Recently we were invited to a product interaction session with the Microsoft Access team, it was a wonderful opportunity to discuss what we would love to see in the next version of Access and I’d like to share my responses with you and get your feedback.

If you had $100 to spend on new features, how would you allocate it?

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That’s how we were asked to provide feedback, how would you allocate $100 on the new version, and here were my answers:

  • $50 on a native SQL Server connection object in Access. No need for DSNs, ODBC, or linking, just a connection object that will make it a breeze to connect with SQL Server. (Similar to .NET’s ability)
  • $20 on making Access installer easier and more powerful to work with. The existing installer does not allow installations unless they are accdr, would be nice to have it work with accdb.
  • $10 for gestures to control Access on a tablet: 4 finger swipe to move to the next record. One finger swipe to tab to the next field. You get the idea.
  • $10 – Native support for table and fields notation. Would love to type tblCustomer. and then get a list of fields in that table. Would make it super easy to build SQL Statements. Speaking of SQL:
  • $10 – For the ability to build, maintain and paste SQL from within the code module.

You’re probably wondering: Why don’t I have any money towards Access web apps?

I don’t do web apps for my clients, but if I did I’d love to have the following improvements, (if I could spend more than $100):

  • Ability to use JavaScript code, not just macros. You don’t want to support VBA on the web? I’m cool with that, but at least let me use SOMETHING to customize the user experience beyond Macros.
  • Ask me what screen size to use: The technology can be used on Windows Phone, Tablets or PCs. Would love to have the ability to create specific apps for each or have the system adjust the screen accordingly so I can develop once for all.

What do you want to see on the next version of Access?