Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Substitute for the Access Upsizing Wizard Announced

OneNumbus and Jasco posted Introducing Jasco® 2SQL™ Azure™ about a service for converting Access databases to SQL Azure (and SQL Azure) on 6/30/2011:

image_thumb[2]Help enable your employees to easily access up-to-date information for more effective decision making.

imageJasco 2SQL quickly and securely migrates mission critical data to Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Azure, which helps ensure your data can be used more effectively across your organisation and remains accessible to your users.

imageSounds to me like a pricey replacement for the Microsoft Access Upsizing Wizard and Access Data Projects (ADPs). It appears that Microsoft has informally deprecated ADPs, so perhaps 2SQLAzure has a chance of success.

For more details about moving Access tables to SQL Server and SQL Azure, see my Bibliography and Links for My “Linking Access tables to on-premise SQL Server 2008 R2 Express or SQL Azure in the cloud” Webcast of 4/26/2011 post of 4/24/2011.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Office 365 Developer Training Course Includes Updated Access Services Unit

Chris Mayo posted Office 365 is Now Available! to his SharePoint Development in the Cloud blog on 6/28/2011:

imageOffice 365 was released to General Availability today with Steve Ballmer hosting the worldwide launch event in New York City. With this release, Office 365 (including SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Lync Online and Office 2010 Professional Plus) can now be purchased directly from the Office 365 web site.

imageTo coincide with the launch, I’m happy to announce an updated Office 365 Developer Training Course to help you get started building solutions for the cloud with Office 365. The course includes 8 sessions, over 12 hours of video and 19 labs as both an offline training kit as well as an online training course on MSDN.

The Office 365 Developer Training Course includes the following training units:

  • Developing in the Cloud with Office 365 (Updated)
    • Office 365 provides a communication and collaboration service in the cloud that you can leverage to build custom solutions for SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online. In this session, you’ll learn about this new cloud service and the breadth of solutions that can be developed using the same skills, tools and SDKs you use today when building on-premises solutions.
  • Developing for SharePoint Online with Sandbox Solutions (Updated)
    • Sandboxed Solutions are the development paradigm for SharePoint Online. In this session, you’ll learn about sandboxed solutions including how to develop, debug and deploy solutions. You’ll also learn the breadth of solutions that can be developed in the sandbox and strategies for developing common scenarios that are not enabled in the sandbox.
  • Building Workflow Solutions for SharePoint Online (Updated)
    • Building Workflow solutions for SharePoint Online allows you to automate
      collaboration-centric business processes and surface them to your users via SharePoint Online. In this session, you’ll learn the differences between
      declarative and code-based workflows, design a workflow using Visio 2010,
      implement that workflow in SharePoint Designer 2010 and customize the workflow using Visual Studio 2010 and custom actions.
  • Developing SharePoint Online Solutions with the Client Object Model (Updated)
    • The SharePoint Client Object Model provides libraries for programmatically
      accessing SharePoint Online via Silverlight and JavaScript. In this session,
      we’ll go deep into the Client Object Model and show you how to develop solutions using both Silverlight and JavaScript.
  • SharePoint Online Branding (New)
    • Customizing an intranet site with your company's identity and branding can help create a more effective collaboration experience. In this video, you'll learn how SharePoint Online allows users, designers and developers to customize the look and feel of a site. This can range from simple changes like setting a site logo and Theme to completely changing the user experience with custom styles and Master Pages. In this session, you'll learn how to make these customizations to brand your SharePoint Online site.
  • Leveraging Excel and Access Services in SharePoint Online (Updated)
    • imageExcel and Access Services provide powerful features for building SharePoint Online solutions. In this session, you’ll get an inside look at both Excel and Access services and how each can be accessed programmatically when building SharePoint Online solutions. [Emphasis added.]
  • Developing Communication Solutions for Lync Online (Updated)
    • In this session, you learn how to integrate Lync features into your WPF and Silverlight clients much in the same way that Office and SharePoint do, including presence, contact lists and click-to-communicate features. You will also learn how to extend Lync communications to include data and features from your client applications much in the same way that Outlook 2010 does with the "IM" and "Call" features within an email.
  • Developing Messaging Solutions for Exchange Online (Updated)
    • In this session, you'll learn how to integrate Exchange Online mailbox data such as mail, calendar and task items as well as Exchange Online services such as the free-busy service into your applications using an easy to discover and easy to use managed API.

