View Full Version : Should I use my existing Access database or create a new mySQL database?

02-21-2012, 07:42 PM
Hi All,

I am developing a web application based on a desktop application that I created in Microsoft Access. Initially I had planned to create a new database in mySQL and connect my web app to that but I recently found that I can connect to my Access db using ODBC and build the web app on that.

My dilemma is whether that is the best approach. I would like to build it using Dreamweaver in PHP and JavaScript because I know that VB script is only compatible with Internet Explorer. I tried connecting to my Access db in Dreamweaver and it was very difficult. I was only able to do it using an ASP page and Dreamweaver only supports mySQL connections with PHP. I am fairly new to web developing and I want to ensure that I make this as flexible as possible and not be tethered to Microsoft but the idea of keeping my data and db structure is very appealing. I don't have a problem with recreating it in mySQL if that is the best approach.

I was hoping I could get some guidance from the experts.

Thanks in advance for your support.


02-21-2012, 07:54 PM
I don't think that Access is a good approach at all. From my personal experience, when data reaches a certain size, the mdb file will start to crash or to generate problems.

Brief, when the data size gets big the mdb file won't be reliable.

I would highly suggest that you re-create your data and data model using mySQL. It is very strong and reliable and in the future if it needs it can be distributed.

Hope I answered your question.

02-21-2012, 08:43 PM
Another consideration is that Access only allows one person to connect at a time so as soon as your site visitor count gets as high as 2 at the same time you have exceeded the capacity of Access.

02-21-2012, 08:48 PM
Thanks for your thoughts guys. I didn't realize the size and user limits. I know that my desktop app supports multiple users but I never tried using the database on a web app. It seems that mySQL is easily the better way.



02-21-2012, 08:51 PM
Most welcome.

Pay attention as well to the synchronization issue mentioned by felgall. It is a very important matter.

02-22-2012, 02:58 AM
Just to make you aware, you can export your access database into a mysql database very easily. Didn't want you to think you'd have to start from scratch.

02-22-2012, 11:03 PM

This is very exciting! Can you point me in the right direction as this would be ideal? I knew there were ways to do this but all of the ones I found involved very complicated processes.

Best regards,

02-22-2012, 11:37 PM
There are several ways to do that, but I guess the easiest is open a table in access, then on your database tools tab select export "Text File" which will walk you through saving the table as a CSV(Comma Separated Value) file. The wizard should walk you through that. I usually save them to the desktop so I can easily find them when its time to import them into MySQL database.

Have you installed MySQL yet? If not do the steps above for all your tables first.