Wednesday, May 11, 2022

The Access Connector for Dataverse and Power Platform Is Released for General Availability

Beginning today all customers on the current channel for Microsoft 365 and Office now can update their Microsoft Access and take advantage of the Access Connector for Dataverse and Power Platform


We built this because Access customers told us they need more hybrid solutions that keep the value and ease of use of Access with the value, security, and flexibility of cloud-based storage and development platforms. 


Customers told us they wanted

  • New front end app scenarios on mobile devices or with Microsoft Teams
  • The ability to have real-time sharing and editing of Access data using cloud-based data stores, with front-end apps created in Access, Power Apps Mobile and Microsoft Teams 
  • New security and compliance capabilities through Dataverse cloud storage using Azure Active Directory and role-based security while managing it from Access

Launched in public beta at Ignite 2021, this new release adds new capabilities like Big Int data type support, numerous performance improvements, and bug fixes. This new feature expands and enriches the cloud story for Access. While Access has been integrated with the cloud through SharePoint and SQL, the new connector to Dataverse and the Power Platform enables totally new scenarios and benefits. By offering easier ways to migrate your data to Dataverse, Access customers can now tap both the low-code / no code capabilities of Power Platform, and advanced developers can tap its powerful developer capabilities.


With the Power Platform, developers of all skill levels can create apps, automations, chatbots, and analyze and visual data (figure 1).  The Power Platform is built on Dataverse, that enables organizations to connect their data from one data repository, strengthened with Azure and AAD security. 

Figure 1.  The Microsoft Power Platform low-code development platformFigure 1. The Microsoft Power Platform low-code development platform


Making your Access solutions mobile with the Power Platform

One of the most requested capabilities from Access users is the ability to bring Access data and data entry onto a mobile device. With the new Access connector for Power Platform, Access data can now be brought onto any mobile device through the use of Power Apps; your organization’s data is easily migrated to Dataverse where it can then be used to create a mobile Power App and sync back with your Access data. 

Figure 2.  Migrating your Access data to sync with mobile app scenariosFigure 2. Migrating your Access data to sync with mobile app scenarios




Once migrated, you can tap into the easy way Power Apps creates mobile apps and use them with your Access data through Dataverse


Figure 3 Taking your Access Data MobileFigure 3 Taking your Access Data Mobile


 With the flexibility of the Power Platform and integration across multiple services, you can add features to the Power App to further customize how your Access data is consumed and viewed.  This is one of the many ways the Access connector can help your organization bring its Access data into more applications and devices for consumption, viewing and real-time data entry.  Now large organizations who depend on Access, can create hybrid solutions that embrace the cloud, and enable form factors beyond the PC to better meet their business goals.


Connecting Access to Microsoft Teams

Another exciting new capability the Access connector enables is allowing your employees to view and edit Access data in Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft Teams has rapidly grown into the collaboration tool of choice for the modern enterprise.  Teams has nearly a quarter billion monthly active users, and now these users can view Access data right inside the Teams UI as they work with colleagues and execute on daily tasks.  With the Access connector, Access data is migrated into Dataverse for Teams and can then be viewed by Teams users.  Now organizations can modernize their solutions and easily migrate across different scenarios. Some users who prefer Teams can replicate their Access forms as apps in Teams, while other users can continue to use the Access forms they know and love on their PCs. Meanwhile IT managers can rest easy as all this is managed with a single data store in the cloud through Dataverse. (figure 3).

Figure 4.  Migrating Access data to Dataverse for Teams and how you create a Power App inside TeamsFigure 4. Migrating Access data to Dataverse for Teams and how you create a Power App inside Teams




Take the next step and deploy the new Access Dataverse Connector for Power Platform and Dataverse

Talk to your administrator to confirm if your organization is on the current channel as of May 2022 and try the new Access Dataverse Connector. Update your build and you can find it right in Access here (Figure 5)


Figure 5 Dataverse Connector in AccessFigure 5 Dataverse Connector in Access


To learn more and see demos, register for MICROSOFT BUILD and see two different on demand sessions that educate and demonstrate these capabilities:

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