To use this training course as self-paced training, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Set up a local SharePoint development environment (or download and configure the Information Worker VMs).
  2. Download and install the Office 365 Developer Training Kit onto your development machine.
  3. Sign up for an Office 365 trial to gain access to the service.
  4. Visit the Office 365 Training Course on MSDN to watch the videos and get started with the labs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reading Office 365 Beta’s SharePoint Online Lists with the Open Data Protocol (OData)

imageMy earlier Access Web Databases on What is OData and Why Should I Care? post (updated 3/16/2011) described working with multi-tenant SharePoint 2010 Server instances provided by Microsoft is about to release Office 365 as a commercial service (presently scheduled for 6/28/2011), so the details for using OData to manipulate SharePoint Online lists have become apropos.

I delivered on 5/23/2011 a Moving Access Tables to SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint Online Lists Webcast for Que Publishing, which provides detailed instructions for creating Web databases by moving conventional Access *.accdb databases to SharePoint Online lists and, optionally, create Web pages that emulate Access forms and reports. Click here to open the Webcast’s slides, which begin by describing how to move Access tables to an onsite SharePoint 2010 server installation and how to overcome problems with relational features that SharePoint lists don’t support. Slides 30 through 34 describe how to move the tables from Northwind.mdb (the classic version) to a subsite, where ServiceName is the name you chose when you signed up for Office 365 (oakleaf for this example):


Opening an OData list of Collections

Log into your site’s default public web site at, click the Member Login navigation button, type your Microsoft Online username ( and password if requested, and click OK to enter the default TeamSite in editing mode.

Click the SubsiteName, NWind for this example, and Lists links to display the lists’ names, descriptions, number of items and Last Modified date:


To display in OData a list of the SharePoint lists in a subsite, NWind for this example, type in the address bar of IE9 or later:


Note: vti is an abbreviation for Vermeer Technologies, Inc., the creators of the FrontPage Web authoring application. Microsoft acquired Vermeer in January 1996 and incorporated FrontPage in the Microsoft Office suite from 1997 to 2003.

The EmployeesTitleOfCourtesy item is a lookup list with Dr., Miss, Mr., Mrs. and .Ms choices. The Attachment and two MasterPage… items are default lists found in all sites.

Display Items in a Collection

To display the list items in a collection, add /CollectionName/ (case-sensitive) to the URL for collections. If the resulting page in IE7+ appears similar to the following, you must turn off feed-reading view:


Turn Off Feed-Reading View, if Necessary

To turn off feed-reading view, open the Internet Options dialog, click the Content tab:


Click the Feeds and Web Slices section’s Settings button to open the Feed and Web Slice settings dialog and clear all check boxes:


Click OK three times to return to IE9+. Close and reopen IE to display the items in a formatted OData feed:


Verify Query Throttling

According to the All Site Content page, the OrderDetails table has 2,155 items. To determine if queries are throttled to return a maximum number of items, change the URL’s /CollectionName/ suffix from /EmployeesTitleOfCourtesy/ to /OrderDetails/. Press Ctrl+PgDn to navigate to the last item:


Office 365 beta throttles OData queries by delivering a maximum of 1,000 records per query, as indicated by the last item’s ID of 1000 and the <link rel="next" href="$skiptoken=1000" /> element immediately above the </feed> closing tag. Copy the URL with the skiptoken query option into the address bar to return the next 1,000 Order Details items, starting with ID 1001:


Paging to the end of the document confirms a $skiptoken=2000 value.

To return a single entry, append the Id value enclosed in parenthesis to the list name, as in

Note: SharePoint adds an autoincrementing Id primary key value to all lists generated from Access tables and saves the original primary key value in an __OldID column. This column is the source of the problem I reported in my SharePoint 2010 Lists’ OData Content Created by Access Services is Incompatible with ADO.NET Data Services post of 3/22/2011.

Remote Authentication in SharePoint Online Using Claims-Based Authentication

Third-party OData browsers, such as Fabrice Marguerie’s Sesame Data Browser, enable displaying, querying and, in some cases, updating content delivered by most OData providers. Sesame is a Sliverlight application, which runs from the desktop or in a browser. Sesame offers a built-in set of sample data sets and enables a variety of authentication methods, including Windows Azure, SQL Azure, Azure DataMarket and HTTP Basic.

