platform is a really flexible tool that allows you to connect different systems (Microsoft or otherwise) to each other to create business processes that suit your own organisation.

Our very own CORE Software

Our software gives the ease of use that Microsoft Access originally strived for. It makes it very simple to create forms and “Content Types” that link together very easily to form business processes that really work for your organisation, it should be easy to create these forms yourself or you can ask for our help.  You can find out more here Core Software – No Code / Low Code or look at some of the instructional documents and videos here No Code / Low Code videos and documentation

How can I replace Microsoft Access?


In conclusion, the best days of Microsoft Access are behind it and other tools are taking it’s place in the market.  Depending on your needs, there will definitely be a no-code or low-code product that can fulfil your need. Feel free to use our contact page to get in touch to talk about it some more.