Friday, March 31, 2017

Access Web Services Is On The Lunar Clock - Its being closed down

In 365 days Access Web Services Apps will be decommissioned completely from Office 365. That's it, no more, caput, finito, bon voyage.

The full announcement from Microsoft is here

This means three things

  • If you have written a web app, its time to plan. You have a year.
  • If you are an Access Desktop developer, this is good news. The Access team now has no distractions, Access Desktop is well and truly a part of Office 365, you can see it in the offerings now. If you are an Access developer, you may wish to look to the future in user web development and that is PowerApps. No rush for this though.
  • If you have never written an Access Web App, don't bother. You could for history sakes listen to my talk on Access Web Apps here. It will be deleted soon.
So lets assume that only people who have Access Web apps will reading the rest of the article. What will your planning take.

I would contemplate a plan as follows.

  • Review what is happening with your AWA, tell your boss or clients and go into care and maintenance to save wasted time.
  • Write down all the essentials of your AWA, if any parts aren't being used, close them down.
  • Review the path that Microsoft are suggesting you follow which is create SharePoint lists, create a PowerApp and maybe even get into Microsoft Flow
  • Review if your App can be supported by Excel Surveys or Excel Online spreadsheets and Dropbox and OneDrive.
  • Review if your AWA can be replaced by a cloud tool
  • Start building prototypes or testing new solutions.
  • By October, 2017, you will need to be writing your solution or in full test mode with your cloud product. Any later and its Xmas and your upgrade project is going to go off the rails. There will be no AWA in May next year. Make a list, get cracking.
Notes: I believe the schedule for OnPrem AWA's is different. When I find that article, I will let you know.  I am not a fan of the 1 year shutdown. Personally, I would have stopped new AWA's from being developed tomorrow, and I would have let the existing apps go for a minimum of two years and I would have taken AWA's out of the next version of Office.

I hope this news is no news for most of my readers, I suspect that the number of people effected is going to be low. One of my good MVP friends has been hit very hard by this decision. I feel for him.   Garry


Superlegoboy said...

I have a small company with seven locations. Each location uses the Access Desktop but accesses the backend from Office 365. Am I correct in understanding that a year from now our backend will no longer be available? If so, what are other options for hosting our Access DB backend in a place where it would be simultaneously accessible from all seven of our locations?

Garry Robinson said...

Yes it will be closed down. You can link to SQL Server in the cloud direct but it violates standard security rules. You easiest solution is Remote Desktop or Citrix or TeamViewer or LogMeIn. Unless you can work out how to do it in PowerApps. Good luck