Chris McNulty
Microsoft
‎03-27-2017 04:12 PM

Updating the Access Services in SharePoint Roadmap

‎03-27-2017 04:12 PM

When we first created Access Services in SharePoint, we set out on a mission to enable both information workers and developers to quickly create data centric web applications with little or no programming. Over the last several years it has become clear that the needs of our customers have grown beyond the scope of what Access Services can offer, such as mobile device support, integration with line of business data, and professional developer extensions.

 

When we researched how to close these gaps, the answer became clear as well; we’re aligning efforts behind Microsoft PowerApps as the way to build no-code business solutions on desktop and mobile devices.  PowerApps offers a comprehensive set of application building tools, connection to custom web APIs, and a wide array of database options including SharePoint lists, SQL Azure databases, Common Data Service and third-party data sources.

 

We no longer recommend Access Services for new apps. This feature will be retired from Office 365. We will stop creation of new Access-based apps in SharePoint Online starting June 2017 and shut down any remaining apps by April 2018.

 

We know that many of you have come to depend on Access custom web apps and we are working to make the transition to PowerApps as smooth as possible. We have added a feature to   export your data to SharePoint lists where you can create PowerApps and Microsoft Flows. We have also published guidance on how to port your custom web app to PowerApps here.

  

We will include Access Services and Access Web Apps in the next version of SharePoint Server.   Access Web Apps and Access Services will continue to be supported in all current versions of on-premises SharePoint servers for the remainder of the product lifecycle.

 

Access Desktop databases (.ACCDB files) will not be impacted by this decision. If you’ve used previous versions of Access, these are the databases you’re already familiar with, and you’ll continue to work with files you’ve created in the past. Desktop databases have all the powerful features, such as VBA, that has made Access such a popular way to run a business. We will continue to invest in Access Desktop databases to expanded data connectivity, management, and developer features.

 

- the Access and SharePoint teams

 

98 Comments
Giorgio ROVELLI
Frequent Visitor

This reaffirms the fact Access Desktop client is irreplaceable because it's at the core of a tried and tested environment where it can leverage its integration with the rest of Office and especially Excel and SQL Server and Azure and now expanding to include Power BI.

I think Microsoft should start marketing Access as a fully integrated business platform software.

 

 

Frans Kuylenburg This is a considerable disappointment for a lot developers!

This is not the first time that Access (cloud) developers must packup and start again. They are intending we all move to PowerApps - the trouble is this simply doesn't have the functionality.

Power apps are not capable to re-build the Access web apps. So how do we start again? To keep this up you have to be very much like Microsoft! But im not sure that will be for my livecycle!

Very sad for developers that build a business model arround SharePoint & SharePoint web apps. Like me! Now Access developers for cloud apps has nothing anymore. Only hybride solutions. We must rebuild our cloud apps to desktop apps! We are back years in time!

Is that the vision of Microsoft for Access developers, remain good old rummage in vba?

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor
Shame on you, Microsoft. AWAs only went live in Office 365 in January 2014 and now, 3 years later, you are telling us to ditch our AWAs and get them out of Office 365 by April 2018, one year from now. What happened to 10 year life cycles? Why suggest that AWAs could be part of the solution to you retiring Infopath? Speaking of Infopath, let's compare what you are doing for Infopath developers and AWA developers. Compare this announcement with that for the retirement of Infopath in January 2014 at https://blogs.office.com/2014/01/31/update-on-infopath-and-sharepoint-forms/ 2. How long will InfoPath be supported? • The InfoPath 2013 client will be supported through April 2023 (9 years). • InfoPath Forms Services for SharePoint Server 2013 will be supported until April 2023 (9 years) • InfoPath Forms Services in Office 365 will be supported until further notice. AWAs • The AWA designer will be supported through May 2017 (2 months). • Access Services in Office 365 will be supported until April 2018 (1 year). You have shafted us good and proper.
Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

This has basically put me out of business - I have just written to my customers this afternoon to tell them that the products they have purchased from me are essentially dead!

 

Great day.

