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We can easily create and manage small applications with no assistance from IT. Microsoft will continue to support it indefinitely. There are way too many Microsoft Access applications in production-critical business areas to simply pull the plug. I am just a dumb redneck from MO who was fortunate enough to get exposed to MS Access nearly 20 years ago.
During the last two decades, I have been able to develop many applications to manage data, and give users functionality that they would not otherwise have thanks to MS Access. While all of the things I have been able to do with MS Access are possible through other means, it seems like finding developers in the workplace who will make these things a reality are few and far between.
I listen to people in I. There solutions are SharePoint forms that are very simplistic and limited compared to what you can do with MS Access. Yes, I can create a SharePoint form on the Intranet in minutes for someone to add data to a table.
However, giving someone options that are molded to their specific working environment is not an option with those forms.
My databases that I have designed over the years with MS Access are applications first and databases second. I have designed everything from a simple personal contacts database to a custom form that allows the workers in my field of work to make phone calls from an Access form that queries contacts from multiple data sources.
I work as a power grid operator who has to call people out when power outages occur in a timely manner. The user then selects the first name in the list and clicks a call button on the form.
A phone call is initiated with the calling software our phones use dialing the number selected from the list in the Access form. The reason for someone to say that MS Access is irrelevant, when it can perform a custom workplace function like the one I have given in this example, can only be explained by one reason — the people making that statement do not know how to use MS Access to its full potential.
I have done many things with MS Access over the years that have made places I have worked more productive. People are mesmerized by some of the tools I have created for them with MS Access. We have an Outages Calendar that we manage with a SharePoint form on our Intranet, and I used Access to tap the data in that calendar and place the data in a custom form that displays a full screen view on large monitors in our work area with the upcoming work we are expecting on our power grid.
The form also has a feature that allows us to toggle between that screen and a full screen view of the weather radar on these large monitors for defined time intervals. We have some really cool tools that many people see when touring our facility.
They have no idea that a software that is part of the MS Office Suite is what is making major parts of our operation click. Even with some of the custom applications I have been fortunate enough to design with MS Access, I have only used a minimal amount of its full potential. If it can make it until April , I will be one happy man. Thank you Chris.
You are spot on. The overwhelming majority of individuals who have developed Access solutions, did not utilize sound, structured programming techniques and thus created poorly designed databases.
Quick Hits I commend you for taking the time to learn and do it right. If you take the time to explore the current and future business requirements of a project, then you will know if Access … and how Access can be a benefit.
I love Access and VBA. If you do it right, understand its configurations and specifications … utilize industry-standard best practices flexible, powerful and secure systems can be developed, deployed and sustained to support a majority of business needs at a fraction of the cost of larger systems.
You just have to learn how to use it properly. The organization I currently work for was hit with a system-wide online virus that crippled their business for a few years. Now, they need to revamp, secure and optimize their legacy on-prem Access solutions. I thank this application because it has gotten me where I am today, working with data! Thank you for sharing your story, do you know if there is a group or forum of Access user fans where we can get together? I would love to hear more stories and experience such as yours.
Thanks Chris for the refreshingly positive examples! I have carried through my Contacts DB and Investment Manager until today and they still have features that no other product on the market can rival. Whenever I needed a new feature I just created it.
The flexibility is huge but I just had to learn as much as I needed. I am still running Office on Win 7 and have no issues with minimal maintenance and very high productivity. Populist software changes often with few new features or removal of useful ones just for the sake of changes are a killer of productivity. I will soon have to move to Win 10 and dread the effort of changeover will Access still run my applications without major adjustments?
In my opinion consistency and reliability and backwards compatibility are the most important features of any software. Hi Chris! I have also creating many applications for our agency. You name it, I developed it in Access. I LOVE the app and the apps are all so dependable. I was wondering if you encountered the last release.
They somehow broke control of the. It broke the ability for multiple users to open. First one in locks it exclusively. We had to revert back to. SOOooo frustrating. Maybe I should convert all my backends to SQL but I love the ease and flexibity of just linking to an Access data file.
So nice to see another developer out there like me who sees the intrinsic value of Access. Many in our IT staff demonize this app and are also completely ignorant of how it even works. Take care, Kennedy. I was stuck with simple librarys for storing tables in files. A full relational database, more so than FoxPro.
Proper SQL queries. For the sorts of things people do in business there never was anything better and after 30 years still nothing better. I keep looking. The only rival where I was working was Lotus Notes.
The secretary could generate a database and send out a form by email and have answers typed directly into her database. It took her about 10 minutes to do that. I really could not do that in Access. Obviously IBM killed that product it was cutting their bespoke programming profits.
