I thought about asking a question regarding triggers in MS Access but wasn't sure if that belonged here or not.


6 Answers 6


I believe MS Access is on-topic as long as it is not about using the UI of Access. If you have a question about designing a DB in Access that would be fine.

I remember in college (I sound so old) that the first week or two of my first db class were taught using Access to get some of the basic concepts down before we dived into MySQL.

Besides dba.stackexchange.com is for all databases, not just the big three. There are some small businesses/projects that depend on MS Access.

  • 3
    I think the key is that its DBA.stackexchange - is there such a thing as an MS Access DBA?
    – ScottCher
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 21:20
  • 5
    I believe so, there are small companies that rely on MS Access for their client database and product info and whoever admins that data is their DBA. Granted I believe most people on the *.stackexchange.com network don't think much of that, but it still exists)
    – Patrick
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 21:57
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    Agree with the others. Access is a DB system and demands managing. Think network access, access control, replication, fallback, migrations etc.. even it's file based. Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 10:59
  • /@Sebastian: Fair enough.
    – ScottCher
    Commented Jan 6, 2011 at 15:47
  • 7
    I think the key around here is not to get hung up on the word DBA Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 18:08


Microsoft Office Access, previously known as Microsoft Access, is a pseudo-relational database management system from Microsoft that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools.

Source: Wikipedia

Just think about it, it has tables, triggers, views, etc. and you can use SQL on it. Sure, it's not a full-fledged, powerful DBMS, but as long as the questions are related to those database elements, of course it is on-topic.


on-topic. Just like a VBA question isn't really off-topic on SO. Just because we don't encourage the thought of Access as a "real" db it doesn't mean that it isn't valid in some limited areas.


I think they are on-topic. Here are two questions I asked on SO that now, I would ask here. I don't think they would have been on-topic for SU as @bigown suggests.

Help with Query design in MS-Access

How to make a drop down list (list box)in an MS Acess Query with values from two different tables.


Even though putting the words Access and database together makes me want to puke I'd have to agree that it's on topic. If nothing else maybe we can help a few people with the step up to a real database platform. :)


Off-topic and the OP's non-meta question is a good example of why.

As @Gan's answer quotes:

combines the [pseudo-]relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools

I would say that questions about the Microsoft Jet Database Engine are on-topic but those about the graphical user interface and other tools are off-topic (and on-topic for SU). The problem is that even experienced users of Access have problems seeing where the boundary between the two lies. For example, a simple question about a Jet SQL query may get a SQL answer which resembles a Jet SQL query but because it includes the NZ() function it will error unless run within the Access user interface.

Going back to the OP's non-meta question about triggers, Access triggers are a feature of the Access user interface (or is it the other tools?) and are not part of Jet. The rule of thumb should be: can I create a trigger using SQL DML? The answer in this case is no, I need the Access UI/tool for this, therefore is off-topic for DBA.

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