Friday, May 27, 2011

Learn How To Create Access Web Databases with Office 365’s SharePoint Online Beta from my Latest Webcast

image My Moving Access Tables to SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint Online Lists Webcast (posted 5/24/2011) describes how to move and link Access tables to SharePoint lists. As a bonus, it also includes detailed instructions for and an example of using SharePoint Online‘s Access Services to create a Web Database from a SharePoint (not Access) Online Contacts template.

Click here to watch the Webcast and download the PowerPoint slides.

image If you’re familiar with the process of moving Access 2007 or 2010 tables to SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS), Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0, or SharePoint 2010 lists, skip directly to 00:22:16 for a detailed demo:

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You also can learn how to create and synchronize a SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint Online Workspace to your local computer, starting with this slide at 00:16:00:

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Here are live links to the the bibliography for the latest Webcast and to earlier Webcasts:


Read Office 365 vs. Google Apps: Microsoft Comes Out Firing, an 5/20/2011 interview of Microsoft’s Tom Rizzo (pictured below) by Paul Thurrott of Windows IT Pro. A few choice excerpts:

image Cue Microsoft Senior Director Tom Rizzo, who I'd categorize as a breath of fresh air at a company I was getting seriously worried about.

"I am not going to let a competitor determine the dialog about my product," Rizzo told me during a phone interview last week. "I'm going to uncover the truth. We were a bit of the silent giant before. Now we're not so silent."

Those are fighting words. And while it's perhaps a bit of a stretch to suggest that I actually leapt out of my seat and punched the air with my fist, it happened in spirit. This is the Microsoft I've been missing for these many years.

So what was Rizzo talking about? We met to discuss the competitive landscape in the online services space, which is to say he wanted to compare how Google's offering—Google Apps—stacked up against Microsoft's forthcoming Office 365. As a matter of full disclosure, I've been using Office 365 for months, and as a long-time Gmail (and Google Calendar) user, I had previously evaluated Google Apps and found it—how you say?—lacking. So I was already on board with this line of thinking, frankly, because in my (hopefully non-partisan) mind, Microsoft clearly has the superior solution of the two.

But let's see what Mr. Rizzo has to say about this. After all, I love the approach.

"Google is making a lot of noise these days," Rizzo noted. "But the interesting thing is that Google's bark is worse than its bite. And of those few customers who dropped Microsoft solutions to 'go Google,' many are now coming right back." …

"Google Apps has made absolutely no dent in the market at all," Rizzo claimed. "They are failing. If I had to give them a grade, it would be an F. They're just throwing darts at the wall."

So while Rizzo makes up, and then some, for almost a decade of quiet acceptance at the software giant, and I try to wipe this crazy grin off my face, let's consider some numbers. And there are a lot of numbers:

  • 30 million. Google claims that it has 30 million users. But it also noted that these users were spread out between 3 million businesses, schools, and governmental agencies. This means that, on average, there are 10 users per deployment. "These guys are just dipping their toes in the Google water," Rizzo said. "And more often than not, they come back to Microsoft because Google doesn't meet their IT requirements, whether it's a small business or an enterprise. And Google promised it would 'kill Office,' but its [online apps] don't have functionality; this isn't coming to fruition."
  • 9 out of 10. Furthermore, Rizzo says that a survey of Google Apps customers revealed that fully 9 out of 10 were also Microsoft Office users. This means that these customers are not abandoning Office as Google had hoped. "These guys aren't replacing Office," Rizzo said. "They're just trialing Google."
  • <1 percent. According to a late 2010 Gartner survey, less than one percent of enterprise users were using Google Apps. And that's after 4 years in the market. "These customers trust Microsoft," Rizzo noted. "We provide privacy, security, manageability, and a financially-backed SLA. Google is an ad company. They shoehorn consumer stuff into the commercial space and do not understand the needs of commercial users."
  • 10. When Google came to market with Google Apps, it offered both free and paid versions. But the numbers of users it allowed into the free version has dropped precipitously over the years, going from 250 to 100 to 50 and now to just 10, Rizzo said. (Microsoft doesn't offer a free version of Office 365; its small business version supports up to 25 users.) So why the retreat on the free version of Google Apps? "Google is not making money in this space," Rizzo said.
  • $5 vs. $6. "Google just raised prices [on the paid version of Google Apps] to $5 per user per month," Rizzo said. This compares to $6 per user per month for the small business version of Office 365, or a $1 difference. "So for the price of one cup of coffee at Starbucks, the additional value here is astronomical," Rizzo said. "There are no ads in Office 365, whereas Google makes the customer the product by putting ads in there. We earn your trust, we respect your privacy, and you pay us to run a valued service."
  • 97 percent. Google makes 97 percent of its revenues from web ads, Rizzo said. It's an ad company. And when you look at the remaining 3 percent, which includes Google Apps, it has declined 23 percent year over year. "Google is under a lot of pressure to make it a viable product," Rizzo said. "They are feeling the pressure."

Tom runs the SharePoint Product Management team at Microsoft. I worked with him for several years on many stories for Visual Studio Magazine while he was Director of Product Management in the SQL Server team. Tom was the Technical Editor for my Expert One-on-One Visual Basic 2005 Database Programming book (WROX/Wiley, 2006.)

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