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Chapter 1. A Strategy for Developing Acc... > Access as a Scalable Product

Access as a Scalable Product

One of Access's biggest strong points is its scalability. An application that begins as a small-business application running on a standalone machine can be scaled to an enterprise-wide client/server application. If you design your application properly, scaling can be done with little or no rewriting of your application. This feature makes Access an excellent choice for growing businesses, as well as for applications being tested at a departmental level with the idea that they might eventually be distributed corporation-wide.

The great thing about Access is that, even acting as both the front end and the back end with data stored on a file server in Access tables, it provides excellent security and the capability to establish database rules previously available only on back-end databases. You can assign security to every object in a database at either a user or a group level. You can apply referential integrity rules at the database level, ensuring that (for example) orders aren't entered for customers who don't exist. You can enforce data validation rules at either a field or a record level, maintaining the integrity of the data in your database. In other words, many of the features previously available only on high-end database servers are now available by using Access's own proprietary data-storage format.


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