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ORACLE vs Access 97

ORACLE vs Access 97

ORACLE vs Access 97

I've been asked to come up with a solution for 2 small offshoots of our Company Personnel(HR) System - (which is written in Peoplesoft)- for 1500 employees

Here is my spec (governed by certain Company policies):
A. No intranet work is allowed presently
B. Access 97 is current Company version - It's not generally encouraged altho' is in use locally
C. ORACLE 8 is well supported by dedicated team and there's ample space on a DB Server holding another ORACLE DB I support
D. Required System is for <5 users but don't know whether this might increase to other sites
E. Automatic Emailing would be required
F. Some sensitive information might be stored
G. It's not possible to use Peoplesoft for these requests

2 possible solutions, given the expertise in our small local IT team (and the above points) are :
1. Access (DB and frontend)
2. ORACLE DB and Access frontend

I have NO knowledge of Access but have heard there can be problems with updating data and the DB generally being flaky. However, would ORACLE be over the top for such a solution ?

Please advise of the pros and cons of each DB and which solution might be best from the above info. Any other ideas/solutions ?

Many Thanks

RE: ORACLE vs Access 97

Oracle may be over the top, but since it is already in use so you would not have to lisence it again I would use it.  In my personal experience Access as a DB to support more than a single user is never a solid solution.  Take advantage of the fact that Oracle is installed and supported already.  If where you are at is anything like anywhere I've ever done work you know that the estimated <5 users will jump to a much larger number once someone finds out that someone else has this wonderful new utility you've developed.  

IMHO there is no job too small for Oracle but there are a lot of jobs too large for Access.

Hope that helps,


RE: ORACLE vs Access 97


Thanks for your advice, Tone - Our company does have rather a sliding scale when it comes to Users and new Systems.
I would prefer to use ORACLE as I'm more familiar with it.

A colleague mentioned that I should be careful with speed of ORACLE DB access via a Server vs the performance locally using an Access DB on a shared drive - What's your experience of this ?


RE: ORACLE vs Access 97


I've not had any direct experience to compare the two, but if your colleage is trying to say that Access (in any situation) is faster than Oracle, I think he needs a 12 step program.  If he has a paper that backs up that statement please tell me where I can find it.  I honestly would like to see that comparison.

I developed a multiuser Access DB that is on a shared drive for a client who specifically requested Access.  I won't do it again.  Its a dog, and gets worse the more users are using it.  The only time I've had trouble with Oracle is when the UI is not the best, or someone (i.e. me) put a poorly concocted query into the application.  If you've got the Oracle experience take advantage of tweaks to queries and structures that you've picked up along the way and you system should out perform any similar system in Access.

Good Luck,


RE: ORACLE vs Access 97

Well I definitely agree with Tonedef, if you have 3 computer you could use Access, more then that it is a headache. Since you have Oracle stick to that, and your data is well protected. You don't want the salary of the CEO's in the local news paper when you have to lay-off people.

S. van Els

RE: ORACLE vs Access 97

Cheers Guys,

Thanks for your replies - ORACLE it is !


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