Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Office 365 Plans For Access Web Apps

If you want to create an Access Web App, or AWA, you need two components:
1)      The MS Access Application, version 2013 or 2016
2)      An Office 365 Account which includes Access Services
Of course, if you work in a large organization which has deployed SharePoint 2013 or 2016 internally, you can use the Access Services provisioned on it (assuming that has been done). Many of us don't have that option. We can, however, get a cheap O365 account for our purposes. And that’s what I am going to talk about today.
Obviously, to create an ACCESS database or web app, you need MS Access. I think most people get that point without a lot of effort. Further, it’s pretty easy to understand that you need either the 2013 or 2016 version to support AWA’s. We’re used to versioning in software applications.  
It's the second component that gets murky, which Office 365 Account do you need and why?

Business Plans

Here’s the page for  Office 365 Business Plans. Microsoft’s website listing the basic plan options for Business. It used to be called “Small Business Plans”, it’s now just “Business Plans”, as opposed to "Enterprise Plans" or "Personal Plans".

Enterprise Plans

There’s also a page for Office 365 Enterprise Plans. I won’t go there today, but if you need the services and products offered in any of those plans, the higher costs for them are worthwhile.

Detailed Comparison of Plans

 Here's a page with detailed comparisons of the plans.

What Do You Get in an Office 365 Plan?

So, the first thing we see for Office 365 Business Plans is that two of the three plans include the “Standard” Office applications, which means Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. None of them include the Access application itself. This will be the 2016 version of those applications; I believe you can opt for the 2013 version, but I also don’t understand why anyone would do that.
The absence of MS Access means, however, means you have to obtain a license for MS Access, the application, elsewhere. Regardless of which Business Plan you choose, you don’t get the Access Application.


Getting Access Services

The other component we’re looking for, Access Services, on the other hand, IS included in all three of these plans.
Good News! If you have a licensed copy of MS Access 2013 or MS Access 2016, all you need is the lowest cost plan Office 365 Business Essentials at $6.00 per month, or $5.00 per month if you buy an annual license.
This is important information for anyone looking to move their Access databases “into the cloud”. For $60.00 a year (annually) or $72.00 a year (monthly), you can have any number of Access Web Apps on the web. In my opinion, that is a very good deal.
Pass it on.