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Access Services in SharePoint 2010 - All You Need to Know


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Access Services in SharePoint 2010 - All You Need to Know

  1. 1. Access Services in SharePoint 2010 All You Need to Know Nik Patel SharePoint Solutions Architect, Slalom Consulting1 Slalom Confidential
  2. 2. Session Focus and Goals• Let’s Ask yourself - Are you in the right session? • This Session is about Access Services 2010, Not Access Databases (Kind of) • Focus on IT Administrators and Business Analysts • Mixture of 100 and 200 level contents • Balanced view of the Product – Highlight the Limitations • Lots of Demos • Identify Best Practices2 Slalom Confidential
  3. 3. About Me – Speaker Bio • Nik Patel • Solutions Architect, Slalom Consulting • MCTS in SharePoint 2007 • M.S. in Computer Science, IIT, Chicago • Working with SharePoint 2010 since Summer 2009 with heavy focus on OOB functionalities • Contact Info • Twitter - @nikxpatel • Email – • LinkedIn - • Blog – Nik Patel’s SharePoint World - • Slalom Twitter: @slalom, @racetowin3 Slalom Confidential
  4. 4. About You – Quick Survey Access Services 2010 Access Database Usage Familiarity How many of you have Access How many of you know Access Databases in your organizations? Services 2010? How many of them are not IT How many of you are using Access Services 2010 in your organization managed? at this moment?4 Slalom Confidential
  5. 5. Session Agenda Microsoft Access – Benefits and Challenges Access Services– Benefits, Architectural Details, and Limitations Access Services Configuration on SharePoint Farm – Step by Step Typical ways to integrate Access DBs in SharePoint 2010 Access Services Performance Tuning and Maintenance Migration Considerations – Access Databases to Access Services5 Slalom Confidential
  6. 6. Microsoft Access - Benefits and Challenges Benefits – Why we love it? • End-user Empowerment - Empowers end-users to develop business Microsoft Access applications quickly at low cost without IT resources Benefits and Challenges • Data Mash up tool – Gather data from multiple sources ranging from Spreadsheets, SharePoint, Web Services, or ODBC (SQL, Oracle) Introducing • Underground Apps - Easy to build non-customer facing, short-term, low- Access Services cost, low-risk, and low-profile Data-Centric Applications Challenges – Why its notorious? Access Services Configuration • No Centralization - No true centralized storage or centralized access • Multiple copies of applications on user’s desktops • Mismatched Data on user’s desktops Access Services Deployment • Lost Applications due to Hard drive Crash • IT’s biggest headache - Managing Access applications Access Services Management In Essence, we can’t live without Access Databases or live with Access Databases. Is there any better solution? Migration Considerations6 Slalom Confidential
  7. 7. Introducing Access Services 2010 Game Changer in Access Space • New feature to host the entire Access databases within Microsoft Access SharePoint 2010 Benefits and Challenges • Available only in the SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition Introducing Access Services • Technical/Business Benefits - • Balance between business agility and IT manageability • No Install Solution - Web based Access Access Services Configuration • Improved Collaboration – Create and Share web based team databases. • Centralized Data Storage – Single truth of the Application Logic and Data • Centralized IT management – Improved Reliability, Scalability, and Access Services Deployment Manageability • Access Applications Standardization using Templates – IT can configure/support services, start building out the web database standards, Access Services and let end-users manage it Management • Improved Backup/Restore Process - Access databases becomes part of the SharePoint Backup and Restore Process. Migration Considerations7 Slalom Confidential
  8. 8. Access Services – High Level Architecture SharePoint Browser Interface Access Database Client Client Forms Datasheets Reports Server ASPX Pages and Project JS ASPX Pages and Data Form Web object RDL Viewer Part Access Services Service Query Processor ADO. Net Data table Data Access Layer Cache Expressions Data and Column Validation Work Flows Referential Integrity – Lookup Columns Actions SharePoint Lists8 Slalom Confidential
  9. 9. Access Services 2010 – Architectural Details • Access Service is a middle-tier service • Handles the query processor and data access layer. • Manages communication between Access Web Application and Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges SharePoint Content Databases. • Uses the SharePoint 2010 Platform Improvements for Lists • List Relationships (Restrict Insert, Cascade Delete) Introducing • Unique Column Constraints Access Services • Data Level Validation • Improves Performance/Scalability Access Services • Allows large record sets (100K) in the SharePoint List using ADO.NET Configuration caching layer. • Allows Paging, Filtering, Sorting, On-demand Data Retrievals against Caching Engine. Access Services Deployment • Improved Concurrency Conflicts • Locks the database at the object level, instead of database file level resulting in fewer conflicts Access Services Management • Security and Administrative Control • User Access management based on the SharePoint Security Migration Considerations9 Slalom Confidential