The only other way of getting the same result as Access would be to use an Integrated Development Environment and code it all up in a compiled programming language. You get a better result but it would take 10 times as long. It is just so easy and intuitive to use and allows me to attach local and online links to entries. So arrogant to drop Microsoft Access, i have been a supporter since Access2, Using large amounts of VBA and automation some bespoke programs can be created, totally not available off the shelf, and a far cry from a contact database.
Standalone databases not on the web still have a place in business. Keep Access going we have made you a fortune over the years. They want everything online.. You cant very well protect your data by having nothing but intranets and closed systems can you?
How dare you! We used Access in the same way for many years, but moved away from it, favoring SQL scripts over GUI-based operations because scripts allow better repeatability, modifiability, QA-ability, self-documentation, and version control.
I expect to see it in future antique shops and museums much like the toys from my youth are now displayed…. Google Forms for what I catch is a single table form presentation for a spreadsheet, by nothing a database handling and linking different tables. The only real downside to MS Access is that it cannot be effectively deployed via a browser. This limits internet access to an Access application to a virtual Windows desktop environment like a VM or Citrix.
Access is a great front-end GUI and report-writing solution for small to medium companies as well as departmental apps. The new direction of Microsoft to the Power platform is great and Access can to some degree work within that framework.
Over the past two years I have been developing a robust data modeling and administrative system that integrates across numerous functions and applications. It uses Access a conduit for data transformation and publishing. I completely agree with you Phil, and to add, I think that MS Access has become one of the most underestimated tools over the past few years. Where I live almost every medium sized company and quite a few large companies have moved over to O and are beginning to take advantage of SharePoint, PowerApps and Flow.
I always create my relationship based tables in Access and then upload to SharePoint. This gives me the ability create a fully relationship based data-sets in SharePoint within minutes. And as you mentioned, the mere act of opening Access with an internet connection automatically backs up the data and also gives users the ability to perform offline tasks… Amazing!
It is imperative that MS Access is supported for Microsoft NET6 on VS, as the demand for such developers is growing day by day and we will be able to use Access skill for next 10 years. It is easy to link to multiple Excel or.
CVS files and do regular, right and left joins using Access. If there is a cheap or free tool that does it as well and easily, would love to know about it, but until I find a replacement, for this tool alone, I would truly miss it if it were gone! The article completely ignores the online support angle. The level of crowd-sourced support is just astounding.
You Google the problem and get nothing. Oh, and the fact that Access has changed so little over the years? It means that the subroutine you find online from will work today. Same with the instructional videos. Makes you realise in the end these new features are just not worth spending the time learning.
Show me any other product out there where you can develop complex DB application from analysis to deployment in less 15 minutes. I do hate it, but will miss it if Microsoft nix it. I am sometimes amazed that some of these databases even work when I see how badly the tables are designed, and the associated VBA, queries etc.
Access is unique, because it is a database that comes with a full set of tools to build a functional application. Or you could call it an application builder, that comes with a database! There are many of these legacy applications running well under current versions of Windows and many clients who would be lost without them.
They have a very large customer base that depends on it. One thing about Access that many developers love: it has a small footprint and is highly efficient. New highly specialized applications can be developed quickly and relatively cheaply.
The downside with Access is security, but when it is deployed on a network, network security takes over and these applications run securely. Access rocks. The ribbon sucks. Microsoft totally blew it with the later versions that it developed. Access could have evolved into an extremely powerful tool for small to midsize applications using SQL Server as its database. I used to work for a company that was developing applications in dot net using C sharp. I am still clinging to Office for that same reason.
At work I use Access desktop version to store and combine data from different sources f. To me, storing data in Excel is like summoning the evil one. MS query in Excel is painfully slow and data integrity… number stored as text, oh my! Access does all that, the query builder is terrific, and you can build and automate reports in no time.
You have no idea how much time I save with reporting only. Btw, try sharing data with an external company via Sharepoint, Teams, Onedrive if your global sysadmin acts like Mordac, the preventor of information services. Mail an Access report or exported query and everybody is happy. Hello there! One thing Assess in not that good is a security. And this is not discussed in length or not even mentioned.
Security this days is a paramount and no matter how much Access is good as a tool, it is not safe for anything more than a home usage.
Yes, the SQL Server can be used, but than it is not a standalone database, and multiple licenses are needed. Still, one can connect and dump the data which is exactly against the security principles.
So, decisions, decision, is Access for domestic usage or corporate? I am getting daily questions on how to move Access to the Web. The interest is huge. I contributed to the invention of Information Engineering. I have experience. I started using Access version 1 in and was impressed by how easy it was to use.