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor
1) So AWAs, which were not much good for mobile apps, but were good for desktop users are dead and we are being recommended to move to PowerApps, which do mobile and tablet nicely, but don't do desktop. 2) So far, Microsoft have given us the option to move our AWA tables from SQL azure to where? To SharePoint lists. Yes, that's SharePoint lists. Remember the major change in moving from Access 2010 web databases to Access 2013 web apps and the reasons Microsoft gave about how much better it would be to move away from SharePoint lists for reasons of scalability and speed? Are they mad?
Tom Resing
Microsoft

In addition to the resources @Chris McNulty links to in the post above, you might also be interested in this whitepaper by Access MVPs Ben Clothier and @Andy Tabisz: Introduction to Microsoft PowerApps for Access web apps developers

 

Ben and Andy wrote 33 pages intended to help people looking to make the transition.

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor
Thanks, Tom. I'll have a good look at that whitepaper.

They are intending we all move to PowerApps - the trouble is this simply doesn't have the functionality!!!

Power apps are not capable to re-build the Access web apps. So how do we start again???

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor
Would someone at Microsoft please tell us why we are only going to have one year to get our AWAs out of Office 365. When it was announced that Infopath was going to be retired, they were given far, far longer. What is the mad rush all about?
Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

Tom

 

Whilst I have utmost respect for Andy and Ben, and to be fair their document does mention the weaknesses in Power Apps, the documents summary of the benefits of each completely misses out the facts that you can't build any business logic in Power Apps - nor can you build a proper web application. Power Apps IS NOT a replacement for AWA.

 

I have spent time in the past few months reviewing a number of web database / rad tools on my blog and I decided I couldn't even review Power Apps yet as it doesn't cover even the most basic requirements of such a platform.

 

For me a marriage of AWA, Power Apps, Power BI and Flow would have been an awesome platform for building web and mobile apps with great BI and workflow built in - there's still time for a change of mind!

judy jones
Visitor

just want to repeat Julian's last statement... "a marriage of AWA, Power Apps, Power BI and Flow would have been an awesome platform for building web and mobile apps with great BI and workflow built in - there's still time for a change of mind!"

I agree with all previous comments.  Any date yet for when you will be deprecating PowerApps (you will)?  No real wonder your app store is practically empty.  The idea that PowerApps is a replacement defies all logic (yes I read the white paper).   I think I will stick to Angular and other open source approaches.  I'm not putting myself through this nonsense any more.  My guess is you didn't like the resources these apps were using on the Azure cloud.  You did the math and killed it.  That's why PowerApps basically use every one else's cloud.

Shaun Parfett
Frequent Visitor

I totally agree with Julian & Judy. AWA is something that is way too good to be discarded! It is a completely illogical decision, based on the reasons presented thus far. It does not compute. AWA is the best thing I have ever come across in 20 plus years of IT.

 

I say this as a non-developer who finally had a chance to quickly create value to any business using a brilliant product. Guys, you can't keep throwing us under the bus. We go out there day after day and try to convince our clients and employers to invest in technology that we believe in, only for it to be discarded soon thereafter. I would like to retire one day with some credibility left! Please rethink this decision as I really don't think you realise how good this product is and how important it is.

Access web apps were the smartest thing Microsoft has done for Office in 15 years.   It is the best web based database solution out there.  Microsoft is crazy.  Stick with something for while.  I work for the biggest Microsoft partner you have.  AWA went under their radar.  I just built a sample app with 1.9 million records and did a demo for the development people.  Thanks for everything (you really enhanced my career).  They were really warming up.  Smart move. 

Chris McNulty
Microsoft

Appreciate all the comments here which we're reviewing internally.  We recognize that removing a feature from our service can be disruptive.  Let me offer a few additional points.

 

  • Its correct that InfoPath etc. was officially deprecated in 2014 from the on premises SharePoint Server, which means that it will be carried forward to at least the next major release.  Support would have ended in 2013, but we made the decision to refresh the support data last year as if we had released a new product; InfoPath support on the desktop and in on premises server runs until 2026. (InfoPath 2013 remains the last version of the client software.)
  • Similarly, Access Web Apps was refreshed in SharePoint 2016 along with Access 2016; on premises support for AWA continues to run forward to 2026 as well (five years standard and five years extended).  AWA in SharePoint Online is not an on premises product, however.
  • We have reinvested significant in revamping SharePoint lists in the p[ast year and continue to do so as we expand their use as a core data layer for PowerApps, especially in Office.  There will be more to announce in the list roadmap  this year.
  • PowerApps absolutely runs on Windows 10, web, Windows 10 Mobile, iOS and Android, although there was some concern that it did not support Windows 10 "Desktop".
  • For PowerApps, Flow and LogicApps provide automation and business logic.

