Access 97/2000 and SQL Server 7/2000 Compared

Monday Jan 29th 2001 by Sergey Vartanyan

Having compared the individual versions of SQL Server, let's now see how they stack up collectively vs. Microsoft's popular Access solutions. Is Access enough for your needs, or should you step up to the beefier SQL Server solutions?

Access 97/2000
SQL Server 7.0/2000


Often people in newsgroups ask about some comparison of Access and SQL Server databases. In this article, I want to tell you about some general characteristics of Access 97/2000 and SQL Server 7.0/2000, about their restrictions, and about the comparison of these products.

Access 97/2000

Microsoft offers a full family of database tools for the desktop, the server, and for open connectivity. For the desktop Microsoft offers Microsoft Access 97/2000. The Microsoft Access 97/2000 is a full-featured multiuser relational database management system that designed for the Microsoft Windows operating systems (such as Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000). Access 97/2000 is extremely visually oriented and easy to use. It makes extensive use of drag-and-drop and visual design for queries, forms, and reports.

Access 97/2000 comes with an integrated development environment (IDE), including incremental compilation, a fully interactive visual debugger, breakpoints, and single step-through. These capabilities combine to make Microsoft Access an extremely powerful platform for developing client-server database solutions.

There are general Access 97/2000 characteristics:

Click here for comparison table 1.

Though the maximum database size is 1 Gb, but your database can include linked tables in other files, and its total size is limited only by available storage capacity.

Number of characters in a Memo field can be up to 65,535 characters when entering data through the user interface or can be up to 1 Gb when entering data programmatically.

Access 2000 can lock on the row level in comparison with Access 97 page level's lock.

SQL Server 7.0/2000

For the server engine in client-server solutions Microsoft provides the Microsoft SQL Server 7.0/2000.

There are no many differences in the internal architecture between SQL Server 7.0 and SQL Server 2000. SQL Server 2000 has the same features as SQL Server 7.0: autogrow features, new storage engine, complete row level locking and so on. So, the general characteristics of these versions are the same.

There are general SQL Server 97/2000 characteristics:

Click here for comparison table 2.

SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition on the Windows 2000 DataCenter can support up to 32 CPU and up to 64GB physical memory (RAM) on a computer!


  1. SQL Server Books Online

  2. Maximum Capacity Specifications http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/psdk/sql/8_ar_ts_8dbn.htm

  3. ACC: Choosing Database Tools White Paper Available in Download Center http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q128/3/84.asp

  4. Microsoft SQL Server: Microsoft Access 2000 Data Engine Options http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/backgrnd/html/acmsdeop.htm

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