Access 2010 includes a host of
improvements over prior versions. Microsoft has spent hundreds
of person-years developing MS Access 2010, and we've summarized a
few of the best improvements below. Outside of what you'll see
below, Access 2010 offers many usability improvements that are not
individually worth calling out, but will make life much easier.
Important Note: Similar to Access 2007, taking advantage
of new features in Access 2010 will likely mean losing the ability
to share your database with users that have Access 2007 or lower.
We've been working with this feature since November 2008 when we visited Redmond for a few days for an alpha-preview. It is a
huge improvement over Access 2000/2003 Data Access Pages in terms of
usability. The new feature is limited to SharePoint, something that
will be a downside for anyone hoping to publish Access forms to the
public Internet easily. But for any local intranet application that requires the scalability of SharePoint, and some nice web forms, Access 2010 is a fantastic leap forward.
In brief, you can now take the tables from a Microsoft Access
database, move them up to SharePoint, and create end-user forms in
Access that will show up in SharePoint as a special site. The
MS Access 2010 web forms have a similar look and feel to normal
SharePoint pages, and you will need to design your web forms in MS
Access 2010 separately from any client forms you want to display to
users when they view your database using Access on their own
- Better collaboration
across your company.
Allow users to share and manage
information via a central SharePoint
Fewer end-user requirements. You no longer need to make
sure all your users have Access and
your database installed. They
simply open a browser and start
working in your web forms.
without requiring a professional
developer. You can
create a fairly simple, but
functional, web application in
Access 20101 in a matter of hours.
Read more details about
Access databases to the SharePoint
limitation in earlier versions of Access has been an inability to
reliably trigger something to happen when data changes in a table.
While experience with macros or Visual Basic would help users to
create features to trigger an event when a field or record was
added/changed/deleted in earlier versions of Access, it has always
been limited to forms and queries. If a user edited
information in a table or query directly, Access had no way to let a
developer capture the change and fire off an event. Access
2010 brings a vast improvement to this scenario, particularly where
data integrity and quality are concerned (read more about how
Macros improve data quality
Let's look at a scenario. Whenever a user adds a new customer
record, I want to send the customer a thank-you letter. In
Access 2007 and earlier, you would need to create an event for every
form where someone might add a new customer that would send the
letter. Even if you call a centralized function to perform the
letter send, you still would need to change every form. And
what if someone has access to the database table? Or runs an
append query to add one or more customers? In these cases,
Access had now way to wire up an event to trigger on these sorts of
SQL Server and other enterprise SQL server products
have the concept of a "trigger" which can fire whenever a certain
activity takes place, such as adding/deleting/changing/viewing a
record. Access 2010 brings a new concept to Access, called
Data Macros, which function in much the same way.
"backstage view" in Office 2010 applications is Microsoft's second
generation of the "Office Icon" menu, and certainly an improved
version. Rather than the limited dropdown menu in Access 2007,
Access 2010's backstage view gives you visibility to the many
settings and configuration options available, as well as better
textual help to guide you through making changes.
One of the key criticisms of Access 2007 was the new ribbon. Gone
was the familiar command bar, and with it, many thousands of hours
work by the Access developers that came to rely on the command bar
as the main user menu. Microsoft has invested in making life a bit
easier for the everyday user that wants to customize the ribbon
without custom code.
In Access 2010, you can create custom ribbon tabs and groups. In the preview, it doesn't appear that you'll be able to change any of the packaged ribbon tabs and groups, though.
A new ribbon
feature is a data type dropdown visible in the Table views.
When you select the dropdown, you'll be able to easily choose from a
set of plain-English data types that you might want to insert as a
field into your table. This is a far better way to help users
add new fields than the traditionally complex choices for data types
(numeric - double, numeric - integer, etc).
implemented the common Office 2007 Trust Center feature, where a
document (or database) containing Visual Basic requires users to
confirm they want to allow the VB to run. The downside has
been that Trust Center supported directory-level trust only, so
adding your Desktop to "Trusted Locations" would mean any database
file on your desktop would run Visual Basic. You may only want
to trust an individual file, however, which Access 2010 will