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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    London, Gtr London, England
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    ACCESS 2013: web db vs desktop db vs SharePoint Lists

    Dear Loungers,

    i have been debating the best way of using these tools. My questions are
    1. My understanding is that performance-wise Access web is better than a collection of Sharepoint lists, is that true?
    2. Access web db doesn't offer crosstab and other complex tools, so what is the best way of having a web db but also being able to do these things?
    3. Sometimes a list is handy in Sharepoint, however the data may also be needed in Access. Can a list be driven from an access table and sync - like Excel & SP functionality?
    4. It feels like I will end up with an Access desktop db, an Access web db, a collection of SP lists for convenience. What would be the best way to configure this and what is the best relationship to have between each of them?

    Thank you,


  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Thanked 64 Times in 63 Posts
    Lots of others are debating those same issues, and it seems there isn't much consensus. In fact there doesn't seem to be much guidance either. I don't have personal experience, but did work with another person trying to use SharePoint who finally got it to work - see SharePoint Help!. Note that in this specific instance the objective was to have an Access front-end at two different physical locations working on data in the cloud. Some of the references may be useful. Also there are some videos posted by Microsoft that walk through the steps to get to a working web db. Part of the issue is nomenclature - Microsoft tends to equate Access databases published to SharePoint as web dbs. However it is possible to link directly to a SQL Azure database as I understand it, and that solution is sometimes referred to as a hybrid database, and sometimes as a web database.

    At this point, my two-cents is that the best performance is with a local database. If you put the back-end in the cloud, you can still get good performance if you return small recordsets to forms or reports in an Access front-end. If a web-based front-end will work, then SharePoint is a reasonable solution, but with the same constraints on recordset size. The bottom line I think is that Access offers a much richer user interface than any web-based tools that are currently available, and does it with much less development effort. Others may disagree....

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