Access Services lets you quickly create web applications and make them available to your SharePoint users via their web browser. The great thing is you don’t actually need to know much about SharePoint or be a web developer to make your application, the only thing you need is Microsoft Access skills.
The process for creating an Access Services database is:
- Create a database with tables and forms in Access 2010.
- Click the Home menu and choose the Save and Share option.
- Perform the compatibility test and fix any issues.
- Publish to SharePoint – enter a site name (Access Services creates a site for each published Access database).
Access Services migrates the data from the Access MDB file into the SharePoint Content database (as lists). This allows multi-user access to the Access Services database. One thing to note is that Access Services databases can’t use a SQL Server backend database.
Why use Access Services?
Access Services applications can be built by anyone with Microsoft Access with a very low learning curve. No need to learn .NET development.
Existing Access Databases can be converted. They must be upgraded to Access 2010 first and a few changes may be required to meet the deployment requirements, but will often be far quicker than developing a new application.
Performance is great for remote users. The application is accessed via your web browser and is a great way to improve performance for remote users.
Your database becomes multi-user with minimal effort!
Because it’s SharePoint your application is available on the intranet without additional infrastructure and licensing.
A few other things you should know:
- User access management is handled by SharePoint security.
- Locks the database at object level rather than file level. Better concurrent user access.
- Allows large lists (100,000 items is easily supported)
- Master page branding is not supported. Uses Access branding.
- Linked tables are not supported
- Access Services sites can’t be edited using SharePoint designer
To use Access Services you need the following:
- SharePoint 2010 Enterprise
- SQL 2008 R2 with Reporting Services installed in SharePoint Integrated mode