Microsoft PowerApps vs Access

Microsoft Access vs Microsoft PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps and Access are both similar applications, and it can be hard to decide which is best for you and your business needs. In this article we lay out all the pros and cons for each application and which we would recommend using.

What is Microsoft Access?

Microsoft Access is described as an easy-to-use tool for creating business applications. Access gives you the option to either create these from scratch or use ready-made templates. It has intuitive design tools built in to help you create appealing and highly functional applications in a short amount of time.

Microsoft Access allows you to create and share apps without being a developer, and all apps created are easily customisable so that they are able to grow with your business. You are also able to integrate data within Access using the connector library, which allows you to generate visuals and insights from the data entered. In addition to this, Access also allows you to store this data in SQL server and Microsoft Azure SQL.

Has Microsoft Access been retired?

Microsoft announced that they would be removing Access from Office 365 in April 2018. However, Microsoft changed their minds and updates continued to be deployed, with the most recent being ‘Access in Office 365’ which was released in 2020.

How much does Microsoft Access cost?

Microsoft Access is available within the Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Business Premium, and Apps for business subscriptions. It is unavailable within the Microsoft 365 Business Basic subscription.

microsoft access prices

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Microsoft Power Apps allow the creation of apps, workflows, and custom forms in order to streamline processes. PowerApps helps everyone from business analysts to professional developers work together. PowerApps does not require code, which means you do not need to have professional developer skills in order to use it. Using both canvas and model-driven apps allows you to create and build Power Apps that solve business problems such as inspections, prospect to cash and integrated marketing views plus much more. See the top 10 PowerApps Examples.

PowerApps is a cloud-based application that allows you to access, use and work on apps that have been shared with you. These custom business apps connect your organisations work and data across all platforms. If it’s data you’re interested in, we are experts when it comes to Microsoft powerapps databases.

There are many third-party databases such as MySQL, Oracle, IBM Db2, SAP or AWS (Amazon Relational Database Service), but these are typically not used in combination with PowerApps. The most commonly used Microsoft products to store data for PowerApps include Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets, Microsoft Lists, Microsoft SQL, and Dataverse.

How much does Microsoft PowerApps cost?

Microsoft PowerApps prices has two plans available, these are shown and compared in the images below:

microsoft powerapp prices
microsoft powerapp plan comparison

Microsoft Access web app vs PowerApps

An Access app is a database that you use in a standard web browser. Although you still design and modify changes within Access 2013 or later. The data and database objects are stored in SQL Server or Microsoft Azure SQL Database, so you can share the data within your organization using on-premises SharePoint.

Microsoft Access Online gives you all the features and functionality of the full desktop version of Microsoft Access but just in a web browser instead that is therefore accessed over the internet. This also means that you can share your creations with your colleagues.


Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your data stored either in the underlying data platform (Microsoft Dataverse) or in various online and on-premises data sources (such as SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on). Apps that are made using PowerApps also have the capability to run on computers, laptops, mobile devices etc.

PowerApps vs Access – Which one should I choose?

Cloud capabilities

Microsoft Access can essentially provide the same functionality as PowerApps. Although, PowerApps is a cloud-based application and is therefore extremely secure. This means you can create custom apps and enter data without the worry of losing anything as it is all saved and backed up to the cloud. This function also makes it easier to keep up date, with team members being able to access information and consistently update this.

Mobile friendly

Additionally, PowerApps is also mobile friendly. The functionality to create mobile applications is built in to PowerApps, whereas Microsoft Access is not mobile, and does not have the functionality to do this. This means that PowerApps is much more adaptable in the modern world, and makes it easier for organisations to track projects, budget, and growth.


Microsoft Access is only available within the Microsoft 365 Apps for business priced at £7.90 user/month, Microsoft 365 Business Standard priced at £9.40, and Microsoft Business Premium priced at £15.10. Microsoft PowerApps licensing is priced at either £3.80 to run one app per user per month, or £15.10 to run unlimited apps per user. Price wise they are not much different. PowerApps is cheaper at £3.80 if you only need to run 1 app or portal, but chances are you are much more likely to need unlimited apps and portals and therefore the £15.10 option makes more sense. This is the exact same price as a business premium license that includes Access.


Many businesses are already utilising either Microsoft Business Standard or Microsoft Business Premium licenses, and both have Microsoft Access included. For this reason, Microsoft Access has many benefits when you consider it also has many of the same functionalities as PowerApps.

Although, in the modern world mobile capabilities are extremely important. Microsoft Access does not give you this capability and any applications you make will not be available on mobile. This is the same with cloud capabilities, as the back-up of work is extremely important and with hybrid work becoming the new normal, being able to access data wherever you are is necessary. Therefore, for these reasons I would recommend using PowerApps to create and customise your apps, workflows, and custom forms.

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