Access Web Apps

These are web databases that are authored from MS Access. They are a simplified version of Access in that they do not allow the use of VBA code and they depend on macros to drive automation. That said, they meet the need for a secure web-based database that can be accessed from the internet by a small to medium sized group of users who trust each other. This is a good first step by Microsoft in filling the gap in the MS Office range for an easy and quick way to make data available over the internet.

Requirements and Price

You will need one Office 365 account with SharePoint and SQL Server as the back-end data store.
Prices vary but you will need to spend about £8.00 a month to get started. See here for prices.


The advantage provided by Access web-apps is that you don’t need a copy of Access on every user’s PC. All the users need is a web-browser and they can read and update data as the need arises (even on smart-phones).
Reporting (e.g. paper, PDF copies or eMail) is achieved by using a second Access database to link to the tables as you would with a ‘normal’ Access or SQL Server back-end. Once the read-only links are established (by one click) you can use the full power of Access + VBA to communicate.


The downside is that once you are logged into the database security levels are the same for everyone. If you need a group who can only read and update and another that can read, update AND delete then some macro programming is necessary.

Stop Press - Access Web-Apps Superseded by Power Apps

Microsoft no longer supports creating and using Access Web Apps and now recommends PowerApps. The notice is undated but applies to Access 2013 and 2016.