Enhancing the Benefits of Microsoft Access in the Cloud with the Power Platform

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Announcing the Access Connector for Dataverse and Power Platform (Public Beta)

For over twenty years, Microsoft Access has been one of the leading relational databases used by modern enterprises, a critical part of Office and Microsoft 365.  It is a pioneer in low-code, no code database solution development.  However, with the emergence of the cloud, Access customers tell us they need more hybrid solutions that keep the value and ease of use of Access with the value and flexibility of cloud-based storage and development platforms.

Customers told us they wanted

  • Front end app scenarios on mobile devices or with Microsoft Teams
  • The ability to have real-time sharing and editing of Access data using cloud-based data stores, with front-end apps created in Access, Power Apps Mobile and Microsoft Teams 
  • New security and compliance capabilities through Dataverse cloud storage using Azure Active Directory and role-based security while managing it from Access

Today we begin delivering on those needs with the public beta release of Access Connector for Dataverse and Power Platform. Power Platform is an ideal low-code no-code cloud companion for Access customers to achieve the capabilities customers need and want. It is an industry leading low-code cloud-based development platform which has been distinguished as a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in the low-code category for the last few years.  With the Power Platform, developers of all skill levels can create apps, automations, chatbots, and analyze and visual data (figure 1).  The Power Platform is built on Dataverse, that enables organizations to connect their data from one data repository, strengthened with Azure and AAD security. 

Figure 1.  The Microsoft Power Platform low-code development platformFigure 1. The Microsoft Power Platform low-code development platform

 

Today’s announcement expands and enriches the cloud story for Access. While Access has been integrated with the cloud through SharePoint and SQL, the new connector to Dataverse and the Power Platform (figure 1) enables totally new scenarios and benefits. Access developers can now create custom apps, automations, and chatbots built with Power Platform and Dataverse for Teams that work directly with their Access data and Dataverse. 

 

Making your Access solutions mobile with the Power Platform

One of the most requested capabilities Access users ask for is the ability to bring Access data and data entry onto a mobile device. With the new Access connector for Power Platform, Access data can now be brought onto any mobile device; your organization’s data is easily migrated to Dataverse where it can then be used to create a mobile Power App. 

 

With the flexibility of the Power Platform and integration across multiple services, you can add features to the Power App to further customize how your Access data is consumed (figure 2) and viewed.  This is one of the many ways the Access connector can help your organization bring its Access data into more applications and devices for consumption, viewing and real-time data entry.  Now large organizations who depend on Access, can create hybrid solutions that embrace the cloud, and enable form factors beyond the PC to better meet their business goals.

Figure 2.  The Microsoft Power Platform low-code development platformFigure 2. The Microsoft Power Platform low-code development platform

 

Connecting Access to Microsoft Teams

Another exciting new capability the Access connector enables is allowing your employees to view and edit Access data in Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft Teams has rapidly grown into the collaboration tool of choice for the modern enterprise.  Teams has nearly a quarter billion monthly active users, and now these users can view Access data right inside the Teams UI as they work with colleagues and execute on daily tasks.  With the Access connector, Access data is migrated into Dataverse for Teams and can then be viewed by Teams users.  Now organizations can modernize their solutions and easily migrate across different scenarios. Some users who prefer Teams can replicate their Access forms as apps in Teams, while other users can continue to use the Access forms they know and love on their PCs. Meanwhile IT managers can rest easy as all this is managed with a single data store in the cloud through Dataverse. (figure 3).

Figure 3.  Migrating Access data to Dataverse for Teams for usage inside Teams and creating a Power App inside TeamsFigure 3. Migrating Access data to Dataverse for Teams for usage inside Teams and creating a Power App inside Teams

 

Take the next step and beta test the new Access Connector for Power Platform and Dataverse

If you are interested to learn more, and see some of these examples demoed, be sure to check out our On-Demand session at Microsoft Ignite, Nov 2-4. Be sure to register at Ignite.

 

Or if you are interested to take the next step and evaluate this powerful combination yourself, visit our step-by-step guide for how you can join our public beta at https://aka.ms/AccessAndPowerPlatform.

 

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