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Learn how to Search for records in Microsoft Access 2013 or 365 - Part 19 Microsoft Access 2013 is a database management program included with Microsoft Office 2013. Microsoft Access 2013 has been updated with significant changes. The biggest change is the ability to easily create database-related web apps and use them through SharePoint that colleagues can access. This free trial will allow you to easily maintain a database for your business or project. Features The biggest new feature is the ability to create Access apps that are fully compatible with SharePoint. Microsoft Access 2013’s emphasis is on these apps as you can easily create them from the Welcome screen using templates. Online Access app templates are designed for collaboration with colleagues, but there are also offline apps for local databases. After selecting from a variety of templates you will need to select a type of data to be tracked, such as contacts or tasks. The app will then generate the database structure, navigation, and command interface. If you’re not happy with the data displayed in the app you can edit it or add in new data types. The focus on Access apps does have a few drawbacks for those seeking older database tools. Microsoft Access 2013 removed some Query designs such as Pivot Chart and Pivot Table, as well as the Upsizing Wizard. It is possible that these features were rarely used in the 2010 version, but it would have been better if Microsoft improved these tools instead of omitting them. You can still use Microsoft Access 2013 to create standalone databases instead of Access apps, but there are not handy tutorials and templates to guide new users. Usability Access 2013’s interface is similar to the 2010 version, but updated to the sleeker look of Microsoft Office 2013. Data creation is entered from either the toolbar or corresponding hotkeys. The main tools such as Table, Query, and Form all return, along with new menus to quickly list different SharePoint and Access apps. The look and feel of Access apps depend on which template you select. Some of them are better suited for displaying timesheets or orders, but might be a poor choice for graphs and charts. All of the fields and interface will depend on the template you select. You’ll need to spend time and try different templates to find one that actually fits your project. The app is tailored for sharing your database and apps with all of your business partners. To achieve this you’ll be constantly connected to SkyDrive in order to share and edit files. While this is useful on a large stable network, it can cause problems if you are ever disconnected from the cloud and have to edit data offline. You can still work on local Access apps while offline, though you will have to connect to the cloud if you want to upload and transfer to a collaborative app. Thankfully, Microsoft Access 2013 has many tools and prompts to easily import data from local apps, Access 2010, or Excel into an online Access app or database. Quality The app is color coordinated to help highlight key menus and notifications. The majority of Access app templates create a sleek web app that looks very similar to Outlook.com. Microsoft Access 2013 generally functions quickly, even when working on many complex projects. Collaborative Access apps open in your default web browser, and functions in multiple browsers such as Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Chrome. Access functions Local Access apps have a similar look and feel, though you don't have to be online to use and edit them. Conclusion Updates to Microsoft Access 2013 are great for connecting your business into a single connected database. The 2013 version removes some functionality from the 2010 version and is geared towards SkyDrive and SharePoint integration. If you are ready to move forward and leave old tools behind Microsoft Access 2013 is an excellent upgrade.