Hope this clarifies some of the open questions.

 

cc:@Michal Bar and @Kerem Yuceturk

Justin Davies
Frequent Visitor

Hi Chris 

I commend you at least for engaging in further discussion. Could I suggest that while you review comments internally you could consider alternatives to putting many of us out of business at almost no notice? Most AWA developers would be happy to pay for Access Services on 365 in order for us to continue offering our services, while we wait for PowerApps to evolve into a truly viable alternative?

Justin 

Peter Stilgoe
Contributor

Powerapps seems to me to be miles away from being enterprise ready, the speed, or lack of speed! makes them pretty unusable & only very basic functionality

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor

Chris, As Justin Davies say, thank you for engaging in further discussion.

 

1) Would you or someone else please tell us why we have to get all our AWAs out of Office 365 within one year. That is just not on.

2) Would you please confirm that PowerApps working with SQL Azure can do things like append queries.

j booker
Frequent Visitor

Sometimes is best to just rip off the bandaid. As a longtime Access developer who made the transition to LightSwitch, I can say: be thankful they didn't string you along for over year before pulling the plug. 

PowerApps functionality is definitely lacking a bunch of features these two techs excelled at. But one thing is certain  namely it has momentum inside Microsoft. Will customers use it, yet to be seen. 

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor
j booker, If Microsoft want to get people to use PowerApps, then provide the functionality it needs first. They should not just shut down AWAs in Office 365 and ruin people's livelihoods. Since PowerApps don't seem to be able to do all that AWAs are being used for by businesses, they need to give people time to move to something else. If they want that to be PowerApps, then PowerApps needs to be able to do those AWA functions. As it is, some people have been making a livelihood out of AWAs. I may have missed something (quite possible), but do you know of any other Microsoft products where developers had just one year to get out? This one year rush to get out means that developers who were doing stuff for customers have to stop their development immediately, learn a new technology which can do the stuff they are already committed to and to the same standard and not earn a living in the meantime. Microsoft are treating AWA developers with contempt and should be ashamed of themselves. To clarify where I stand, this sudden loss of AWAs is not going to put me out of business. Rather it is going to mean me suddenly having to learn something else to replace where I have supplied AWAs. Some of those were for free, in my own time, and I'm going to have to do so again as I can't leave them in the lurch. It also makes me look a twit to another customer where I was pushing and have partly implemented an AWA-hybrid solution and who is now my main customer. Thanks, Microsoft.
Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor

I'm not up on Lightswitch so may have misunderstood what has been going on here, but https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search/16173 says that some sort of support will go on until 2022. MS announced the pulling of Lightswitch in 2016, i.e. 5-6 years before support ceases. Why only one year for AWAs?

 

Edited for correction of date of pulling of Lightswitch.

Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

Alan - you have a really good point there!

 

Even though MS are saying they will support on-premise use of AWA for some time (many years), O365 has always been it's main focus and so the 1 year timescale is going to effect most AWA users.

 

Both AWA and Lightswitch are great products which suffered from lack of marketing and positioning. The people most excited about AWA in my experience are Sharepoint folk delighted that there is a way to produce business apps in their environment - whereas many Access people seem to find it hard to get past comparing it to desktop Access and VBA. It would seem to have been more logical to have packaged AWA outside of Access itself - maybe as the Sharepoint Database Designer or some such.

 

With Lighswitch, targetted at the same demographic (power users) MS made the weird decission after V1 to package it in with Visual Studio - and ensure that it would never be part of the power user's portfolio of tools. This was obvious to me immediately - and I gave up on the product because of that (as MS did).

 

Even for me, an avid fan of Access for 20+ years, I only came across AWA by accident - I bought a copy of O365 Personal which included Access and wondered what the web database option was - finding I couldn't use it, I signed up for a trial of Sharepoint online and was immediately impressed. From there I built an app business (now dead) and was asked to be an MVP on the strength of it.

 

I am pretty certain that if either of these products had been produced by an independant company, they would both be very succesful by now, would be streets ahead in terms of functionality and market share - what they seem to have lacked is sensible marketing and commitment.

Perhaps Microsoft should put AWA (full license to build out as is) up for sale for $1 to another cloud provider with a little vision (Amazon, Google, Quickbase, Accenture, anyone else) and let them run with it.  It has no value - right.  It would be a great help to all us losers who liked the product.  Give it some thought.

