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Benefits of SQL backend / Corporate Edition

Background

QuoteWerks is offered in three editions; Standard, Professional, and Corporate. For an edition comparison click here.

What is Microsoft Access?

Microsoft Access is a relational database application with which a desktop user can efficiently create and manipulate database systems. Access targets the desktop category and works best for individuals and workgroups managing megabytes of data. For multi-user access to the same database, Access uses file-server architecture, rather than client-server architecture. Theoretically Access is limited to a maximum of 255 users and 2 gigabytes of data, however in practice, acceptable levels of performance begin to degrade around 15 concurrent users.

What is SQL?

A language used by relational databases to query, update, and manage data.

What is Microsoft SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is an enterprise relational database application with which a desktop user can efficiently create and manipulate database systems. MS SQL targets enterprise environments that require scalability, performance, stability, and security. Furthermore, SQL allows access for individuals and workgroups managing up to terabyte levels of data. Users access data through client-server architecture that allows for point-in-time data recovery. Finally, MS SQL virtually supports an unlimited number of concurrent users.

Reasons for purchasing the QuoteWerks Corporate Edition

Scalability

MS SQL can be deployed to and used by virtually an unlimited number of concurrent users. Furthermore, it has the ability to handle terabyte levels of data. MS Access is limited to 255 users and 2 gigabytes of data. Using the Access backend included with the Standard and Professional Edition, we recommend that no more than 25 users be running the same networked copy concurrently. The Corporate Edition using the MS SQL backend however can support a virtually unlimited number of concurrent users.

Performance

MS SQL has a performance advantage over Access for large sets of data and many concurrent users. Because Access is a file-server system, the query processing must happen on the client. This involves moving a lot of data over the network for large databases. MS SQL runs that same query on the server. This puts a larger load on the server, but can reduce network traffic substantially, especially if the users are selecting a small subset of the data.
MS SQL improves your network performance and increases the number of users you can have. This is especially important if your network connection speed is low.

Stability

Utilizing an MS SQL backend will minimize your down time. It allows data to be backed up while the database remains online and accessed by users. Furthermore, the big advantage that MS SQL has over Access is that MS SQL is a process that runs queries and logs transactions. If anything should go wrong while writing to the database, such as disk error, network failure, or power failure, MS SQL can recover because it logs transactions. After the system comes back up, MS SQL will revert back to the last consistent state. If the system were to go down with Access, the database would be corrupt and you may need to revert back to your last backup copy. This gives MS SQL greater reliability than Access.

Security

Utilizing an MS SQL backend provides a full suite of security features that include: powerful and flexible role-based security for server, database, and application profiles; integrated tools for security auditing; and support for sophisticated file and network encryption, including Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SQL Server has been certified under the U.S. government's C2-level security certification-the highest level of security available in the industry.

Requirements

Clearly, implementing the SQL Server backend has numerous benefits. It is important to note that it also has several requirements. First, you will need to have or purchase Microsoft SQL Server licenses. Secondly, you will have the resources available to setup and maintain Microsoft SQL Server. Furthermore, you will need to have or purchase the appropriate hardware recommended by Microsoft for MS SQL Server.