Check Our Access Database Uptime on Access Hosting

hosting server uptime graphic

We recently stumbled onto a great uptime monitoring service to better service all of our access database servers and customers. This service will let you easily check if your Access web databases are online and available on both our SharePoint Access Services plans and our Remote Desktop hosting plans. This is a great tool for us to make sure that our uptime is to our high quality standards of 99.9% and for you to check if the problems that you are experiencing are just related to your username or Sharepoint site or is a wider issue for everyone on the server.

You can view our SharePoint Access Hosting Uptime here

You can view our Remote Desktop Uptime here

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How to add users to your Access 2013 Web Database


Here’s a video demonstrating how to add new created Active Directory users (that paid hosting plan customers can request via our helpdesk) to your SharePoint 2013 and Access Services 2013 database.

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Back by Popular Demand: MS Access Services 2010 Standard Plan

We are happy to announce that we are bringing back our SharePoint 2010 Standard Plan on MS Access Services 2010 for $49/month. The plan includes 1GB of storage and 5 users on SharePoint 2010 and brings back the more robust and powerful options of Access Services 2010 and the Hybrid Application development. Sadly, Office 365 has limited support of Access Services 2010 and the Access 2013 web app was a complete redesign of the more powerful Access Services 2010. So SharePoint 2010 with MS Access Services is back by popular demand! For $49/month, you’ll be able to harness the power of the hybrid application and publish to Access Services 2010 with full SQL reporting.



The video above is a great example of the power of the Access 2010 Hybrid Application. It should be noted that while our $49 plan is only available for SharePoint 2010 our SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Plan supports both Access Services 2010 and 2013.

You can sign-up for a free SharePoint 2010 MS Access Services Trial here.

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Now offering managed dedicated Windows 2012 server hosting

WindowsServer2012_02

Access Hosting is proud to announce Managed Windows Dedicated Server Hosting for Windows Server 2012 and 2008 R2. Access Hosting offers the latest Hyper–V virtual dedicated servers based on Windows Server 2012. Now your virtual machine can be more powerful and resilient, and include incredible limits for processors, memory and storage. Each virtual dedicated server performs like a stand-alone physical server. Hosting plans are entirely customizable to your business needs, so please check out this link to learn more about Windows Server hosting or fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you with a pricing quote.

Request pricing on a Windows Server

  • Tell us a little bit about your project and server requirements (RAM, Storage, etc)
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Web Reporting with Access 2013 Web Apps on Office 365

We are happy to report that our Remote Desktop hosting can be configured to connect to Office 365 to use Access to report on your Access 2013 web apps.  Our Remote Desktop hosting allows you to use the power of Office 365 as your backend and then you can use our HTML5 PowerRDP technology to get around Office 365’s inability to render Access 2013 reports in the web browser.  This is a great way to get more out of your Office 365 subscription with MS Access 2013.  If you already have a $29/month Access 2013 Pro or Office Pro plan, you should be able to follow the quick tutorial below to start building web reports for Access 2013 web apps.

Step 1: Open your Access Web App in MS Access 2013

reporting-office365-msaccess13-1

Login to Office 365 and Navigate to your Access Web App.  Click the customize in Access button to download the Access 2013 .accdw file and open it in Access 2013.

Step 2: Report on your Access Data

report-on-my-data-office365-msaccess13

Navigate to the Info tab of your Access 2013 web app file (accdw) and select the “Report on my Data” button to create an Access frontend that can report on your Office 365 / SharePoint 2013 backend.

Step 3: Create Reports in your Access Frontend

reporting-office365-msaccess13-2

Now that you are using linked tables to connect to Office 365 and your SharePoint 2013 Access Web App, you can take advantage of all the features of the full version of the Access 2013 desktop client.  Create and design your reports, forms and queries.  Remember to close and save all reports and save your Access frontend file on the Remote Desktop.

