Microsoft Access, available as part of Microsoft Office Suite, is a powerful and portable Relational Database Management System or RDBMS. The power of a relational database, with an easy to use interface and the availability of wizards to help the user are all provided in this package. The major constraint that the users face in MS Access is the storage limit. Access restricts the size of its database to 2 GB in Office XP. The number of objects in any database is restricted to 32,768 and the number of characters in any field can be up to 64.
Beyond 50,000 records, the efficiency of Access Databases starts to decline. This becomes a major bottleneck for huge data storage needs. For normal use, Access suffices user requirements and needs but for huge data repositories, Access falls short. On the other hand, SQL server databases and the support of the SQL Server Engine give it a whole new bunch of features and power. The SQL Server databases are capable of storing Gigabytes of data with a high speed of processing and retrieval.
SQL Server can be used with any other language acting as the front end (the user interface). This makes it more flexible, making the database migration relatively easy. The major issue with the SQL databases is the requirement of the SQL server to use the databases. The SQL server is not a viable option for those with small database requirements. The power users may opt for SQL databases and/or companies with multiple databases that can dedicate an SQL server to hold all the databases. Fox Pro was taken over by Microsoft and since then, the enhancements in their Database and other areas were seen.
Fox Pro later became Visual Fox Pro with the enhanced graphical interface and easy to use drag and drop controls and features for programmers to work with. Visual Fox Pro now provides a very good interface and interconnectivity with the. NET Framework which is becoming a very popular development platform. The integration features make Visual Fox Pro a very popular Database Development and Programming medium for developers.
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