I want to use access but I have a Mac

Occasional Visitor

Hello, I was wondering if there is Access for Mac or if there is an online app where I can use it. Also, is it possible to save data in the cloud and have access to it from another computer. For example, I want to view the data that I entered at work on my PC in my laptop at home. Does this make sense?

1 Reply
best response confirmed by CLCV1 (Occasional Visitor)


There is no version of Mac that can run on a Mac. There is no online version of Access. You can not put Access "in the cloud" and share the data directly that way.

You CAN, however, use a Windows Emulator application, like Parallels, and run Access in that Windows emulator. IIRC, there are other emulator applications, but Parallels is the most widely known.


To address the other part of your question requires a lot more background.

All relational database applications, including those created with the MS Access application, consist of three components.

  1. The Data tier, or layer. All data in a relational database application is stored in tables. There is a Database Engine which manages those tables. In Access, the database engine is called ACE. Other widely known and used relational database engines include SQL Server and Oracle. More on this below.
  2. The Interface tier or layer. All relational database applications require objects for an interface through which users--like yourself--can interact with the data in the tables. In a website, this is the web pages. In an Access relational database application, this is the forms and reports. Forms are bound to tables and allow users to call up data for viewing or modification, or to add new data to the tables. Reports are, as the name suggests, objects which retrieve data from the tables for summary presentation to the user.
  3. The Logic tier or layer. The coding language used in Access is VBA (and for minor tasks, macros). You use VBA to create logic that opens and closes forms, for example, and which calculates and manages data and other tasks.

So, with that background, you can use the Interface and Logic components of Access with its own internal ACE tables. However, Access also supports connections to a very wide variety of other database engines, including SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL and others.

So, to address your question about accessing your data from work and from home, the answer is yes, you can do that, but NOT with Access local tables. You'll have to set up a database that you CAN connect to from both locations, and that is probably going to be one of two or three options. 


You can obtain a SharePoint, or Office 365, account and use SharePoint lists in that O365 site as the tables for your relational database application. That allows the Access interface (forms and reports and code in an accdb) to connect to the SP lists from any location where you have an internet connection.


Another option is a remotely hosted SQL Server from a hosting site. I personally use, for example. For about $6/month I have a hosted SQL Server along with the ability to create and host a small website. For your purposes the SQL Server database is the pertinent offering.


And still another option is SQL Azure, which is a Microsoft offering. It is, essentially, a hosted SQL Server, but being part of Microsoft Azure, a great deal of other products and tools are available. You can obtain a minimal Azure account for a competitive cost. 


Of the three, I can't suggest which is most appropriate for your needs, except to note that SharePoint would probably require the least new learning to work with effectively. It is better suited for smaller applications, so that becomes a factor in deciding if it is a good fit. If you plan on handling a few thousand records, or maybe up to 50,000 or 60,000 records, SharePoint could be a good fit. If you are going to handle 500,000 or a million records, you'll need SQL Server or SQL Azure. 


There are probably a number of additional considerations. So post back with additional questions. Look for additional posts from experts.