Step 4: Reporting now works on Office 365

reporting-office365-msaccess13-3

Now your reports are connected to Office 365 and accessible from any machine, tablet, device and web browser via our Remote Desktop hosting!

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Our new Starter Plan includes OpenOffice

2013-02_Apache_OpenOffice_Logo-Proposal_ChrisTa

Access Hosting is proud to announce the availability of Apache OpenOffice on our low cost Remote Desktop Starter plan. The $19/month plan is now loaded with a great collection of free and productive business software from the MS Access runtime to Adobe Reader and OpenOffice. Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages.

You can get started testing out OpenOffice and our Access Remote Desktop by signing up for a $19/month free trial.

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What is the difference between Access and the Microsoft Access Runtime?

Unless you’re an Access developer, you’ve probably never used the Access Runtime before. Since our basic RDP hosting plan comes with only the runtime, we get a lot of questions about what the runtime is and how it is different from the version of Access on their computer and which remote desktop hosting plan would work best for their Access database.  Hopefully, this post will help steer you in the right direction.

What is the Access Runtime?

Microsoft describes the runtime as such, “The Microsoft Access Runtime enables you to distribute Access applications to users who do not have the full version of Access 2013 installed on their computers.”  It’s a free download from Microsoft as opposed to part of the expensive Office Professional suit that includes the full and powerful version of Access that Access developers have installed on their desktops.  It’s the equivalent of Adobe Reader – it lets you open PDFs and is free, but lacks many of the features found in Adobe Acrobat.  If you want to do anything of meaning in Access or if you’re an Access developer, you want the paid, full version of the program.  The runtime is intended to be used with already designed databases so data-entry and other users can simply open your database file and interact with your forms and access application.

I still don’t get it

Let’s take a closer look at the famous Northwind Traders database in the Access 2013 runtime and the full version of Access.

Northwind Traders in Access 2013 runtime

Northwind Traders in Access 2013 runtime

As you can see this complex database easily opens in the Access Runtime and gives you access to everything that was designed in the Access App: create new customers, view invoices, etc.  But you’ll notice that there is no Access ribbon and you cannot use the navigation and or see the database structure and design.  There are really no tools beyond what is built within the database.  I’m sure you can see the advantage of this type of security for Access developers.  The Access Runtime makes it impossible for a user to alter their application and they can even have limited access to the database and records themselves.

Northwind Traders in Access 2013 full version

Northwind Traders in Access 2013 full version

Here is the same database in the full version of Access 2013.  I have access to all of the tools in the ribbon.  I can create new forms, queries, reports or view the tables and records directly using the left sidebar navigation menu.  None of these features are available in the Access runtime.

The Access runtime only really has one menu that is included in every database – the file menu.

access runtime file menu

All this menu really lets you do is print the forms and reports that you are able to access in the secure stripped down version of the already developed Access database application. Conversely, the full version of Access lets you create new databases, edit and save databases, print and much more from it’s file menu:

the real access 2013 file menu

Hopefully this has helped you figure out what the Runtime is all about.  If the limited nature of the runtime works for you, then our $19 RDP hosting plan should work for you and your already developed Access database.  If you are more comfortable with the full paid version of Access installed on your computer, then you will want to go with our $29/month remote desktop hosting plan.

 

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Microsoft Office 365 Plus from Access Hosting Free Trial Sign-Up

Office 365 on any device

We are proud to announce that we will soon be offering Microsoft Office 365 direct from Access Hosting. Our Office 365 Plus features the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite – including Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Online – combined with our specialized support and expertise. Before we roll out all the bells and whistles, we want to open up this new and exciting offer to anyone who is interested in a free trial. Simply sign-up using the form below, and we’ll contact you directly and set you up with a free Microsoft Office 365 trial.

Office 365 Free Trial

Please fill out this form to see if you qualify for an Office 365 Free 30 day Trial
  • Please enter a value greater than or equal to 1.
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Running MS Access Applications on an Android Kindle Fire

Running your Access application on the Kindle Fire can be accomplished in just a few simple steps.

