I've read a lot here today and a lot of good points were brought out.
But nothing speaks better than experience. I've used Access for a back-end for many years and many times I wondered if I should be using something else. First MSDE, and now SQL Server Express.
Keep in mind that I use VB as the front-end and these are Windows forms apps.
I have many apps running Access, up to 15 users at one client, with absolutely no degradation and I have had only positive results. Most apps track between 5,000 and 10,000 vendors / members / clients but have transactions well over 100,000 records. Again, no problems. It is reliable, easy to use, user-friendly, etc...
Side-by-side, for me, it blew MSDE away. My only reason for looking into SQL Server Express right now is because it's the thing to do.
I'm now in the process of building 2 new apps. One will be Access. I haven't decided on the other one yet but I will probably give Express a chance. I could always easily move it to Access.
If Microsoft hasn't, don't be so quick to give up on Access.
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