Access web apps to be retired


It was announced this week that Access Services is going to be retired.

Details of the announcement may be found here:  Updating the Access Services in SharePoint Roadmap
Additional timeline information along with possible methods for exporting your data out of an Access web app may be found here: Access web apps no longer supported

While these articles discuss Access web apps that are provided with Access Services 2013/2016, this retirement also affects Access Web Databases provided with Access Services 2010.

In the coming months, we intend to share any tips/tricks/gotchas discovered while assisting customers through this time of transition exporting their data and finding replacement solutions.

Comments (42)

  1. Patrick says:

    Access Web Apps was the only mechanism to load large datasets into SharePoint Online. I am extremely disappointed. I know several customers that will be severly impacted by this change.

  2. Anderson says:

    Why????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  3. Karen says:

    This is most frustrating and disappointing!!! I have two AWAs in production that are working perfectly. Now I have to re-write 150 very customized forms? Not to mention all the macros and queries that make the apps work!!!!

    1. Karen says:

      P.s. these were both online!

  4. E Wills says:

    I noticed Microsoft recommends we switch from Access Web Apps to Microsoft PowerApps. Can anyone tell me what the PowerApps learning curve is like? Do I have time to learn PowerApps before Microsoft discontinues it? Because spending time learning technologies that will soon be taken from me helps to feed my masochistic tendencies. Cheers.

    1. SCN says:

      That’s funny! Great response! I like microsoft, but, man, they seem to shoot themselves in the foot a lot… and I haven’t even done any Access Web Apps. There may be a good reason, but if so, I wonder if anyone will ever know what it is.

  5. Dissappointed Innovater says:

    in a large organization, there is a line where costs become a factor. when “IT” people need to build your business unit something, it becomes a question of resources and costs, peoples time etc. this solution allowed us to “feed ourselves” with a database , web forms, and odbc connections to our data in multiple data visualization formats without having to consume the knowledge of development work or incur charges related to IT build out and administration. I am very sorry to see this product going away. I have been told that PowerApps is a substitute… I will be researching that.

  6. This is very disappointing for users who are developing their own custom web apps to suit their business needs. Powerapps is not stable unlike Access, techs are not able to get the proper answer due to lack of knowledge or training. There is no announcement for On-Prem deprecation but small and mid-size business are impacted mostly because they cant afford On-Prem Server which requires SharePoint 2016 Enterprise edition with SQL Server 2016 Enterprise editions. Moving data to SharePoint list is not the solution to the problem. We came across few disappointed customer and we got them moving by migrating there existing AWA to our multi-tenant SharePoint 2016 Enterprise platform with minimum or zero data-loss. It’s a relatively simple migration process if done right. You need to backup your existing AWA as app package and upload to our environment. So far we have successfully migrated customer data along with Macros, custom views and Forms. We have migrated multi language AWA from different part of the world.

    Regards,
    Apps4Rent-Guru
    http://www.Apps4Rent.com

  7. Anita A De Lois says:

    EXCEL is not good enough to replace ACCESS. Why was this done and why was WINDOWS/MICROSOFT no longer pre-installed in new computers?

  8. Angelo Quaglia says:

    Exporting Access tables to sharepoint lists is very slow because it seems to be uploading row by row.
    Can’t you optimize that a bit?

  9. Matthew says:

    Tutorials are pointing me towards Power Apps as a replacement but they seem to be more geared towards mobile and simple surveys. It seems drastically under powered compared to WebApps, unless I am missing something? Will I be able to update/download a spreadsheet from a Power App?

    1. Adam P says:

      Did you ever get an answer Matt? I’m curious about this too. Although I’ll be trying to recommend we move off Microsoft’s platform altogether, at the very least for a web database tool

  10. Mohsin says:

    Hi, I am using SharePoint as backend to MS-Access desktop application and we simply love this feature to Sync changes back to server if reconnect, also the ability to work simultaneous users on the database at the same time from different location. Does this announcement affect us in any way? I hope the following screenshot (https://goo.gl/uFmz3A) helps, please advise!

    1. Reviewing your screenshot it appears you are using an Access Web Database. Access Web Databases use Access Services 2010 which are also being retired.

  11. Richard Robinson says:

    Although it took a bit of getting used to, this was a great move forward for Access in the cloud. I have worked with companies which are removing their file servers to rely on sharepoint. The web app allowed sharing of databases in the back end without all the complication and overhead (and cost) of firing up an SQL Server instance. I’m disappointed to say the least that this function will be removed.

  12. Ryan says:

    I can’t begin to express my frustration with this decision. I looked into Power Apps, and they are worthless. I don’t need a phone app, I need an online database tool for my team to utilize. Thanks for nothing Microsoft.

  13. Larry Kiang says:

    I am currently having difficulty with this transition. I attempted the sharepoint list approach and now have difficulty with lookups to calculated fields and limitations to the amount in the list (over 5000 items). Is the best approach to go through SQL and abandon the sharepoint list approach?

