Don’t go on a wild goose chase – Microsoft Access is NOT available online

If the question “Is MS Access available online” had been asked in early 2018, the answer would still have been yes. Microsoft did have an online version of Access for a few years, titled “Access Web Apps”, but which was retired in April 2018.

This “online” version of Access never took off because the Access architecture had a legacy of 20 years as a desktop software, and was never ideal for the cloud. Moreover, “Office Web Apps” was buried under other Microsoft solutions and not comparable to the desktop version in feature depth.

So today, the answer is no, Microsoft Access is not available online. Then, what are your options?

The False Option – Publish desktop Access databases online through Sharepoint

You will find endless videos and articles about the availability of a “Web Database” template in the desktop version of Microsoft Access, which can be published online through Sharepoint using a feature known as “Access Services”. Many of these articles are featured in Microsoft’s own help documentation.

However, if you look closely, there is no date on these articles. After retiring Access Web Apps last year, Microsoft also retired “Access Services”!

Exploring the Access Services option is a plain waste of time.

The Real Option – Migrate to a Web Native Database Management System

Unless you do something really hackey like using virtualization software, Microsoft Access, powerful as it is, is severely limited because it is a simply a siloed system.

Fortunately, there are numerous online database management systems the market which are true groupware, and let you create apps that the entire team can use and contribute to. We have written about these “MS Access Online Alternatives” in more detail elsewhere, but some of them are.