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Microsoft have ended Access Services for SharePoint Online

SharePoint used to be one of the options for sharing an Access database using cloud technologies, however, Microsoft pulled the plug on this service, most likely because performance couldn’t compare with Access running locally or on a local network.

Access Services allowed you to use Microsoft Access to develop applications connecting to SharePoint and present these to users using a web browser as “web apps”.

The replacement as far as Microsoft are concerned is a couple of new services called PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, these are available as either subscription products or as part of Office 365 or Microsoft Dynamics.

The concept behind Access Services was noble i.e. the ability for businesses to create applications and access them over the web.   What disappointed many developers about Access Services or specifically Access WebApps were the functional limitations compared with the proper desktop version of Access.   There was also the inevitable performance limitations with any application where the client is separated from the database by the Internet.


Alternative to Access Services

For a long time one of the best solutions for dealing with database applications where users need to be in different locations is the use of Terminal Services.   Now called Remote Desktop Services, this technology allows businesses to run the full Microsoft Access application over the Internet in exactly the same way that it runs on a desktop.   No changes to the code are required and no loss of features or functionality.   Access runs on the Remote Desktop Server like it would on a PC and the user interacts in exactly the same way.


You can access Access anywhere

Remote Desktop Services is available as a hosted service, a Desktop as a Service offering if you like.   This is often called Hosted Desktop or Hosted Applications and offloads the responsibility of managing, supporting and maintaining IT backend systems to a professional hosting provider.

Besides the obvious advantage of being able to run Access from anywhere over the Internet the availability of free Microsoft Remote Desktop Clients means that it is also simple to run it on other devices such as Macs, iPads and Android tablets.   This is a simple way of sharing an Access database application without the need for any onsite server infrastructure.



Using Remote Desktop Services also means that other applications can be run alongside Access in exactly the same way as they would on a PC.   Whether this is integration with other Microsoft Office applications or other 3rd party or bespoke applications.   Many businesses use this as an opportunity to move their whole business into the cloud.


Find out more about hosting Access applications

Your Office Anywhere have been hosting Access and similar applications for well over 10 years and are experienced with getting the optimum performance from Access on a remote desktop platform.   Speak to a technical sales consultant who can explain more or perhaps take advantage of a free trial or test server to try your application out on the platform. Alternatively, you can read more on our Microsoft access online service.

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