Get started with Access 2013 Web Apps

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You can use Access 2013 and the Office 365 Preview to build a web app almost immediately and start using it to track the things you care about. There’s no need to set up expensive or complicated servers, but you can still take advantage of the speed, security and simplicity that comes with server-based apps. Ryan McMinn, a Senior Program Manager Lead on the Access Team, explains in this video:

Read more about how to get started in the steps below.

1. Sign up for Office 365 Preview

You can create Access 2013 web databases on any SharePoint 2013 site. The easiest way to try this out is through SharePoint Online, which is included in the Office 365 Small Business Premium and Office 365 Enterprise plans. (Note that the Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Home Premium products do not include SharePoint Online).

Once you’ve downloaded a copy of Office 2013 through the preview site, open Access 2013 and click “Create Blank Web Database.” For the “Web Location,” enter the URL of the SharePoint site where you’d like to put your app. On Office 365, that URL will look something like this:

If you’re having trouble with the default URL from your team site, try getting rid of any extra text at the end (e.g. #/SitePages/Home.aspx) so that it looks more like the URL above.

When you click Create, Access will talk with the SharePoint server, and make a new, blank Access App on the site.

Create a new web app.

2. Add tables to your app

When your blank app is finished being created, you’ll be taken to the Add Tables screen. The fastest way to build your app is to search through our list of table templates to see if we have one that’s similar to the thing that you’d like to track. Whether you want an app to store contacts, employees, companies, equipment, events—or anything else—you’ll likely find something there to help you get started.

Simply type something into the box that says “What would you like to track?”, press Enter, and select something from the search results. As soon as you click on an available template, that table will be added to your app.

Add some tables.

At the most basic level, a table template is a list of fields. For example, if you choose the “Contacts” template, you’ll get a place to store information about people with fields such as “First Name,” “Last Name,” and “Email Address.” You also may find that a table comes along with others. For example, adding the “Assets” template (illustrated above) also gives you a “Categories” table. You can enter whatever Categories you want into this table, which you can use to group and organize the Assets.

You can easily customize these templates to suit your needs. Stay tuned for future posts that will dive into these topics.

3. Launch your app in the browser

Launch the app in the browser.

After you’ve added some tables to your app, you’re ready to start using it. Click the “Launch App” button to view the app in your internet browser.

In general, you’ll use a browser to add, edit and view the data in your app. Access 2013 is there to help you create and customize the views and tables. After you’re done designing, you can share the app with other people, even if they don’t have Access. Access web apps work in all major browsers, so whether you prefer Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, you can still get to your data.

Let’s take a quick look at what you’ve created: a fully-functioning app to track the things you care about.

On the left (1) is a list of tables. These are the broad types of things, like assets, that are tracked in your app. For each table, there are several views (2) across the top. These views display the information stored in the tables in useful ways. The default List view can be used to search and filter the different assets (3) and to edit, add, or delete information about each asset (4).

As you can see, Access 2013 makes it easy to build a fully functioning web app in no time. We hope you’ll check it out by signing up for one of the Office 365 plans for business: Small Business Premium or Enterprise.





  1. When I try to play the video I get the message "This video is private"

    • Andrew Stegmaier User">

      Thanks for letting us know. I think its fixed now.

  2. we need to be able to change the look and feel, it seems that in Access 2013 we don’t have access to the properties anymore. Why??

    • Lawrence, are you referring to Web applications or to Desktop applications? Are there specific properties that are missing that you need? Please let us know and we can try to look at it and get more information. Thanks!

  3. How do you report off an access web app?

    • Andrew Stegmaier User">

      You can report off an Access database by clicking "file" to go to the backstage, then clicking "Create Reporting Database" This will create a desktop access database file that is automatically connected to the SQL Server database that powers the web app. You can take advantage of all the powerful reporting that you’re familiar with from previous versions of Access, but your data will be stored centrally in SQL Server.

      Note, however, that the ability to connect to SQL Azure databases outside of the browser-based interface is not currently enabled in Office 365 Preview. We expect to enable this feature when the final version is released. If you want to try it out, you can do so by setting up your own copy of SharePoint 2013 and SQL Server 2012.

  4. scottcomputers

    Will printing reports be available on office 365 2013. It is not available onthe current version of office 365.

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