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Moving MS Access Database to the Cloud

MS access to the cloud

Today, everyone has become familiar with the concept of “The Cloud”. And, as more and more applications become popular and available online, the majority of businesses are taking a cloud-first approach when it comes to choosing business software.

Being a developer, if you have created an app in Microsoft Access, whether to sell commercially or for your business, the question comes to your mind is how I can move my MS Access to the cloud. When you search online, you may get tips that guide you to a page on Microsoft website. Earlier, Microsoft would have suggested using an Office 365 hosted SharePoint site in order to store the data, but MS no longer suggest using it, and it is hardly surprising. MS Access can perform best when the application has a fast as well as a reliable connection to its data, and it is to be the case with data hosted at the other corner of the Internet in SharePoint online.

Getting the best out of the Access in the Cloud


Think about Microsoft Access running on your local computer. Here the forms, as well as queries, are in the same place as the tables, on you C: drive, so performance is spot on.


This is where Access in the Cloud is running on your corporate network. All users have a front end executable file with the forms, queries as well as reports that can connect to a back end database, including the data tables, on a shared network drive. It will work well, but slower as compared to running locally.


You can in theory run Access in the cloud through a Wide Area Network, but unless you are on a 100mbps or higher leased line between the application as well as the data, you will find performance close to being unacceptable.


Imagine trying to connect an MS Access app to its database that is somewhere out on the net, including SharePoint on Office 365.

Access on hosted SQL Server

Next option to move the Access database to the cloud is to connect the local Access application to a hosted SQL database. Like the SharePoint method, you have a disconnect between the app and its data, so unless your business has a fast internet connection, there is still likely to hit on performance.

Access on Remote Desktop Services

The trusted method to move your Access to the cloud is to use a hosted remote desktop service. It was known as Terminal Services. This functionality was created for situations where users need to share apps from several or remote locations without requiring a fast internet or network connection.

With remote desktop services, the Microsoft Access application is in the same place as the database, on the same computer and on the same drive. It is like running on your local PC when talking about performance.

The user can connect to the app over the internet, and as the only thing traveling over the network is the keyboard presses as well as mouse clicks the internet is no bottleneck to performance.

The next benefit of using a hosted remote desktop service is that you do not need to make any design or code changes. It is good to split the database, but it is something you can do anything if sharing it, on a local network, as well as splitting the database is a 2-minute job with the help of the Access Database Splitter wizard.  


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