Update Sept 16 2022 – Access Web Apps, the online version of Microsoft Access is fully retired by now, as per Microsoft’s messaging.
About a year ago, Microsoft announced they wouldn’t continue offering cloud-based Microsoft Access, also known as Microsoft Access Web Apps. The main reason Microsoft provided was that Access Web Apps development wouldn’t be able to keep up with growing customer needs, such as mobile device support, integrations with line of business data, and other extensions. Instead, they advised users to turn to PowerApps.
Access Web Apps had experienced quick adoption since being launched, allowing businesses to create simple automation as with MS Access, but now on the web. Businesses had invested substantial resources in creating customized applications, but this announcement has left them in the lurch, and understandably angry.
Now, users who haven’t already migrated off have entered a crunch phase. Since April 2, 2018 Access Web Apps databases have been set as read-only. After a 60 day period, all applications and databases will be deleted (Yikes).
On the Internet, we found many rumors from all sides, talking about the future of Access users, leading to misconceptions.
In this article, we want to clear the air about what Microsoft is doing with its Access product and what steps you can consider taking next.
Microsoft Access desktop is not going anywhere in the foreseeable future
Microsoft Access was probably the first solution in the now popular “low code application platform” category – database management software that lets users bring tables, queries, forms, reports, and modules together and automate common business workflows.
In its around 20 year history, MS Access’ desktop version has been mission-critical for many businesses, and as companies move their IT workloads to the cloud, the launch of Access Web Apps was heaven sent. Understandably, many companies refocused their development efforts of the cloud version. In retrospect, a bad decision.
While this decision won’t affect that part of the Microsoft Access customer base that still relies on the desktop version, it stalls the plans of many companies that were in the process of moving their IT infrastructure with Microsoft to the cloud.
The following comments from many users under the official announcement captures the sentiment:
What about PowerApps?
As a contingency, Microsoft has made major efforts to invite Access users to “smoothly” transition to PowerApps, its new solution, according to them, will let developers build no-code solutions on desktop and also mobile devices, which Access Web Apps on Sharepoint Online couldn’t.
Over the last one year, many companies and developers have tried this solution. Even though Microsoft is providing tools to let their current customers migrate to PowerApps, it seems that migration hasn’t exactly been “smooth”; migrating from a system to another is not just about mirroring data, but getting used to a new interface and logic, and, especially, retraining teams and customers.
Microsoft has its own strategic reasons for sunsetting Access Web Apps, and encouraging its user base to switch to PowerApps, however from the users’ point of view, there are many gaps to be filled:
Actually, some of them have expressed their frustration:
Now, if you are an Access Web Apps user who hasn’t yet migrated, you are facing 3 choices, and quickly:
- Switch to Access for desktop
- Migrate to PowerApps
- Migrate to a different solution.
There are tons of Access tutorials on Google and Youtube. We recommend starting with the
In the case, you’re moving to PowerApps, here’s a very quick, useful tutorial to learn to migrate from Access web apps to PowerApps.
Finally, if neither of the first two options works for you, the market offers rich online database management alternatives to MS Accesses Web Apps.
Our Hyperbase was first launched close to ten years ago, which we have continued to extend, and has helped tens of thousands of businesses to quickly create custom workflow apps using our simple yet powerful solution. Unlike MS Access, HyperBase has been as a cloud-first product from the very start meant to give developers to build web apps, forms, and workflows based on relational databases.
Businesses have leveraged HyperBase to automate everything from inventory management, to property evictions, to employee certifications.
If you would like to consider incorporating Hyperbase to your IT toolset, you can request a free, live walkthrough. We also offer services that will help you with migrating from Microsoft Access.
If you want to review our Microsoft Access alternative, just ask for your demo today!