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Lesson 3 What are Data Access Pages?
Objective Examine what Data Access Pages are and how they are used with Access reports and forms.

What are Data Access Pages in MS Access ?

Historical Update on Data Access Pages in MS Access

As of September 2003, Microsoft Access no longer supports the feature known as Data Access Pages, which were deprecated after Access 2003. Data Access Pages were an earlier technology used to create web-based forms and reports directly from Microsoft Access databases.
Data Access Pages facilitated the creation of a user interface to interact with Access data over a web browser. This included data entry forms, data reports, and even some limited data manipulation options. This feature was beneficial because it permitted access to data for users who didn't have the Access application installed on their local machine but did have a web browser. In modern versions of Microsoft Access, like Access 2021, Microsoft has replaced this feature with other technologies to facilitate remote data interaction. These include:
  1. Access Web Apps: Access Web Apps are an online database application that you build in Microsoft Access, then use and share with others as a SharePoint app in a web browser. Access Web Apps let you create professional-looking apps fast without being a developer.
  2. SharePoint Lists: SharePoint Lists are a way to store and manipulate data, much like an Access database. You can link SharePoint lists to Access and use them as tables in your database.
  3. SQL Server: With SQL Server, you can create a more robust, secure, and scalable database that can be accessed from Access via linked tables. Access can serve as the front-end interface for users, and SQL Server will act as the back-end database.
  4. Power Apps: Power Apps is a more advanced solution where you can build web-based and mobile apps that connect to your data.
  5. Power BI: For reporting purposes, Power BI can connect to your Access data to create interactive reports and dashboards.

While these technologies don't provide a direct 1:1 replacement for Data Access Pages, they offer more robust, secure, and scalable solutions for sharing and interacting with Access data over the web. These options do require some additional setup compared to the previous Data Access Pages feature, but they are more flexible and integrate better with other Microsoft products and services.
Remember, it is always important to consider data security and privacy when sharing your data, especially when sharing over the web. You should always ensure your data is protected and only accessible by authorized users.

MS Data Access Pages (DAP) have been deprecated

MS Data Access Pages (DAP) have been deprecated since Access 2003. DAPs are a type of database object that was used to create web pages that could be used to view and interact with data stored in Access databases. However, DAPs were not widely adopted by developers and were eventually replaced by other technologies, such as ASP.NET and JavaScript. As a result, Microsoft decided to deprecate DAPs in Access 2003. If you are using an older version of Access that still supports DAPs, you can continue to use them. However, if you are using a newer version of Access, you will not be able to create new DAPs or modify existing DAPs. Instead, you should use other technologies, such as ASP.NET and JavaScript, to create web pages that can be used to view and interact with data stored in Access databases. Here are some of the reasons why DAPs were deprecate
  1. DAPs were not widely adopted by developers.
  2. DAPs were difficult to learn and use.
  3. DAPs were not compatible with newer web technologies, such as JavaScript and CSS.

If you are looking for an alternative to DAPs, you can use the following technologies:
  1. ASP.NET: ASP.NET is a web development framework that allows you to create dynamic web pages that can be used to view and interact with data stored in Access databases.
  2. JavaScript: JavaScript is a scripting language that can be used to add interactivity to web pages.
  3. CSS: CSS is a style sheet language that can be used to control the appearance of web pages.
Data Access Pages (DAP) were used with MS Access 2000. To really appreciate them, you have to understand what they are, and where and how you can use them. \Generally, Access reports are used to present data and Access forms are used to input data. DAPs allow you to combine both the input and presentation of data. The versatility of DAPs allows them to be used in an Access database, an intranet Web site, or both simultaneously.
The figure below shows you an example of a Data Access Page called “Review Products.” It’s found in the Northwind.mdb sample database, which is included in Microsoft Access:

Review Products Data Access Page
Review Products Data Access Page
Before 2003, you could find this Data Access Page by opening Northwind.mdb, and clicking the Pages tab in the Database window. Check this link if you want to know about the requirements of using Data Access Pages.
Here is a list of what can be accomplished with DAPs, as well as how you would use either forms or reports to perform the same task.

Task Mode
Inputting data Form accepts parameters
-Reviewing data
-Analyzing information
-Making projections
Form accepts the parameters, then the report is based on those parameters

DAPs are actually HTML files, which are linked into the Access database. This is how they can be used both in Access and out of Access, such as using them with a Web site. The data is bound to the Web page, so the HTML contains the data connection information right in the file itself.
DAPs are great for integrating a database into an Intranet Web site. Notice that I said Intranet , and not Internet. To use Data Access Pages, the following is required:
  1. Internet Explorer 11.0 or Microsoft Edge
  2. All clients must have a licensed copy of Microsoft Office
In the next lesson, you will learn how Data Access Pages can be used.