Christopher Bischel
Occasional Visitor

The two month window for the creation of new AWA is crazy. We need more time to plan the transition to a replacement service (which PowerApps is not at the moment). I agree with previous statements about the need to continue AWA in the hosted SharePoint environment. It is a great product with a great deal of promise. PowerApps is not a servicable replacement and most likely will not have enough feature parity by 2018 to match what was possible with AWA. This seems motivated more by finances that supporing customers. Very disappointing Microsoft!

Maxim Ivashkov
Occasional Visitor

I remember how excited i was to try awa in 2014 and how disapointing it was. Without vba any webapp will be dead. Powerapps is just a postponed failure. ( like any other power **** ). Stick to the classics folks. 

I'd like to understand the license position as PowerApps includes a 'Premium' tier that falls outside of likes of Office 365 E3. I can see the PowerApps common data service forming part of the AWA replacement. However this is a premium feature.

 

Withdrawing the AWA service introduces a cost to change and potentially new licences.

j booker
Frequent Visitor

Alan,

 

I completely agree with your points andthose of others in this thread. 

 

My comments about ripping the band aid were simply meant to provide perspective.  I know full well how announcements like these are very painful  They're even more painful, when preceded by months of silence from Microsoft as was the case with LightSwitch.  Now that I'm over hardship of that debacle, I look back and say - if only they were transparent enough to tell us there was no roadmap 20 months earlier.  As opposed to the dreaded 'move to powerapps' blog post that landed flattly when no one from that once vibrant community was left listening.

 

If you have a few hours you could read the longest-forum-thread-ever here:

https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/f4aa5b50-2fb5-46da-9cad-6771c8314f01/can-we-h...

Not only is is the longest but there are exaclty zero answers from Microsoft to the reasonable questions asked by their loyal users.

Until this - boom!

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/lightswitch/2016/10/14/lightswitch-update/

 

As for AWA, they are based on what was called 'auto-hosted sharepoint apps'.  This technology was used by Lightswitch as well and it was discontinued in May of 2014 (about 3 months after AWA became generally available in February 2014).  When auto-hosted apps were discontinued, only the AWA flavor was allowed to continue - until now.

 

https://blogs.office.com/2014/05/16/update-on-autohosted-apps-preview-program/   

 

In all likelyhood, this AWA 'sunset' was known at that time.

 

Anyway, I am no MSFT appologist.  I have been through it time and time again from Access to Sharepoint to LightSwitch.  As folks have rightly pointed out, the company seems to have a problem positioning rapid-development-tooling.  Always in search of the elusive 'PowerUser\citizen developer'. When they make a great tool, they have an even harder time realizing it and sticking with it.  And perhaps worse of all, when they come up with a better idea, the hardest thing appears to be bringing forward lessons learned.  Wouldn't you think the PowerApps team would sit down with LightSwitch \ AWA folks and figure out what their users need and want?

 

I believe PowerApps could be the next Sharepoint\LightSwitch\AWA RAD tooling for cloud\mobile apps, but it's far from being that now.  Logic Apps and Azure Functions are not a 'business logic' tier in any real sense.  Custom API Apps as 'connectors' have promise since you own the backend so can put your own business logic, but they lack most of the 'tabular' design-time capabilities in PowerApps and LogicApps tooling.  So it's not rapid anymore.  They don't even have an oob ODATA connector for goodness sake. :-|

 

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Ideas/Custom-API-with-tabular-capabilities/idi-p/13394

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Ideas/OData-connector-with-tabular-capabilities/idi-p/...

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Ideas/CDS-custom-field-groups-usable-on-Entity-Form/id...

 

All PowerApps has now is momentum from inside MSFT.  That surely doesn't ensure success, but we'll see.  Perhaps if they reach out to the user communities of the tools they proport to replace, they can get some feature parity before we all stop listening.   

 

In the meantime, the best future plan, IMHO, is learn javascript ;-) </rant>

Alan E. Cossey
Frequent Visitor
j booker, Thanks for all that information. It is painful to read, particularly the Lightswitch debacle. I also note that powerapps.uservoice.com has attracted far fewer requests for new functionality than access.uservoice.com has for new AWA functionality and I can't see any which are asking for functionality which would be of use to former AWA developers. Even though PowerApps have far wider reach in terms of data sources, what you can actually do with them is far less than what you can do with AWAs. As various people have pointed out PowerApps is no replacement for AWAs. To me it seems dishonest of Microsoft to suggest it is anything near to being that.
Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

If you were to write about this whole debacle as a piece of fiction (3 failed attempts within Access, Lightswitch etc) I don't think people would be able to suspend their disbelief!

