The Access team is proud to introduce the Access 2013 public preview, which will make it easier than ever for everyday people to organize the data in their lives and businesses using Access apps. On this blog, you’ll be able to learn about the improvements included in this new release.
Access has always been a great tool to help you organize and run a small business or a team. This release focuses on bringing Access databases to the web, making them more useful than ever. Your database can be hosted by Microsoft through Office 365 and securely accessed from any tablet or computer—even if the device doesn’t have Access installed.
Getting started is easier, too, taking just 60 seconds to get your first Access app up and running. With little or no additional effort, you’ll end up with a finished app that is both functional and beautiful—automatically—thanks to an enhanced user interface. Finally, we’ve made some big improvements under the covers to make your apps faster and more extensible. Your data is now stored in a full-fledged SQL Server database. When Microsoft hosts your database in the cloud, we’ll use SQL Azure; when you host it yourself on your network, you can use SQL Server 2012. Advanced users will love the fact that they can directly connect to SQL Server with familiar tools for powerful analysis and integration.
Here’s a peek of some of the things we’ll be talking about:
Host your databases in the cloud with Office 365
If your Office 365 plan includes SharePoint, you can host Access 2013 databases with no extra setup required. Microsoft will make sure your data is secure, backed-up, and available, so that you can focus on getting things done. You can try it out by signing up for a preview of Office 365 Small Business Premium or Office 365 Enterprise. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you’ll be able to harness the power of Access 2013 in the cloud simply and easily. Of course, companies also have the option of hosting databases themselves by installing SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server 2012 on their own network.
Get started faster
Search from a library of table templates to help you track the people, things, events, or tasks that you care about. Each table template comes with fields, views, relationships, and data-integrity rules, so you can take advantage of all the great features of Access 2013 with a single click. It’s easy to combine different table templates into a single app or tweak an existing table by adding or removing fields. You’ll get to spend your time customizing your database to meet your unique needs instead of worrying about repetitive details.
A polished, professional user interface for your apps
Whether you use table templates, import existing data, or define your own schema from scratch, Access 2013 will provide your database with a great user interface automatically. Without any effort on your part, Access will generate views for your data, including a searchable list view and an Excel-like datasheet. Buttons to navigate between your views and tables come for free, too. If you have related data—like Invoices and Line Items—Access will automatically create views that show these items together, allowing you to drill-through to get more details. Of course, everything is still customizable, but now you can focus on what’s unique about your app.
Access apps = SharePoint apps
Access 2013 web databases work great with SharePoint 2013, which has been enhanced in this release with apps for SharePoint. Because an Access app is just like any other SharePoint app, it’s easy to deploy, manage, and share securely. There are no additional passwords or logins to juggle because security is controlled through the same infrastructure. Users can discover and share Access apps through the public SharePoint App Store or a private App Catalogue. Installing an app takes just a few clicks. Corporate IT can control everything centrally using familiar SharePoint tools. Best of all, anyone with a web browser and an internet connection can use your app, even if he doesn’t have Access installed on his device.
SQL Server back-end
One of the biggest improvements in Access 2013 is one you may not even notice—except that you’re whole app will be faster, more reliable, and work great with large amounts of data. When Access databases are published to SharePoint—whether on-premise or through Office 365—a full-fledged SQL Server database is automatically created to store the data. Advanced users who are already familiar with SQL Server will be able to directly connect to this database for advanced reporting and analysis with familiar tools such as Excel, Power View, and Crystal Reports. Everyday users can rest assured that their apps are ready for the future if they ever need to enhance them with advanced integrations or migrations. Check out the Access 2013 developer center for more details.
We’re looking forward to introducing you to what’s amazing and new about Access 2013. Stay tuned!