  10. 10. Access Services 2010 – Limitations • Advanced SharePoint Features • Site Content Type, Metadata/Taxonomy, BCS are not supported Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges • Advanced Access Features • Linked Objects (Linked Tables, Linked SharePoint Lists, or BCS Links) and VBA/Modules are not supported Introducing • Branding and Color Scheme Access Services • Access Services Application adopts look and feel from the Access Client. • Can’t be configured to inherit the master page branding or color scheme from the parent site collection/web application. Access Services Configuration • No Site Settings Menu • No Site Actions menu available in Access Services Web Site. • No SharePoint Designer Support Access Services Deployment • SharePoint Designer can’t open the Access Services Site. Access Services Management Migration Considerations10 Slalom Confidential
  11. 11. Access Services Configuration on Farm – Step by Step • Verify that SharePoint 2010 Enterprise CAL is Installed Microsoft Access • Make sure Service Infrastructure is enabled Benefits and Challenges • Manage Services on Server – Access Database Service is started • Manage Services Applications – Access Services Service Application – Review the Settings, No need to change any performance tuning settings Introducing • Manage Web Applications – Make sure given web application is associated Access Services with the Access Service • Make sure all the features are activated (By Default they are) • Central Admin -> System Settings -> Manage Farm Features -> Access Access Services Services Farm Feature Configuration • Central Admin -> Manage Web Applications -> Select Web Application hosting the Access Services Site -> Manage Web Application Features -> SharePoint Server Enterprise Web application features Access Services Deployment • Site Collection -> Site Settings -> SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection features • Site Collection -> Site Settings -> SharePoint Server Enterprise Site features Access Services Management • To the Access Reports on the web, Access Services requires • SSRS Add-in for SQL Server 2008 R2 (It doesn’t require SQL 2008 R2) • Enable Session State Service – Migration report-failed-to-load-because-session-state-is-not-turned-on/ Considerations11 Slalom Confidential
  12. 12. Access Services Configuration Steps12 Slalom Confidential
  13. 13. Access Database Deployment to Access Services 2010 Method I - Access Services “Publishing” Model from the Microsoft Access• Publish Web Legal Access Database as a Access Services Web Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges Application on the SharePoint Environment. • Data Must be Compatible with the SharePoint List Schema• Step by Step Deployment Process Introducing • From the Backstage -> Publish to Access Services. Access Services • Publishing process creates a new SharePoint Site at the specified Path. Access Services Configuration Access Services Deployment Access Services Management Migration Considerations13 Slalom Confidential
  14. 14. Access Services “Publishing” Model from the Microsoft Access14 Slalom Confidential
  15. 15. Access Database Deployment to Access Services 2010 Access Databases to Access Services TransformationAccess Database Access Services Microsoft Access Benefits and ChallengesACCDB SharePoint SiteAccess Tables and Data SharePoint Lists IntroducingAccess Queries CAML Entries in the System Tables Access ServicesAccess Forms ASPX Pages using the Data Form Web Parts stored in SharePoint Document Libraries Access Services ConfigurationUI Macros JavaScript Attached to SharePoint ASPX PagesDesign Themes CSS Style Sheets Access ServicesAccess Reports RDL files as Report Definitions and ASPX pages Deployment for the Reports (Requires SSRS 2008 R2 Add-in for the SharePoint 2010) Access ServicesData Macros SharePoint Workflow Actions ManagementLinked Tables, Linked SharePoint It stored in the Access Services but accessibleLists, BCS Links, VBA Code only from the Access 2010 client MigrationLibrary Considerations15 Slalom Confidential
  16. 16. Access Database Deployment to Access Services 2010 Method II – Deploy Access Database as a SharePoint Site Template• Use this approach to standardize the Access Services Web Database templates to create more than one sites based on same template. Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges• Step by Step Deployment Process • Save the Access Database as a Template from the Backstage in Accdt format. Introducing • Browse the SharePoint Site Collection’s Solutions Gallery and Access Services upload/Activate Accdt file in the SharePoint solution gallery. • Visit the New Site Creation Section and Create a new Access Services site based on the custom Accdt web template database. Access Services Configuration Access Services Deployment Access Services Management Migration Considerations 16 Slalom Confidential
  17. 17. Deploy Access Database as a SharePoint Site Template17 Slalom Confidential