Here’s a screen capture of browser-based Sesame with a connection specified to Fabrice’s Northwind sample database OData source:


Clicking OK displays members of the tables collection in the left-hand frame. Clicking an entry displays up to its first 15 elements. Hovering over a record selection arrow opens a button to display items in a related table by means of a lookup column, such as orders for AROUT in the following example:


Clicking the related table button opens the first 15 or fewer related entries in a linked query window:


The query string is Customers('AROUT')/Orders.

Problems Displaying SharePoint Online Lists in OData Format with the Sesame browser

Attempting to open the OData representation of a SharePoint Online list with Sesame’s Basic authentication (your Office 365 username and password), fails with a .NET Not Found exception. Here’s Fiddler display of the raw HTTP request and response messages involved:


Following is a fiddler capture for a successful IE9 browser request for the OData representation of the SharePoint Online Products list:


Here’s Fiddler’s Headers view of the successful operation:


SharePoint Online doesn’t accept Basic authentication. Instead, it requires a pair of login cookies to enable remote claims-based authentication.

Robert Bogue’s Remote Authentication in SharePoint Online Using Claims-Based Authentication article for the MSDN Library’s “Claims and Security Articles for SharePoint 2011” topic explains how remote claims-based authentication works:

Introduction to Remote Authentication in SharePoint Online Using Claims-Based Authentication

The decision to rely on cloud-based services, such as Microsoft SharePoint Online, is not made lightly and is often hampered by the concern about access to the organization's data for internal needs. In this article, I will address this key concern by providing a framework and sample code for building client applications that can remotely authenticate users against SharePoint Online by using the SharePoint 2010 client-side object model.

Note: Although this article focuses on SharePoint Online, the techniques discussed can be applied to any environment where the remote SharePoint 2010 server uses claims-based authentication.

I will review the SharePoint 2010 authentication methods, provide details for some of the operation of SharePoint 2010 with claims-mode authentication, and describe an approach for developing a set of tools to enable remote authentication to the server for use with the client-side object model.

Brief Overview of SharePoint Authentication

In Office SharePoint Server 2007, there were two authentication types: Windows authentication, which relied upon authentication information being transmitted via HTTP headers, and forms-based authentication. Forms-based authentication used the Microsoft ASP.NET membership and roles engines for managing users and roles (or groups). This was a great improvement in authentication over the 2003 version of the SharePoint technologies, which relied exclusively on Windows authentication. However, it still made it difficult to accomplish many scenarios, such as federated sign-on and single sign-on.

To demonstrate the shortcomings of relying solely on Windows authentication, consider an environment that uses only Windows authentication. In this environment, users whose computers are not joined to the domain, or whose configurations are not set to automatically transmit credentials, are prompted for credentials for each web application they access, and in each program they access it from. So, for example, if there is a SharePoint-based intranet on, and My Sites are located on, users are prompted twice for credentials. If they open a Microsoft Word document from each site, they are prompted two more times, and two more times for Microsoft Excel. Obviously, this is not the best user experience.

However, if the same network uses forms-based authentication, after users log in to SharePoint, they are not prompted for authentication in other applications such as Word and Excel. But they are prompted for authentication on each of the two web applications.

Federated login systems, such as Windows Live ID, existed, but integrating them into Office SharePoint Server 2007 was difficult. Fundamentally, the forms-based mechanism was designed to authenticate against local users, that is, it was not designed to authenticate identity based on a federated system. SharePoint 2010 addressed this by adding direct support for claims-based authentication. This enables SharePoint 2010 to rely on a third party to authenticate the user, and to provide information about the roles that the user has. …

Robert continues with an “Evolution of Claims-Based Authentication” topic and …

SharePoint Claims Authentication Sequence

Now that you have learned about the advantages of claims-based authentication, we can examine what actually happens when you work with claims-based security in SharePoint. When using classic authentication, you expect that SharePoint will issue an HTTP status code of 401 at the client, indicating the types of HTTP authentication the server supports. However, in claims mode a more complex interaction occurs. The following is a detailed account of the sequence that SharePoint performs when it is configured for both Windows authentication and Windows Live ID through claims.