 

To be fair, although Lightswitch was promissing, I had dsimissed it as a platform for my purposes - you had to get into .Net code far too soon - but AWA really hits the sweetspot and is hugely capable (although I accept it needs work in terms of both completing the tool and also some performance issues - especially in the development tool). It is really the only RAD tool with a ready route to market through the Sharepoint App store and people really like the resulting apps - here's a comment from a customer:

 

"Ohh no!!!!

 

How they can do this? And why?

 

We cannot understand!!!

 

What are you going to do now? Your app is perfect!!! We are so sad for you…."

 

This was in response to an email I had to send to my customers about the end of AWA!

Kelly Jones
Contributor

Hey @Brian Levenson -- why hasn't the retirement of AWA been posted as a message in my tenant's Office 365 Message Center?

Kevin Ichbia
Frequent Visitor

With 1 short year before shutting Access services down and no real replacement plan, you guys at microsoft are cutting the legs of the people who invested in your product and on the way got companies subscribe to O365.

Sharepoint +flow + powerapps ?  not yet
- sharepoint list do not substitute a RDMS database,  size limitation, referential integrity, full relational functionalities (I wish it were would make sharepoint integration much easier than through BCS).
- powerapps :  I haven't seen an app yet not in format for mobile phone, read several things indicating missing layouts, functionalities
- flows...  I sincerely don't know
as for the export tool of tables to Sharepoint lists... it didn't work for me for over half he tables.  

Few suggestions: 
- maybe you (Microsoft) could put min access in O365 to Azure SQL and a tool to "migrate" Access web app table to Azure so databases survive Access Services
- show us desktop version of powerapps (northwind or Adventureworks...)? 
- don't charge us for extras of powerapps and flow to your O365 subscribers, they subscribed mostly counting these were included...

And In General:  it seems for non programmers, trend is to clusters and overnormalization....  Synthesis is super present on the result side but not anymore in the building side 
One tool to handle a whole project ?  Visual studio. maybe others...  by programmers for programmers... 

Great Concept of Access was to give people with ideas of how to improve process in their own field a single tool to make accessible other fields (database, programming, UI design) and put these ideas to production first hand.  It also was a tool for small and medium companies access to taylor made LOB applications, 1 stop shop.  Now capabilities are much greater but for same result of making project alive, you need to learn/manage 3-4 environments... though when not your primary job....   I can't believe Microsoft doesn't see a market there....

Yahya Manasrah
Occasional Contributor
This announcement is really shocking, and is unfair. While I love PowerApps (and its CDS!), Flow, Power BI, PowerApps is just not ready to deal with relational database. It needs tons of features before we can migrate. In Common Data Services, I need basic things like Query, Entity Data Macro (like table data macro), ability (without work arounds, this is a basic thing) to read data in a single screen from 2 data sources, I can list another 30 features (have shared a lot in user voice). the 1 year notice is not enough. I do not know Access Desktop, and do not want to learn it. I have spent a year learning AWB, then moved all my business data to AWA, now I love PowerApps but again it is not ready. This may really destroy my business. what is the legal side of this?
Robert McCulloch
Occasional Visitor

I could have not said it better myself so I won't.

 

https://www.devhut.net/2017/03/27/steer-clear-of-access-web-applications-awa/

j booker
Frequent Visitor

I haven't read the mentioned articles on transition from AWA. But the suggestion to extort relational data to Sharepoint lists brought back painful memories from when auto-hosted LightSwitch apps were canned. You may like to read this. 

 

https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/a1f4aa44-04a2-4efd-ac81-bfe50d48550c/update-on-autoho...

 

We we never did get a supported method of getting our data out of the Azure SQL database. 

 

Warning:  your data is in a Microsoft owned black box azure tenancy over which you have no control. 

 

The hidden deployment bits behind the AWA publish process likely include a dacpac which could be used against any SQL server to build your Db elsewhere as a path forward. Sad part is, you'll likely never get it- that would be too simple. 

