Better integration with SQL Server Azure
Web app are too limited to build any kind of complex solution, but Access 2013 web apps are built on SQL Server Azure which is pretty solid. Leverage the relationship with Azure and add features to the existing desktop apps so that they play nicer with Azure databases. Things like the ability to create an Azure databases from within Access, an easy way to upsize existing MDB/ACCDB tables, a native AutoComplete control, etc.
The best part of this is you can monetize it from the start. You need a way for people to create a small sample database for free (maybe 5-10 100MB databases per Office365 account) to let them test drive Azure but after that bill them just like Azure does. People complain all the time that Access still has a 2GB limit… Azures limit is 1TB.
Thanks Kevin – we are looking into it.
The adoption of BigInt into MS Access will be particularly good for this.
I use the Microsoft SQL Server Migration assistant to get Access tables into Azure. First create an azure database from your Office 365 account. There is a basic pricing tier or choose a higher one. Then, setup an ODBC connection to the Azure db. After you have transferred your tables to Azure, goto Access and just link to Azure through External Data Link ODBC. That all seems pretty straight forward. You can also edit and work with Azure tables via Sql Server Management studio.