  1. The user selects a link on the secured site, and the client transmits the request.
  2. The server responds with an HTTP status code of 302, indicating a temporary redirect. The target page is /_layouts/authenticate.aspx, with a query string parameter of Source that contains the server relative source URL that the user initially requested.
  3. The client requests /_layouts/authenticate.aspx.
  4. The server responds with a 302 temporary redirect to /_login/default.aspx with a query string parameter of ReturnUrl that includes the authentication page and its query string.
  5. The client requests the /_login/default.aspx page.
  6. The server responds with a page that prompts the user to select the authentication method. This happens because the server is configured to accept claims from multiple security token services (STSs), including the built-in SharePoint STS and the Windows Live ID STS.
  7. The user selects the appropriate login provider from the drop-down list, and the client posts the response on /_login/default.aspx.
  8. The server responds with a 302 temporary redirect to /_trust/default.aspx with a query string parameter of trust with the trust provider that the user selected, a ReturnUrl parameter that includes the authenticate.aspx page, and an additional query string parameter with the source again. Source is still a part of the ReturnUrl parameter.
  9. The client follows the redirect and gets /_trust/default.aspx.
  10. The server responds with a 302 temporary redirect to the URL of the identity provider. In the case of Windows Live ID, the URL is with a series of parameters that identify the site to Windows Live ID and a wctx parameter that matches the ReturnUrl query string provided previously.
  11. The client and server iterate an exchange of information, based on the operation of Windows Live ID and then the user, eventually ending in a post to /_trust/default.aspx, which was configured in Windows Live ID. This post includes a Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) token that includes the user's identity and Windows Live ID signature that specifies that the ID is correct.
  12. The server responds with a redirect to /_layouts/authenticate.aspx, as was provided initially as the redirect URL in the ReturnUrl query string parameter. This value comes back from the claims provider as wctx in the form of a form post variable. During the redirect, the /_trust/default.aspx page writes two or more encrypted and encoded authentication cookies that are retransmitted on every request to the website. These cookies consist of one or more FedAuth cookies, and an rtFA cookie. The FedAuth cookies enable federated authorization, and the rtFA cookie enables signing out the user from all SharePoint sites, even if the sign-out process starts from a non-SharePoint site.
  13. The client requests /_layouts/authenticate.aspx with a query string parameter of the source URL.
  14. The server responds with a 302 temporary redirect to the source URL.

Note: If there is only one authentication mechanism for the zone on which the user is accessing the web application, the user is not prompted for which authentication to use (see step 6). Instead, /_login/default.aspx immediately redirects the user to the appropriate authentication provider—in this case, Windows Live ID.

SharePoint Online Authentication Cookies

An important aspect of this process, and the one that makes it difficult but not impossible to use remote authentication for SharePoint Online in client-side applications, is that the FedAuth cookies are written with an HTTPOnly flag. This flag is designed to prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. In a cross-site scripting attack, a malicious user injects script onto a page that transmits or uses cookies that are available on the current page for some nefarious purpose. The HTTPOnly flag on the cookie prevents Internet Explorer from allowing access to the cookie from client-side script. The Microsoft .NET Framework observes the HTTPOnly flag also, making it impossible to directly retrieve the cookie from the .NET Framework object model.

Note: For SharePoint Online, the FedAuth cookies are written with an HTTPOnly flag. However, for on-premises SharePoint 2010 installations, an administrator could modify the web.config file to render normal cookies without this flag. …

Robert concludes the article with “Using the Client Object Models for Remote Authentication in SharePoint Online” and “Reviewing the SharePoint Online Remote Authentication Sample Code Project.”

Fabrice will need to add a SharePoint authentication option with code similar to that described in the article to enable interacting with OData content from SharePoint Online.

OData References

Following is a table of useful references that provide the details of OData query and data update syntax:






Microsoft (MSDN)

[MS-ODATA]: Open Data Protocol (OData) Specification



Microsoft (MSDN)

Windows Azure Storage Services REST API Reference



Robert Bogue for MSDN

Remote Authentication in SharePoint Online Using Claims-Based Authentication



Open Data Protocol Organization Web Site and Blog



Chris Sells

Open Data Protocol by Example



Chris Sells

Hello, Data




How To... Create Services Using the OData Channel



Roger Jennings

Access Web Databases on What is OData and Why Should I Care?