  14. Dhruva Parekh says:

    Hi Dennis ! I have been using Access Databases hosted on sharepoint since 2011. I used to previously host my database onto my intranet and now we used to host it on the Sharepoint 2013. Wanted to know if this service is also retiring. Attaching the link to the screenshot (http://bit.ly/2ukAvfW). Because I have a very mid-size database which 5-7 people keep editing and viewing all the time. So its very essential if the service is going to be shut down i need to move to another solution quickly. Thanks.

    I also have an Access Web App build in Access 2013, I am sure thats shutting down for sure so already thinking of another solution.

    1. Hi Dhruva,

      I’m unable to view your screenshot to understand your other use case of Access on SharePoint. If you are using SharePoint to store your database file in a document library, that will continue to function. However, if you are using either version of Access Services (Access Web Database or Access web app), those will not function as part of this retirement.

      Dennis

      1. Dhruva Parekh says:

        Hi Dennis,

        Thanks for the kind response. You will now be able to see the screen shot. Sorry some permissions settings issue.

        What about the database working on my sharepoint intranet ? Should work as a web database on the intranet right ?

        I use my database as a Access Web Database on Sharepoint Online.

        So now hoping if it works on intranet I will host the database on the intranet again.

        1. Hi Dhruva,

          I was able to view your screenshot now and indeed can see you are using an Access Web Database which relies on Access Services 2010 so this will be retired from SharePoint Online. You are certainly able to make an unpublished copy of the Web Database by choosing File > Save Database As > Save as Local Database. After doing so, you can publish the Web Database to your on-premise SharePoint environment.

          Dennis

  15. Paul Katz says:

    Hi Everyone,

    It you’re looking for something similar to Access Web Apps, we’ve actually build a platform called EfficiencySpring that runs relational database forms based on configuration, and can work through SharePoint. Here’s a quick 8-minute overview.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clx7SVRnxko

    It maps to vanilla SQL Server and SQL Azure tables. If you’re finding yourself with lots of stuff you suddenly need to port off of Access Web Apps, we could probably help!

  16. Devin says:

    This is ridiculous! I’ve spent years convincing several organizations that I consult for to move their Access databases into SharePoint. Now you’re telling me I have to go back and tell them “sorry, its all for not.” Come on Microsoft, what are you thinking?!?!?!

  17. Dirk says:

    Are there any plans to include some kind of a frontend creation into the exporting process?
    I tested the export the AWA offers, but from my point of view the only thing it does is to export the table data into SharePoint lists.
    In my case the AWA included a macro which allowed the users to copy entries which only vary in some fields. What about the functionality the macro offered? It is also not included in the exporting process.
    I also did some tests with PowerApps and found it very helpful to use it to collect form data. But for me it lacks at the integration into sharepoint. It is still missing some webpart which allows to embed the PowerApp into a page which would be helpful to have an consistent UX without redirecting the user to a different application which simulates some mobile device…

    1. Hi Dirk,

      There isn’t a great method to retrieve macros from the app outside of navigating each object and using copy/paste.

      Regarding SharePoint integration for PowerApps, this appears to be a focus of the PowerApps team as noted in their blog update PowerApps Q2 update: the ‘power user’s dream’ that is transforming business processes across industries

      If you have further suggestions for PowerApps, I’d post them on their UserVoice page.

  18. doug yarborough says:

    How do I get help in moving my access app to a power app?

  19. S. Henby says:

    I suspect it is a case that Microsoft will no longer have the people with the expertise to support the service as those who had the knowledge are retiring and that those who are entering employment with Microsoft have been educated in an environment focused on newer technologies and languages.

    I was looking at how our company should fully utilise the databases we have. Now I think I will focus on an open source solution where it is less likely that the rug will be pulled from under our feet.

  20. Masa says:

    After my learning about PowerApps I found it is indeed very useful service. However, it is almost impossible to develop/transfer data into PowerApps by the announced time. I have been trying to accept your decision by transferring the data to new system since I noticed this announcement from MS, but an year is too short. Please reconsider to extend the expiring date for another one year at least. I’m willing to go on leaning about PowerApps but I have no confidence that the my new created system will work without errors/problems even after I transfer all data to new system.

  21. Please consider! I’m from Central America and I’m one of the very few Access Devotees out here! I’d just offer all my costumers to upgrade their Access Desktop Apps to Web Apps to save costs. Take under consideration that many companies in this area are not capable to invest a lot of money to buy a Server and Services on their offices. I’ve just create some modules on PowerApps but they are just forms with some functionality. Second Issue: I just can’t force my costumers to invest on buying new tablets or cells because they are not compatible with PowerApps (Android and IOS old versions specifically!).
    Finally a question (just not to have a nervous breakdown): Can I still link my *.accdb/accde front end file to a SharePoint list?

    Thanks and regards

  22. this attitude of Microsoft is a real lack of respect with the user companies and mainly with the conaulroria companies in the Brazilian market

  23. Masa says:

    How can I transfer qurty and relationships between tables from Access WebApp to PowerApp?

