Questions about Windows Surface I cant seem to get answered at the Department Store

I am looking for a good deal on a tablet so that I can develop a simple interface with Access to help users get data to a database. The purpose is to have users walk around and collect information in there job and post it to a database for the purpose of collecting, reporting and processing information.

I have checked out several at best buy and the Surface.....well came to the surface. It was inexpensive but has the Office basics which could help. I need to get the updated version of Office with Access so I can use a form fill, date select and push button features for users.

In talking to the people at Best Buy they had some insight but not a lot.

1. One will the Tablet version of Access for the Windows Surface be enough to allow a GUI interface with an Access DB sitting on a server in the users location.
2. Two will the wireless support the tablet as long as there is range in the building. In other words is the tablet working virtually the same way as a laptop or PC with wireless. I have never used a Tablet...."old timer here."
3. Does Windows make a protective cover for their Surface so that someone could carry it around a building where getting bumped is 100% probable and dropping the surface would be an absolute....!

The focus would be to use a stylus and have users select information from dropdown or calendar windows or select keys from a keypad displayed. Does this sound like it can be done and where are the protective cases for the unit. Best Buy does not have a single one. Only Ipad cases.
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
1. One will the Tablet version of Access for the Windows Surface be enough to allow a GUI interface with an Access DB sitting on a server in the users location.
Unless you are using an Access WEB database, (and all of the other associated technology sharepoint, office 365, ...et al) Ms Access will never run reliably wirelessly
But this is a huge topic in and of itself.   If you are new to Access designing a access app that will work smoothly with a tablet will be a huge undertaking...
...just FYI...
2. Two will the wireless support the tablet as long as there is range in the building. In other words is the tablet working virtually the same way as a laptop or PC with wireless. I have never used a Tablet...."old timer here."
Yes
3. Does Windows make a protective cover for their Surface so that someone could carry it around a building where getting bumped is 100% probable and dropping the surface would be an absolute....!
Yes see here:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstemplatemapper.jsp?id=pcat17080&type=page&qp=cabcat0500000%23%23-1%23%23-1~~cpcmcat209000050008%23%23-1%23%23-1~~cpcmcat231800050009%23%23-1%23%23-1~~cpcmcat242000050002%23%23-1%23%23-1~~q70726f63657373696e6774696d653a3e313930302d30312d3031~~nf1051||53757266616365&list=y&nrp=15&sc=abComputerSP&sp=-bestsellingsort+skuid&usc=abcat0500000
...or just do a web search of: "cases for surface"
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Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006PresidentCommented:
To be super clear, make sure you're looking at the Surface Pro.  The Surface RT will not run an Access client.  The Surface Pro is also the model that includes a stylus - the RT doesn't.

Also, boag2000 is correct that Access won't run properly over wireless - if the backend database is also Access.  However, it can run well over wireless if the backend is SQL Server (even the free Express version).  However, there are things you need to do to make sure it works well.

I've written a PowerPoint presentation on techniques for using Access as a client-server front-end to SQL Server databases.  It's called "Best of Both Worlds" at our free J Street Downloads Page:

http://www.JStreetTech.com/downloads

It includes some thoughts on when to use SQL Server, performance and security considerations, concurrency approaches, and techniques to help everything run smoothly.

Cheers,
Armen Stein
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RUA Volunteer2?Tableau Trainer & Consultant Sales Exec.Author Commented:
Great information thank you for the insight.
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