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SharePoint Summit 2013 - Vancouver - MS Access 2013 - The new (old) thing
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SharePoint Summit 2013 - Vancouver - MS Access 2013 - The new (old) thing

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Is the new Access Services in SharePoint 2013 a great new tool for creating forms based solutions in SharePoint? This talk takes you through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Is the new Access Services in SharePoint 2013 a great new tool for creating forms based solutions in SharePoint? This talk takes you through the good, the bad and the ugly.

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  • Let’s look at a little history of Access
  • Access was first released in 1992Used it’s own underlying database engine (Jet)And, in fact, it still does, for stand alone access apps
  • DHL: Tracking overnight airfreightBMO: Y2K tracking projectsGovOnt: WorkFare
  • Why did they hate it?
  • Because mission critical data, shared by a number of people was hosted on someone’s desktop.
  • Often by this guy – (From office space: Where’s my stapler?)
  • These systems are not usually managed to the standards of the IT department.Even when plans are made to make sure good backups exist…
  • There are often issues
  • And so, when mission critical data is lost, everyone has a freak attack
  • And your IT director says….
  • “NO MORE ACCESS AROUND HERE”
  • And came up with a new formula
  • Take a tool that IT saw as a toy, but which provided actual value to end users…. And….
  • Put systems in-place to ensure availability, reliability and recoverablity
  • It just didn’t work as hoped.
  • According to Microsoft:It’s the business user – who are knowledgeable of their business domain and who can use the tool to create applications that solve their problems without help from experts and without programming.
  • And came up with a new formula
  • Access is still a capable desktop based, file based database tool that hasn’t changed an awful lot in 20 years.
  • VERY non-flexible.Ford said of the model T: You can have any colour you want as long as it’s black.
  • You need the right versions of SharePoint and SQL ServerYou need to set up App HostingYou need the right permissionsIt could become an administrative complexity – each instance has it’s own database
  • It’s all just ‘there’
  • This may be on the second page
  • It’s not instant – it takes a minute or two
  • And then it’s available
  • You need to have Access 2013 installed on your desktop for this to work.
  • Access will open with this message
  • This is exciting at first: You can create a table from a SP List.But it’s really limited – you can only read from it.
  • There is a pre-built collection of objects, you just have to find the one you want.
  • The form comes pre-created for you, with default views.Clicking “Launch App”
  • And it opens in the browser
  • You can do your data entry here
  • The left side lists the records, which can be filtered, and beside that are the control buttons for add, delete, edit, save, exit
  • After adding a couple more records, you can see the other items in the selectable list.
  • Back in the Access interface, we can see some of the other components by clicking on the Navigation Pane icon
  • You can see all the tables and forms
  • This is the table view, where you can define the fields and their parameters
  • Crazy thing – have to reselect this to get the lookup popup
  • Crazy thing – have to reselect this to get the lookup popup
  • Save the changes (these are uploading to SP)
  • You’ll need to refresh
  • Add the bottom here, you can add comments about this item, directly from this form.However, if you’re making your own form from scratch, I can’t figure out how to get this to appear.
  • But, if you click it, a pop up opens, with a data entry form.
  • And the lookup fields have cool type-ahead search functionality
  • This is the datasheet view for the form. Each table has a datasheet.
  • Here’s another view, where the events are group by status.
  • You can also add macros. Scripts that take action when something changes, or that you can kick off manually
  • The macro builder
  • Sqeeze some of the juice out of SharePoint without a developer
  • Check out WonderLaura’s video on this
  • Transcript

