Migration from Microsoft Access to SharePoint


Yesterday I was asked about migration paths for Access applications. Yes, there are still a spread active group (usually at the department level).

I have worked with several alternatives, however at the end you should consider four main requirements:

  • Security (Custom, AD, Sec. trim.) 
  • UI (Access, Web [native or host in SharePoint], Custom)
  • App complexity (custom code, reports, linked data)
  • Data (volume, API)

and the requirements of your organization.

I would recommend you create some Proof of concepts and evaluate which is best for your enviornment.

With this you may come to some conclusions:

  1. Migrate Data to SQL and mantain Access UI.
    1. This will use, depending on versions, different Migration for Microsoft Access Tools
    2. After migration some review will be needed (issues).
  2. Migrate Data to SQL and develop new UI or stay with the current custom UI.
    1. You can find several Third party solution apart from our own tools [above]. I like the approach of PCA (not really the Oracle section) but you can find many more at Solution Finder
  3. Migrate Data to SharePoint and mantain Access UI.
    1. This will require migration to MS Access 2007, and then follow SharePoint Migration Wizard.
    2. This has some limitations and you need to review some changes in the data model
  4. Migrate Data to SharePoint and develop new UI or stay with the current custom UI.
    1. It will depend on the complexity of your UI+Business Logic, but it will require extra work to do this as previous.

In those scenarios, you may need other tools as Reports migration into Reporting Services or migration from previous versions of MS Access.

Finally, you should think in coexistence, and look for strategies or third party solutions to get this.

I received a question about SLAM, this may work well with some applications, mixing [1,2] and [3,4] scenarios; so you really design a SharePoint solution and sync with a database model.

Is there any third party tool that may help me to the overall process?

There is no magic tool, so besides the tools linked; you should review Partners directory.

Or pehaps just wait to some preview of Office 2010 and check if there are some specific improvement in the integration with MS Access.