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Cloud technology was a global phenomenon just a few years ago, but it is now integral part of business operations. The cloud has been particularly helpful to companies that use collaborative software like Microsoft Office, specifically Excel and Access, as it allows for safe, quick and encrypted access to potentially sensitive data — from anywhere in the world.
If you are contemplating moving your collaborative software to the cloud, there are eight very clear benefits of doing so.
The cost of purchasing and installing sophisticated IT systems can be considerable, particularly for startups and small businesses. But using the remote servers of a cloud provider like Access Hosting means companies and relatively small organizations can bypass these costs and save money. There is no systems maintenance or management cost, but just a fixed monthly subscription that makes financial planning simple.
The use of collaborative software can pose significant security problems. Several users all accessing and sharing the same data via different devices is a situation with inherent risk. But cloud storage providers offer protection from all the latest viruses and malware. And depending on the provider, there may be the option of two-factor authentication at login. Most cloud providers offer automatic updates, which means businesses don’t need to pay IT specialists to update several physical servers and devices with the latest protection.
This brave new world of cloud computing is making the traditional office environment increasingly obsolete. Users with access to collaborative software in the cloud can view, share and update files from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. That means you can collaborate in MS Access, Excel or even Quickbooks without having to physically be in the office. This can reduce costs, improve staff morale and boost productivity levels.
Most businesses have fluctuating bandwidth costs, so there’s often a need to scale up and scale down capacity at short notice. Cloud storage allows businesses to pay for only the capacity they need, rather than wasting cash on excess storage and bandwidth.
The success of collaborative software — such as the many packages developed by Microsoft Office 365- relies on the ability to share, view and edit files in real time. Any updates made to files in cloud storage are immediately available to all users, so they’re able to make their own contributions in the knowledge that they have the latest information at hand. Best of all, our terminal services collaboration plans allow for developers to leave their MS Access Database as-is and move it into the cloud seamlessly.
Every business needs to prepare for the worst when it comes to data storage. A man-made or natural disaster has the potential to wipe out a business’s data in seconds, so having a plan to continually back up data — and restore lost data — is essential. However, this can be a complex and costly process, and it can put a huge financial and administrative strain on small organizations. Collaborative software in the cloud usually includes disaster recovery measures, saving businesses time and money. Access Hosting takes daily backups of our architecture and you can add individual file backups for as little as $20/month.
Small businesses often struggle to compete financially with their larger competitors. Collaborative software in the cloud can level the playing field in this respect. Cloud computing is cheaper than installing and maintaining physical IT infrastructure, which makes it possible for smaller organizations to be competitive within their industries.
In an organization with hundreds of employees, it is inevitable that certain people will need to access sensitive files that aren’t for general consumption. Providers of cloud-based collaborative software offer varying levels of user access, so sensitive data remains private.
Cloud technology gives businesses flexibility, reliability and simplicity — and cuts the cost of doing business. This is why more and more organizations are transferring their collaborative software to the cloud.
Since it’s inception, Microsoft Access has been the go-to database for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Not surprisingly, as Access’s features and cloud capability have rapidly expanded over the years, so too have the different ways the technology is used. Here are a few of our favorites:
There are few things more valuable to a business than properly onboarding and training new employees. While for most companies the ROI on hiring and app developer for a training application wouldn’t be high enough to justify the cost, building them in house is an appealing option. And as the company’s hiring scales, moving the backend of the app to a server like Microsoft SQL Server will be a low-cost way to scale your training app with it.
For many small businesses, CRMs like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics are either too expensive or too cumbersome to implement. However, having accurate, up-to-date customer and prospect information is crucial to running client-facing departments . As an MS Access user, it’s more than likely that much of this data already exists there. By standardizing this information and creating relational tables for objects like leads and deals, you too can have a CRM without the cost and learning curve.
While we’re on the subject of prospects and customers, many of them will want to access some of the data that you store in your web database – for example, recent invoices or the date of their next appointment. You can easily deliver this data easily by offering them a form they can fill out on your site. ASP.NET forms can query a Microsoft Access online database directly, so by implementing them on your site, you can surface this data to your customers with limited effort from your developers.
If you’re like many, you’re using an endless string of VLOOKUPs in Excel to report on related data from different tables or sources. This is really a job for Microsoft Access’ relational tables. Built on top of Microsoft’s Jet Database Engine, you can use these powerful tools to easily create queries that quite literally fly.
If you’re in software development, one common practice you’re likely familiar with is creating waterfall models to manage the progress of an application. Since you may be creating an application that leverages Access or SQL Servers as your backend, why not keep track of your app’s progress there as well?
These are just a few of many ideas for uses for MS Access – the beauty of the software is that it’s uses are really only limited to the imagination<.
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
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.
A Simpler Approach
AccessHosting.Com offers a unique, low cost, and scalable approach to getting your Access database into the cloud. Our entry level price point is just $19 month for a remote desktop session that allows a single user to run their Access 2007, 2010 or 2013 database without modification, and includes the rich feature set that Access developers are comfortable using and maintaining. Don’t be confused by the marketing hype surrounding Access Services and SharePoint in Office 365 – those solutions require significant conversion effort and a substantially reduced feature set to run Access forms, queries and reports in the browser. Our simple approach lets you take your existing database from the desktop intact with forms, rich reports, VBA code, and legacy macros and run it from any device that supports a remote desktop connection. That includes iPads, Kindle Fire, Surface Tablets and many other popular devices.
An Inexpensive Solution
With the Access Runtime environment you do not need a copy of Access for you users – only the developers of the applications. Without this requirement the cost of running your application remotely can be as little as $19/month per user. Additional users can be installed at any time to share a common backend database that is secured on the same remote desktop, offering a high performance solution to multi-user connectivity.
A Scalable Solution
Sometimes Access databases grow up to be very big – and performance suffers. We offer an easy way to take your traditional Access data file and convert it to a hosted SQL Server solution on our same network switching fabric, giving you a high speed connection to a scalable backend that will not impact performance as the size of your database grows.
How Do I ?
We understand that you sometimes need step by step guidance to perform a specific task. To that end we have produced many instructional videos to help you get started with our solution. Everything from moving your database form the desktop to the remote desktop, setting up local printing, and securing multiple users on your database is covered in detail in these tutorials.
Want To Learn More?
We are convinced that this is a great way for people to run Microsoft Access on the Web – but don’t take our word for it. You can test out solution obligation free for 30 days. There are no long term contracts or the “lock-in” typically found with QuickBase, Caspio, and other web database solutions. If the product does not meet your needs you will not be charged – simple as that.