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Access vs. Excel

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Access isn’t the only Office product that can deal with lists and tables of information. Microsoft Excel also includes features for creating and managing lists. So what’s the difference?

Although Excel’s perfectly good for small, simple amounts of information, it just can’t handle the same quantity and complexity of information as Access. Excel also falters if you need to maintain multiple lists with related information (for example, if you want to track a list of your business customers and a list of the orders they’ve made). Excel forces you to completely separate these lists, which makes it harder to analyze your data and introduces the possibility of inconsistent information. Access lets you set up strict links between tables, which prevents these problems.

Access also provides all sorts of features that don’t have any parallel in the spreadsheet world, such as the ability to create customized search routines, design fine tuned forms for data entry, and print a variety of snazzy reports.

Of course, all this isn’t to say that Access is better than Excel. In fact, in many cases you might want Excel to partner up with Access. Excel shines when crunching reams of numbers to create graphs, generate statistics, or predict trends. Many organizations use Access to store and manage information, and then export a portion of that information to an Excel spreadsheet whenever they need to analyze it.

Source of Information : Oreilly Access 2010 The Missing Manual

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