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If you are someone who lives and breathes working with Microsoft Access, you might like the ability of lists in SharePoint to be opened using Access. Like connecting any list or library to Word, Excel or Outlook, we are going to drive most of this from the list section off the Ribbon. And if you notice that we've seen things already like Connect to Outlook. We could export these details to Excel and just make a little spreadsheet of them, but I am going to select this one, which is Open with Access. Notice the words there.
When you say Connect to Outlook, it suggests a synchronization, which it is. When you say Export to Excel, it's kind of a one-way push, which it is. Open with Access is a little bit in between. So what's it doing? Well, first off, Access needs a local database, so it's asking you now to create a database that it's going to store the information in. I am just going to accept the default, but notice below it it's asking, would you like this database to be linking to data on a SharePoint site, or do you want to export a copy of the data? This of course is up to you.
Do you want to actually manipulate it, play around with it, just have your own private copy, or you are wanting to connect to Access so that you can perhaps write your own custom reports, custom forms, and still have a fresh version of the data. I'm going to leave the default, which is we are going to link the date on the SharePoint site and click OK. When Access has figured it out, we actually have this information coming back. This is effectively our task list. As ever, it's always going to prompt with the security issues that it thinks might be possible. And perhaps in this case, I'm going to change our Renewal of equipment warranty to a high priority and say that it is 20% complete.
Now I am clicking off on to one of the other lines, and if you notice up here it asks, do you want to save the changes to the Server? I haven't clicked that yet, but if I go back over to SharePoint and refresh this page, I will actually see that that Renewal of equipment warranty is showing as 20% complete, which was the change that I just made. And that's because it really is round- trip. When you click off a row that you've been editing in Access, it will push back to SharePoint. Now, if all you were doing was what I've shown you here, you are not really getting a lot extra out of using Access.
Again, my assumption is thinking that if you're someone who lives and breathes Access, you just might be very familiar with the Access world and the Access way of doing things, and if so, you can find this very useful. If you're not looking at this as a big problem, you're probably not all that interested. The primary connection between SharePoint and Access for most users is pretty much just opening a list in Access. Now new in SharePoint Server 2010 and only in the Enterprise Edition is a future called Access Services. This lets you create a database in Access 2010 and publish it into SharePoint.
Instead of it sitting on your desktop or shared network drive, the database is actually converted into a SharePoint website, so it's accessible and shareable like any SharePoint site. We will actually explore that a little later on this course.
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