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Here’s what to do:

1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop APK and move it over to the Kindle Fire via USB or emailing it to yourself. Note that this is a zip file and you will need to unzip it before moving it over.

2. Change your default Android Kindle settings to allow This is known as “sideloading” your application into Android. You may need to setup the Kindle to accept unknown applicaitons first by doing this:

Fire Settings

Click your settings tab

Fire Applications

Navigate to Applications

Fire Settings 2

and allow applications to be installed from unknown sources (set to On)

3. Install the Microsoft Remote Desktop application to your Kindle.  You can do this by navigating to your Downloads folder (if you emailed it to yourself) or the folder that you placed it in via your USB connection.  We’ve found the free ES File Explorer app to be incredible helpful way to browse your Kindle’s Harddrive.

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3. Pin the newly installed Microsoft Remote Desktop application to your home screen

new RDP

4. Configure the Remote Desktop Connection. If you are using our Remote Desktop Hosting Service  this information will be provided via email.

rdp config

5. Connect the Remote Desktop and run your Access application. Our Remote Desktop Hosting Service is available for Access 2007/2010/2013 and the Access 2010/2013 Runtime

This new version of the Remote Desktop client supports all of the Kindle gestures and features easy to navigate keyboard and mouse touch screen equivalents. Your users will find that the Access .mdb and .accdb applications they know and love work just fine on the Android Kindle Fire Tablet.

 

 

Posted in Access 2003, Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013, Access on the Kindle, Remote Desktop, Remote Desktop Hosting, Tips & Tricks, Video Tutorial | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Remote Desktop App for Windows 8.1

Microsoft has released a Remote Desktop application for Windows 8.1 users here. This is a significant improvement over the traditional RDP or RDC client and offers some unique features. In addition to improved performance and reliability this updated app includes:

On-Screen Keyboard

For devices that do not have a physical keyboard attached, the Remote Desktop app now provides an easy way to bring up the touch keyboard from the command bar. Simply swipe from the top or bottom edge of the screen and tap on the Keyboard icon.

Dynamic Resolution Update

Another improvement available in Windows 8.1 allows the Remote Desktop app to dynamically update the resolution of the remote system when the local resolution or size of the app changes to provide the best experience.

There are multiple ways you can see this in action. First, if you have a tablet device that supports rotation (like the Microsoft Surface 2), you can rotate the device with a live connection to a remote PC and see the resolution in the remote session automatically update to reflect the change in orientation without the need for a full reconnection. Depending on your connection speed, the rotation can be as fast as the local resolution.

This new version is fully compatible with our Remote Desktop Hosting solutions for MS Access.

 

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Access 2013 Tip Of The Week

This short video shows you how to expose all of the web database templates available for Access 2013. Works on Office 365 and hosted implementations of Access Services 2013.



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Using a SharePoint 2013 Foundation List as an Access Backend

We are happy to announce the availability of low-cost SharePoint foundation hosting plans. These plans start at only $99 a year and while they do not have the publishing features of Access Web Services, these SharePoint 2013 plans are still great for Access Developers. You can use SharePoint Lists as you backend and easily have anonymous website users add information and input data using SharePoint’s list functionaliy without having to pay per user enterpise license fees. Watch the video below to see the type of Access development and features that we’re talking about:



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Running Microsoft Access 2003/2007/2010/2013 on a single machine .. and that machine is an iPad

No parlor tricks here – just the Microsoft Remote Desktop App connecting to hosted remote desktops running the last 4 (count em FOUR) major releases of MS Access. This allows most applications to run unmodified in the cloud using the version of Access they were originally developed in. Take Access anywhere using any device without the hassle and expense of application rewrites.



