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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:
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
Are you telling me that the size limitation still exists? I manipulate a lot of data and in most cases the I have reach the 2 GB limit. I even have several applications that has almost 1GB of data and i'm worried that this new version can't address my need. So do you mean that I can't utilize the SQL-Server that came with Access 2013 for me to use for my back-end data to address the size limitation? Please advise.
I don't intend to use sharepoint and all I want to know if the SQL-Server for Access 2013 can be utilized as my back-end database on our network for mutli-user access. Or i'm still stuck with that limitation?
Andrew Stegmaier said:
"Desktop databases are the ones that you can create using older versions that store the data on your computer in .mdb or .accdb files"
Can you please clarify the point above? Does it follow from the above sentence that in order to create an .mdb or an .accdb file one must use an older version of Access? What about the issue of hybrid applications? These have been described here in previous blogs dealing with Access 07 and 10. Is that still an option or is Access 2013 strictly for creating Web applications and Web applications only? Where does VBA fit in?
What happened to the adp files?
Microsoft ignored the users request about this database size limitation. I have been requesting this since Office 2000 but nothing change about this limitation.
Robert. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "the SQL Server for Access 2013." I'll take a stab at clarifying, but if I've missed the mark, let me know.
There are two kinds of databases that you can make in Access 2013. (1) Traditional desktop databases where you need to use the client program to run them and (2) web databases that you publish to sharepoint.
Web databases use SQL server as a back-end storage. If you run your own SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server 2012 servers, these databases can be as large as you'd like. If you host them through Office 365, there is currently a 1GB cap
Desktop databases come in two flavors: those that store the data in in the local file (manged by the Jet database engine), and those that store the data on a SQL server using linked tables. Jet databases have had a 2GB limit in the past. This is unchanged in this release. SQL server linked table databases have in the past only been limited by the SQL Server constraints. This means that if you have the full version of SQL Server and powerful hardware running on your own network, they could practically get as large as you'd like. This is also unchanged in this release. There is no special verson of SQL server that is provided by Access 2013. When you use Access 2013 web database, you are taking advantages of a SQL Server that is being hosted by microsoft or one you've set up yourself.
You seem to be most interested in desktop databases. If you find yourself running into the 2gb jet database limit, and you're not interested in the new web databases, I'd encourage you to consider moving your data to SQL and using linked tables to expose it in Access.
Gilad - Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity.
Access 2013 can create desktop databases just like previous versions could. Also what I wrote above about desktop datases "storing the data on your computer" is not true in all cases. You're right to point out that previous versions could have the data stored in SQL through linked tables and only use the .accdb file for keeping the forms, queries, and reports. That funcitonality is also still supported in Access 2013.
ADP (Access Data Pages) files are not supported in Access 2013. We'll have more details on what this means and how affected customers can work around this in a future post.
Some great announcements here and congrats to the Access team.
It sounds like the only way to publish Access to the Web is to host it on SharePoint, is this correct or can an app be published as a stand-alone web app?
Being able to build a stand-alone web app using my 15 years of Access experience would be a game changer for me.
I won't be using Access as a web database. I won't be using sharepoint at all., just plain access on the front end and SQL-server at the back end if SQL-Server will come with Access 2013. In the past i'm strictly limited with Jet database.
Maybe I'm missing omething here. There doesn't seem to be anything new for the "desktop database" developer.
I'd love to develop for a Web UI. For home, where I use Access more than any other App save MS Money, it'd be handy for makng the data available to my mobile, Android, devices and my Mac. But there's no way to do that but use, and pay for, one of the "small business" Off365 services. At work, it would be great, but our IT evironment will let "users" put this kind of stuff on their (backlevel anyway) SharePoint about the time h*** freezes over. They aren't into user empowerement. Their modus operandi is more one of user supression and avoidance. We're their worst nightmare. (We still run WinXP and have to beg to get Off07.) So I muddle by with .mdb and .accdb.
PLEASE don't abandon us downtrodden "desktop database" developers.
I've been an Access developer since 1996 and I have developed databases consistently on pretty much every job I've been since. I'm looking forward to convincing my current employer that using SharePoint to host web Access databases is a sound investment but that could actually take some time while I navigate the political waters of the IT hierarchy :)
While I understand that the cloud is the way to go in the future - that will take some time. In the meantime, we still need to keep focusing on desktop solutions.
The main question I have for you here is about desktop solutions and, in particular, what has been done to improve mdb or accdb front-end access to SQL back-ends. As you know, if you have worked with Access for a while within enterprise environments, the pinnacle of Access programming is finally reached when you leave your Jet databases behind for a more robust and scalable system in SQL Server.
Furthermore, I think you can obtain the best juice out of Access if you combine the following:
- MDB or ACCDB front-end
- Local tables inside the front-end accessed through DAO
- Passthrough queries running store procs in the SQL Server through ODBC
- Opening ADO recordsets to manipulate specific data in SQL Server
- Unbound forms (no form is bound to a back-end table but you can bind to a local populated table)
In my opinion, the combination of all the above is the best current solution set for high-end enterprise Access databases. The problem with the above, however, is that it requires a lot of upfront design, and the code can get really cumbersome if you are trying to do too much.
Now, going back to my question: has anything been done in Access 2013 to address any of the items above? As you can imagine, in order to use all of the above you need to know DAO, ADO, ODBC, and be fairly experienced in form manipulation and Access VBA. What I was expecting to see (and hopefully I'm not dissapointed) is a lot more support for Unbound forms. If your team adds conclusive ADO support to Unbound forms then this could be a real winner. I think support for ADO in Unbound forms to SQL server can be enhanced by adding form properties to manage handshake and set up, thus eliminating all the code you need to write in order to set up the connection and pass all the parameters, etc. That's just an idea.
I hope my question is clear enough - sorry for the wall text but I'm very interested in your answer to this.
Loved the SQL Server and Access Integration, however disappointed to see no way to make VBA work in web apps.. Would have loved to see some or the other way to make custom vba code run in the browser or atleast it been implemented as a remote app service..
What about back-end password? She is still visible in the table MSysObjects?
No use having password in the backend, because you can easily find the password ...
For that matter, will be either no change?
I used Access only and I'm only interested if you guys can address the database limitation. i usually split the database front-end and back-end. The back end contains only tables and it resides on our local server. front end is linked to that. This is how i'm setup. The database size is always a problem and we are not moving to SQL-Server. do you guys have planned to increase the database size?