When organizations, communities, and small businesses realize they need software to manage their data, the first platform they think of is Microsoft Access. That may be the appropriate choice if you’re already paying for a Microsoft Office subscription, but it’s far from your only option. Whether you prefer to use open-source alternatives or don’t have the big budget for a Microsoft Office subscription, there are several Microsoft Access Alternatives to choose from. Having a customizable online database brings many advantages as it empowers you to build and customize the data according to your needs.
In this article, we will talk about the top five viable MS Access alternatives:
- Zoho Creator
Kohezion is a highly accessible, customizable, and affordable database solution. It is suitable for individuals, teams, and small businesses. Users can create their web-based applications without coding. Therefore, it is the best solution as a small business database software that doesn’t require the resources or budget to hire IT specialists to provide them with tools and maintain the system. On the other hand, if you don’t have the time to build software, you can opt for a Turnkey solution. This way, you can focus on what matters while we plan, create, and manage all your database applications.
- Streamlined collaboration. As it’s cloud-based online database software, Kohezion can be a powerful way to centralize your digital data management. A secure architecture enables you to conduct in-depth data analysis. It also makes it easy for all stakeholders to collaborate. You can use this employee management software for organized and secure documentation that every company needs.
- Easy access to data. Kohezion has a user-friendly application builder. With it, you can efficiently perform searching, filtering, reporting, and automating routine tasks. Unlike spreadsheets stored in local computers or shared by email, web apps are stable, secure, and always accessible. You can easily share uploaded and organized data with the team. Users can also add comments, link files directly from Dropbox, and view information on powerful custom dashboards.
- Export to multiple formats. There are many features to help mitigate your existing data if you decide to switch from your current provider to Kohezion database management software. You can transfer everything to our database application using a database readable format, such as a CSV.
- Work on-the-go. Kohezion is mobile-friendly database software, so you can access the system and stay updated while on the go. Additionally, our support system is fast and approachable. If you come across any challenge, we will take the time to explain features and offer you solutions.
Base is available in LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice. Both are known for imitating programs from the Microsoft Office Suite and offering them as free software. Thus, Base as the relational database management system is the equivalent to Microsoft Access alternatives.
- Intuitive interface. Base works with a graphical user interface and provides the same essential functions for database generation and management. It has built-in table definitions and wizards. They make it easy for new users to immediately start writing queries, building tables, and creating forms and reports. It can involve invoices, sales reports, or customer lists.
- Variety of features. There is a range of handy features, including cross-database support for multi-user databases. You can connect Base to Microsoft Access, MySQL, Adabas D, and PostgreSQL. This is thanks to the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) interfaces.
- Available for various OS. Furthermore, like Windows, Base is also available for macOS and GNU/Linux, Unix, and BSD. If you need help with the use of different functions, there are available program assistants.
Base is a great all-rounder, well-suited to both home and business needs. Minor drawbacks reported from users refer to reports and macros that are more difficult to create than with MS Access.
When comparing Zoho Creator and Microsoft Access, the first thing you’ll notice is that Microsoft Access is not cloud-based. It makes access to your apps a bit more challenging. You need to save tasks that you’re working on locally and then have them on your computer to access them. On the contrary, Zoho Creator is one of the Microsoft Access alternatives that is entirely cloud-based. You can access anything you were working on anywhere, anytime.
- Customer portal. Zoho Creator offers a customer portal. It is a neat way for an organization to allow its users to login into their dedicated internal system and access restricted data. This way, they can use applications shared with them, submit data, and view and edit only those records they submitted. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not offer anything similar to this.
- Integration with payment platforms. If one of the apps you created needs to capture payment details to process your credit card payment, you won’t be able to do that with Microsoft Access. This is where Zoho Creator takes an edge. Apps created can redirect to platforms such as PayPal and Authorize.net to process payment information.
- Creation of custom applications. This database has much better permission capabilities when building custom applications. With Microsoft Access, you cannot control field-level access unless you write code. In Creator, you can do this at the click of a button.
The sole disadvantage of Zoho Creator is their slow support team. They have a database of experienced Deluge developers that you can call on. But it still seems a little inconvenient to bring in a third party.
While Zoho Creator helps build an extensive range of business apps, Knack specializes in online database apps that you can access remotely. This platform provides the tools you need to structure, extend, and connect your data. It empowers you to build a robust online database.
- Easy to establish workflows. With Knack, you can develop workflows and expedite processes. This may include project approval, invoicing, time tracking, and more. The best part is that you can define user roles and access to manage and share data securely.
- Handy templates. Knack has various templates. Some of them include a customer portal, job portal, inventory manager, donations manager, customer relationship manager, project manager, events calendar, job listing, product catalog, and more.
- Various integrations. Knack offers all the necessary online database building tools. It also allows you to integrate with reports, maps, and payment gateway providers.
Calligra Suite, created by the KDE open source community, is an office and graphic design suite. Kexi is the Calligra Suite’s answer to Microsoft Access. On their website, it says that the development was driven by the need for Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools for database systems that are relatively robust, operated by open standards, inexpensive, and portable across several hardware platforms and operating systems.
- Calligra Suite apps integrations. Kexi unites with the other applications in the suite, including Sheets, Words, Stage, and Plan. Moreover, you can use it as the frontend for a database server such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server.
- Easy migration. The Kexi Microsoft Access migration assistant is another useful feature for users looking to make a move. It helps them transfer databases to the Kexi database framework, persevere data, and allow editing between applications.
Many people still use Microsoft Access. However, there is a lot more competition in the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) market today. Online databases like Kohezion, Base, Zoho Creator, Knack, and Kexi are valuable Microsoft Access alternatives. They might be even better suited for your business.
To make sure you’ve got it all covered, here is the summary of each mentioned database:
- Kohezion: Kohezion is an easy-to-use, cost-effective solution. It has many features and is responsive to today’s business challenges. Small businesses can benefit from it since it’s a cloud-based platform that requires no prior programming knowledge. There is a toolkit for the effortless transfer of your current data to our database application. If you are short on time, you can use a Turnkey solution for building software.
- Base: Base’s most significant advantage is that it supports the standard database interfaces ODBC and JDBC. You can use this to establish a connection with various other databases. Such examples are MS Access, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Adabas D. Base is also available for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, Unix, and BSD.
- Zoho Creator: Zoho Creator is a cloud-based platform that offers various features. Some of them include the ability to process payment information, control field-level access, or use a customer portal for access to applications and data.
- Knack: Knack is one of the few providers that specialize in database apps. It has all the fundamental features every database app builder offers. You can also integrate with payment gateways, maps, and reports.
- Kexi: You can use Kexi as the frontend for a database server such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server. This database comes with the Kexi Microsoft Access migration assistant. It helps users migrate databases to the Kexi database framework. Assistant also allows persevering data and editing between the applications.
We hope the information we’ve shared about five Microsoft Access alternatives will help you find the product that would best serve your business.