I developed the SQL Server back-ends, wrote the stored procedures, etc. You can develop a simple, single-user app, using wizards, to do something useful. You can also develop slightly more complex, multi-user systems by splitting the Access database into two: back-end and front-end. This is where simple VBA usually comes in.
Someone in England developed a successful Access version 2 system with simultaneous users. You can make it efficient. SQL Server. I was called in to look at a VB6 system with an Access database. Response time going from tab to tab on the main data entry form was around 10 minutes.
The network was heavily overloaded. Government department with no money to spend on IT. But the problem was the way that the database was used to add a new record. The SQL statement to open the new record read every record in the contact table, over , of them. That reads every contact into the front-end. That got the response time down from 10 minutes to 5 seconds. One line of code. I changed a few other things and eventually got the response time to around 1 second.
There are idiots everywhere. You can do some interesting things with VBA. I did a fingerprint booking system for a police department a few years ago.
The system popped up multiple booking forms so that an operator could see all the machine and ink available spots for a location on one screen, and could enter the new appointment on any of them. That required the booking form to be an object that could be replicated as many times as needed across a screen.
Sort of. Access fits a niche. That niche to me is a rapid development solution. Hey want to proto type a phone app idea for a qucik brainstorm with a developer?
Need a certain task done or noted, need some form of database type information stored, sorted or printed? It is basically a digital swiss army knife. Add tot he fact that you can build a front end for a SQL Backend or other and you unleash any more power.
Myself I use Filemaker Pro Advanced and Powershell for my rapid development or tool generation needs but when it comes to small to medium businesses Access is the easiest to purchase, license, and deploy using E3 license and since it is Microsoft, updates, support, and learning curve of ease of use is much easier to adopt than other third party options.
Microsoft knows this. Businesses know this. Microsoft has such a stronghold on this niche that few companies choose to compete head to head. Access is here for a long time.
Now changes they may make? I could see Microsoft adopting more of a C than VB path down the road. I could see Access gaining more updated tools to deal with larger file sizes when using 64bit, better graphics storage, stability improvements, speed improvements in the engine, and maybe some GUI design overhauls to modernize created solutions.
But a coffin nail? Not for long way down the road. It is too ingrained into too many businesses to let it die on the vine.
Sadly, your article is flawed and biased. Microsoft deprecated Web Databases from Access, one of its components. They never said they were doing away with Access as a whole. Access remains the most commonly used applications from fortune companies to small mom and pop businesses alike and this is due to its extreme flexibility, compatibility. While it does have its shortcomings, no doubt there, your proposed alternatives cannot compete with Access, not even close to being potential replacements!
Well said! I disagree with most of the comments here. Access is outdated, difficult to use, prone to crashing, and not suited to much of anything other than a personal sandbox or very limited application with a very small user base.
The reality is that younger developers have no desire or need to work with this product, and users have become so accustomed to point and click web applications that the idea of opening Access, which has the look and feel of software, is a joke. If you have small data and just need a quick form, SharePoint Online functions just fine.
Yes, I hear this a lot from people with no coding skills or basic knowledge. It crashes when the database is not in stable state or an operation is running while things are running. There are techniques to minimize these incidents. Yes, that is what we are doing. Using Access for the GUI front-end only.
We are currently looking for a GUI based web development platform to migrate over. We compile to an ACCDE for deployment for our users who access it through a Terminal Server connection only one single version of the front-end is used from the Server. Never any locking issues as there is no record-locking necessary as all the data and queries are running on SQL Server.
I picked up much of my understanding on my own through the Step by Step series so am clearly self-taught. I see your revision. I would love to see any links to articles directly quoting Microsoft as having made this announcement.
I have been an Access developer and trainer since , and a Microsoft MVP in and , and I have stayed up-to-date with everything Access related. Web apps, yes. Those deserved to die. But the desktop Access application has always been vehemently supported at Microsoft. Hi, Richard, Here is a page from the Microsoft website that talks about Microsoft Access being removed from Office in with all traces of Access taken out of all Microsoft web applications by April I did say in the article that Microsoft always intended to continue developing and supporting the desktop version.
Did you even look at the MS stack and think about their commitment to Power Platform as the approach do get databases online? Hi there, thanks for the article. Hence, this debate is really about the MS Windows and the rest.
How about Web and the Desktops debate? And than welcome to Python for Web, for example Jam. If one can design the App with Access, than moving to Jam. Just like Jam. And it is free. Access is not free. It is still bugged by comdlg And SQL Server price? Not cheap by no means. Claris International Inc. Claris FileMaker is a low-code tool that helps problem solvers create, share, and integrate custom apps that address their unique business challenges. I find the comments more interesting to read than the article.
