First, Microsoft SQL Server is more like Oracle than Microsoft Access.
Differences between Oracle and Access? I use both extensively, and can write a
book on the subject, but here are a few points:

* Oracle can handle thousands of concurrent users; Access about 40-50
* Oracle's locking structure is years ahead of Access. The database will not
  lock up as easily as Access when people update data.
* Oracle has online backups and better export capabilities
* Oracle can recover a database to a point-in-time ; Access cannot.
* Oracle8 has things like bit-mapped indexes, reverse-key indexes, table and
  index statistics, partitioned tables, advanced security (password management),
  multi-threaded server, and replication, to name a few.
* On the plus-side, I like Access's easy forms and report wizards. In fact, I
  often use Oracle databases as a back-end and generate data-entry forms quickly
  with Access (using ODBC to link from Access to Oracle).

Take care,

-Ari Kaplan

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