Feeds

Access isn’t a relational database

We're all related somehow

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Even if you think that this is a rather extreme view, there are more than enough other arguments to keep the regulars at the “Table and Join” pub debating long after last records have been called. So, let’s see how the discussion might go between two protagonists.

Of course, whilst it’s fine for trivial work, let’s face it; Access isn’t really a relational database.

You are just so right. A database is a collection of data, so Access isn’t a relational database, neither is Oracle, SQL Server etc.

OK, OK. What I meant was Access is not a relational engine.

Correct again. Access isn’t an engine. It makes calls to the Jet database engine which is supplied along with Access. Incidentally, in Access 2007 the Jet engine is finally being phased out (after 15 years of valiant service) and is being replaced by the new Ace engine.

Let’s not get pedantic here. Tell you what, from now on we’ll use the term ‘Access’ to include the Jet/Ace engine. It doesn’t matter how you wriggle and squirm, Access still isn’t relational.

Be more specific; in what way is it not relational?

What I mean is that it is nowhere near as relational as, say, Oracle.

But an engine can’t be partially relational. That’s like being slightly null. This relational business is binary: you either are, or you aren’t. Take a look at Codd’s first rule.

That’s silly. In common usage we know what the word ‘relational’ means. It refers to a database engine that stores data in tables. The tables have columns and rows, primary and foreign keys. Relational databases engines are the ones that allow joins between tables, use referential integrity to provide high data integrity, use SQL for querying and all of that jazz. That’s the relational database engine in the real world, not some airy-fairy definition by some guy 30 years ago.

Fair enough, you’ve convinced me. I’ve totally changed my mind. We should use the real world definition. In which case Access clearly is a relational database engine because it does all that you have mentioned and more.

No, that wasn’t the point. There are bits of the relational model that Access doesn’t support, like transactions.

Yes it does; they have been supported since Jet 4.0.

Ah, but it doesn’t support transaction logs!

True, but the whole question about transactions is immaterial to the current discussion because transactions aren’t really part of the relational model.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
ONE MILLION people already running Windows 10
A third of them are doing it in VMs, but early feedback focuses on frippery
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Do Moan! MONSTER 6-day EMAIL OUTAGE hits Domain Monster
Customers freaked out by frightful service
Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now
This organic crowd sourced viro- social fertiliser just got REAL
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.