Many organizations grapple. Grapple over the decision about which edition of Microsoft Office to license. Typically the two leading contenders are the Standard and Professional Editions of Microsoft Office. The single difference? Microsoft Access.
Yet a large majority of your staff will never need the full design and programming capability of Microsoft Access. Rather, they simply need to enter and search for data stored in a desktop database. Only a few employees may need the ability to design and build Access databases for other users. Save large amounts of money by reducing or eliminating unnecessary Microsoft Access licenses in your organization.
How to Minimize Access License Costs
Few companies know that Microsoft provides a free runtime version of Microsoft Access which can be installed on any Windows desktop, and run any Microsoft Access database application. By providing some users with only the runtime version of Microsoft Access, your organization can save a significant amount of money.
$499 (Professional Edition license) – $399 (Standard Edition license) = Savings per User
Savings per User * (Total Access licenses” Access developers) = Total Savings
For example, if you have 100 Access licenses and 5 Access developers, you can eliminate 95 licenses for a total savings of $950. An even larger organization of 5,000 employees can potentially save $400,000 or more!
There are several major considerations when choosing to migrate some users to the runtime version of Access.
1. Users only have visibility to the forms, reports, and queries you present to them. They are only able to modify data stored in the database. This means users need a strong menu interface that offers the functionality necessary for them to carry out their work.
2. Macro and Visual Basic coding must have solid error handling to prevent the Access runtime version from shutting down. The Access runtime version will close on unhandled errors.
3. Advanced troubleshooting tools can be highly important to identify the source of problems in an Access runtime database. You will not be able to fully debug your program on their machine, so be sure to incorporate logging into the application.
Employing runtime versions of Access in your business can have some additional benefits that are important to evaluate:
Control user access to objects
By using the runtime version of Access, your users will not have the ability to open the Microsoft Access database window, or gain access to forms, queries, reports, and other objects you may not want them to open, delete, or modify.
Limit the ability to extract data
In cases where you are not eager to have data readily extracted from your Access database into an Excel file or other output that might get into the wrong hands, the runtime version can help limit a user’s ability to do so. Because the Import/Export capability is not included I the runtime version, the user would need to print numerous pages of data, or find ways to access your database via ODBC.
Depending on your organization’s size, you can save literally thousands of dollars in unneeded Microsoft Access licenses, while still enabling employees to benefit from the efficiency gains many Access databases offer.