Access is Office 2013's database and is a substantial application in its own right, but more recently it has moved its focus from a database to a database application creation tool. Many people use it for running predefined databases and Microsoft supplies a number of standard templates for apps like contact management and asset tracking. See all: PC Advisor software downloads.
Access 2013 has moved towards the Cloud like all the other applications in the suite and can now produce Web Apps which can be accessed through a browser.
There's a quantity of Wizard help available in constructing these, so you're not working from the ground up when constructing one. Navigation and different views are pre-constructed, as long as the Web App you're after can be based on one of the database templates provided.
Trouble is, Web Apps either have to be accessed through SharePoint, Microsoft's Web application platform, or from an Office 365 account with Access Services. Quite a lot of setup is involved to get all this running, but once established, it should be possible to use Access as the back-end of a database, using nothing more than a browser for access.
If you're forever ploughing through property sheets when building a database, looking for particular properties, Access's new callouts, which group particular properties next to an associated section or control, should speed things up. Access 2013 has also taken on the full backstage view that the other Office applications use, so it's easy, for example, to see what's available in the way of online database templates, when you select New.
Cloud compatibility works in the same way as with the other Office 2013 apps, so you can save to and load from SkyDrive on any machine capable of running the suite. If you really must put together an SQL query while waiting for a train on the way from work, you can download the necessary data as you need it.
The ability to construct Access Web Apps is the main new feature of Access 2013, though even with the help provided, they require quite a commitment to the program and database construction techniques. Otherwise, most of the new features in Access 2013 are related to its look and feel. Read our full Office 2013 review. For more business software reviews visit Business Advisor.