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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!
Andrew, Please address the 2 GB limit for the desktop database. We are not interested in moving to SQL Server. I'm pretty sure a lot of users have been requesting for this limitation to be remove or at least increased by ten-fold.
Richard - You're correct that Access 2013 web apps require SharePoint (and SQL Server). For people that need to build stand-alone apps, the traditional desktop apps are still supported.
Dick - Access 2013 and SharePoint 2013 combine to give enterprises a good deal more manageability for their Access apps. Expect future posts to cover this in detail. We think that once companies get used to the idea of SharePoint apps, allowing their users to take advantage of the power of Access web apps will be a no-brainier. To your second point, we're not abandoning desktop databases--they're supported in 2013.
Hi, I'd like to get an answer to my question below. Thank you.
There is zero new features in Access 2013 for desktop developers.
In fact some features such as Form Pivot Views have been removed.
So no point in updating from 2010 unless you want to create web applications in which case LightSwitch is more advanced than Access 2013 and may be the better choice
I tested creating a web application and was able to import small tables but the first large table the import keeps falling over.
Also, it appears it does not import table relationships so unlike LightSwitch automatically creating a textbox with the lookup value for lists and replacing the textbox with a combo box when editing.
It is a bit amateurish of the Microsoft Office team to release the preview without any real documentation.
Will we be able to use a OData service as an editable data source in Access? OData is said to be the web/cloud equivalent of ODBC, and can now be viewed/analysed with Excel with PowerPivot, so this would give Access a new dimension.
As an adp/sql server developer I am very dissapointed the new version does not allow any adp's anymore. I have, and will not have, any attention to develop web services neither using sharepoint as access adp's with sql server are very powerfull tools and sincerely hope the microsoft office team will re-consider this.
@ anonymous - I am sorry our direction with ADPs does not fit your situation. The decision was made based on the very low usage of ADPs combined with the very high cost of migrating it to newer versions of SQL Server. The reality is we have seen ever decreasing usage of ADPs as more capable devs such as your self have migrated to HTML and Mobile platforms.
Todd Haugen - GPM MS Access
@ Finlay - I am sorry you are having problems importing large tables, we tested tables with millions of rows so it is likely not failing on volume but rather some data type mismatch in the data itself. If you are willing to send us your database we would love to debug it. As for not importing relationships, it depends on how those relationships were made. If you used lookups they are brought in, if not it is very fast to convert them to lookups so we can bring them in. If you bring them in we generate all of the drill through you could want, far more than LightSwitch so it may be worth your time to work through the initial hurdles.
If you ant to engage on your database let us know and we will figure out how to connect.
@ Crispin - Sorry to say we dod not get to enable support for O Data at RTM. This is a key area we are looking at for the next release. In the near-term SQL Azure will be turning on ODBC access which will allow you to hook Excel and PowerPivot together with Access. This feature will be available by RTM.
@ Dick - We have no intention of abandoning our client roots. This release was focused on continuing the addition of web application authoring to Access we started last release. This came at the cost of major investments in the client but should not be interpreted as a long term move away from the Access client.
Marcelo. You can get round this problem programmatically. Set up your front end - back end link prior to setting a database password on the back end. Then add the back end database password. Now, whenever, you open the front end, open a persistent connection, e.g. using OpenDatabase with the database password supplied in the connection details. Your front end tables can now be opened as normal, without needing to supply the database password any more and there is no database password in any system tables.
Haven't had time to play with the preview yet unfortunately.
1) Is there a reasonable upgrade path from Access 2010 web databases to Access 2013 web databases, please?
2) Is it still possible to have a "mixed" database, i.e. client front end using Sharepoint tables, thus retaining the power of Access client forms, VBA and so on while getting the reach available by using web tables?
I am trying to import an Sqlserver database so relationships defined in Sqlserver.
Thanks for the tip I will import from Sqlserver to Access 2010 with lookups then into 2013.
(1) Will developers be able to get full access to the Sqlserver database either through Access or Sqlserver management studio?
(2) Will stored procedures be supported?
(3) Will we be able to link to rather than importing existing sqlserver databases.
If I still have problems importting tables via access 2010 I will take up your kind offer to look at our data.
Thanks for your support,