Office 365 C2R install query

We currently deploy Office 365 but exclude Access from the install to limit the number of people that can create databases.  
Is there a way to install Access on those devices that do require it without having to send out a fresh Office 365 package with Access enabled?
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NEnterprise Systems EngineerAsked:
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Not that I know of.
But why this trouble? I've never met a user that uses Access for fun, most prefer Excel.
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NEnterprise Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
I thought that might be the case.  We don't support Access databases in general.  In the past customers have created their own databases for their team / department, then once they leave and something goes wrong we're left with trying to figure it out.  Management therefore made the decision to not include Access unless there is a specific business case.
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Interesting. Then Microsoft has gained some kind of success trying to move people away from the abuse of Excel as a database.

But still, isn't this a management and educational issue? I mean, I've seen completely uncomprehensive spreadsheets where you don't know if formulas are complex because they have to be or because the user didn't know better.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
You can't mix CTR and standalone installs, so everything needs to be handled through Office 365.

  Maybe a backdoor approach; issue packages with Access enabled, but add MSACCESS.EXE to your anti-virus/behavioral software and block it.  That may generate some some support tickets though<g>

  Or possibly a better approach; make it disappear off the menu through a GPO.   Not 100% sure that's doable as Office might try to "repair" and put it back.

 I think I would do full packages though, then find a clean way to keep it from executing.

Jim.
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PatHartmanCommented:
I thought that might be the case.  We don't support Access databases in general.  In the past customers have created their own databases for their team / department, then once they leave and something goes wrong we're left with trying to figure it out.  Management therefore made the decision to not include Access unless there is a specific business case.
Seems shortsighted to force people to use a sledge hammer when they need a screwdriver.

Luke Chung of fmsinc has written what many consider the best paper on the place of Access in a business.
http://fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/Strategy/index.asp

Another that is relevant to your comment.
http://fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/taking-over/index.html

There are also lots of other interesting papers and helpful free tools as well as excellent tools for departments that support Access applications.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
<<Seems shortsighted to force people to use a sledge hammer when they need a screwdriver.>>

  yes and no.  I've been on the other side of the fence when users have run amuck, nothing's documented, and they leave a major mess behind when they leave.    

 I'm not saying IT should outright say no to Access, but you just can't give it to everyone.   There's so many considerations; security, documentation, network utilization, app support, etc. that needs to be taken into account.    And in many cases, a company can open themselves to serious liability issues if they let people develop applications on their own.

The main point is that there needs to be good communication between IT and users so everyone knows what's involved.

Jim.
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PatHartmanCommented:
yes and no.  I've been on the other side of the fence when users have run amuck, nothing's documented, and they leave a major mess behind when they leave.
If the business people need some functionality that IT cannot or will not create, they will do it themselves.  Do you really think that forcing them to use Excel, which may be poorly suited for the task, rather than Access will be better?  Users never document anything.  Is a spaghetti spreadsheet really any better than a spaghetti database.  And besides as Luke's pyramid shows, most user developed applications actually have a pretty short lifespan and IT only sees the ones that become mission critical.

I am not suggesting that users have unfettered access to the server-side databases because they can cause issues but they can cause the same issues with Excel if you allow them to link to your live data via Excel.

I am an escapee from IT.  I worked in IT for 25 years.  I left corporate America a long time ago when I realized that the inmates were running the asylum.  It seemed that all the users got from my department was a lot of NO and that was leading to many lost opportunities.  Now I work as a consultant to the business people to help them solve problems that their IT department cannot justify.  Mostly because they're so entrenched in their "tools" and their view that Access is a toy that they won't even consider using Access to professionally solve small business problems.  Most Access apps cost less than 25% of what development with a "real" tool would cost.  Why spend all that money when you don't have to?  When IT is treated as a profit center rather than a cost center, it is much more productive and willing to help users to actually save (or earn) money.

One app I developed for a new insurance subsidiary of a UK company helped the users to create new insurance products themselves.  IT in the UK typically took 3-6 months to develop the infrastructure to add a new product to the product line.  Way too slow for a growing business exacerbated by the problem that in the US, insurance is governed by the state so there are 50 sets of rules and regulations rather than one as in the UK.  So, the app I developed allowed the user to create, all by himself - no IT support required, an entire new product in 3 hours for a simple product to perhaps 2 days for one that was much more complex.  It took IT in the UK almost 3 years and several million dollars to replicate what I did in Access in about three months.  Granted, I came up with a truly elegant solution that the users could implement themselves, but Access was what let me build it in such a short time frame.
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NEnterprise Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hi All,

Thanks for the comments.

@Gustav Brock - I quite agree.  This is definitely more of an educational issue.  If customers actually did some proper documentation we wouldn't be stuck with trying to decipher their work when it breaks after they've left and essentially wasting hours and hours of time.

@Jim Dettman - We suggested the hiding of the shortcut but that was shot down as 'once one customer finds it, they'll all find it'.  Ultimately we're aiming to get AppLocker implemented but this is a way off yet due to other work pressures so was looking for a potential quick fix in the meantime.

Thanks again.
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