Is the end of Microsoft Access near? | Is Access Dead?
The Future of Microsoft Access
Is the end of Microsoft Access near?
Microsoft does from time to time discontinue tools that are no longer relevant or have better solutions in the marketplace. InfoPath was discontinued so was Silver Light. The discontinuation of InfoPath in 2016 sparked rumors that Microsoft Access would meet the same fate. The flames of this rumor were fanned further with the introduction of Power Apps and the Microsoft Power Platform in 2018. Fortunately, these rumors have or should be silenced based on the introduction of Access 2019, followed by the introduction of Microsoft Access 2021. If you would like to hear a presentation from the Microsoft Program Manager on this subject, please watch this video.
Why would Microsoft phase out Access?
As a company that supports hundreds of customers who rely on Access in their organizations, WSI does not think Microsoft would. It is likely that Microsoft may have considered doing so in the past. We think they realized what a big mistake it would be because Access brings so many organizations into the Microsoft world. Here at WSI we work on many projects that start off in Access and over time evolve to use Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft .NET. While plenty of others continue to work just fine in Microsoft Access year after year. Facing stiff competition from MySQL and cloud databases Microsoft needs Access to compete.
You don’t have to take our word for it, here is what the Microsoft Community has to say.
What is next after Access?
We believe the answer is simple, the next version of Access.
How long will Microsoft Access support last?
You can look up the Product and Services Lifecycle information for Microsoft products here: The End date for Access 2019 is October 2025 and for Access 2021 it is October 2026. Which is a long time in the world of computer software. Our experience has shown that going from Access 2013 to 2016 to 2019 is a smooth and trouble-free process. We expect nothing different from the transition to Access 2021. So, an organization that started their database in 2013 has already had 8 years of smooth sailing. Now it looks like they will get 5 more and there is no reason for think there won’t be an Access 2024.
Are organizations paying you to build new database projects in Access?
Yes. Many are and we support their choice. We also have many customers we assist that have chosen to build their database themselves in Access.
Are organizations paying to have their older Access databases migrated to the current version?
Yes. Here at WSI we typically execute multiple version upgrade projects every month.
Are organizations expanding the capability of their existing Microsoft Access databases?
Yes, we see multiple organizations making major investments month after month to improve and enhance their existing Microsoft Access databases.
Are organizations moving from other relational database platforms to Microsoft Access?
Yes, we see organizations moving from all sorts of legacy and contemporary databases to Access. Recently we’ve seen many organizations moving from Claris FileMaker to Microsoft Access. Claris instated a new subscription-based pricing model and minimum user count. Both things that can be avoided by using Microsoft Access instead. We can show you how. Contact WSI today for help moving from FileMaker or any other database to Access. We can move your data too.
Are organizations developing commercial database solutions for sale to other organizations in Microsoft Access?
Yes. WSI is actively working with multiple clients who are engaged in this type of business.
What about Microsoft Access in the Cloud?
People have been doing this for years via Microsoft Remote Desktop Services formerly Terminal Server. New Microsoft functions such as Remote App provide even more options. You can also just put your Access data in the cloud and connect from your Access desktop client. This can be cost effective for small numbers of users. You can use a third-party service called Thinfinity Virtual UI to run an Access database in a web browser! Check it out here https://www.cybelesoft.com/thinfinity/virtualui/ If you need help setting it up contact WSI today. Many of our long time and new Access customers love it because you are not forced into the cloud. Many Access alternatives force you into a subscription and to put your data in the cloud. You work with Microsoft Access in the cloud or be cloud-free.
November 4, 2021, Update
During the fall 2021 Microsoft Ignite conference Michael Aldridge and Nathan Helgren presented a session titled “Bringing Microsoft Access into the Future: Introducing the Microsoft Access Connector for the Microsoft Power Platform”
This may be the first session at a major Microsoft Conference in many years on Microsoft Access. This clearly demonstrates Microsoft’s renewed commitment to Microsoft Access. Let’s be excited about it.
If you listen to the session, which you can do here
You will hear a lot of talk about new technology, using Power Apps and Dataverse. Don’t get worried that you will be forced into this new technology if you do not want or need it. Because these key words put this in perspective. “…while other users can continue to use the Access forms they know and love on their PCs.” Source
July 22, 2022 Update
A WSI prospect recently asked:
Hello! I know there are other database options out there today, with Access being an older one. Do you all work with other databases besides Access? And not being up on all of them, can you tell me about your thoughts on what would make Access the best choice for us compared to some others out there? Thought I would ask, because my boss has asked me these questions. Thank you for providing answers to all of my many questions!
So today WSI is sharing its answer to this important question with you.
Yes, there are many database options available. We do work with other systems. They are Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft .NET Core Blazor. These two platforms are used to build the database’s user interface. For all three WSI uses Microsoft SQL Server to store the data. Power Apps’ and Blazor’s advantage is that we can use them to create a user interface that runs in a web browser. Whereas Access runs as a Windows desktop program. (There are third party work arounds for running Access in a browser, that WSI can deploy for you.) Power Apps disadvantage is that it requires a monthly per user subscription fee be paid to Microsoft. Access and Blazor does not. Of course, if your organization is already paying the Power Apps monthly fee, and has no plans to stop paying the fee to Microsoft, Power Apps would be a fine choice. Microsoft .NET Core Blazor is the most sophisticated platform for building user interfaces and is used to build commercial software applications as well as business applications. It requires more sophisticated programmers and takes more time to create the same screen forms and reports than Access. Power Apps has only been around for 4 years. .NET Core started in 2014. Access has been around for 29 years and WSI has been working with it since we started 26 years ago. That experience makes us efficient. WSI has worked with Power Apps from its inception, same for .NET Core. We find that most small and mid-size organizations do not have an existing Power Apps subscription and don’t like subscriptions. Our large customers prefer .NET Core. Microsoft Access is staying current. Microsoft has kept up a steady cadence of new releases 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2021 was just released on October 5 of last year. So, there is no doubt it is an old program, but new releases come out steadily. WSI has not seen a system yet that can beat Access for providing end user capability and developer productivity. WSI be happy to dive into more detail with you. Thank you for your questions. Happy to answer them. Just click on the Chat Now – Email Now or Call Now buttons below.