  18. 18. Access Services 2010 Web Sites Maintenance Considerations Microsoft Access • Access Services runtime environment is both browser and client Benefits and Challenges but design environment is only Microsoft Access client. • Maintaining Access Services Sites Introducing Access Services • From the Options Menu, Click on the “Open In Access” to download the “Connected Microsoft Access” database for design modifications. • Data Changes – Any data changes on the client syncs to the web in real Access Services time. Configuration • Design Changes - Any client changes of the Table Schemas, Forms, Macros, Queries, reports doesn’t sync to web real-time. Use Access Service Sync Model “Sync All” from the backstage to sync interface Access Services Deployment changes. Access Services Management Migration Considerations18 Slalom Confidential
  19. 19. What if you have only SharePoint Foundation 2010? • SharePoint Foundation 2010 doesn’t have Access Services 2010 but it has SharePoint Lists and Document Libraries • Transfer Data as Linked SharePoint Lists - Centrally Managed Data Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges • Store Access DB in the SharePoint Document Library - Centrally Deployed Interface • Step by Step Deployment Process Introducing • From the Access Client DB, visit the Database Tools Tab and Export the Access Services Access Tables to the SharePoint Site as a Lists using “SharePoint” ribbon button Access Services • Upload the Access DB to the SharePoint Document Library. Configuration Access Services Deployment Access Services Management Migration Considerations19 Slalom Confidential
  20. 20. Access Databases in SharePoint Foundation 2010 Maintenance Considerations Microsoft Access • Access Services runtime and design environment is only Microsoft Benefits and Challenges Access client. • Maintaining Access Databases in SharePoint Foundation Introducing Access Services • Data Changes - Use the SharePoint lists from the browser or Open the database read-only from the SharePoint, you can change data in the linked tables from the Access Client. Access Services • Design Schema Changes - To make design changes, download the copy Configuration of the database to the hard drive, make changes, and upload it back to the document library replacing the previous version of the database. • Concurrency - Lock is Per Database. When multiple users are making Access Services Deployment design changes simultaneously, last person who upload the changes back to the SharePoint overwrite the other user changes. • Best Practices - Make sure versioning and check out is required to avoid Access Services concurrent changes while making design changes. Management Migration Considerations20 Slalom Confidential
  21. 21. Access Database Collaboration in the SharePoint Foundation 201021 Slalom Confidential
  22. 22. What if you don’t have Compatible Data? • You can’t use the Access Services 2010 or SharePoint Foundation Methods showed earlier if you don’t have SharePoint Compatible Microsoft Access Data. Benefits and Challenges • Preferred Approach – Make the Access Data Compatible to SharePoint Introducing • See the Migration Considerations later. Access Services • Interim/Compromised Approach - Use the Hybrid Approach • Meets most real world scenarios Access Services Configuration • Migrate Data to the Linked Tables - Move any of the Incompatible Access Data to the SQL Server or another access db (from the database tools tab -> SQL Server or Access). • Update UI Objects - Update Existing Reports, Forms, and Queries to Access Services Deployment reference Linked Tables • Publish Access Database to Access Services - Access the Web Objects from the Browser and Client Objects from the Access Client. • Fix and Migrate Data Gradually - To migrate the external data in the Access Services Management SharePoint lists, import the previously incompatible data stored in linked tables as local tables into the Access DB, fix the Data and UI browser compatibility issues, and republish it to the Access Web Services. Migration Considerations22 Slalom Confidential
  23. 23. Access Services Performance Tuning• Use Access Services Service Application - From the Central Admin -> Manage Service Applications to Manage Access Services Settings• Major Settings - Max columns/rows per query, Max sources per query, Max Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges calculated columns per query, Max order clauses per query, Max records per table in the join, Max sessions per users etc.• Best Practices - Do not change this settings unless you really need to. Introducing Access Services Access Services Configuration Access Services Deployment Access Services Management Migration Considerations23 Slalom Confidential
  24. 24. Recap - Typical ways to integrate Access DBs in SharePoint 2010 Good Solution – Better Solution – Access Hybrid Interim Solution – Document Library and Services Access Services with SharePoint Lists (Long-Term Solution) Complex Data and UI Microsoft Access Benefits and ChallengesTechnology Basic Integration in the Advanced Solution in the Advanced Solution in the SharePoint Foundation SharePoint 2010 Enterprise SharePoint 2010 Enterprise 2010 Edition to host Access databases Edition to host Access databases Introducing Access ServicesData and UI Requires data must be Requires Data must be Mixed CompatibilityCompatibility compatible with the compatible with the SharePoint SharePoint. and UI must be compatible for Browser Access Access ServicesData Storage Data is stored in Data is stored in SharePoint Lists Data is stored in combination Configuration SharePoint Linked Lists of SharePoint Lists and Linked TablesUI Components UI is stored in Access Browser Compatible UI UI components are stored in Access ServicesStorage Database hosted in the components are stored as Access Client and Access Deployment Document Library Access Services Web Site. Services Web Site.Browser Access Data is accessible from Both Data and UI are accessible Variable Browser Access – browser but requires from the browser Only Web Objects are Access Services Access Client for UI available over web ManagementAccess Client YES - Requires Access No - Doesn’t Require Access YES – Mixed EnvironmentRequirements 2010 Client software must 2010 Client software on the exists on the end-users end-users machine except machine. Designers. Migration ConsiderationsConcurrency Low Concurrency High Concurrency Variable Concurrency - Lock is per database - Lock is per object 24 Slalom Confidential
  25. 25. Migration Considerations (Slide 1 of 4) Migrating Access 2007 Databases to the Access Services 2010 Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges Introducing Access Services Access Services Configuration Access Services Deployment Access Services Management Migration Considerations25 Slalom Confidential
  26. 26. Migration Considerations (Slide 2 of 4) Migrating Access 2007 Databases to the Access Services 2010 • Step 1 - Rationalization Process – Analyze Access Databases in the Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges Organization • Use the OMPM (Office Migration Planning Manager) Introducing • OMPM tool analyzes the Access databases and generates in-depth Access Services reports. • OMPM tool doesn’t analyze the database web compatibility for the Access Services. Access Services Configuration • • OMPM is a Geeky tool – Runs by INI file and command line interface. • Scanning Tool Access Services Deployment • Scans across network share or hard drive. • Generates the cab file/log files about the ACCDB details • Analysis Tool Access Services Management • Import the scanned data into Access Db for detailed analysis • Reports on Database and Issues, Active vs. Old DBs, DBs participated in replication etc. Migration Considerations26 Slalom Confidential
  27. 27. Migration Considerations (Slide 3 of 4) Migrating Access 2007 Databases to the Access Services 2010• Step 2 - Migration Process – Make Access 2007 Database Data Web Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges Compatible • Save the Access 2007 or Previous Versions of DB in the Access 2010 format Introducing • Run the Web Compatibility Checker - It will create the “Web Compatibility Access Services Issues” table in the Access Database. • Analyze and Fix the Web Compatibility Issues - Rerun the Web Compatibility Access Services Checker until Access database is web compatible with Access Services Configuration • Major Issues • Invalid Column and Table Names Access Services • Composite Keys and Compound Indexes Deployment • Declarative Referential Integrity • Primary and Foreign Text Keys • OLE data types needs converted into attachment data types. Access Services Management • Tables with the recursive relationships to manage parents and child data in same table are not supported in SharePoint. Migration Considerations27 Slalom Confidential
  28. 28. Migration Considerations (Slide 4 of 4) Migrating Access 2007 Databases to the Access Services 2010 • Step 3 - Design the UI for full web compatibility Microsoft Access Benefits and Challenges • Create new web objects - Navigation (tabbed interface), Web Forms, Web Reports with the new themes and look and feel for web compatibility Introducing • Set the Main Navigation Form - Set Web Display form from the Backstage Access Services | Options | Current Database page and Select the Web Display Form • Step 4 - Publish the Web Legal Format to the SharePoint Access Services Configuration • Publish web legal format database to the Access Services. • Publishing Issues - Web compatibility checker doesnt check all the Access Services database issues. Publishing process logs the issues in the "Move to Deployment SharePoint Site Issues" table. • Incompatible data (e.g. invalid date, hyperlinks etc.) Access Services • Invalid Expressions entered manually without Expression Builder may Management cause publishing process fail Migration Considerations28 Slalom Confidential
  29. 29. Access Services Best Practices Recap • Don’t Ignore this Product (After all its available to use if you have SharePoint Enterprise CAL) • If you have access databases in your organization, do not ignore this product. • Migration Should be taken Seriously • Keep remind yourself that Migrating Access applications to Access Services is not straightforward. Additionally, document and standardize the migration process. • Standardize the Access Applications • Build Templates to standardize the Access Services Applications (e.g. OOB Projects Database). • Going Forward, Use New Web Database Format • Going forward, Start all the client Microsoft Access databases with the web database template to make sure its always compatible with SharePoint and Access Services. • Guard Default Access Service Settings • Change the Access Services Performance Settings, only if you must.29 Slalom Confidential
  30. 30. Online Resources• Access Team Blog• Access 2010 Web Conversion Service Offering• Nik Patel’s Article on Access Services• TechNet – Access Services Planning• TechNet - Access Services Administration• TechNet – Access Services Whitepaper 30 Slalom Confidential
  31. 31. Questions & Answers Thank You Enjoy the SharePoint Saturday!!31 Slalom Confidential