Microsoft Access System being discontinued?

Copper Contributor


I am looking for a way to create a database and all of my research is leading me to wanting to build a Microsoft Access based database. It seems as though this program would fulfill all my needs for my project, however, whenever I bring it up to colleagues, or search online for news, I keep seeing that the system is going to be discontinued and that I should avoid it, as I will soon have to find an alternative anyway.

Can you confirm if this is true or not? I am having trouble finding a press-release, or news article from Microsoft directly about this topic.

Thank you kindly.

15 Replies


No. It is an integral part of MS Office with a very large user base.

Despite rumours for at least a decade about its imminent demise, Access will remain part of Office for many years to come and there is a road plan for future developments.

I want to add my comments on this unfounded rumor that keeps coming up.

Access is NOT going away in the near future. I think this rumor first came up two days after Access version 1.0 was released, and it's been false ever since.


I think there are two sources for it. One, jealous competitors., Two, uninformed IT people who don't want to admit that Access is so successful. 


We all know that IT often looks down on Access, sometimes with good reason, unfortunately. And that can lead IT people to want to believe in this false rumor.

Competitors have a self-interest in spreading it.

At a recent live on-line meeting, Ebo Quansah, who heads up the Access development team at Microsoft, outlined current plans for at least the next generation of Access. I think we can trust his word over the rumor-mongers.

Anyone who things Access is going away any time soon has never worked in corporate America. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of perfectly good Access database applications being used in critical automation processes all over the world, and there's no way companies are going to spend billions of dollars to replace them.

Perhaps one of the reasons leading people to doubt whether MS Access will continue to be supported is that, in my opinion, it doesn't look updated and it seems like only a small team is behind it to provide little and strictly needed maintenance. The features, user interface, usability, etc. Look very much outdated. I use MS Access since 1997 and still use it sometimes to create quick forms to access / manage data both local and on data servers but it doesn't help me as it used to.


Note: 2021-11-11. I found this discussion because I was looking into why the search functionality is now failing most of the time for me (Find, Look in: Current document, Match: Any part of field, Search: All). (Haven't yet identified if its a general problem or only on my machine)




Here you go.


Re: problems with search. Sometimes it's better to offer descriptions of behavior (what DOES happen and what you expect or want to happen). Usually statements of outcomes, "...failing most of the time..." are less helpful. 

@cwillie I think the recent announcements at Ignite show an on-going commitment to Access. The biggest enhancement of a Dataverse connector shows a place for access among the Power Platform suite.

The way I view Access and it appears that MS does as well, is that it remains a solid tool for community developers to build desktop data-centered applications. It is objectively easier to learn Access and VBA than it is to learn C# for 'non-programmers' and that make the tool easier to build applications for smaller teams.


By integrating with the Dataverse as a back-end database you can continue to use Access as a front end for desktop forms entry but also give a transition plan for migration to Power Platform if you need mobile capabilities or interaction with other applications via Power Automate and Power Apps.


Now, if I were to make a recommendation for new development for a team I would probably look at Power Apps rather than Access.  I have been describing this for years as "Access for the Web" since it seems clear to be the future platform for MS in terms of 'citizen developers' but I think the recent integration of Access into this platform is recognizing there is a huge install base of Access and large commitment from companies that have found it fits a great niche for small to mid sided apps.

@Marc Rohde 


I agree with that almost 100%, with one small reservation.


The commitment to Access is obvious and substantial. The fact that it is in a new direction, i.e. towards the Power Platform environment, suggests a recognition that this is one area in which Access can be substantially improved. 


My only reservation is that I've been creating hybrid Access/PowerApps applications with SharePoint and SQL Azure back ends for a while now. One of them I use every day, others are for POC types of applications and a YouTube series I'm working on. My point is that Dataverse doesn't necessarily open that up, so much as it strengthens the partnership which has already been there for a while.


And finally, I am leery of the "low code/no code" tag being attached to Access in this context. True, you can build simplistic applications with a single table, one or two forms and reports and macros. That's  one end of the scale. However, competent Access developers have been creating enterprise level applications with Access interfaces to SQL Server, Oracle, MySQl, etc. for years. That's the  other end of that scale. In between are varying levels of complexity and sophistication that probably would astound the naïve observer who doesn't know that much about the power of Access and VBA.

