Access 365 (office 365) and VBA

Posted on 2014-07-17
Last Modified: 2014-07-20
I program in Access 2010 using a lot of VBA.  I have a customer who is going to Office 365 - with Access.

In some quick research, I'm not sure that VBA can be used in Access 365.

Is there going to be problems bringing an Access 2010 app with lots of VBA to Office 365 - Access?

Thanks in advance.
Question by:LJG
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Accepted Solution

Jack Leach earned 250 total points
ID: 40203677
VBA can be used in Access via O365 - provided you're using Desktop databases, anyway.

O365 provides two "modes" of Access (in fact, Access 2013 in general does, be it a "traditional" installation or via O365, which can be considered a "streamed" installation).

The first, traditional mode is the Desktop mode, which has (more or less), all the same features as every other version of Access that we're used to.

The second, entirely separate, is a Web App "mode", where you design Access Web Apps and publish them to SharePoint (usually via your O365 subscription).  These are cross-device/cross-platform applications that are rendered using HTML5 and JavaScript, hosted on an Azure backend (of which we can get very limited access to).

Access Web Apps are unable to make use of VBA programming due to the fact that they must be able to run across any device.  These are what you're reading/hearing about.  However, traditional desktop applications are certainly still alive and well - just don't use the Web App functionality that Access 2013 provides.

Again, Access 2013 is Access 2013 whether it comes from Office 365 or a standalone installation.

For more information on how things are set up for Access Web Apps, there's an article here:

LVL 75

Assisted Solution

by:DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)
DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform) earned 250 total points
ID: 40203773
Adding a bit more to what Jack said ...

Your Access 2010 db will run in the *destkop* side of Access 2013 - with no issues - all things being equal.   However, you will probably want to convert the A2010 db to an A2013 db,  so you can take advantage of what I am about to say ....

In Access 2010, there was the Desktop side and the Web side - aka Web Databases, which did not really catch on, because the back end tables for Web Databases were Sharepoint Lists - resulting in VERY limited functionality.

In Access 2013, as Jack noted, there is the Desktop side and again the Web side, aka Access Web Apps, which are  *completely* different than Access 2010 Web databases.  The back end tables for an Access Web App is a full blown SQL Server (Azure) back end managed by Microsoft (or possible your own IT dept, etc).  This is a HUGE difference. The front end (UI) for Access Web Apps is the browser - any browser.

And there is more good news.  You can, via VBA on the Desktop side of A2013 - link to the SQL Server Tables - such that you can have a Desktop UI - just like always - talking to the SQL tables ! So, end users would access the app via the browser, and you could have an admin/manager UI ( or whatever) on the Desktop side to maintain whatever you need to in the back end, Again, HUGE,

I HIGHLY recommend the following two books (I have both) which will get you up to speed in short order:

Microsoft Access 2013 Inside Out


Professional Access 2013 Programming
LVL 57
ID: 40204342

  I think your out to win the poster boy award for Web Apps<g>.


 As Jack said, just stay away from the Web App side and everything will be fine.

 If you do have a need for remote users, then you can explore the Web Apps.  However keep in mind that they are only good for basic CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations.   There is no VBA or reporting services (there are macro's, but they are limited).

 At this time, your only have a few different form views that you can use, a handful of controls, and a few basic events.  This page here:

 Gives you a good overview of what's available with web apps.

 The other issue with the web apps is security; there basically is none.  With Sharepoint, you either grant a user read only access, or read/write access without design change, or read/write with design change.   And it's across the board.  There's no in-between.

 However if you do have remote users and all they need is CRUD functionality, then it's a great solution because as Joe mentioned, you can still have a traditional desktop app pointed to the same Azure DB and have a hybrid design, with the desktop app giving you the full app functionality you would need.

 Web Apps are where Access is heading by the way.  I would consider A2010 the last full version for the traditional desktop side (A2013 dropped several features for desktop databases).

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Author Comment

ID: 40204913
Group your answers are all exactly what I was looking for - Thanks

The Problem: - I want to give each of you the full 500 points instead of dividing them

The Solution:  I have two other questions I just opened - I one or more of you can give a answer to the question(s) I can give each of you 500 points.  If you are not so inclined - I will divide the points between you.

1) Where do we go from here -  Access 2010 the last full version for the traditional desktop

2) Access 365 Desktop App Pointing to Azure DB

Thanks again
LVL 75
ID: 40205041
"I think your out to win the poster boy award for Web Apps<g>."

Jim ... I'm saddened by your continual negativity toward Web Apps each time the subject comes up here on EE.  Jeff Conrad has proven you wrong :-)
Users such as the OP may ... not be an as experienced Access developer as we are, and consequently see Web Apps as that hottest thing since <InsertPhraseHere>.

LVL 57
ID: 40205096
<<Jim ... I'm saddened by your continual negativity toward Web Apps each time the subject comes up here on EE. >>

 and you continually paint a picture as if web apps are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

 But  I think you need to re-read some of my comments:

" However if you do have remote users and all they need is CRUD functionality, then it's a great solution because "

" Web Apps are where Access is heading by the way.  "

  I certainly don't feel I am being overly negative, but simply stating the facts and looking at things from the viewpoint of someone coming from using a traditional Access Desktop database, which is where many of these questions come from.  In fact I have yet to answer or see a single question anywhere where someone has said "I have never used Access before and I'm looking at doing an Access web app".
  If you've used Access at all in the past twenty years, your in for a shock when you move to web apps.  It's Access in name only and a totally different animal.  It's that simple.  

  But let's get down to brass tacks; is there anything I have said that is not true?   Are not web apps exactly as I stated?

  My clients pay me to offer sound advice and give them things that will accomplish what they need them to do.  If the product fits, fantastic I'll be at the front of the line, but I'm not going to push something just because it happens to be the latest thing from Microsoft (or any other vendor for that matter).


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