Microsoft Access web apps use SharePoint Server to store their data on the web. But SharePoint has some drawbacks that make it less ideal for many small businesses.
- [Instructor] For a few versions now, Access has supported the creation of web apps, which allow users to create internet-enabled databases. If that's the case, then why would we want to explore alternate methods of getting your data in front of a larger audience? There are actually a number of reasons why Access web apps aren't for everyone. The primary issue is that Access web apps require hosting on a SharePoint server. While Access is available on many Office 365 subscriptions, not every business is going to have also an available SharePoint server to host a web app.
Server infrastructures are more expensive to host and maintain, and subscription options provide services that are often beyond the requirements of many small businesses. Further, Microsoft has indicated that Access web apps would no longer be supported on self-hosted SharePoint servers in the near future, which makes the only option for future web app development is to use Microsoft's cloud-hosted subscription service. On the database design side, when using a web app, much of the database's functionality, data entry, and other interactions will also move to the SharePoint server.
This might limit the capabilities of the database. Web apps can't use Visual Basic routines for programmatic control of the database, and need to rely on a limited selection of built-in macros. Also, the table structures that web apps support are simplified from their desktop counterparts. For instance, primary keys must be auto-numbers, and can't be compounded from two different columns. In fact, SharePoint doesn't even support the traditional model of a relational database table, and instead uses a hybrid method of storing data in something called lists.
Because of these reasons and more, most Access databases are still created as desktop databases, which allows for much more flexibility in their design and deployment, not the mention the ability to leverage VBA for scripting customized routines, a true relational design model, and integrated form and report designers. With that said, if there's a need to share information, then Access databases can sometimes lock data in an inaccessible format. Access database files are not cross-platform, so they're unavailable to Mac or Linux users.
They're also usually saved locally on the administrator's computer or network. This raises the need to periodically publish or export data from the managed database for public consumption. I'm making this course to address some of these issues. By exporting organized information out of Access, you can make it easier for others to consume. By building upon the available export options, you could display that data dynamically and create basic webpages that are useful for your audience, easy to maintain, and could be published anywhere.
In this course, Adam Wilbert shows you how, by exploring options for getting your data out of Microsoft Access, making it easier to share with others. He covers Access data export options, and demonstrates how to modify exported files with a text editor. He also explains how to link Access to an Azure SQL database to provide a cloud storage solution for your Access tables.
- Why not use web apps?
- Exporting data to HTML
- Formatting HTML with table CSS
- Working with data exports
- Converting data to JSON
- Building a webpage to parse exports
- Linking to an Azure SQL database
- Linking Access to Azure tables
- Interacting with data on the web