Microsoft Access on Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MacAccess, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. MacAccess macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    why Apple needs to have microsoft office (incomplete version) but not having its own i wish to see database application on mac which is compatible with ms access. Why mac users have to suffer?

    Can't Apple negotiate with Microsoft for that Profession version of Microsoft Office or just MS Access standalone version to run on Mac?
  2. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Why do you need Access? I either use RDC and VMware to use Access or just go to my university's computer lab.
  3. KlytusLord macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2011
    MS has been trying to move away from Access for a very long time, but the user base is making it very difficult for them.

    I am guessing this is why they do not include it with Office for Mac, since they don't even want it on Office for Windows anymore.

    Even with the free version of SQL Light (not it's actual name, but I forget what it is called) many users are afraid of making the switch, since they loose the single-file database they have been using for so long. I have that situation at work right now.

    To my knowledge, there is no native Mac software to edit or even read an MS Access database. You have to export the data in Windows to a cross-platform friendly format (Excel, XML, etc) and then import it back if you make changes to it outside of Access.

    I don't imagine this is going to change.
  4. samh, Mar 12, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012

    samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    It's not merely a matter of "want to" on the part of Microsoft or Apple.

    Microsoft Access uses the Microsoft Jet Database Engine. That Engine is deeply integrated into a host of Windows technologies.

    It's a lot more complicated than a Word Processor or Spreadsheet. Ensuring cross-compatibility and data integrity would be a huge undertaking, for likely a very small market. Most applications could be solved by using a spreadsheet (seriously) or else moving to a SQL-basd technology that could be far more compatible across platforms.
  5. phpmaven macrumors 68040


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    Care to quote a source for your contention that MS has been trying to "move away" from Access?
  6. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    That's the thrust of it - Access uses other technologies that are tied into Windows. I doubt that MS is willing to undertake the massive effort to port those technologies to the Mac assuming that they would work as intended.
  7. zenox macrumors newbie


    May 31, 2012
    You could try MDB Tool. Its an app in the mac app store for opening MDB databases. Not sure if it would do everything you want though. You can also get the command line MDB Tools from They may be a bit complicated to use though.
  8. Fred Bakker macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    Use Fusion


    I am new on this forum, but I use Fusion version 4 on my Mac.
    I did install Windows2003 as a virtual server for using databases on the server.
    I have also Access databases on it, included application who work with MySQL on the Mac part.
    I don't have problems with both sides. The only thing is, if you want to use Access, your virtual machine must be in the air.
    I have also virtual VAX's running in the Windows 2003 virtual machine.
    Is this helpfull for anyone ?
  9. NedBookPro macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
    You go to your university's computer lab? Good for you.

    I never understand why people constantly say things like:

    Why do you need access?
    I just use VMWare
    I just use another computer.
    I just use a different database.
    Blah blah blah.

    That's YOUR solution.

    Some people have genuine use for an application in their own environment.
    People should stop making ridiculous suggestions.

    I can't imagine the ordinary joe (especially people not used to the windows environment) installing that workaround. Also, some people may have a complex spreadsheet already programmed, and they have migrated to OSX, and they don't want to have to spend another 1000 hours programming time to convert it all (in my case) because it is hooked up with a database. My spreadsheet and db needs portability between osx and windows, because much to my surprise (SHOCK HORROR) people use windows - and last I knew, my 63 year old colleague didn't have access to a "university lab computer".

    Installing VMware then having to install windows, then having to install office is just NOT a practical solution to run one application. Let alone the cost of doing that.

    The original question was WHY can't microsoft negotiate with apple to include access in it's OSX version of office. I for one would welcome this, because I have to fire up vmware with windows and office every time I want to run my spreadsheet that has access at it's back end.

    A royal PITA.

    All this said I have a feeling it (ms access in OSX ms office) will never happen.
  10. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    It’s been answered - MS has been trying to move away themselves - the cost of migrating the program over is way too costly for them to consider and even if they got the basics down there would be no way for them to ensure it would work properly due to Jet’s reliance on Windows stuff. This isn’t like making a mac version of word. Access was never designed with cross platform in mind and is a darn complicated program.

    It’s just not worth it for them and nothing that Apple is going to tell them will likely change that. There are tons of easier programs for MS to convert over in the office suite (One Note, Project) that they stubbornly refuse to move over. Heck it took forever for Mac users to get Outlook (and even then it’s not the same as the PC version as far as support goes).

    The simple answer remains is that MS doesn’t want to invest in a major project that may not succeed to accommodate users that they want to move to another platform (like MS SQL) anyhow.
  11. NedBookPro macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2011
    Thanks... yep and I got that but my original spray was about how people constantly offer unrealistic workarounds for people or try to persuade them to use a different product without actually addressing the original poster's question.

    Just as another example: I saw a post where someone asked about installing NT4 on a SATA based motherboard. The reply the poor chap got was "why do you punish modern hardware with a crappy old OS. Just upgrade to windows 7".

    What that bozo doesn't realize there's a lot of industrial legacy gear that will ONLY run on NT because the software was written for that platform. People don't just use computers to play Diablo III.

    Anyhow.. thanks again for you detailed reply. I'm sure the original poster will appreciate it.

  12. macsuper macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2014
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    It is really hard to tell what you are trying to do or rather, what you want to do here with Access.

    ODBC for Mac has been around for a while. Filemaker Pro with some tweaking can do much of what Access does (and more) and of course runs on Mac. Then again, Access is for many of us either a desktop app or a front end to real databases and not much more.

    If Filemaker is not your thing, try some of the small footprint SQL offerings including those ported over from Unix/Linux. Last I recall Open Office has a database that works on OSX (lightweight SQL).
  14. quackers82 macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2014
    I use Wineskin to make Access 2007 run on the Mac.
  15. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014

    there is always MySQL or more universal DB systems. Many have free to pay visual 3rd party of varying quality to skip command line fun.

    Other aspects of this as mentioned is ms access has lots of deep rooted M$ technologies that just won't port over easily. Hell, the jet engine and required dependent technologies can have issues in its own native OS environment.

    The day M$ tech works across years of computers, os installs and patch levels of certain M$ features will be the day many IT peeps go jobless. Till that day comes...there will always be a tech hammering out problems in this area somewhere.

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