Access sure has had some ups and downs. Access Services was seen by some as a fantastic way of building SQL-style apps in SharePoint.
Take a look at this screenshot from Access Services in SharePoint Roadmap:
Starting in June 2017, new Access-based apps and web databases will no longer be able to be created in SharePoint online. You will need to migrate them to a private cloud, like Fpweb.net, or an on-premises SharePoint environment, by April 2018. Heads up!
“We no longer recommend Access Services for new apps. This feature will be retired from Office 365. We will stop creation of new Access-based apps in SharePoint Online starting June 2017 and shut down any remaining apps by April 2018.” – Chris McNulty’s March 27, 2017 post Updating the Access Services in SharePoint Roadmap – Microsoft Tech Community
Microsoft goes on in the roadmap direction article to consider using PowerApps.
Yep, not there yet. Many in the community responded (in that same article) that PowerApps doesn’t yet have the functionality, suggesting that it is not a viable replacement in the time frame deadlines.
Access Web Apps and Access Services will continue to be supported in all current versions of on-premises SharePoint servers for the remainder of the product lifecycle for SharePoint 2013/2016.
What to do
Suggested alternative: Move your Office 365 Access Web Application solution to a private cloud, like Fpweb.net, or a SharePoint 2016 on-premises installation. Use a snapshot backup to restore the app in its entirety. This will allow data forms to be restored thereby circumventing any manual recoding endeavors.
Cross-platform restore is not allowed.
You can only install and reuse Access app packages across the same deployment environment. Installing Access app packages from on-premises SharePoint installations into Office 365 or SharePoint Online are not supported scenarios.
For example, if you’ve created your Access app package in a SharePoint site that your organization hosts separately from Office 365 or SharePoint Online, you can’t install that app package in Office 365 or SharePoint Online.
The same restriction is in place when trying to install Access app packages created from Office 365 or SharePoint Online into on-premises SharePoint installations.
Migrating Access Data
The roadmap article goes on to suggest some mechanisms you can use to migrate your Access data to 1) SharePoint lists 2) SQL databases/tables 3) Desktop based Access database 4) Azure SQL.
Most likely, you want to save the data you have in an Access web app. Here are three ways to migrate data from an Access web app to another data source:
- You can export the data to SharePoint lists. It is recommended to use the Export to SharePoint Lists command available from the Access web apps browser. For more information, see Export Access web app tables to SharePoint.
- You can export the data to an Access desktop database. For more information, see Export Access web app tables to an Access desktop database.
- You can migrate the data to SQL Server.
Finding a reputable company like Fpweb.net to do the heavy lifting of a migration like this is worth looking into as well.
- Turn off access if you aren’t using Access. That’s a no-brainer.
- If you’re using it, add it to the list of migrations that have a deadline and build your workback schedule and turn off the ability to create new Access Web App databases.
Visit fpweb.net/sharepoint to learn more about our SharePoint migration services and our dedicated SharePoint hosting in a secure, private cloud where you can keep your coding.