Data Center & Security
Do you have questions or need help?
Latest Blog Posts
With new versions of Office tools, there are often new features. But which ones are really the tools to take note of so that you can increase efficiency? Here are a few new key features available in Microsoft Excel 2016.
A major difference between Excel 2013 and Excel 2016 include six new charts, including the Pareto, Histogram, Treemap, Box & Whisper, Waterfall and Sunburst charts. These maps allow you to examine data in one view across different hierarchies and analyze statistics. For example, when you use the Treemap chart, you can analyze which product categories provided the highest revenue. The Box & Whisper chart allows you to gain insight on the range of data and to easily identify outliers, such as a product that may be underperforming.
Get your tasks off the ground in an instant with the new templates in Excel 2016. You’ll find relevant templates to address business needs, such as the Stock Analysis template and My Cashflow template. These templates allow you to monitor how you spend your money and to quickly compare how well your stocks are performing in a given category. Additionally, you can take advantage of the dashboard feature to manage your calendar and manage your time more efficiently.
Manually inputting math equations can become tedious and has been a standard way to get the results you want to solve a problem in previous versions of Excel. However, new features within Excel 2016 allow you to write complicated math equations by hand with a touch-enabled device thanks to the ink equation feature. Simply use your stylus or finger to write the equation while using the Microsoft Excel app on your device and watch as the app converts it into text. You can even use a mouse to get similar results.
When you’re using your laptop or desktop, you can easily access the feature by clicking on the Insert tab, selecting the Equation link, and choosing the option to Ink. This feature also makes it easy to correct errors by erasing mistakes.
Add-on programs, such as Power Query and Power BI, simplify data conversion to enable you to quickly analyze information to solve questions you seek to answer. You can even forecast data with accuracy when you use the Forecast Sheet feature. You can also optimize your queries when using the Power Queries feature with the recent support for parameters. Just select the Home button and choose the Manage Preferences option to access the New Parameter selection.
If you wanted to make three-dimensional maps in previous versions of Excel, you needed to have downloaded the Power Maps add-on feature. However, 3D-mapping capabilities have been integrated and enhanced with Excel 2016 and renamed as 3D Maps. Additionally, you can compare and analyze different pieces of information, such as populations and building locations, with the 3D Maps feature. Furthermore, it’s easy to share your stories and video tours you’ve created to improve engagement among your target audience.
With all the new features available from Microsoft Excel 2016, it’s worth taking the time to learn about and practice using the ones that best fit your needs. By exploring these new features, you stand to increase your productivity for vital projects and tasks. Access Hosting offers free trials of Office 2016 and Excel 2016 in our own private cloud.
I was recently having a very good chat with a potential customer that had some very good questions regarding Access and Office 365. This person already had an Access app and was looking to share it online in the browser and was thinking that SharePoint was the best solution but was confused about what they needed exactly since they had an Office 365 plan with a few users with just email and a few more with Sharepoint and more. It was such a good conversation that I thought it would be good to clarify some of the differences between Office 365 and our SharePoint 2013 Enterprise hosting plan for Access Web Databases and Web apps.
Cost Savings over Office 365
The most confusing part of the comparison is that the varying plans for Office 365 are quite confusing in and of themselves. Office 365 is a sort of all encompassing term used to describe a lot of different products from Microsoft. It can be as simple as a subscription to Microsoft Office software or a complicated enterprise plan with access to Exchange, Sharepoint, Yammer, and more. If you’re interested in Access Web Databases or 2013 Web Apps, the first thing to determine is whether your Office 365 plan even includes SharePoint Enterprise. You need to have either an Office 365 Business Premium plan ($12.50-$15 per user per month) or an Office 365 Enterprise Plan ($20 per user per month) to have access to the correct version of SharePoint with Access Services. Obviously if you have a small business where you have 10 users or less and need email, exchange and everything in between, Office 365 is the better deal, but for a lot of people they need something more flexible.
Let’s say you have Office 365 and are paying $15-$20 per user and have an Access database that you want to host in SharePoint as a web app and share with some of your clients outside of your organization. How do you do that if they don’t have their own Microsoft account/Office 365 account? Our $99 SharePoint hosting plan has been tailor made for Access Services 2013 and 2010 and offers substantial cost savings over Office 365. Right off the bat our $99 plan includes 10 users ($50 – $100 less than Office 365), and each additional user is only $3 per user per month vs. the $15-$20 per user Office 365 plans. Best of all, you don’t need to pay for all the extra features of Office 365 that you don’t need for you and your clients.
Access Services 2013 and 2010 running Side by Side
Another cool feature about our $99 Sharepoint plan is that you can run 2013 Access Web Apps right alongside Access 2010 Web Databases since our 2013 SharePoint environment is running both versions of Access services. We’ve already written about the differences of this technology in a previous post: picking between Access 2013 Web Apps and Access 2010 Web Databases.
Comparing Access Hosting to Office 365
Here’s a few more points about our implementation of SharePoint over Microsoft Office 365. An On Premise or 3rd Party Hosted Access Services 2013 implementation helps provide focused, reliable solutions for the following common customer needs:
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
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
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
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
Now your reports are connected to Office 365 and accessible from any machine, tablet, device and web browser via our Remote Desktop hosting!
Access Hosting is proud to announce our new Excel Power Business Intelligence Hosting for only $99/month. This new plan combines the flexibility of our Remote Desktop hosting solutions with the power of SQL server hosting. This powerful solution is possible NOW without the expense of Office 365 or a SharePoint server and allows for substantial business insights through PowerPivot and Power View.
Power View is an interactive data exploration, visualization, and presentation experience that encourages intuitive ad-hoc reporting. Power View is a powerful feature of Microsoft Excel 2013 that can be utilized in ANY HTML5 compatible web browser with our Power RDP technology.
You can learn more about this product and sign-up for a 30 Day Free Trial of Excel 2013 Hosting here.
The free public preview of Office 15 just became available. Interestingly enough, they’re calling it: Office 365 Home Premium Preview. After downloading a very small install exe file, you’ll go through a few steps and be greeted with this opening video for the suite of products:
We’ll follow up with some impressions and videos of Access 15 in the coming weeks.
Since SharePoint 2010 with Access Services has been released, we have gotten requests from customers looking to prevent users from opening their Access application. Many developers want the only user experience to be the browser based version of their application and our video tutorial hack is too limiting and simply not good enough. Well, as you can see from the picture above, we have finally figured out a way to remove the Options Menu (and subsequently the Open in Access option) from any Access Web Database. This customization has been widely requested and is yet another feature that Office 365 does not offer. Unfortunately because of how SharePoint 2010 was designed and coded, this customization requires that we alter SharePoint master pages and is therefore only available with a virtual private server. If you are interested in this feature, it is now available with any of our SharePoint Virtual Appliances which are only $499 and include 10 users and 5GB of storage space.