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Can an Access expert easily begin developing in SQL Server?

Can someone who is considered an expert with Access Databases easily begin developing in SQL Server? How about Oracle?

The answer is the ever popular "it depends".

The database engine doesn't really have a huge impact on the developer's skill set. Some engines do a bit more or less than others, but the real issue is the ability of the developer to write code that will do what is needed.

A person who is considered an expert at using Access is usually very good at developing single user databases. While the Jet database engine that Access uses can develop multi-user applications, the features in Access naturally lend themselves to single user applications. These database designs are great for jobs that can be solved by one person.

Client/Server databases require a different skill set than single user databases. In these databases, dozens or hundreds of users are trying to access the database at the same time instead of a single user. Issues of concurrency (locking/blocking/etc) become significant, indexing moves from interesting to crucial, and the design considerations change radically from single user databases. The simple solutions that Access encourages become a liability at this point.

Internet (Web) service databases are still different. These databases can have quite literally thousands of simultaneous users. The ability to design databases that will scale successfully becomes crucial. Performance becomes a significant factor, overriding almost everything except getting a "correct" answer.

The short answer is that yes, an Access developer can easily switch their data engine from Jet to MS-SQL or Oracle, but that doesn't mean that that developer will automatically have the skill set needed to develop these new types of applications.

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