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How to counter rumours of Access' demise

Updated: Jun 15

Since the late 90's you can read or hear from someone or other that "Access is dead" because Microsoft will certainly discontinue/deprecate/drop/kill it soon. This has never had any real basis and it is still the case today. However, the burden of proof especially towards (potential) customers and IT departments is mostly reversed: Not the claimant has to prove his claim, but the Access developer has to prove that the claim is incorrect.


Recently, a colleague had exactly this problem again and I responded with a small collection of links that includes the best currently available signs, statements and official commitments from Microsoft about the present and future of Access:


  1. Main Access landing page of Microsoft where there is only PR for Access as well as requests to buy and no sign of discontinuation of the product

  2. Microsoft 365 enterprise plan page where Access is listed and pictured among the current Microsoft 365 Apps, see also our article Microsoft 365 Plans that include Access

  3. Windows and Office configuration support matrix that for M365 Apps on Win11 states "No end date“

  4. Lifecycle entry for Access 2021 stating a Retirement Date of Oct 13, 2026. This end date for the 5-year support under the Modern Lifecycle Policy, the guarantee that it will be actively maintained, applies to the complete Office 2021, i.e. all applications of the latest perpetual version of Microsoft Office.

  5. Microsoft published the preview of Office 2024 LTSC in April 2024. This first license version of Office 2024 of course includes Access and guarantees a further 5 years of support for Access 2024 until 2029.

  6. Microsoft's Principal Engineering Manager for Access, Dale Rector, about the continued development of the product, part of a Youtube video. 3 minutes of clear testimony which George Hepworth demanded in the Nov 2022 DAAUG session with the Microsoft Access team, to have something audible for such occasions.

  7. Further factual evidence that Access is actively maintained and developed by Microsoft are the monthly bugfix lists in the Access team's blog, which we summarise here on AFo per year, as well as the new Access features at What's new in Access for Microsoft 365 and usually more up-to-date and detailed in our Features category.


Ask the claimants if they can show a longer-term guarantee for any other software from Microsoft than there is for Access. And then: Have them say what sources and hard evidence they have to offer for their opinion about Access!


You should be able to win this hands down, because nothing will come except "I heard/read that somewhere." or "The IT trends are..." or "The current water temperature of the Atlantic...

Heavens, cold water today. Access must be dead.

I'll update this article when something new comes up that we can use to good effect in such discussions. Whenever you need this later, use our search here with a fun keyword like "dead", "drop", "kill" to find it quickly.

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9 Yorum


Nick Oetjen
29 Eyl 2023

Access is not considered (anymore) being a reason for buying MS Office. So, the main question will be: ==> How can Microsoft earn money with Access? <== Usually, not a task for the customers to solve... Maybe we can develop some ideas (at the DevCon?) and forward them to the Access team: - Karl and some others had the idea of a market place, which reminds of Microsoft store. - Premium services? We just talked about a Graph Connector. Make it work to resume Outlook automation with the New Outlook, and people will be willing to pay for it. - AI integration? - Code signing provided by Access itself? - ... ?


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private14a
26 Mar 2023

It may not be dead, but it has been bleeding for several years with bugs which have not been resolved, and promised roadmap features that were not delivered. It's reputation has been tainted and Microsoft's credibilty has suffered. You don't see new developers wanting to learn Access, rather they invest their time learning how to develop web applications. Go figure!

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Karl Donaubauer
Karl Donaubauer
26 Mar 2023
Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Sure. Access has many more problems. I listed a lot of them in this passage (and also in detail later) in a recent presentation about the current state of Access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X5I4HelA5U&t=145s


However, this article is not about all these things (this would be the easy task), but very specifically about the eternal rumours that Microsoft had announced or even only intended to discontinue Access. There is no evidence for this and there is evidence for the opposite (see the collection here). They are just harder to find than the many expressions of frustration. 😎

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Paul Wilson
Paul Wilson
08 Mar 2023

I built and support many Access dbs for one client. All of them use a file back-end since my client won't let us use Azure or SqlServer. They all work very well and have been in active use for about six years. Then the client's IT department announced that they are moving file sharing to OneDrive. Seems to me that that will be "the demise" of Access at least for that client. As far as I know, Access and OneDrive don't play well together! Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Karl Donaubauer
Karl Donaubauer
08 Mar 2023
Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Hi Paul,

You are right. OneDrive is one of the online storages (same for Dropbox, document libraries of Sharepoint etc.) that are not suitable for multi-user operation of Access databases, because their synchronization methods are not designed for it. Therefore, incorrect data states and database corruptions may occur. This is often reported by people in forums who did not know this and tried it. See also the "Warning" in this Microsoft article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ways-to-share-an-access-desktop-database-03822632-da43-4d8f-ba2a-68da245a0446#__toc310279044.


Maybe you can explain to the customer that you can't do something like that with databases in general, because they don't work like "normal files". If he doesn't want to store any files locally, then you can offer to host the complete Access application (frontend and backend)…


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Nick Oetjen
21 Şub 2023

Hi Karl,


thank you for gathering those facts. Unfortunately, this does not really help.


Access has a problem of reputation by now. Noone thinks anymore that Access is a fashionable, cool tool. Barely a few people think the future speaks Access.


After using it for 20 years and many projects, this even includes me to some extend. We're still talking about a monster bug, we don't even have a proper checkbox (!). We use the WebControl for making stylish graphics... And this is only up-to-date, because the old browser is -- dead. I like VBA for being really powerful and flexible, but the next step had to be taken by someone outside Microsoft, after all. We can connect to dataverse…


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Richard Rost
Richard Rost
18 Şub 2023

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that Access was being retired, I could buy myself a really good steak dinner.

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