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With Microsoft Office 2010 on the horizon, it is time to think about migration from Access 2007 to Access 2010. Unlike other applications in Microsoft’s suite of office productivity software, migration to a new version of Access could spell disaster were Microsoft to remove, change, or add important features to the application without warning.
Luckily, Microsoft has been quite open about the changes in the upcoming release of Access 2010. This first article in a series of three discusses what’s new in Access 2010 and gives advice for those thinking about or charged with the task of migrating an Access 2007 database to Access 2010.
Microsoft has yet to announce an official release date for Office 2010 beyond a promise of “in the first half of 2010." However, some “official" rumors post the date as June 2010. Whatever the date, Access 2010 will likely arrive in 2010 as promised.
Microsoft itself has confirmed that Access 2007 and Access 2010 share the same native file format. Therefore, it is likely that we will be able to refer to Access 2007/2010 in the same way that we now refer to the Access 2002/2003 file format paradigm. That said, we can move on to what’s new in Access 2010 and discuss any pertinent migration issues for those upgrading from Access 2007.
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What’s New in Microsoft Access 2010?
Access 2007 offered very limited options for sharing databases on the web. In Access 2007, you could only publish lists and move an Access 2007 database to a document library. Access 2010 removes this limitation if you use a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
Coupled with a SharePoint Server, you can create web databases and allow users to access a database in a web browser. Of course, you need Access 2010 to make changes to the database itself. However, Microsoft does warn that some features do not directly translate to the web and that some workarounds may be necessary.
Starting with Access 2007 SP2, users of Access could export data to a PDF (Portable Document Format) or an XPS (XML Paper Specification) file. Before Service Pack 2, users of Access 2007 could attain this capability with a separate download.
Starting with Access 2010, the ability to export directly to PDF and XPS files will be a built-in feature. Exporting data to these files allows users to print, post, or e-mail the data in a convenient format. This feature will also allow users to export forms, reports and datasheets to PDF and XML formats for easy distribution. In addition, by exporting in these formats, all formatting characteristics from the database will be retained without requiring recipients to install or own a copy of Access 20010 to print or read these files.
Access 2010 will allow users to connect to a web service as an external data source. To do this, users need a definition file that can be provided by the administrator of the web service. After installation of the definition file, it is possible for the Access 2010 user to link to the web service data as a linked table for manipulation, additions, deletions, and other database functions.
To make life easier for those users who use several features of Access often, Microsoft has integrated the Microsoft Office Backstage that is a part of the Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface.
Microsoft considers the Backstage to be a companion rather than a replacement of the Office Ribbon. On the File tab, users can access the Backstage View that contains functions that can be applied to an entire database. Examples include compacting, repairing, or even creating a new database from scratch. For convenience, the Backstage View is placed on the left-hand side of the screen with multiple tabs consisting of groups of functions and related commands.
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Although not a long list of additions, Access 2010 will likely open a few new doors. This is especially true with the ability to share Access database on the web and allowing connections to web services as external data sources. The ability to export data to PDF or XPS files is nothing new to users of Access 2007 SP2 or later or for those who downloaded the option prior to the release of Service Pack 2. The Backstage View is unlikely to impress many users although it is an initiative to make the Office Suite of productivity software more accessible and familiar from application to application. Read on to the next article to learn about what changes to expect when migrating from Access 2007 to Access 2010.
What’s New in Access 2010?
The first article in this series discusses what’s new in Access 2010. The second article explores what’s changed from Access 2007. The third article in the series discusses what’s been removed from Access 2010 from Access 2007. Learn everything you need to know before you migrate to Access 2010.