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For several releases, Access and SharePoint have grown together, providing increasingly more compelling functionality - from fairly simple data sources through to web databases that run in a browser. Ben Clothier at http://accessexperts.net has a two-part review of the evolution of Access working with SharePoint. Part one is an overview of the Access/SharePoint integration. Part 2 is an in-depth look at Access data storage in SharePoint.
As you might expect, Microsoft itself has many resources to help with combining SharePoint and Access - I'll point out a few. My good colleagues at MSDN offer a nice summary of Access 2003/WSS 2.0 integration, and the folks at TechNet have an integration overview for Access 2007/WSS 3.0. And of course, Office.com covers Access 2003/2007 WSS integration too - though we hope you're using Access Services to build web apps on SharePoint 2010. Check out Build an Access database to share on the Web to see what you can do.
Have you got a web database that really rocks? Tell us all about it!
I am desperately looking for a solution for displaying reports based on related SharePoint lists through the web.
I have found Access "linked SharePoint lists" to be awesome, and I can use that to create Queries and Reports no problem. The Access Services publishing is also VERY impressive and I was slightly blown away when I started playing around with it.
However whenever I pull in multiple related *EXISTING* SharePoint lists to create reports I try to publish these to the web and get "web compatibility errors". I don't really want to go down the more "hardcore" SQL Reporting Services route (and I've read that doesn't even support list relationships through lookup columns).
So is this a current limitation with Access 2010 and SharePoint Access Services?
If so, any idea when this will be "added" as a feature?
Hi, Martin -
It sounds like you want to use SharePoint lists that exists somewhere else on the SharePoint farm? If that is the case, then the thing is that a web database can only use only SharePoint lists within that specific site you published the web database to. So if the list lives on http://server/site1/ and your web database is on http://server/site2/ then your web database cannot use the list from site1 as a web table, though you can certainly link to the SharePoint List in the client.
A possible workaround for this situation is to take advantage of the new Web Browser control and set it to point to the site1. You may also want to define a Data View page to present your list in a nice layout and use that page. That way you get to have all data on one screen. (I doubt you can place the web browser control inside the web report but that's just off the top of my head but it shouldn't stop you from placing a web browser on the same web form where you're also embedding your web report for online viewing).
Is that something you were looking for?
Martin, thank you for your question - it's a great one.
Currently, you can't connect Access Services sites to other SharePoint sites by linking to lists. Ben's workaround is an interesting scenario, and hopefully it provides the solution you need. I don't have any information about whether this functionality will be available in future versions, but I will definitely pass along your feedback to the relevant folks here at Microsoft.
And thanks Ben, for the original material and for jumping in with a workaround suggestion! :)
Acess Services is one idea only to share Access data in the cloud. What about this one?
It will not only work for Accesss but for almost any on-premise data, to share it in the Microsoft Office 365 cloud using native list replication in SharePoint Online.
Can you provide any info as to why Access Services Reports are not available in Office365? When will they be? There are lots of folks asking in O365 forums and all we hear are crickets chirping.
Thanks, Josh, for your comment.
I don't have any information about why in-browser Access Services Reports are not currently supported by Office 365, nor whether or when they will be. As I've said on this blog in other threads, there are currently no plans to add that functionality, but Microsoft is considering whether to do so.
The folks in charge of those decisions will make the information available on the Office 365 forums as soon as it is feasible. Although I may post about it on this blog if the decision is made to add that support, such information would show up on those forums before it shows up here.
Thanks again for your interest!