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Access 2013 App Model

As Darvish Shadravan, technical specialist and published author notes at the start of a short video tutorial, titled Access 2013 App Model, Access 2013 fully supports the cloud app model for electronic forms in a SharePoint Server 2013 computing environment.

In his opinion, the cloud app model “delivers several advantages we didn’t have in the past”. While not noted in this tutorial, we are of the opinion a key benefit of the cloud app model is the ability developers gain, when they opt to use it, to write processes once for a scalable set of devices, including PCs, tablets and even smart phones. As Darvish Shadravan notes in this video tutorial, Access 2013 Apps are written to run fine on any browser client supporting HTML5, which opens the universe of likely users for electronic forms to include all of the above mentioned devices. An added benefit is a “user experience that is a very modern one compared to what SharePoint used to deliver”

On the specific differences between the Access 2013 and InfoPath 2013 development models, Darvish Shadravan informs his audience the “data layer is significantly different between the two. The data layer for an Access App is SQL [Server], or for SharePoint Online, SQL Azure” So for developers struggling with performance issues for electronic forms written with InfoPath 2010, converting the forms over to the Access 2013 App model promises relief from performance issues “since we are not writing them to a SharePoint list . . . but to a SQL database” Of course an added benefit of converting these forms in this manner is a more efficient development process. There is no need to extract data from a SharePoint list to populate a SQL table when the data already resides in a SQL table anyways (as is the case with the Access 2013 App model).

Finally, Access 2013 Apps can be published, seamlessly, to a SharePoint Server 2013 App Store where site owners can simply opt to add them to sites, without any required configuration by the site owner prior to use. This capability streamlines accessibility to this type of electronic form, which may be an important advantage for specific organizations considering how best to proceed on building electronic forms for users.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved