In this article we look at the role of Access services in context of web applications where they act as enablers
The support for Access Services in SharePoint was launched with the 2010 edition of the Web Server. And that is when Microsoft began promoting this as the most appropriate platform for Access applications. When you deploy or publish your Access application on SharePoint, you can get complete access to Access Services, thus enabling you to create a web application or SharePoint application using Access services. Through these services you get access to the necessary server side support for your SharePoint/ Web applications.
Driving Force behind Access Web Applications
Access Web application makes use of the MS Access application for being built, and the tools used for this are the ones which have been provided in MS Access. Once the application has been created and you want to publish it on SharePoint, which is when Access services come into play. It is because of these services that ASPX pages can display Access application in a typical web browser. Thus becoming a driving force behind Access applications hosted in SharePoint.
Access services take on the responsibility of compiling and executing all queries in Access web applications, along with directing queries against SharePoint lists which contain data. If the version of Access application which is in use on developer’s desktop is different from the version of SharePoint, then Access services will synchronize their updates as well. At times while synchronizing updates, incidents of Access corruption may occur and it is useful to keep a professional tool to handle corrupt accdb or mdb database handy.
The Key Role of Access Services
What is considered to be one of the most important function performed by Access service is the maintenance of relational nature of tables which are being exported to SharePoint. It is important to note that Share Point does not offer relational qualities that we would expect from a database. The logic needed for joining list data, and maintaining referential integrity among all the lists, is provided by Access services. This is applicable only till the time the relationship between tables continue to get defined before Access application gets published in SharePoint.
Hidden SharePoint lists are used by Access services for managing formal relationships among all Access tables as they get migrated to SharePoint. SharePoint however does not support a separate ‘relationships’ screen.
Other Important Tasks Undertaken by Access Services
The data caching is another feature that has been provided in Access services as a part of SharePoint 2010. Therefore it does not rely on SharePoint’s native abilities for locating and delivering data. A mid – tier caching service is provided by Access services, for storing data that can be consumed by application and also delivers data faster than SharePoint alone. The process of caching is pretty transparent; for both users and developers. Also, there are no configuration options that have been provided for cache or modifying existing parameters. Query data is filtered by Access service layers before it can be added to cache. Thus making queries with a ‘WHERE’ clause quicker.
Vivian Stevens is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql repair and excel recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com