How Access Services 2013 has changed since 2010 and what that means for Access Developers

One of the most important changes with Access 2013 and their new web apps is in the architecture itself.

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In SharePoint 2010, Access Web Services was storing everything in SharePoint (and then SharePoint’s content was backed up by SQL).  Access 2013 apps are hosted by SharePoint 2013 while the data is stored in SQL Server 2012. SharePoint 2013 provides authentication, authorization, and security for Access 2013 apps. The back-end tables, views, macros, and queries are stored in an SQL Server 2012 database.  This change in architecture reflects a substantial change in the way Access Services works.

You will notice that SQL stores tables, views, macros and queries but there’s no mention about reporting.  That is because Access 2013 Web Apps do not allow you to create traditional Access reports.  The only way to do reporting is by connecting the local Access software program to the SQL tables directly or using some other compatible reporting software tool.

There are a lot of advantages of using Access 2013 with SharePoint 2013, but it is important for Access Developer to note the following:

  1. The idea of the Hybrid Application, SQL reporting services in a browser, and the architecture of Access Web Services 2010 has been completely abandoned by Microsoft.  Access Applications can be either SharePoint 2013 web apps OR traditional local Access Applications.
  2. Any existing SharePoint 2010 web application cannot be moved to SharePoint 2013.  You can preserver your tables, but all of your forms, reports, and queries will be lost in the transition from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013.
  3. Access 2013 introduces a new application type that enables you to create a web-based Access app in SharePoint 2013.  It is easier and more stable than 2010 since it is directly backed by SQL, but there are no built-in reporting services for Access web apps.
  4. Access 2013 and Access 2010 can both publish to SharePoint 2010 and the old Access Web Services 2010.  You must have Access 2013 to publish to SharePoint 2013 and create an Access 2013 web app.
  5. VBA code is not compatible with SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013 Access applications.

Access Hosting is committed to supporting the Access Developer community and will continue to offer SharePoint 2010 Access Web Services hosting for as long as developers are interested.  SharePoint 2013 Access Web apps do have a ton of advantages, and we have launched our brand new Access 2013 SharePoint 2013 hosting packages.  If you are interested in a free trial, please sign-up here.

We don’t just offer SharePoint hosting either.  We have great ways for every Access Developer and Access application to be hosted in the cloud whether it’s through SharePoint, SQL Server or our RDP solution which lets you host any Access 2007, 2010 or 2013 application without ANY modifications.  It supports VBA code too.

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