Microsoft is bolting its Access database software onto Office 365 subscription plans aimed at small businesses.
It’s been several years since the app has been available outside of the more heavyweight enterprise Office 365 subscriptions, but Microsoft has just announced that Access is returning to Office 365 Business and Business Premium customers.
The program will roll out to those subscribers starting on December 1, and will reach every user by the end of January 2017.
Microsoft noted businesses of all sizes can leverage their data to help make all manner of decisions, and in a blog post stated that: “Access enables users to develop business applications, collect and analyse data from multiple sources, and track any kind of data, from a customer contact list to robust asset management.”
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Microsoft said that Access will still be available in the ProPlus, E3 and E5 plans for its online productivity suite, with nothing changing on this front – although it is planning a new set of enterprise data connectors to be introduced early next year, enabling greater scope for the app in terms of the data it can work with.
These will include connectors for the likes of Dynamics CRM, Salesforce and Amazon Redshift.
In general terms, Microsoft is looking to make Office 365 more helpful for users, adding clever features which will make intelligent suggestions such as QuickStarter for PowerPoint (and Sway). When given a topic for a presentation, this will offer up suggested slides, images and so forth.
Further down the line, much tighter integration with Windows 10 is also planned via an ‘Office Hub’ for the desktop OS.
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