Microsoft Access equivalent

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kksf9717, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. kksf9717 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    Hi there,

    I've been asked to maintain a database for a social association. Unfortunately, the person who designed the database is a windows user as is the rest of the association, hence the db being created in Microsoft Access. I would love to know if there is a Mac equivalent of Access which I would allow me to view, modify and update the db, which would also be accessible in windows too.

    Much appreciated.
  2. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    The problem with Databases is there is a front end and a back end if you will.

    You can use Excel to maintain data if you wanted to, although not recommended.

    The issue is the front end. Queries, Reports, Data Entry forms, and the like usually do not transfer over to a new DBMS (Database Management System) of which Access is one.

    If the association has an extensive front end with their database, it might just be easier (although not cheap) to purchase VMware Fusion, install Windows, and install Office.
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    If you don't have an extensive front end you could try Filemaker.
  5. kksf9717 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    The problem with that is I just want Access and not the whole suite. I already have the student version of Microsoft Office for Mac.

    But I'll look into FileMaker.
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Agree with this.

    FileMaker is very good and easy to use.
  7. wartime macrumors newbie


    Mar 10, 2005
    Bournemouth UK
    Ms Access

    I have the same requirement. I've been running a company for 15 years and my co-Director uses a Dell PC with Access for her Membership records, and there's a lot. I decided to go down the route of Bootcamp having tried Fusion which I thought was more trouble than it was worth. Yes, Windows runs fine on the MacBook Pro but as my main apps are photoshop and Quark, I can't boot out and into windows as it takes time. So I'd like an Access equiv on the Mac. As far as I know Filemaker doesn't import Access files easily and I'd need to update my files from the Dell almost daily. My answer was to buy a Dell Mini 10v which in part solves the problem but I've ofter wondered why MS never manufactured an Access version for the Mac?
  8. kksf9717 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2009
    Considering I'm a PhD student and volunteering as secretary for this association, plus I wouldn't be compensated/reimbursed for any purchases, I was hoping to go for a cheaper option.

    I think Microsoft are bitter, twisted people who know how useful Access is and pretty much keep that away from us. :D
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Curious what issues you had with VMware Fusion.

    Would you care to elaborate? TIA.
  10. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    I know Access very well and I think it is (was?) a very good DB. So I would stick to MS Access, unless you are not afraid to face compatibility issues when switching to Filemaker or 4D.
  11. leebrendalee macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    besides ms access

    I was thinking of using access as well but yes I am on a fabulous imac. Not sure why anyone would use a pc once they got there hands on a mac, however --another time.........

    Here is what I need would LOVE the input. I think access or openoffice is way to complicated for me.

    All I want to do is enter data somewhere and than be able to search for that data.

    Example: I enter stuff, than want to search say for a word like: MLH or TNR or pending_delete

    whatever, stuff like that, so I type it and it brings up what that word means....or sentence means..kinda like a dictionary.


    I need to be able to use it at work. I tried tikiwiki or something like that but that's external and would be accessing an outside website, not sure our IT department would like that very much.
    Does anyone know of any solutions for me please?
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That's what my college band program used to maintain hundreds of geeks, uniforms, instruments, etc. I never used it myself, but we managed to not lose too many people or uniforms. Well, there was that one time with the rogue clarinet, but I won't go there.
  13. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    Ahem, maybe because the PC can run all that software that your fabulous Mac with OS X cannot run?

    Macs sell so well these days not because they run their own proprietary, closed-down Mac OS X, but because they can run Windows (and even Linux) so well.

    To the original poster:

    Your only acceptable option is to run Microsoft Access in Windows in VMWare Fusion. Access is not compatible with anything but Microsoft Access - there are no fully compatible substitutes for it, not even in the Windows world. I won't go into the technical 'merits' of Microsoft Access, but let's just say that I had to support an Access-based application on a former job and that is was the worst nightmare that I've ever experienced in my long IT career. If you can use a real database system instead of Access then do it.
  14. Charmywoo macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    hi there, i have the same issue. I have two macs running and one windows 7 laptop and to get cross compatibility, i've put parallels on both of the macs and installed windows and then office on each to use access. Parallels is an amazing piece of software and really easy to use. None of this booting in and booting out tosh, it's a dual operating system, so you can do both windows and mac stuff at the same time and of course, able to treat the pc as if it is an actual pc... if you see what i mean :rolleyes: anyway, it's really worth it i simply couldn't run my business without it.

