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Working with Departmental Databases with Access Services for SharePoint Online

Bruce Herz notes that Microsoft® Access is the database of choice for departmental level computing. We think that much of Access’ popularity has arisen as the result of its comparative ease of use. Years of high popularity have endowed Access 2010 with a rich set of out of the box features, including readily usable expressions, field types and more. Not the least of Access’ strengths are the fact that all of its functions are directly accessible from the application’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) with no need, whatsoever, for command line coding as is the case, for example, for MySQL from Oracle Corporation.

One of the tutorials in our set of training videos on Access Services for SharePoint, Modify Tables and Validation demonstrates the ease of building and then modifying tables for Access Databases. A subscription to our content is required to view this tutorial. We tested this tutorial with our SharePoint Online E3 account, noting few hiccups. Once again, the target audience is clearly Administrators and/or Developers and/or Architects. However, with a custom preface that smooths any identified rough edges, this tutorial can be useful for power users as the procedures presented work very much as depicted.

Be sure to have several tables at the ready as this tutorial demonstrates how to build a database table that utilizes several “Look Up and Relationship” and “Calculated Fields” to produce a record of events that are scheduled on a calendar, assigned to specific users and even billed and payed with information that has been added to the table. We should note that our copy of Access 2010 lacked the “ContactName” column that Bruce includes in his demonstration. Aside from this anomaly, the rest of the demonstration ran fine. With regard to the field and record validation rules that Bruce demonstrates, we noted that we needed to sync with our SharePoint Online site before the changes we effected became visible.

This video tutorial is entirely focused on how to build and modify a table with Access. When we checked our SharePoint Online site, we successfully accessed all the table data that we had locally created by clicking on the “Options” button located to the right of the Sub Site title. From the “Options” button we then selected “Settings” and located all of our tables directly at the top of the browser screen. It is worth noting that we got just as far with our non Microsoft O/S system. We were also impressed with the level to which the data is protected. In order to modify any of the data in the table a desktop copy of Access is required.

If you would like to learn more about this collection of training content on Access Services for SharePoint, please contact us at (630) 786-7026, or Contact Us to further a discussion about this offer. Of course we are happy to speak about your SharePoint development plans, as well.

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