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Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Features in Access 2010

Access 2010 includes a host of improvements over prior versions. Microsoft has spent hundreds of person-years developing MS Access 2010, and we've summarized a few of the best improvements below. Outside of what you'll see below, Access 2010 offers many usability improvements that are not individually worth calling out, but will make life much easier.

Publishing Access Databases to SharePoint with Access Services

We've been working with this feature since November 2008 when we visited Redmond for a few days for an alpha-preview. It is a huge improvement over Access 2000/2003 Data Access Pages in terms of usability. The new feature is limited to SharePoint, something that will be a downside for anyone hoping to publish Access forms to the public Internet easily. But for any local intranet application that requires the scalability of SharePoint, and some nice web forms, Access 2010 is a fantastic leap forward.

In brief, you can now take the tables from a Microsoft Access database, move them up to SharePoint, and create end-user forms in Access that will show up in SharePoint as a special site. The MS Access 2010 web forms have a similar look and feel to normal SharePoint pages, and you will need to design your web forms in MS Access 2010 separately from any client forms you want to display to users when they view your database using Access on their own machine.

The benefits?

* Better collaboration across your company. Allow users to share and manage information via a central SharePoint site.

* Fewer end-user requirements. You no longer need to make sure all your users have Access and your database installed. They simply open a browser and start working in your web forms.

* Fast web-applications without requiring a professional developer. You can create a fairly simple, but functional, web application in Access 20101 in a matter of hours.

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