Sep 26

Free Trial Offers for Microsoft Office 365 on the Cloud

office365Microsoft Office 365 is Microsoft’s new and popular way to license the Office products for online and desktop use. It also includes hosted Exchange for email, SharePoint, OneDrive for shared hard disk files, and the communications package Lync. The cloud based platform means Microsoft takes care of the system administration to update versions, apply security patches, monitor usage, ensure uptime and connectivity, and address hardware problems.

Let Microsoft Take Care of Exchange and Email

If you are still hosting your own Exchange Server in your facility, it’s time to consider outsourcing so Microsoft can worry about the versions, patches, hardware failures, and other maintenance chores. Microsoft will also host it in a real data center with reliable power sources, battery backups, multiple internet trunk lines, and enterprise quality physical security.

If you’re already outsourcing your email/Exchange hosting, Office365 is a wonderful alternative and lets Microsoft deal with the challenges of keeping email up and running 24/7/365.

Includes Desktop Copies of Microsoft Office

If an option includes the Windows copies of Office, you can install on your local machine Office 2013 copies of Microsoft Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, Lync, and InfoPath. This lets you have both the online versions of Office and the traditional non-Internet dependent local copy.

Office 365 with SharePoint and Access Web Apps with SQL Azure

Microsoft SharePointWith Office 365, the hassles of hosting and maintaining your own SharePoint site is gone. Microsoft takes care of that for you and lets you create both private and public web sites.

Microsoft Access 2013You can also enable Access Web Apps to create simple database solutions with data automatically hosted in SQL Server (SQL Azure). The data can also be shared with other applications such as the desktop version of Microsoft Access.

Office 365 Options

There are many options based on your situation:

Free Office 365 Trials

Click on these links for free 30 day trial offers (pricing below assumes a one year commitment):

  • Office 365 Enterprise E3 Trial – 25 licenses (Details)
    E3 price is regularly $20/user/month and includes the Office desktop versions. Depending on options, prices range from $4 to $22 per user/month
  • Office 365 Small Business Premium Trial – 10 licenses (Details)
    Small Business options are limited to 25 users in the organization. Premium price is $12.50/user/month, the basic without desktop copies is $5 a month
  • Office Pro Plus Trial – 25 licenses (Details)
    This is the traditional Office on the desktop without the online services. Rather than buying the licenses upfront, Microsoft now offers the ability to pay for it on a monthly basis for $12 and install it on up to 5 machines.

microsoft-dynamicsTrial for Microsoft Dynamics

We are also pleased to extend Microsoft’s trial offer for their Dynamics CRM system

Good luck and let us know about your experiences using Office 365.

Apr 14

Microsoft Access Videos from the SharePoint Conference

Microsoft Access ProductsMicrosoft SharePointThe Microsoft Access team has released videos of their presentations at the SharePoint Conference from Las Vegas, NV.

With Access 2013, Access web solutions are hosted in SharePoint and rather than using SharePoint lists as they did in Access 2010, they use a real SQL Server database hosted in SQL Azure. The database can also be linked from desktop copies of Access to create hybrid solutions that serve both the web and Windows.

The Microsoft Access program managers presented these four sessions:

Enjoy!

Other Videos from FMS

Aug 07

Microsoft Access and Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Enhancements and Issues

New Paper: Microsoft Access and Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Enhnacements and Issues

Microsoft has released Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Microsoft Office 2010. It includes enhancements to Access, Excel, Groove, Office. Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, SharePoint, Visio, Word, and more.

Read our new paper listing:

  • Links to the Download and List of Enhancements
  • List of Updated Products
  • Microsoft Access Enhancements and Fixes:
    • Microsoft Access Object Issues
    • Repair and Compact Issues
    • Microsoft Excel Related Issues
    • Access Web/SharePoint Issues
    • Windows 8 64-bit Issue
    • Runtime Version
  • Known Issues from Microsoft
  • A Confirmed Bug between MS Access 2010 and SharePoint 2013
  • Additional Resources for Microsoft Office and Office 2010 SP1
Jun 07

Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers

Last month I spoke at the Portland Access Users Group Conference at Silver Falls State Park. I gave a presentation introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch and how it could be used for SQL Server applications deployed on a variety of platforms. As a follow-up, I’ve created a summary matrix and discussion that highlights the features and limitations of the variety of platforms from Microsoft Access, Visual Studio LightSwitch, and Visual Studio.


Microsoft Access started at the beginning of the Windows revolution 20+ years ago and became the most popular database of all time. More recently, additional technologies have become significant, so it behooves the Microsoft Access community to be aware of the trends and options.

Database Platform Matrix

Ultimately, it’s about being able to create solutions that help you and/or your users accomplish their mission. Sometimes the user’s platform is critical, sometimes, it’s the data source, and other times it’s the permissions you have to deploy a solution. A variety of platforms and options are available with benefits and limitations with each. Meanwhile, Microsoft Access is also evolving with their latest Access 2013 version offering new web based solutions.

We’ve written a new paper Comparison of Microsoft Access, LightSwitch and Visual Studio Platforms for Database Developers  that summarizes what we’re seeing and experiencing.