 

If I had any data in there, I'd be connecting with SSMS or SSDT (seem to recall AWA giving read only conn string) and scripting and bulk copying my objects and data out of the netherland TODAY!

 

 Just sayin. 

Giorgio ROVELLI
Frequent Visitor
Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

Indeed @Giorgio ROVELLI - I was going to write:

 

As I've said elsewhere this is an tragedy - to abandon possibly the best RAD database tool there is for the web - firstly actively encouraging folk like me to build apps for sale with it, then no investment to build it out and then finally dumping us unceremoniously! 

Maxim Ivashkov
Occasional Visitor

 Falks, all power feature (i guess powerapps is no exception) will at least double spendings on licensing. Microsoft is just cutting all projects that are on the way, to name a few:

  • Lightswithc,
  • AWA.
  • Some time before PivotTables were removed from Access.
  • Now they are messing up with ExcelServices in SP2016 in order to make the deployment harder. 

I see clear a strategy to push everyone towards higher licencing. That is ok with me, the clients are paying , not me but...  there is no really added value for extra money.  After you are through fancy looking interfaces you realize how amaturistisch Power Apps are designed.  You just smell the designers behind have zero practical experience and spend lifes on MVP, conferences and Northwind database. 

Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

Not surprising really - Power Apps started as a tool to build simple CRUD screens for Windows 8 native apps (Project Sienna) - no surprise that now it's been re-purposed at IOS and Android that it's still essentially a simple tool to get some basic data mobile.

 

Microsoft have a team of people who have been responsible, historically, for producing the most succesful RAD/Database tool ever - and what do they do? Take the task of creating the Web / Mobile equivalent away from them and hand it to a new team - go figure?!

 

AWA has / had far more functionality, is far more intuitive to use and is actually capable of producing full business solutions - Power Apps is not (certainly at the moment).

Rob Koelmans
Frequent Visitor

As far as I know, not even Access Desktop translates datamacros to triggers/stored procedures/user defined SQL functions (but I haven't been paying much attention to Desktop the past 10 years). Since a couple of months we have AWA running on SP2016 with a SQL-2014 behind and it's running flawlessly. O365 AWA was one big frustration. How were they ever expecting this to take off?

 

The SQL-connector of PowerApps/Flow doesn't even work when it approaches a database table with a trigger. You'll get an error. AWA triggers/stored procedures complement PowerApps fantastically. You only need an extemely simple WebAPI 2.0 Service that you can deploy as a Function on Azure. If Microsoft people are recommending PowerApps as a replacement for AWA, they obviously don't have a clue on what makes AWA so valuable to a number of people: it generates highly professional, transactional easy to deploy middleware with hardly any programming expertise to presentational platforms like PowerApps.

 

If Microsoft people are recommending PowerApps as a replacement for AWA, they obviously don't have a clue on what makes AWA so valuable to a number of people: it generates highly professional, transactional easy to deploy middleware with hardly any programming expertise to presentational platforms like PowerApps.

It took me about 45 minutes to develop a CRUD application with AWA.  It was a simple inventory application and it works without any issues.

 

Good luck with doing that in PowerApps. It's advertised as a "no code solution", but it's hardly as simple to develop as Access. Unless you're using the CDS, it's an absolute pain to to make a simple form in PowerApps that actually writes to a SharePoint list.   The product simply isnt ready yet. 

 

 

Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

@Brendon Brooks - this is just my view - even though I have apps which have taken months to build with AWA the productivity is fantastic - and you cn do so much more than at first appears.

 

Power Apps designer looks really nice but I feel the 'paradigm' they have adopted - if that's the right word - isn't at all intuitive. I really don't like the 'Excel like' formula idea - these formulae are a pig to write and debug once they are in any way complicated.

 

I have never really managed to get very far with Power Apps unless apart from the auto generated apps - or one similarly simplistic.

Kevin Ichbia
Frequent Visitor

@microsoft and whoever can help please : 
- show us as simply as possible how to set/migrate AWA back-end as/to regular AzureDB, under either new O365 function or Azure subscription - to keep SQL advantages in Back-end with already built DBs
- show us as simply as possible how to link that SQL Azure DB to sharepoint lists (BCS?, site columns...) 
- indicate no code/easy form publishing tool for O365

- since we're at the wish list: a no code/easy tool to built structured documents on sharepoint to publish contracts and else.... 


