Friday, March 31, 2017

Mopping Up March

Given the recent announcement on the phase out of Access Web Apps, I thought I would revisit the pertinent articles that I wrote at linkedIn.

Excel Data Online - Look at the File Types and other basics

Create a Smart Online Data Spreadsheet

Excel Sub Totals in the Cloud

Power Apps - its time to explore

and even though I didn't guess there would be much work in Access Web App conversions, we are already upgrading desktop apps to Access 2016 as per this article on Garrys 2017 predictions.

Finally, if you would like the see my best photos from my recent bike rides, have a look at or join me on Instagram @garryphotoman

and if you like those pics, click here for @sstano, his desert bike shots are fantastic

BTW: After a few months of writing articles and posting them in LinkedIn, do I find LinkedIn worthwhile ? The answer is I enjoy the writing environment, its easy to create an article and that's the important thing.

Access Web Services Is On The Lunar Clock - Its being closed down

In 365 days Access Web Services Apps will be decommissioned completely from Office 365. That's it, no more, caput, finito, bon voyage.

The full announcement from Microsoft is here

This means three things

  • If you have written a web app, its time to plan. You have a year.
  • If you are an Access Desktop developer, this is good news. The Access team now has no distractions, Access Desktop is well and truly a part of Office 365, you can see it in the offerings now. If you are an Access developer, you may wish to look to the future in user web development and that is PowerApps. No rush for this though.
  • If you have never written an Access Web App, don't bother. You could for history sakes listen to my talk on Access Web Apps here. It will be deleted soon.
So lets assume that only people who have Access Web apps will reading the rest of the article. What will your planning take.

I would contemplate a plan as follows.

  • Review what is happening with your AWA, tell your boss or clients and go into care and maintenance to save wasted time.
  • Write down all the essentials of your AWA, if any parts aren't being used, close them down.
  • Review the path that Microsoft are suggesting you follow which is create SharePoint lists, create a PowerApp and maybe even get into Microsoft Flow
  • Review if your App can be supported by Excel Surveys or Excel Online spreadsheets and Dropbox and OneDrive.
  • Review if your AWA can be replaced by a cloud tool
  • Start building prototypes or testing new solutions.
  • By October, 2017, you will need to be writing your solution or in full test mode with your cloud product. Any later and its Xmas and your upgrade project is going to go off the rails. There will be no AWA in May next year. Make a list, get cracking.
Notes: I believe the schedule for OnPrem AWA's is different. When I find that article, I will let you know.  I am not a fan of the 1 year shutdown. Personally, I would have stopped new AWA's from being developed tomorrow, and I would have let the existing apps go for a minimum of two years and I would have taken AWA's out of the next version of Office.

I hope this news is no news for most of my readers, I suspect that the number of people effected is going to be low. One of my good MVP friends has been hit very hard by this decision. I feel for him.   Garry

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Simple Email Sending PowerApp

If you want to see a very basic Microsoft PowerApp in code, read my first article on how to build a Email posting App.  Here is a LinkedIn intro to the same article.

If you are using Office365, you will very ready to start experimenting with PowerApps. Its early days but as long as you follow Microsoft's samples, you will get a feel for this new language.  If you get even more curious, its probably a good time to read about PowerApp the Common Data Service pricing.

Here is an interesting post on including a PowerBI report into a SharePoint page