Microsoft offers a standalone MS Access version that not only handles all database tasks well but what I love about it most is that ability to quickly and easily create database applications. The methods installed make database customization work easy especially for small office settings.
There has been a lot of talk about MS Access going away but I don’t believe it. Microsoft makes a ton from its MS Office flagship. Also, there are tons of still working databases that keep on performing for small offices that see no need to upgrade.
If I were in the market to invest in a database for a small office already using Microsoft Office, I would immediately recommend Microsoft Access. First of all, it comes with easy-to-use development tools that allows users and developers alike to build data driven desktop applications. The wizards it comes with allows easy form and report generation. Secondly, the dollar investment amount is tiny when you consider the longevity of support, the stability of the platform and the flexibility of the technology that fits the small office model. For future proofing you can also integrate with professional grade back end technologies like SQL Server.
Because of the easy integration of its visual design environment, one can easily adapt to any business process. You can also learn yourself or easily find developers who can customize the database suitable for your business process. Typically, VBA and MS-ACCESS developers can be found working for reasonable rates. This is because many have developed skills in this easy to pick up programming environment. As many posts on this site have explained, designing a database using well known database normalization rules fit nicely with the development environment that comes for free. What you get is a min Integrated development environment which makes the purchase best for future adoption of business needs.