Posted in Access 2003, Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013, Access and the iPad, Remote Desktop, Remote Desktop Hosting | 2 Comments

Setting up the Microsoft RDP connection for the iPad and iOS 7

This short video will step through the process of creating an RDP connection on the iPad



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Why is my database blank when I upload it to the Remote Desktop?

Problem: I just uploaded my database to remote desktop and when i open it, I get a blank Microsoft Access page

We have received a lot of these support tickets lately for users that have signed up for the RDP starter plan.  Remember that the starter plan does not include the full version of Access – but rather the Access Runtime. The Runtime does not have the same feature set as the full version of Access.  One of the differences, is that it lacks the left-side navigation to jump between forms making it essential that you set a start-up form in your Access Database BEFORE uploading it to your RDP Starter plan.  Developers often create a home navigation form that allows users to jump around within a runtime app but as long as you have set some kind of start-up form, when you upload your database it will not be blank when you open it on the RDP Starter Plan.

How do I set a Startup Form in my Access Database?



Of course, if you would like to use the Full Version of Access – you can sign up for a Free Trial of our Access Pro plan here.

Posted in Access 2007, Access 2010, Access Runtime, Remote Desktop, Remote Desktop Hosting, Video Tutorial | Leave a comment

Adding a Splash Screen to Your Access 2013 Web Apps



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Best of Both Worlds: Upsizing Your Access Database to SQL 2012

Access Migration

An important feature of our remote desktop hosting service is the ability to upsize an Access database to SQL Server 2012 with the SQL Server Migration Assistant (free download link below)

Here is a video of the Migration Assistant in action:


Download the Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant for Access Databases

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=28763

By combining a remote desktop Access frontend with a SQL Server on the same high speed switching fabric you get the best of both worlds: A secure, scalable database application combined with the ease of Microsoft Access on any device.

Here is a video overview of the Microsoft SQL Server Migration Assistant in action.

Your Remote instance of Access can now be paired with SQL Server over our high speed network switching fabric, eliminating the traditional latency of a web based SQL backed.

In many cases the migration assistant can be used effectively without outside assistance – but if you require a helping hand we can recommend qualified Access and SQL Server experts that can assist for a reasonable one time fee.

 

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Introducing Microsoft Access 2013



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Shop for Federal HealthCare with Access 2013

To demonstrate the anonymous access capabilities of an Access 2013 web application we downloaded the latest Federal Healthcare pricing information and created an app on Office 365 at

http://catfi.sh/obamacare

You can type in your county name and browse all of the plans and providers in your area.

No registration or signing in required.

All of this was created without writing a single line of code. Pretty cool stuff.

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Compare Access 2013 web apps vs. Access 2007/2010/2013 Remote Desktop Databases

 USE AN ACCESS 2013 APP IF …

  • Your organization is using  Office 365 with SharePoint Online
  • You have the time and budget  to convert your databases tables, queries, forms and reports  into a SQL/Web compatible format
  • Everyone who needs to create or modify an Access app has a copy of Access 2013.
  • The problem you’re trying to solve doesn’t require advanced database features like VBA or automation of Outlook, Word and Excel.
  • You want the latest version of Access and are willing to be upgraded automatically every few years.
  • Your reporting needs are very basic

USE AN ACCESS REMOTE DESKTOP DATABASE IF …

  • Your organization is not using SharePoint or your Office 365 plan does not include SharePoint Online.
  • You want complete control over the look and feel of the database user experience.
  • Your users want to bring their own device (iPad, Nexus, Kindle) to the Access application.
  • You enjoy using the Access Form and Report Wizards.
  • You need advanced features, such as Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) or need to extend your application with email (Outlook) and  charts (Excel)
  • You don’t mind waiting for the next release of Access to use the latest features.
  • You have complex reporting needs, beyond the simple summary reports provided in Access apps; for example, you need to integrate other databases into a report, or format the report.
Posted in Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013, Access and the iPad, Access Runtime, Remote Desktop Hosting | Leave a comment