A web app is a database that lives in the great Internet cloud. People who need to view or change the information in a web app database do so using an ordinary web browser, with no Access required. In fact, they can even use a tablet computer like the iPad.
Access web apps are hosted by Microsoft SharePoint, the server-based software that many companies use to collaborate, store documents, and host simple web applications. The web app’s data is stored by SQL Server, the industrial-strength database software that NASDAQ uses to power thousands of transactions per second. But you don’t need to be seasoned SQL Server administrator, because Access and SharePoint take care of all the details for you. All you need to provide is a server running the latest and greatest version of SharePoint (that’s SharePoint 2013), or a SharePoint hosting plan (typically, through Microsoft’s Office 365 hosting program).
In this chapter, you’ll explore the features and limitations of web apps and their inherent compromises. You’ll see why web apps just might be the boldest step forward for Access in years—and why they won’t satisfy everyone.
Microsoft probably would have called the web app feature web databases, but it had already used the term for a now-abandoned feature that it introduced in Access 2010 (see the box on Web Databases, Take Three for the full scoop).
Web apps are the most hyped new feature in Access 2013. In fact, aside from the ...