Combining Microsoft SQL Server with the functionality and flexibility of ProQuote provides a very robust, cost-effective sales to order solution that can help businesses maximize productivity and increase sales. Microsoft SQL Server database is ideally suited for medium and smaller businesses that need a reliable and secure way for users to access volumes of data without compromising performance. It's also scalable for larger businesses that require a multifaceted application supporting a large integrated team such as, sales, customer service and order processing.
ProQuote works with both MS-Access and MS-SQL Server databases. The decision on whether to select an MS-Access or an SQL Server solution will depend on your requirements. An MS-Access database will support a smaller number of users (e.g. 1 to 10) that need to access the data simultaneously. Once your needs grow beyond this number, an MS-SQL server is recommended.
One of the key advantages of Microsoft Access is that it's included with MS Office suite (Pro Edition) and it's easy to work with. You don't need a database expert to run and support the database. Data is easily accessed, viewed and edited. Most existing small business network environments can support an MS-Access database without purchasing additional software or hardware.
The downside is that Microsoft Access is less secure than an SQL database. It's very easy to copy an MS-Access database using a USB stick or transferring over a network to another computer. Also, MS-Access works best with databases less than 1 GB in size. Once you exceed this threshold an SQL server is the better option.
Microsoft SQL Server is the tool of choice for many businesses because it is a more robust, secure and scalable database management system. It's designed to support a large number of users (e.g 100+) and as the needs of the business grow the database will support the added demand. Its core role is to store and make available on demand large volumes of data from simple text and numbers to documents such as images, music, video and other document types directly within the database.
Another huge advantage of MS-SQL is the ability to share system processes on the server via Stored Procedures and SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) where as Microsoft Access requires the client to do all the processing. This feature distributes the processing requirements between the client desktop and MS-SQL server, thus ensuring optimal performance of the application, particularly when there are a large number of users accessing the data.
The security features, server side processing and the ability to support many users makes SQL Server perfectly suited for database driven web applications like ProQuote .NET. ProQuote .NET takes advantage of the many features in MS-SQL to deliver a browser based sales quoting solution that ties together customers, distributors, sales reps, agents and inside customer service staff into one seamless quote to order solution. The power and flexibility of ProQuote .NET and MS-SQL together allows businesses to take productivity and customer service to a whole new level unmatched by their competitors.
In summary, an MS-Access database works well for a small office and sales team, but once the requirements expand to more users, larger volumes of data or web access, then MS-SQL server is the recommended choice.