Understanding SharePoint Access

SharePoint Access 2013 allows people to host standard Access databases in SharePoint. This ability is within the basic context of an Access application. It is important to understand that Access applications for SharePoint are completely new in SharePoint Server 2013. You can build these applications using the Access desktop client. It allows you to create, update and edit linked Access 2013 databases. You can also view them directly from the application.

It is also worth mentioning that you can use Access 2010 to edit and view a web database which was created using SharePoint 2010 and Access 2010, and republish them successfully to SharePoint 2013. However, it is not possible to create a web database using Access 2010 in SharePoint 2013. You can still import Access 2010 databases into a standard Access application.

In simple terms, Access applications are SharePoint apps. Due to this, if you want to run Access application through Access Services, you need to configure the SharePoint 2013 Server as a SharePoint application server. In addition to this, you also need SQL 2012 Server to run Access Services.

What is SharePoint Access 365 all about?

Access 365 is a basic tool for creating web applications which run within SharePoint 2013. It is worth mentioning that the previous .ACCDB format does not function anymore. New applications should either stick with Access 2012 or use the Access 365 tool.

This tool allows developers to rapidly create many different small applications via some standard web technologies like CSS, JavaScript and HTML5 in a very simple web development environment. According to users, the most important features of Access Services is that it allows them to store data to an SQL Azure database or Microsoft SQL server.

Since you can use the SQL server, you are not restricted by the 2 GB limitation imposed by previous Access databases. In addition to this, SQL server also provides users with more features and security which are important for every company business system.

What about Access 2013?

Access 2013 desktop version does not come with a lot of changes from the previous versions. This version still supports the backend and frontend database model, along with Visual Basic for Applications or VBA. However, Access 2013 does not support the following platforms anymore :

● Microsoft Access Project

● PivotCharts and PivotTables

● Access 97.mdb database format

● Smart Tags

● The dBASE database

● Developer Source Code Control

● Microsoft SQL Server database

● Access 2003 menus and toolbars

Apps for Office

This is one of the new features in Sharepoint Access. With this technology, you can use Office as a service on the web or Cloud. In other words, you can host the webpage in an Office app, like Word, PowerPoint, Project, Excel or Outlook.

SharePoint Apps

Access from SharePoint provides a very simple and convenient way to host the frontend of an applications, and enjoy Data Management capabilities on the web via the SQL server. This completely simplifies web development. It is worth mentioning that VBA or Visual Basic for Applications code is not compatible with applications created by Access.

Microsoft’s Strategic Direction

Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft Access was never designed for company databases. However, most companies still evolved the Access DB software into the core administration systems. With various limitations associated with peak loads, network traffic, rollback recovery, reliability, security and other such problems, companies hit a brick wall. The direction taken by SharePoint Access now seems to be in sync with the original intention of the company.

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.