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Thread: Excel vs Access (2000+)
2004-03-24, 22:11 #1
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Excel vs Access (2000+)
this post was originally put on the Excel board as <post#=355780>post 355780</post#> . A number of answers have been given there. I'd like to find out if others on this forum have further input. Moderators will lock this post on the VB/VBA forum to redirect answers to the Excel thread. Thanks.
I will be teaching a class on using some of Excel's data-base/data-analysis like features: sorting, filtering, pivot tables, etc. I would like to say a few words at the beginning about how Excel compares to Access (or other DB program) in this regard. This is still a beginner's type class but exploring these type of features.
Another way to look at the question is what types of DBs would it really not matter which you used and where would it make a big difference in terms of flexibility, usability, etc. that you picked one over the other.
So far, I have the following thoughts about the comparison (specifically vs Access since I haven't used other DB pgms in years). Not sure about accuracy of all of them. Would appreciate feedback on below plus other items to add. Of course, there's the issue of which app one has or which one is more comfortable using. But let's leave those issues out - assume one has both and is equally comfortable using either (or has neither and knows neither and has to buy/learn one).
1. Excel is limited, at least on 1 worksheet, as to how many records can be stored. Similarly for the number of fields. I'm sure DB programs have limits but they're bigger.
2. I think it would be difficult (impossible?) to create a truly relational DB in Excel.
3. I've seen Jan Karel's Query Manager but haven't had a chance to try it. I assume it provides some capabilities similar to creating queries in Access.
4. I've never played with Excel's DB functions much. So I'm not sure what these provide over Access (or over Excel's other built-in functions that might be able to do the same, at least in certain cases).
5. I believe that it would be easier to create a nicely formatted report in Access (even if not using the Report Wizard). Also the reports are more flexible. I know that Excel has a Subtotals capability that might be useful in these types of applications. Opinions?
6. I believe that it would be easier to create a form in Access (even if not using the Form wizard). Also the forms are more flexible. For example, can one create VBA for validation of the form created by Excel's Data | Form item (I know you can also create a form in Excel from VBA)? Is there any way to save the form so it can be used the next time you open Excel (w/o having to revisit the Data | Form menu)?
7. I know you can filter in both. But if you wanted to save an Access filter, I guess you'd create a query for it. Not sure how you could do that in Excel.
8. other items?
Appreciate feedback. Hope I'm not biasing this by posting on the Excel board. If you do answer, I'd appreciate if you could also indicate if you use Excel as well as a DB pgm (or is your answer biased by what you use).