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Chapter 1. Access As a Development Tool > Access As a Scalable Product

Access As a Scalable Product

One of Access's biggest strong points is its scalability. You can scale an application that begins as a small business application running on a standalone machine to an enterprisewide client/server application. If you design your application properly, you can accomplish the scaling process with little to no rewriting of your application. This feature makes Access an excellent choice for growing businesses, as well as for applications you are testing at a departmental level with the idea that you might eventually distribute them corporationwide.

The great thing about Access is that, even acting as both the front end and 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. As you will see in Chapter 27, “Database Security Made Easy,” and Chapter 28, “Advanced Security Techniques,” you can assign security to every object in a database at either a user or group level. You can apply referential integrity rules at the database level, ensuring that (for example) users do not enter orders for customers who don't exist. You can enforce data validation rules at either a field or 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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