Roger Jennings

SharePoint 2010 Lists’ OData Content Created by Access Services is Incompatible with ADO.NET Data Services



Roger Jennings

Reading Office 365 Beta’s SharePoint Online Lists with the Open Data Protocol (OData)



Access Team

Get to Access Services tables with OData



Eric White

Getting Started using the OData REST API to Query a SharePoint List



Eric White

Using the OData Rest API for CRUD Operations on a SharePoint List



Eric White

Consuming External OData Feeds with SharePoint BCS



Jonathan Carter

Open Data for the EnterpriseOpen Data for the Enterprise (TechEd 2010 session)



Alex James

Best Practices: Creating OData Services Using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Data Services (TechEd 2010 session)


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reading and Updating Office 365 Beta’s SharePoint Online Lists with OData

Updated 6/20/2011: My Reading Office 365 Beta’s SharePoint Online Lists with the Open Data Protocol (OData) post of 6/20/2011 replaces this article due to an incompatibility problem with Windows Live Writer 2011.

image The new post expands on the use of Fabrice Marguerie’s Sesame Data Browser to read and query OData feeds. Sesame won’t open OData content generated by SharePoint Online due to issues with required claims-based federated authentication. The updated post explains these issues.

A later post will provide details about adding, updating, and deleting OData content.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Office 365 - Product Insights: Access and Forms Services in SharePoint Online

Ben Tamblyn (@btamblyn) posted Product Insights: Access and Forms Services in SharePoint Online to the Microsoft Office 365 Blogon June 15, 2010:

image Hi, following today’s post we’ll have three more posts the SharePoint Online product insights series. Today we’re going to show you how you can use Access and Forms Services to:

  • simplify routine business processes and;
  • capture information and feedback quickly

Next week is the last week – we’ll focus on Search and how SharePoint Online works together with Project Professional 2010.

In the meantime feel free to add a comment at the bottom of this post on other areas you’d like to see shown over the summer.

Note: See my My SharePoint Online (Office 365) Site for links to my Webcasts and more details about Access Web Databases, Office 365, SharePoint Online and Access Services.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tim Anderson on iPad and iPhone with FileMaker Pro and Go

Tim Anderson (@timanderson) described Easy database apps for iPad and iPhone with FileMaker Pro and Go in a 6/13/2011 post:

image FileMaker Pro is a database manager from FileMaker Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple. It is a capable produce that has been around for over 20 years and is the dominant Mac-based database manager, though there is also a Windows version. FileMaker has evolved relatively slowly, with more focus on usability than on features. In comparison to Microsoft Access, FileMaker wins on usability and scalability, but Access has a more traditional approach based on SQL and programming with Visual Basic for Applications. FileMaker has a drag-and-drop script editor and support for AppleScript on the Mac.

Although the script editor is frustrating for someone used to writing code, it does work. As well as manipulating the data, you can set and retrieve local and global variables, perform loops and display custom dialogs; it is not as limited as it may seem at first.

A FileMaker database can be huge, with 8 terabytes specified as the theoretical limit. External databases are accessible through ODBC on both Windows and Mac.

The number of users supported by FileMaker is limited. The desktop product supports up to 5 concurrent users, and FileMaker Server up to 250 users. FileMaker has its own built-in security system, though FileMaker server can also authenticate against an external directory. Security is fine-grained, and you can even specify permissions for an individual record.

I have not looked at FileMaker for a few years, but renewed my interest when the company came out with FileMaker Go, a runtime client for Apple iOS. Given that FileMaker runs scripts you might have thought this would be restricted, bearing in mind this provision in the App Store guidelines:

2.7 Apps that download code in any way or form will be rejected

This is normally taken to prohibit runtimes like Java or Adobe Flash/AIR. Well, either someone decided that FileMaker scripts are not code; or there are special rules for an Apple subsidiary, which is reasonable enough. Anyway, FileMaker Go is in the App Store and does run scripts.

What this means is that you can create apps in FileMaker Pro and deploy them to iOS without going via the App Store. There are two models. FileMaker Go can open a file hosted by FileMaker desktop or server, in which case it behaves like a Mac or Windows client, or alternatively you can transfer a file to FileMaker Go to run locally. Transferring a file is easy using iOS launch service; essentially, if you can access the file via the internet or an email attachment, you can just tap it on the device and it will open in FileMaker Go. The advantage of running locally is offline use, whereas the advantage of the client-server model is that all users have the most up-to-date version of the data, and the database can be much larger. FileMaker is a real server application; this is not just file sharing. This also means that FileMaker must be running with the database open if you want to to use the client-server approach.

