Office Tip: Introducing Microsoft Office/Access 2010 and SkyDrive

Microsoft Access 2010The release candidate of Office 2010 is now available, and Office 2010 is expected to be shipping by mid-year. Hopefully you take the chance to download it, or at least review some of the many videos and articles about the new features.

For Access enthusiasts, the new version makes Access even more accessible to non-developers by exposing more functionality without requiring code or queries. For example, Reports are much richer, with added calculation tools and the ability to combine data from multiple sources. Microsoft has also created a whole new set of Templates to get users started more quickly, and what can be characterized as data triggers for Jet databases.

Most interesting is the ability to create solutions that can be exposed to the web. There are lots of restrictions and it’s not the same as putting an existing Access application on the web, but by leveraging SharePoint and cloud computing, it’s a whole new option for Access users and developers.

Part of Office 2010 is the Office Web Applications (OWA), a web version of Excel, PowerPoint, Word programs that allows you to create, edit and host Office files on the web without having Office installed locally. Microsoft is actually providing 25GB of space for you for free on their new SkyDrive site (with you Microsoft Live account).

Note: After losing a court case in the UK, Microsoft has renamed SkyDrive to OneDrive.