I wish they would bring back FoxPro

The Access user base is far too well established, and organizations too deeply rusted on to Access/Office, to ever see it discontinued.


In my 30+ years of using Access (as both a tertiary trained scientist and tertiary trained programmer), I find that much of the criticism and disparaging commentary about Access comes from IT staff who say it's not a 'proper' application. So why do they think this?


Access is great for rapid app development, it's robust in the hands of experience programmers (and knowledgeable users), is easily accessible via ODBC/OLEDB, has massive community support and above all else, solves business problems. But, the emergence of Access follows a trend that emerged in the '90's that placed the then amazing power of desktop solutions in the hands of the untrained.


There was a time when typing was done by trained typists, when data analysis was conducted by data analysts and mapping was done by cartographers. Then in the '80s' along comes desktop word processing, and suddenly everyone's a typist hacking together templates and keyboard shortcuts and functions and generating versions with every tiny edit (...copy 1, ...copy 2, .... copy 9999) scattered across drives and folders.


In the 80's we also saw the proliferation of desktop spreadsheets, and everyone became a data analyst. And for better or worse, we saw all manner of spreadsheet disasters, spaghetti formulas, dangerous code and, ultimately, time-wasting as users fumble around with functions and arrays and charts and macros and VBA; one well-known Australian entrepreneur even banned spreadsheets when confronted with a financial statement full of errors (I'd have banned the developer).


And then came desktop GIS, and now everyone can make maps and justify the cost of gigabytes of data splattered across disks and network drives.


Throw into this mix the emergence of desktop databases - especially Microsoft Access when bundled with Microsoft Office - and their facility for replacing paper records of customers and accounts and invoices and project management and staffing and orders and inventory, and we watched digital anarchy reign with everyone free to generate complex, oft-impenetrable applications that work with masses of data spread across personal drives, and networks and USB sticks and external hard drives and cloud storage.


Is it any wonder the IT department freaks out - so much power in so many users - "it's like giving children chainsaws" I recall one lamenting.


But why would IT dump on Access?


I'd argue it's because unlike word processors, spreadsheets and GIS, Access is a powerful tool that in untrained hands results in serious corporate risk for the IT department. Users with no understanding of data, data modelling and databases, can easily hack together an Access application that in time, becomes a valuable business asset.  And when it does, it's often the IT department that's asked to take it on and support it. Now the IT department has responsibility for an application that's (often) poorly specified, poorly designed, poorly programmed and poorly documented - if at all. The first thing they'd want to do is ship it into the corporate database, or move it to the cloud. But as we know, refactoring or reengineering even a well-designed and well-documented application can be fraught.


So in summary, in my experience it's the proliferation of Access applications built with little understanding of the fundamentals of relational theory, entity-relation modelling and database design generally, that has resulted in an underworld of critics and destroyers who take every opportunity to rumour the demise; it behoves us developers to design well, build well and document well.



I'm not sure about this rumor but if this will be discontinued, lots of my work will be affected. Thank you for bringing this up. If you have found an official press release, please share it with me. Thank you.
To repeat previous comments.
There is no official press release announcing the demise of Access because it is not going to be discontinued for many years to come. See above comments from various responders as to why it remains integral to Office.
Whilst new developments in Access are limited and progress remains disappointingly slow, there is a plan for future development work that has been shared with Access MVPs. You can also find a thread on this forum by Michael Aldridge listing recent actions taken to fix bugs as they arise. This work is also ongoing
Please stop spreading this rumor. It is false and all too often the result of ill intentions on the part of the originators and spreaders of the rumor. Don't be one of them.

@pia92 Access is NOT going away and there is an ongoing development roadmap to strengthen its connection to the could ecosystem like connectors for Dataverse and Graph.


Access still plays a purpose in Microsoft's "Citizen Developer" universe but it isn't as likely to get the public attention from MS that Power Apps and the rest of the Power Platform get.

I'm not spreading this rumor. It just that I got an email and posted on my page. That is why I'm asking because I'm not aware of this.
You are, in fact, spreading the rumor by posting here asking if it is valid.
Had you bothered to read the full lengthy discussion in this thread, you'd have seen quite quickly, that it is not true. Yet, you chose to prolong the discussion by appending one more "is it true" question as if you'd seen nothing. That's spreading the rumor. Let it stop now, please.