    IMac 27", IMAC 24", Macbook 13", Iphone 1g (yeah baby, unlocked to orange payg, with a cracked screen and still goin' strong! LOVE IT!)
    Check out my website for cheap mobility equipment: - thank you.
    Proudly supported by The Prince's Trust and Age Concern, Kent
  15. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    I guess my question to the OP would be, is this database something that ll of th emember have to access, or just you. Is it just information?

    If you are really the only accessing it, switch to something mac friendly, Filemaker, MySQL with PHP, or something similar. You can export the data to Excel from Access, then import it to your preferred program. Clean up is always necessary, but not too difficult with a simple database system. If it is a huge complex database, that accomodates many users, then your only real option will be to use windows in one way or another.

    I love my macs, but I have to admit that Access is a brilliantly easy to use and fairly robust database system.

    I've tried Filemaker, didn't like it...but that's just me.

    Best of luck,

  16. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  17. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Oct 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    A note for the original person, FileMaker Pro is not Access. FileMaker Pro is a completely separate database system with its own structure, etc. You would have to re-create the database structure in FileMaker and then import the data from the Access database. The one advantage is that FileMaker Pro is available for both Mac OS and Windows, so the same database files can be used on both systems.

    Nope. Microsoft simply knows they can't compete with a real database system: FileMaker Pro.

    It's definitely just you! :)

    Most people are completely the other way around - Access is an over-complicated, over-bloated dog, while FileMaker Pro is quick and easy.
  18. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Has anyone actually used the database portion of OpenOffice/NeoOffice productively? I tried a year or so ago and found the software extremely lacking.

  19. Charmywoo macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    Access vs. Filemaker

    hi there, as posted before, i had an awful experience with filemaker and frankly it's far easier getting hold of a copy of Parallels and installing xp and office with access. You can still work simultaneously with apple and you'll be able to open your file with no agg.i run my business like this! it's great and i have no worries at all.
    If you're stuck feel free to drop me an email at charmaine a kemp at gmail dot com (all one word, no spaces, including usual punctuation.)
    good luck, regards, charmaine :eek:
  20. bilboa macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Sounds like Bento might be appropriate for your needs.
  21. wareclarke macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    Parallels Desktop

    You can install the program 'Parallels Desktop' on a Mac and it allows Windows programs to run. My husband and I run a business requiring Windows compatibility, but both prefer the Mac world. Parallels Desktop has made it possible to 'have our cake and eat it too'! We also us two monitors.... one for the Mac side and one for the Windows side.
  22. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    Another option (with both Mac and Windows versions) is Panorama.
  23. coachingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2003
    The Great White, Albeit Frozen North
    BENTO. It's cheap and ridiculously easy to use. It's the database "For the Rest of Us" From the sounds of it, it's exactly what your looking for.

  24. iMAVERICKam macrumors member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Bento is not the answer if/when you need to turn the data over to someone else in the organization who only has a Windows PC.

    FileMaker (Mac & Windows), QuickBase (web), or Caspio (web) are the best paid-for alternatives that allow everybody - regardless of platform - access & modify data.

    Unfortunately, the simplest free alternative is OpenOffice Base. The best (and most complicated) free solution for anyone to be able to access & modify information in the database would be to export from Access, import to MySQL or PostgreSQL, and build a web app from scratch. If the organization has a server they'd host this on you could probably get this done in a few days with the help of a good scaffolding framework.
  25. osage1a macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2013
    Exactly what I needed to know...

    This is just what I have been searching for. Thank you, thank you.

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