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Access (Microsoft)

Microsoft Office Access, previously known as Microsoft Access, is a relational database management system from Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software development tools. It is a member of the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

Access can use data stored in Access/Jet, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, or any ODBC-compliant data container (including MySQL and PostgreSQL). Skilled software developers and data architects use it to develop application software.

Relatively unskilled programmers and non-programmer "power users" can use it to build simple applications. It supports some object-oriented techniques but falls short of being a fully object-oriented development tool.

Access was also the name of a communications program from Microsoft, meant to compete with ProComm and other programs. This proved a failure and was dropped. Years later Microsoft reused the name for its database software.

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Désiré Athow
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.