I have been searching for an online database with forms and reports capabilities to replace my Access database for a few years with previously limited funding and now no funding from my company. IT has no capacity to assist.
Currently, I am still using Word for applicants to complete the information and I enter a few essential details in the database — all very manual. Is there a way to connect the Access to online forms and create online reports for relevant personnel to access?
Probably yes. You can control Word, Excel, etc. Excel is the easiest. Word is OK. Outlook is difficult. Online reports can, theoretically, be done. It might be easier to find another, more modern solution, but they could be so generic that getting them to do what you want might be a total pain.
Then you can create a new Word document, open it, fill it with text and tables, etc. You can control formatting. It was a CRM and quoting system for a motor vehicle leasing company. The proposal was sent to the potential customer via email. I had to combine all the read-only docs into a single PDF and attach it and all the Word docs to an automatically generated email. Lots of customised, formatted text in the body of the Outlook email.
I had to create an Outlook reminder to follow up, copied to the consultants manager s , at the same time. It was a lot of fun for me to work it all out. All users can use Access and see all online data for reports, etc.
If you were to make PowerApps, you can use the lists from phones or tablets as well. Yes, there is a way. But it requires moving from Access DB format. There are even online conversion tools to move the DB to mysql or sqlite3. Even I managed to move tables in a couple of hours to Jam. No need any more. Zoho has a free version of their crm that is limited , paid versions offer more customization. ZohoOne offers 45 apps with it. This article seems more like an Anti Microsoft Access article.
While its true that Microsoft access is not upgraded any more. I have been developing in Access since the 90s. None of those alternative come anywhere close to Access. MS Access just like any apps can be secured depending on how you set it up. Typically, the. Word processors spreadsheet applications have all been substituted by other players but not Access so it would be quite ill advised for MS to scrap this. I agree totally. There are better alternatives, but they rely on web programming knowledge, which is not a one stop shop.
You have to learn multiple programming languages, and understand web environments, which makes it a hard transition. I am a lawyer with a love for IT and automation but I do not have the time to do any coding. This is where ms access comes into play for people like me. Is it still relevant in ? It is an amazing tool for the busy professional and extremely useful as a front end, database and reporting tool as there are always matters that need orderly archiving from cases to god-knows.
A web application may at the end of the day be better but it would take a lot of time, effort, and resources to build so you lose agility, time and thus leading to increased costs not to mention the inability to set it up for something expedient in 15 mins.
Access is the solution for this scenario. It may be cloud enabled via Remote Desktop Services so that geographically separated users can be handled. For those who make the effort and have the need, MS Access is a fantastic tool for lots of data transformation and analysis tasks. It always worked and was consistent year after year after year. Spot-on, David. If the free version alternatives could do that, I might just jump from MS-Access altogether.
So here is my problem. I just setup for the first time a acess data base. I am limited to two gigs. Setting up queries is difficult and tome consuming.
I need gigs to do all files. What program do I use? Who has more than Two gig ability? I do think it would be wise for Microsoft to expand MS Access storage capacity and cloud compatibility for future releases. I agree with some of your points. The people developing with MS Access are, without causing offense, of the older generation.
I moved to developing with. Developed correctly, MS Access is an incredibly flexible tool. I very rarely have issues with them. One of the best recent features Microsoft brought in, was being able to connect a front-end MS Access database to Sharepoint.
The benefits of this are fantastic. MS Access frontend can switch to local tables, and then replicate the changes over once you have an internet connection.
The data is backed up regularly, and can be taken back to different points in time. One thing that the article failed to point out is how easy access works with SharePoint lists. While SharePoint lists definitely have some inherent limitations, this combination can be used to create applications that can be run remotely over the internet without a traditional database.
Stuart — you can actually split your backend tables only into multiple files so you get the full 2 GB for each. I am an Access db developer in the corporate world yes, a publicly traded company does use Access to develop custom apps in , and we use this trick a lot. Beyond that, you should look into migrating your data tables to a SQL Server db — and link your Access UI front end forms and queries to that backend. This is incredibly easy to do and you can kiss those 2GB file size limits goodbye.
This article is misleading and highly out of touch. Access is extremely flexible and useful in the right context. Even in This is an interesting and eye opening article for me, thanks. The big thing for me is that in my organization, everyone has MS Office installed, so Access is readily available. Love this article and appreciate the suggestions. Unfortunately, most of the products are not commercial solutions. Access allowed the business to create databases on demand without IT intervention.
