Using Microsoft Access Providers in ASP.NET

When you create an ASP.NET website and run the Website Administration Tool to enable and configure security for your site, the Website Administration Tool creates a SQL Express database for you by default. This is great except if you do not want to use SQL Express for your database. What if you would like to use an Access database instead? Some of you are probably asking why anyone would choose to use an Access database over a SQL database. Well, some hosting companies restrict the use of a SQL database (Even SQL Express) on their smaller hosting packages. If your site falls into this category, chances are that you do not have a large site to begin with. So an Access Database would work fine.

If you are creating a small personal website or even a site for a guest house or small business, the last thing you want is your client asking you to change content (for example accommodation rates in the case of a guest house) every few months or so. By creating a Login Section for the site where users can update the content on their site, takes this responsibility away from you and empowers your client to make changes as they see fit. You can therefore use the Access Database to store the Login information of an Admin user as well as some custom tables for storing bits of text that could be updated regularly.

I came across two very good articles explaining how to configure your site to use an Access Database. The first article was written by Zak Ruvalcaba and can be read here. The second article can be found on and can be viewed here.

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