Hmm… let’s just throw this out and see if it works for you.
If you want to use Access because you love the forms and VBA, you can always link Access tables to more heavy duty backend databases.
If you haven’t got a “heavy duty backend database”, then you can download MySQL for free without support.
If your database is under 4GB then you can download Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express for free.
If you aren’t attached to Access – it’s just the only database you have – then the free version of Microsoft’s product probably makes sense – along with the free express versions of their languages.
I downloaded Microsoft’s product. The download took less than an hour over my wireless connection. The install took about 30 minutes. It didn’t ask me any technical questions that I can recall. It fired up the first time without a hitch. I immediately tested it using only Excel as a frontend. Again – everything worked as expected the first time.
<a href=”http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/”>MySQL Downloads</a>
<a href=”http://www.dotnetspider.com/SqlServer-Tutorial-158.aspx”>Limitations of SQL Server Express</a>
<a href=”http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/default.aspx”>Information about SQL Server 2008 Express</a>
<a href=”http://www.microsoft.com/express/sql/download/”>Download SQL Server 2008 Express</a>
<a href=”http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/beyond-excel/”>My Blog on Excel and Databases</a>