Information is key to the success of every business: it must be recorded and stored in a manner that facilitates easy dissemination and data management at all levels of the organisation. The needs of the business vary at different organisational levels: the enterprise, the department, the work group, the small team and the individual employee.

At the highest level the applications are built for tasks critical to the organisation's operations such as accounting systems, customer management and high-volume data processing, whilst, at the lowest level the individual user creates bespoke applications to ease their personal workload.

Databases that handle critical information accessed by a large number of users require sophisticated, costly and often complex solutions that ensure reliability, stability, consistency, scalability and maintainability, whereas, at the individual or small team level flexible and rapid database solutions are the most cost-effective. Choosing the right database application solution for each level depends upon the challenges each business faces and will affect the organisation's long term performance and profitability.

Microsoft Access offers the perfect solution to a large number of database challenges faced by the organisation from the individual to the work group level. Its' flexibility and capabilities in permitting non-dedicated IT personnel to rapidly create effective database solutions to meet a wide range of organisational needs, whilst still allowing IT professional to develop solutions tailored for multiple user situations, make Access the most popular application for handling relational databases.

As a database management system, Microsoft Access offers a wide range of advantages over other software solutions:

- Compared to more complex applications, it is significantly less expensive to implement database solutions, maximising the business's return on investment.
- Using Access's development environment to construct a database solution requires less code than alternatives resulting in quicker development and deployment.
- As an integral part of Microsoft Office data can be exported or imported from other Office programs such as Word and Excel and files shared and distributed via e-mail or a local network.
- The average database stores less than 100 MB of data, a small amount of data for more costly solutions such as SQL Server but well within the capabilities of Access.

Microsoft Access does have certain drawbacks: it is optimised for Windows not the Web, it does not have the same level of security as a SQL Server database, data integrity requires regular maintenance, back-up of databases is not automated and requires user interaction, a database cannot be back-up if in use, transaction logs are difficult to implement and rollbacks are impossible once a change has been saved.

Notwithstanding these limitations, Microsoft Access is the best solution for your business filling the void between simple databases built using Excel and costly and complex SQL Server databases. Microsoft Access is the perfect solution for windows-based single and multiple user (up to 25 simultaneous users) database solutions, prototyping and cost and concept justifying solutions. An Access database course will give your business and employees the knowledge and confidence to implement efficient and effective database solutions in the workplace.