Quickbase vs. Microsoft Access

July 11, 2018

As of April 4, 2018, Microsoft Access retired their support of browser-based business applications. If you relied on Access Services for SharePoint Online as an information management tool, it's time to consider if a cloud-based database management solution would best support your business. Exploring what Quickbase's accessible low-code business application development platform has to offer may prove invaluable to those affected by Microsoft Access changes. Understanding the differences and similarities between Quickbase and Microsoft Access customizable business software development platforms will ensure that your company's decision to migrate your data to the Quickbase platform is the right one.

Quickbase vs. Access easy comparison

A breakdown of Quickbase vs. Access demonstrates some of the key ways in which Quickbase has the edge over Access in terms of usability, speed, accessibility, and mass user support.



Cloud Access

Cloud-based platform used for building customized business apps.

On-premises software only; no cloud support for Access.


Quickbase is compatible with other applications.

Older versions of software may be incompatible with Access, with issues increasing now that Microsoft has withdrawn support.

Pre-Built Apps

There are more than 800 pre-built applications to choose from, all with customizable options.

Only a limited number of pre-built applications and tables with builders left unsupported in any new custom applications.


Performance is fast and supports applications of all sizes with thousands of users.

Performance is slow for large tables with multiple users accessing the same data.

It's time to switch to Quickbase

Without product support, Access users may experience a decline in user experience. If your business is at risk of being impacted by this, consider transitioning from Access to Quickbase. The alternative is to continue using Access on a premises-only basis, and this just has too many limitations. Desktop users are not affected, but they will be limited by a lack of web and mobile support.

Having real-time data from anywhere at any time is critical for organizations, regardless of industry. This is why businesses are making the transition from desktop systems to custom cloud-based software, along with lower maintenance costs. If Web apps are crucial to your business, it's best to consider which platform will support you best.

Learn more about alternatives to Microsoft Access and why now is the time to migrate your apps.

How do you know when it's time to switch to a new business application development platform? There are a few signs to look out for.

  1. You have worldwide users. If users around the globe are all accessing the same app, you need a supported cloud-based application to ensure data security and stability.
  2. Non-Windows users are accessing your database. When team members are using different operating systems, it is important that the data management platform used is compatible with all systems. Microsoft Access is compatible with iOS, but without proper support users may be left in the lurch if an error occurs while working across different operating systems. On the other hand, Quickbase looks and acts the same across all versions and devices. This makes training and day-to-day usability much simpler and quicker.
  3. You've employed a lot of Visual Basic expertise. Visual Basic is the programming language used for Access, and to maintain what you've built over time, you need a skilled team member who can build apps in this language. While Quickbase users are able to build and modify applications without this expertise, Quickbase enables the whole team and those who are most impacted by the custom solution built to make changes.
  4. You can't find your favorite function. Microsoft users know that every time their system is updated, things run the risk of being completely re-arranged. If your business cannot afford to hunt the critical functions you use most, it's time to switch to a better information management tool.

What About Power Apps?

Many Access users might consider using Power Apps as an alternative cloud-based option. While this may work for some, it lacks the same functionality as both Access and Quickbase. In order to use Power Apps, builders must be familiar with several sets of tools and programs. Power Apps relies on these separate tools to build an application end to end; builders will ultimately need to use Excel, Outlook, Flow, SharePoint, and Common Data Service. This is not only inconvenient, but many of these tools are not free to use. Those working through the Quickbase application development platform need none of those extra tools to complete their custom app build – you'll be able to build your business app on a single cloud-based development platform.

Another drawback to platforms like Power Apps is that you have to build separate desktop and mobile experiences. Not so with Quickbase. You only have to build the app once and it will be automatically optimized for both desktop and mobile experiences. You must also consider that Power Apps doesn't have highly customizable permissions models. This capability is key for many businesses.

Migrating to Power Apps is not necessarily any easier than migrating to another platform. Shop around and choose the most powerful option possible.

Switching from Access to Quickbase

The loss of support for Microsoft Access is certainly inconvenient, but it's also an opportunity to explore new and more powerful cloud-based technology.

Migrating to Quickbase, you'll be able to take full advantage of mobile capabilities, simple app-building, integration with critical business data, and extended native functionality. The Quickbase platform transforms the way you work by combining the accessibility of a cloud-based platform with the power of low-code app-building software for a customized experience that you can use on the go. The power to build custom business apps will be in the hands of the team members that depend most on their ease of use and functionality.

Transferring your data and processes to Quickbase is made simpler with our intuitive platform that allows you to create custom fields, forms, and tables as needed and tailored to fit your work style. The visual interface requires minimal coding knowledge and centralizes everything in a secure space accessible to your team no matter where they're working.

Still undecided about migrating from Access to Quickbase?

For more information about the Access to Quickbase migration process, check out our webinar. In it, we spend 30 minutes discussing all of the information you could need, including:

  • How changes made to Access can affect your business
  • How to select the right cloud-based platform for your business
  • Success stories from people who have migrated from Access to Quickbase

If you have any further questions about the migration process, our support team will be happy to help guide you.

The advantages to using Quickbase

There are so many reasons to make the switch to Quickbase. Many users have found that they've been able to reduce the need for thousands of emails as they improve their collaboration efforts with other team members. Quickbase will also allow you to eliminate countless spreadsheets and save time spent on collecting data manually. This all means that you'll be able to save a lot of money on administrative costs.

You can check out Quickbase in action by working with one of our solutions consultants, who can walk you through the product and show you how Quickbase can help you automate some of your most time-consuming processes. Request a demo from us to try it out today.

Quickbase is also available as a 30-day free trial. There are no obligations, and no downloads are needed. You'll be able to build your own low-code app from scratch and customize it to best meet your unique business needs. The materials in our online training portal at Quickbase University will guide you through the simple process.

We are confident that after using Quickbase, you'll see that this is the best choice to migrate your cloud-based data to. The high levels of speed, performance, and customization options offered by Quickbase are unmatched. Try it today and see for yourself.