Then powerapps can be a good presentation/reporting tool....


thanks in advance

This fiasco sure is making FileMaker Pro from Apple look very appealing. Their deliver of Windows, Mac, Web, etc. seems very cohesive unlike the MS strategy of half developed and baked products that they ditch quickly at the expense of their customers. FileMaker has been around for years and seems to be a much more mature product compared to Access's strategy of being more than a desktop database. I am not an Apple fan and have used Access since the 1.1 days. Being screwed by Microsoft over and over is getting old. 

Javier Martinez
Frequent Visitor

 

I have been using Access since version 1.1 I think is a great power tool to create applications with minimal effort or programming knowledge. I thought was a great step for the tool to be able to create the database in SQL and stay away of the Access engine. When Microsoft  created AWA in 2014 I thought was fantastic.

 

I created an timesheet application for the company I was working at th time in a week and overcome its limitations that Microsoft did not invest time to solve and integrate it with CRM, SharePoint and other systems.

 

I am not working for this company anymore but I feel bad for them as now they have to rebuild all I did in a hurry just because Microsoft does not have consideration for the customers/developers that invest time in his products.

 

There are ways and ways to make a product obsolete. And sorry to say this is not the correct way to do it.

 

Mark Edwards
Visitor

Access "classic" UI with an Access or SQL Server backend on a Virtual Machine run through terminal services or a browser (if not able to run on a LAN) is the way to go.  Microsoft doesn't know where it is going or what it's going to do as far as web/mobile/cloud development, obviously.  You  are going to continue to see a lot of starts and stops from them like this one.  Quit wasting your time following every technology flair that Microsoft fires off.  All they are after is getting people to buy stuff from them.  It doesn't matter if it's something new every year as long as there are "eager early adopters" willing to spend their hard earned money on it.

 

I can't help but feel badly for Teresa, Ben, George, Dagi, et. al. who poured their all into writing "Access 2013 Programming".  The rest of you MS "production beta testers" (suckers) have fun out there.... :-)

Paul O'Flaherty
Regular Visitor

What is the situation with Access Web Databases (the Access 2010 implementation of a web database)? Will these be retired on the same schedule?

Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

@Charles Kelsoe - Yes, Filemaker has a great story when it comes to cross platform usability - the fact that you could run exactly the same app on a standalone iPad - and then move it to a Server based app with iOS, Windows, Mac OS or browser clients is incredible.

 

One of the issues with me with Filemaker though is the cost - especially as licences are now per named user not concurrent users. For me it's not a platform where I could build apps and sell them to customers who don't already have the platform - because the platform itself costs more than competitve solutions would cost - leaving nothing for me. If it weren't for this I may have chosen Filemaker as a platform a few years ago.

Rob Koelmans
Frequent Visitor
Given thef fact that this decision has been taken, here's I think what the development team should do. 1. Make AWA datamacros available in Access Desktop 2. Extend with support of Update/Create/Delete Queries in the query designer. 3. Explode functionality by making datamacros that return just one value available as functions within expression builders of queries and datamaros 4. Support the database qualifier in front of tablenames the way it is already available in SQL-Server between databases. this way users can integrate AWA managed and non-AWA managed very easily. (integration with CLR SQL-server projects and other tools that generate Stored Procedures (LinqToSQL). This way all SP_ functionality in SQL-server (which spans as much as Powershell does (encryption, certificates, you name it and it's there) can be made available to Access Projects. 5. Provide for a proper connector to PowerApps/Flow that is aware of AWA managed databases (and their connectivity with each other and unmanaged databases.
Wolfgang Obermeier
Frequent Visitor
April 1 - Fools Day That's how I feel today. A fool. Today was go live day for our AWA solution. After months of work and optimizing. Today was the day we wanted to put our "CRM" system to use. Client database, quotations, project management, expense records, invoices, reporting. What a disaster. What a disappointment. AWA with O365 will just die. PowerApps? Start all over again? Who is going to pay for the development costs? I have no words for this.
Julian Kirkness
Frequent Visitor

Wolfgang - I really feel for you! I have clients still implementing apps which I have sold them via the app store - this is, as you say, a disaster.

 

It sounds as though, like me, you have found AWA a great platform for building quite sophisticated apps - there's no way that's possible today with Power Apps and there is no other alternative from MS!

 

Why they haven't invested in this great product is a huge mystery!