    1. Hi Masa,

      There isn’t a direct method to use your tables/queries from an Access web app within a PowerApp. You need to export your data from the Access web app using one of the following methods. Then you’d need to consider where to store the data for use within the PowerApp.

      Export Access web app tables to SharePoint
      https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Export-Access-web-app-tables-to-SharePoint-ff9d9058-14cf-40a2-89c8-ec46cf5cd67c

      Export Access web app tables to an Access desktop database
      https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Export-Access-web-app-tables-to-an-Access-desktop-database-09a7de29-cee8-4025-b985-7a78dffdb005?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

      Dennis

      1. Masa says:

        Dennis
        Thanks for reply but I already tried all offered method and I found only table could have been exported but not relationships between tables. I’m using Access WebApps database in critical portion of my project. I’m not going to develop new system by Access WebApps any more but start PowerApps, however if there’s no method to keep these relationships in Access MS should keep it available. Records in my Access database are still increasing very timely and not able to transfer to another system by April 2017, please reconsider.

  24. David Graf says:

    Microsoft is doing this because Microsoft wants everyone to go .Net for developing applications. PowerApps is no more a replacement for Access than a Yugo is for a Cadillac. They know that once they have you invested in .Net that the chances of you going anywhere else is very low. In my opinion, it’s shameful but Microsoft has apparently seared whatever existed of their corporate conscience.

  25. Steve Bradshaw says:

    I think this is a huge mistake!! Access is one of your best products. Is this also going to affect Local non web related Access Databases?

  26. Andy G says:

    I cant express how annoyed this decision has made me – Powerapps is not yet a viable replacement for AWA. I have spent the last few weeks trying to make a Azure linked Powerapps replacement and there is so much stuff that is still missing 5 months out from AWA being retired! No relational support for SQL, No nulls in drop downs, Azure triggers not supported. The list goes on! The product is currently half baked to say the least. It seems almost impossible to make a database front end for a simple relational database and yet the decision has been made to pull AWAs. The cynic in me thinks that the decision to close off AWAs is about moving people off the free AWA Azure back end and on to the paid for Common Data Service. If Microsoft want to dothis going forward, no probs but please create a viable solution before doing so. This whole thing has left a very bad taste in my mouth.

  27. Alex Borrás says:

    Access is the best software development application I have used in my 30 years of profession. I always thought that if they were able to take the cloud and with the hundreds of thousands of programs made in Access, Microsoft could lead the sector in a forceful way. I’m surprised they’re going in the opposite direction.

  28. fasnashun says:

    Access Web Apps was never a suitable replacement for the ability to distribute a runtime package to other users on the network as it lacked functionality required in databases created for my employers. So, now, there is still no good solution. It is incredibly frustrating when functionality integral to to a job function is removed with no avenue or recourse.

  29. Dear Sirs,
    Chmcorpp is a management consulting firm, and we currently have approximately 48 clients, the main one of whom hired us to create a CRM and use Access Web App. The company in question has invested a lot of money to customize the tool, which interacts Power BI.
    In this way, Microsoft can not simply remove Access Web App, and we will not take any steps to switch to any other Microsoft application, much less PowerApps, which in no way reaches the feet of the Access Web App.
    In this way, if Microsoft withdraws the Access Web App we will have a great loss and we will not be able to assume the same.
    Therefore, I want to know how Microsoft intends to reimburse us for this loss.
    We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible, and we will take action as soon as possible.
    Att.
    Carlos

  30. Eddie says:

    I’m a SME owner. My company has been using Access Web App for years. We’ve invested a lot in developing and training for a custom order handling and fulfillment solution based on Access. My staffs use this system every day. I’m sad that MSFT is retiring Access Web App, because now I gotta spend money to invest in a new system!

    In my opinion, Power App and Access Web App are 2 completely different solutions, and Powerapp does not meet my needs at all. So it’s kinda lame MSFT trying to tell us to migrate to Powerapp. Also, after what MSFT is doing to Access Web App, how do I know if they won’t pull the plug on Powerapp one day?

    In the meantime, until I can find a new solution, my team still depends heavily on Access Web App for daily operations. Lately, we’ve been experiencing major performance issues with even the most standard features — such as running a simple Data Macro or rendering a simple Form. I’ve contacted MSFT customer support regarding these issues, but I was told that there was nothing they could do and I should migrate to Powerapp soon. My expectation was that at least there would be proper support till April 1st. Apparently that’s not the case. How disappointing.

  31. T says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Masa says:

    I really desire Microsoft to postpone the retirement of Access Web apps. I’ve learned about PowerApps from wesites last one year, and I read a book about it that was published just two months ago, and my conclusion is that I need to go on using AWA for one year more at least, until enhenacement in PowerApps is implemented, such as supports for delegation for almost database formats and functions. As of now there’re too many limitations yet. I cannot simply transfer my AWA database to it. Please reconsider the timing of retirement. Please.

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