This article is entirely false and completely misleading. See this interview with AccessUserGroups. Hi, Richard, Thanks for letting me know about this issue.
I can assure you that at the time I wrote this article, Microsoft was saying it was phasing Access out. In fact, they made a big announcement about the move. However, they seem to have back-peddled on that plan. Rather than making a big announcement about the reversal of policy, they just seem to have quietly carried on as before. I have updated the article to reflect these changed circumstances. Cheers, Stephen.
Ms Access users please let us come together to petition Microsoft to bring back the online support. Or better still to develop different software that can covert every aspect of Access to web based. Let us come together. Is there a website we can all get together and share Access experiences? This is a great idea! Access would query production data from the HP mini computer and create an MDB file containing purchase orders which was then uploaded to the website.
The hapless suppliers were told their order was on the website. In many of them had fax machines rather than the Internet so had to go out and get online just to receive our order. They would log in with their account number and the website would show them the purchase order. All the pieces were there but in 20 or so years has Microsoft provided actual tools for a business to set up a data driven website with the data linked back to the PC in the office?
Access would be perfect for such a product. Yes Microsoft I learned today. But what is the rather than the Microsoft access and outhers alternative? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Menu Close. Net Admin Microsoft Access: Is it still relevant in ?
We are funded by our readers and may receive a commission when you buy using links on our site. Microsoft Access is a time-worn relational database management system.
This topic has become increasingly divisive with industry opinions being quite split. We investigate. Stephen Cooper. Is MS Access still used? Some history Microsoft Office is almost 30 years old — it was launched in November Microsoft Access Screenshot As the demand for Access programming language skills lessens, fewer programmers bother to learn the system. The Best Microsoft Access Alternatives Think of a situation where someone might still need to use Access and just as quickly, you can come up with a better alternative that is already available.
Cons: User interface feels outdated and clunky, especially when compared to options like Google Docs The timeline for bug fixes is completely dependent on the open-source community Base is not compatible with. Pros: Slightly better interface than OpenOffice Completely free to use Relatively stable, making it a solid alternative to Microsoft Access for smaller offices.
Cons: Is borderline abandonware, and is no longer supported by the developer community Lacks cloud storage backups. Cons: Essentially a clone of OpenOffice with minor improvements Lacks cloud storage support and automatic backups. Pros: Available for all platforms, and accessible through nearly all browsers Supports cloud storage and Work Offline Feature numerous helpful templates Is arguable easier to learn and use than Excel, especially when it comes to creating formulas One of the best interfaces among similar tools.
Cons: Some features like Work Offline are only available via Chrome browser Google is not the most privacy-focused company and may sell your data as a part of their business model.
Pros: Open-source transparent software The database utilizes the. Unique feature Zoho Creator is a very sophisticated online tool that goes beyond the database creation capabilities of an Access alternative by including a method to orchestrate other tools and create an automated workflow.
Pros: Has one of the best user interfaces, comparable to Google Drive Cloud-based hosting allows for automatic backups and offline working Subscription pricing makes it a flexible option for nearly any size team. Cons: Would like to see a longer trial period for testing Lacks in-depth user management features that would be critical for large enterprises. Pros: Has both freeware and paid options available Interface is barebones but easy to learn with a bit of time Offers data hosting as an option.
What is replacing Microsoft Access? Is Visual Basic still used today? Does Google have a version of Microsoft Access? Is Microsoft Access going away? Does Office include Microsoft Access? Hope this reply will help you a bit to make a decision if Access is still relevant in But it is not browser based making it hard to accommodate needs for future business building.
Just adding another vote for FileMaker to replace Access Free trial on their website. You could not have explained it any better. You are right on target. If you are the user of an application, consult your application documentation for details on how to use the appropriate driver.
Desktop applications which read from and write to various files formats including Microsoft Office Access, Microsoft Office Excel and text files. To transfer data between supported file formats and a database repository, such as SQL Server. Sign in with Microsoft. You have multiple accounts. Important: When installing the Access Runtime on a machine that has another Click-to-Run version of Office installed, the Access Runtime installed will match that of the existing Office installation.
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WebThe MS Access Runtime edition is free to download from Microsoft site and lets you open and use access applications but it does not let you create or edit databases. 2 1 Paul . WebJan 19, · How to use Microsoft Word for free on Windows 10, Mac, Chrome OS, and Linux. The easiest way to download and use Microsoft Word for free is right in your web . WebAccess lets you build and share a database in seconds. You supply the information and Access does the rest, making it easy to create and structure your data. Reports and .