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Can I put a complex Access 2010 Database up on Sharepoint

Posted on 2014-04-28
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
Hello All,

I have an access 2010 database that has a ton of forms, reports, queries and tables.  The forms are pretty heavy with a lot of VBA, controls on top of other controls (so depending on what button a user presses some controls are visible and others are not),  tabs and subforms.

The people I did this for want this program to be put on the web.  Can Microsoft Sharpoint be the answer?  If I put the back end on Microsoft Azure could I then convert all the front stuff (forms) into something that would work on the web?

Thanks
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Question by:alevin16
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by:Jamie McAllister MVP
Jamie McAllister MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 40027412
You put put it directly into SharePoint via Access Services. In v2010 the tables etc are converted into Lists, and performance is so so.

In SharePoint 2013 the tables are converted to SQL Server tables and performance is lightening.

There are some limitations but largely your forms and other artifacts will work.

The links to understand this technology in more detail is here;

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee683869(v=office.15).aspx
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PatHartman earned 400 total points
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There is no conversion path from an access client/server app to an access web app.  It is a COMPLETE REWRITE.  Also, Access web apps have severe limitations.  The first being that they do not support code.  all you can use are macros.  They have expanded the set of macros but it isn't close to complete and most people who are capable of writing code find them awkward at best.

What is the purpose for moving the app to the web?  Access apps are generally inward facing.  That means they are used by only people on the same LAN.  Occasionally some interaction is needed with the outside world.  When that happens, either HTML reports are published to some website or a web app using ASP or something similar is created to work with tables that are shared with the original client/server app.

With A2013, Access web apps have come a long way.  At least they use Azure rather than sharePoint lists.  But you still need a complete rewrite.  And, if you only have Access 2010 or an older version of SharePoint, I wouldn't even consider an Access web app since the structure was completely revamped and A2013 is not compatible with A2010 so there is no point in creating web apps that are old before their time.

Usually the best solution for enabling your app to be used by a wider audience is to use Citrix.  Using Citrix allows people anywhere to share your application and no application changes are required.  I have one app that is hosted in Farmington, Connecticut and used by people from San Francisco, California to Paris, France.  You can convert to SQL Server if you need to but using Jet/ACE is just fine as long as your user count and database size fit the Jet/ACE profile.  Citrix is of course limited to "known" users.  It is still not a public facing solution.  If you want a public facing solution that must be available to unknown users, Access is a poor choice, even using web apps because the user STILL REQUIRES MS Access 2013 to be installed to use your app.
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The other option is the hosting service:

www.eqldata.com

It allows you to put Access DB's "on the web" with little to no modification (if it can run under Terminal Services, then it will run on their web site).

 However it is a subscription service per user, so it's still not a great solution for a large number of users.

Jim.
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