I tried FileMaker Go with a simple example and it works well. In essence it is delightful; you just open your database either locally or over the network, and it works. Here is a sample app on the iPhone 4:


That said, there are things that do not work, spell checking for example. It is also stripped of anything other than client features, so you cannot modify database structure, create new databases, or publish from the device to other clients. You also have to be careful with layout size. Most layouts designed for the desktop will need modification to work well.

There are a couple of issues. One is performance. It is just about bearable, but has that lethargic feel that you get with interpreted code on a relatively slow processor.

Another issue is synchronisation. If you want to work offline, how do you update your main database with any changes? The issue is little different with FileMaker Go than it is with a laptop, and it is discussed here. You have several choices:

1. Don’t synchronize, use client-server.

2. Treat your local database as read-only.

3. Use import and export. Existing records will simply be overwritten by imported ones.

4. Use a third-party tool. However the tool mentioned here, SyncDek, probably does not work with FileMaker Go since it needs to run a Java process on the client.

5. Roll your own. “FileMaker Pro has all the tools needed to create a robust synchronization system” says the guide; but it is non-trivial to implement this.

It is worth mentioning that FileMaker Pro also has an Instant Web Publishing feature that gives another route to mobile access and may perform better. There are pros and cons. The big one is offline, only available with FileMaker Go. Another is scripts. Some scripts work in Instant Web Publishing, but FileMaker Go is more compatible in this area.

I think this is significant for businesses where iOS devices are turning up. Many business apps do resolve down to forms over data, and this is is an easy way to deliver this kind of application to iOS users.

How is FileMaker pro as a programming tool? Just for fun, and because I have done it for other mobile development tools, I built a calculator in FileMaker. I do not recommend FileMaker for general-purpose programming; but it has the essentials, a form designer and scripting. Here is the result on an iPhone 4:


Oddly the biggest struggle I had was finding an easy way to display the input and result. In the end I added a field to the database just for this purpose. If a FileMaker expert could let me know a better way to update a text label on a layout via script, I would be interested to know.

The calculator is slow too, not for the calculation of course, but the operation of the user interface. Still, it does demonstrate that FileMaker Go is indeed able to download code and run it.

Related posts:

  1. Adobe targets Apple iPhone and iPad browsers with tool to convert Flash projects
  2. Trying out MonoTouch – C# for Apple’s iPhone and iPad
  3. Enterprise app development on Apple iPhone and iPad

There are some interesting parallels between FileMaker Go and Azure Web Databases, such as Web Databases support for macro programming only. It will be interesting to see what the next version of SharePoint’s Access Services will bring to Windows Phone 7 clients.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Microsoft Office 365 Cloud Suite Launch Date: June 28

Matthew Weinberger (@MattNLM, pictured below) posted Microsoft Office 365 Cloud Suite Launch Date: June 28 to the TalkinCloud on 6/3/2011:

image Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Partner Group Jon Roskill (in the form of a Twitter post) says the Office 365 cloud productivity suite will be generally available starting on June 28, 2011.

Here’s the full text of the tweet in question:

June 28th is the date for General Availability of Office 365! > 100,000 real customers on beta…Partners, are you ready???

image Roskill [pictured at right] essentially is Microsoft’s Worldwide Channel Chief. As a refresher, Office 365 consists of cloud-hosted versions of Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and Exchange Online. It’s going to be replacing the Microsoft BPOS suite, though existing Microsoft Online Services customers will have some time prepare to switch from BPOS to 365.

The beta that Roskill is referring to only launched in early April, so if that 100,000 “real customers” number is accurate, it’s a fairly impressive achievement for Microsoft — despite the fact that your humble correspondent was left wanting by a demo.

Microsoft’s been aggressive about promoting Office 365 to channel partners and ISVs. But at the same time, they’ve remained adamant that Microsoft and only Microsoft will continue to own the customer billing relationship, leading to more than a few partners to express reservations.

imageThe timing of the launch is a small wonder — they clearly want to roll out Office 365 in time for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (July 10-14, Los Angeles), where Roskill and company are going to take the case for the cloud directly to their reseller base.

Keep watching TalkinCloud for updates as we get closer to that June 28th launch.

I hope the release-to-web version fixes the inability of Access Web Databases to print reports from SharePoint Online.

See my Learn How To Create Access Web Databases with Office 365’s SharePoint Online Beta from my Latest Webcast post of 3/27/2011 for more information on Access Web Databases running from Office 365’s Access Services.