I am often asked “Is Microsoft Access going to be here in 5 years?”.  Here is a quick synopsis of what I think is the best answer to that question:

Microsoft continues to release enhancements and product improvements for Access 2016.  example:  new connectors were released this year showing a powerful interest in tying Access to Salesforce and other 3rd party software and offerings.

Salesforce to Access

Companies continue to request Access database solutions, and today seem to be further expanding their migration from Word and Excel solutions to more powerful database solutions.  Based on our current database request list, we see on-going development and support for Access being in demand for the next 5 years, if not more.

Web is not the solution for everyone.  There are limitations for many when looking at web solutions, including remote locations without connectivity, desire to retain data on a private network, and other similar concerns.  True, the web offers a modern database experience…but not everyone wants a web based solution.  Access therefore still fills a niche in the marketplace for on-prem database and data management at an entry level that is cost effective.

Financial points are pro Access:  a web based solution can cost many multiples compared to a Access solution.  Businesses today are lean, and looking for fast and inexpensive solutions.  Have you priced out Oracle lately?  or a high end developer to build a robust application running on SQL?  Access wins, hands down!

Supportability:  there are many cost effective ways to support and deploy Access.  You do not even need Access as an application to use a database thanks to the runtime engines available.  When it comes to alternatives like cloud or web based offerings, costs quickly escalate or support becomes harder to find.  Access offers a more universal supportability and scalability design then other options.

Access Web Apps:  While Microsoft has now tried TWICE to deploy a web alternative with Access (Pages and Access Web Apps) they have both resulted in low uptake, and therefore a dropped product.  This does not mean Microsoft has decided to abandon Access.  Rather it shows how truly powerful the core product is relative to easier and blockier web solutions.  What would be ideal is a future release of Access which includes a plugin to WordPress, a front end like Code Igniter, or some other similar tool.  Already, integration and connectivity to Azure SQL is an option.  This proves that Microsoft continues to look for options to improve the product.  Hopefully in the future we will see Access grow with even better toolsets.

Finally, if I can point out ONE significant fact which generally we do not see in the public forums:  as an Access MVP since 2014, I can tell you the Product Team behind Microsoft Access today is amazing, focused, listening to the feedback from the public, and moving things forward like I have never seen before.  If Microsoft continues to support this team at the helm of Microsoft Access, it simply can only get better and more powerful.  Michal Bar is truly amazing, she had an excellent presentation at IGNITE this year which you NEED to watch now:

Jeff Shirley

Jeff Shirley

Founder & CEO
Jeff brings over 27 years of experience to the table, along with numerous awards, certifications, and real-world implementations.  His database solutions are currently running in industries including government, mining, agriculture, finance, education, science, research, non-profits, and healthcare businesses around North America and serve thousands of users day to day.  Jeff is a five-time MVP Award recipient for Microsoft Access, acknowledging contributions to community projects, evangelism, and educational outreach on Microsoft technologies.  Today there are less than 50 Access MVP’s worldwide. While Jeff focuses day to day on business management, IoT development, IT integrations and design, database architecture or other typical complex tasks, he also is a co-owner of Blue Heron Gardens, a commercial apiary running over 200 beehives.  Fresh honey is a small perk for many of our clients!

Mitch Redekopp

Mitch works with our clients day to day ensuring web development and IT projects are done to exceed customer expectations.  His background includes formal training in IT, Microsoft and CompTIA certifications, real-world business experience, and a true dedication to ensuring clients receive timely and professional support on their projects with Rivercity Technology Services.  Given the most difficult requests for IT solutions, Mitchell can assist our clients in finding a path to the best options which deliver results for our clients.  Mitchell is an avid soccer player and Manchester City fan, be sure to talk soccer with him when you can.