Monday, October 19, 2009

Microsoft Access 2010: Publish Access Data/Forms to the Web

Microsoft announces a major new feature in MS Access 2010: the ability to publish Access data and specialized forms to SharePoint. See the video here:

Microsoft calls it "Access Services." We've been working with the feature since November 2008 when we visited Redmond for a few days for an alpha-preview. It is a vast improvement over Access 2000/2003 Data Access Pages in terms of usability. The new feature is limited to SharePoint, something that will be a downside for anyone hoping to finally publish Access forms to the web. We've also been participating in the SharePoint Live tech preview, and publishing to SharePoint Live is not supported. But for any local intranet application that requires the scalability of SharePoint, and some nice web forms, Access 2010 is a fantastic leap forward.

There will be an Office Beta 2 in November, which will be publicly available. A great opportunity to try it out. Note that you'll need SharePoint 2010 (now called Office Server). And a word of warning: don't publish any production data in the beta and expect it to migrate it to the full version. We found quite a few issues with publishing data and databases that Microsoft will surely fix when Access 2010 goes public.