Microsoft Access System being discontinued?

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Occasional Visitor

Hello,

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.

7 Replies

@cwillie 

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.

@cwillie 
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 Look very much outdated.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)

 

@Jelgab 

 

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.