Sharing Access 2007 data with others

Objecttives

At the end of this section you will

Reading


New ways to share data and collaborate with others in Access 2007

Source: "New ways to share data and collaborate with others" from Microsoft Office online


By using the new collaboration features of Office Access 2007, you can now, more effectively, collect information from others and share it in a security-enhanced environment on the Web.

Integration with Windows SharePoint Services

Office Access 2007 integrates with Windows SharePoint Services in a variety of ways, helping you to take advantage of the many collaboration features in Windows SharePoint Services.

Data revision tracking  You can view revision history at the record level with the help of Windows SharePoint Services. Suppose that you need to know who changed a row or when it was changed. You can find out by viewing the revision history.

Permission setting  You can set access permissions to SharePoint lists with the help of Windows SharePoint Services. You can selectively allow or deny certain users access. You can assign limited reading permissions or full editing rights.

Retrieve from the Recycle Bin  You can use the new Recycle Bin in Windows SharePoint Services to easily view deleted records and recover information that was erroneously deleted.

Opening Access forms and reports in Windows SharePoint Services  Windows SharePoint Services users can open lists in rich Access views directly from a SharePoint site. Office Access 2007 forms, reports, and datasheets can appear listed alongside other views on a SharePoint site. When you choose an Access view, Office Access 2007 starts and opens the requested form, report, or datasheet. This makes it easy for you to run a rich Office Access 2007 report on a SharePoint site without needing to first start Office Access 2007. You can also choose to open a list in Access, and if a database doesn't exist, it is created automatically and prepopulated with a set of forms and reports based on your list.

Ability to move your database to a SharePoint site  You can easily change your standalone database to a Windows SharePoint Services shared solution that stores data in linked SharePoint lists. The Move to SharePoint Site Wizard is well prepared and automatically migrates primary keys and relationships in ways that make sense.

The immediate benefits of a Windows SharePoint Services shared solution include shared browser-based access, centralized backup, database deployment based on a SharePoint site, and all of the benefits of using a rich, Access-based client in a server-based solution. IT departments gain a measure of predictability and control by sourcing database access on a SharePoint site. Users can subscribe to e-mail alerts for when records are added, deleted, or changed in a SharePoint list.

Integration with Windows SharePoint Services workflow  Office Access 2007 supports workflow by using the Windows Workflow Services found in Windows SharePoint Services. You can create solutions that employ workflow routing and approval, that automatically assign tasks to other users, that report on project status, and that ensure that tasks are completed on time, for example.

Better performance for tables linked to SharePoint lists  Optimizations that you make to the internal processing of tables linked to SharePoint lists provide a faster, smoother experience.

All Windows SharePoint Services data types now map to Access data types  With new support for multivalued fields and attachments, Office Access 2007 now supports all of the data types found in Windows SharePoint Services, making the design and building of Windows SharePoint Services shared applications much simpler.

Ability to take SharePoint lists offline with Access  If you need to take some work home with you, you can take your SharePoint lists offline with one click. Work on your data in Access and then synchronize your changes, or reconnect with the SharePoint site at a later time.

Data collection by using InfoPath forms and Outlook

By using the new Data Collection feature, Office Access 2007 can automatically create a Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 form or an HTML form and embed it in the body of an e-mail message. You can then send the form to recipients selected from your Outlook contacts, or to the names of recipients stored in a field in your Access database.

Using e-mail message to collect data

You choose whether to collect new information or update existing information. Recipients then complete the form and return it. Office Outlook 2007 recognizes the incoming forms and automatically saves the data in your Office Access 2007 database — no retyping required.

Export to PDF and XPS

Now you can export data to a PDF (Portable Document Format) or XPS (XML Paper Specification) file format for printing, posting, and e-mail distribution, provided that you first install the Publish as PDF or XPS add-in. Exporting a form, report, or datasheet to a .pdf or .xps file lets you capture information in an easy-to-distribute form that retains all of your formatting characteristics, but doesn't require others to install Access on their computers to print or review your output.

    * Portable Document Format  A PDF is a fixed-layout electronic file format that preserves document formatting and helps with file sharing. The PDF format ensures that when the file is viewed online or printed, it retains exactly the format that you intended, and the data in the file cannot be easily copied or changed. The PDF format is also useful for documents that will be reproduced by using commercial printing methods.
    * XML Paper Specification  An XPS is an electronic file format that preserves document formatting and helps with file sharing. The XPS format ensures that when the file is viewed online or printed, it retains exactly the format that you intended, and the data in the file cannot be easily copied or changed.

You can export data to a .pdf or an .xps format file from Office Access 2007 only after you install the add-in. For more information, see Enable support for other file formats, such as PDF and XPS.

Working with external data made easier

New features in Office Access 2007 make it easier to import and export data. You can save an import or export operation and then reuse the saved operation the next time that you need to perform the same task. The Import Spreadsheet Wizard lets you override the data type chosen by Access, and you can import, export, and link to the new Office Excel 2007 file formats.