    • 1. Access The New (old) Thing for SharePoint Ruven Gotz – Director, Avanade
    • 2. About me @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com Ruven Gotz
    • 3. Buy the Book (or Kindle): http://amzn.to/JnxlcC
    • 4. A little history Microsoft Certified Trainer for Access Teaching development in Access Basic Doing independent consulting with Access Solutions
    • 5. It was capable of a lot
    • 6. But it was a dangerous tool
    • 7. IT Guys hated it
    • 8. Ugly data entry forms (This is one of the better ones)
    • 9. Backup often planned
    • 10. But recovery: Not reliable
    • 11. Mission Critical Data: Lost!
    • 12. Microsoft went back to the lab…
    • 13. Access 2010
    • 14. What was the goal?
    • 15. Industrialize it…
    • 16. Tried to use SP as the database
    • 17. A real breakthrough (hopefully)
    • 18. Turned out weak
    • 19. Who is the target audience?
    • 20. My Assumptions • We are looking at Access as a power-user tool • We are not looking at manipulating the underlying code for Access • In today’s talk, I am examining the likelihood that you will want to use Access to build solutions or to release to your power users to take the load off of IT
    • 21. Microsoft went back to the lab… AGAIN
    • 22. Access 2013
    • 23. A new architecture Classic Desktop Architecture Jet Desktop Database File Based Requires Access or Access Runtime Access Services Architecture SQL Server Database Runs in Browser Redistributable as an App
    • 24. The new architecture View and Edit Data Database Design Advanced Reporting & Integration • • • • • Desktop Access Reports Excel Power View Crystal Reports Custom Websites (.NET, PHP, etc.)
    • 25. The new layout structure 2. Choose view 1. Choose table 3. Search and filter 4. Add and edit items Presents a polished, consistent interface. But flexible?
    • 26. Access services on Office 365 O365 Browser Browser Browser runtime Web app 1 Web app 2 design Web app 3 Access IDE … SQL Azure
    • 27. Access services on premises SP On Prem Browser Browser Browser runtime Web app 1 Web app 2 design Web app 3 Access IDE … SQL Server
    • 28. Getting Access Services setup on-prem is REALLY, REALLY HARD
    • 29. Getting Access Services to work in Office 365 is REALLY, REALLY EASY
    • 30. Let’s do a walkthrough • What’s it like to interact with Access Services • What are the pluses • What are the limitations
    • 31. A brief glimpse at a custom app • Tracking the boats and races at the yacht club.
    • 32. Customization example
    • 33. What is good about Access? • Microsoft has created a really slick tool • They tried to protect the user from him or herself • Very structured page layouts • It uses SQL Server for back-end safety, management and performance  HUGE • Comes with a bunch of pre-built objects that can be very quickly snapped together and slightly modified • It RUNS in most BROWSERS  HUGE
    • 34. What are the downsides • Very difficult to change things from the Microsoft design template • The pre-built items have capabilities that are very difficult to figure out: Creating your own custom entities has limitations • You can’t read/write to SharePoint lists (read-only) • Can’t run SP workflows, can’t send an email from an action
    • 35. My hope: Squeeze some additional juice out of SP • Access would be a great ‘form builder’ tool for power users, allowing them to create good looking forms with relational lookups, enhanced validation, parent-child relationships, etc.
    • 36. Meeting the burden: • I said to you up-front: In today’s talk, I am examining the likelihood that you will want to use Access to build solutions or to release to your power users to take the load off of IT
    • 37. Sorry • No
    • 38. Conclusions • I contacted a few MVP’s and others and asked them: Do you see great use-cases for Access Services in SharePoint? • It’s too disconnected from SharePoint • It’s too unintuitive for power users to figure out without wasting a lot of time • As is, it’s just not ready to be a broad-based enduser or even power-user tool for
    • 39. But • Don’t lose faith • Microsoft is hearing us • The ‘cadence’ of delivery is changing • New SP capabilities & features are rolled out all the time • I am hopeful that Access will, in the not too distant future, be the tool we always hoped
    • 40. @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com Ruven Gotz Download this deck from: www.slideshare.net/ruveng Special thanks to: Reza Alirezai, Laura Rogers and other unnamed experts for help and insight in the creation of this deck
    • 41. Thank you for your attention! This presentation will be available on the Vancouver SharePoint Summit web site a few days after the event.

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