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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!
Alan. Very grateful for the response. Did I see any examples?
Could you please elaborate on enhancements to desktop applications support in 2013? I'm specifically interested in unbound forms clients to SQL server backends for ADO and ODBC technologies.
Thank you for your time
As I continue testing the preview it appears that attaching to SharePoint 2010 Lists is not supported but importing them is.
Attachment fields are not supported in the import process.
Why can't the Office team put out a document explaining what is supported.
Yes, I agree that this version does not really address the database size for desktop developers at all and we've been asking for this change since 2000. We are not interested in using SQL because of the workgroup model and definitely not interest in sharepoint either...
Finlay - Details about external data in Access 2013 web databases will definitely be something we'll be covering in-depth in future posts.
When you wrote of "the SQL-Server that came with access 2013," I'm not sure I know what you mean. To clarify, SQL Server 2012 is a separate product. If you run it yourself on your own servers, you can use it to store the back-end data for a front-end Access desktop database (.mdb or .accdb). In this configuration, you can make databases of practically any size (if you set up your SQL Server machine to handle it). If you have a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft will provision SQL Azure databases for you when you create a new Access 2013 Web database on your SharePoint Online site. You could also, if you wanted to, build a desktop access database and connect to this SQL Azure database for back-end data storage. A 1GB cap currently applies to SQL Azure databases that are provisioned in this way. (You could directly pay for a SQL Azure database yourself, and no such limit would apply).
You are correct, though, that the 2GB limit for traditional desktop databases that store data using JET still exists in Access 2013.
Thanks for the reply about web databases. Sounds really good.
I guess that's one thing that always frustrates me about Microsoft. You guys have drunk so much of your own bathwater that you really believe that customer companies want to be like you and gain the advantages you have with all of this neato technology you develop. They don't. Or at least a lot of them don't. And your own data on migration to new stuff vs. continued use of the old stuff--Off03, WinXP, etc., should show how prevalent this is out there. Companies like mine have had a decade to "get used to the idea of SharePoint apps." They haven't. "No-brainer?" That's giving many of these corporate IT groups way too much credit.
And yes, it appears you haven't "abandoned" desktop databases in the sense that they still open and operate. But I can't find one single thing that you've done in Access 2013 for the desktop database user/developer. Am I missing something? Did you do anything in this release that benefits us? Some of my queries/lookup fileds break for no explicable reason. Beyond that? I'm not seeing any upside in Access2013. Try though I might.
Yes I think you are missing something: the revenue that Microsoft is hoping to receive. You wrote that your company has been using 2003 for a decade. Imagine how much $ your company would have payed if it would have been using Office365 all this time in order to use Access+Sharpoint+SqlSever. If I am not mistaken the current cost for this package is 20$ a month (correct me if I am wrong). That accumulates to a lot of money. I think it is fair to make the comparison between these two alternative options. If you compare the web database with 365 and the previous desktop version I think the 365 online will be much more expensive in the long run. I think that it is expensive even if the monthly price doesn't sound like it is a lot. And if you decide to install Sharepoint server and SqlServer locally the prices are even more deterring. Microsoft has every right to try and increase their profit. We all do that and it is perfectly acceptable. But costumers also have a right to try and figure out their costs and expenses.
I am very dissapointed no support will be given on adp's. I am an access/sql developer respresenting over 1500 employees in the company I am working for, all using adp's (ade's) for different purposes such product workflow, orderings and marketing/sales information and I tried to work with 'pass through queries', but, they do not support @parameters, which we use in thousands of stored procedures so hope you can take this in consideration.
Love the SQL Server Azure and Access Integration, coolio ...