Microsoft to add its Access database to more Office 365 plans

Microsoft will 'soon' beef up its Office 365 Business and Business Premium plans, with the addition of Microsoft Access.

Microsoft is adding Microsoft Access to the list of what's offered in its Office 365 Business and Business Premium plans.

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Office 365 Business costs $8.25 per user per month annually or $10 per user per month if purchased monthly. Office 365 Business Premium costs $12.50 per user per month annually or $15 per user per month if purchased monthly. Both of these Office 365 plans are aimed at small to mid-size businesses.

When purchased as a standalone app (not part of a subscription), Microsoft Access 2016 costs $110 (estimated retail price). Access used to be part of Microsoft's small-business plan lineup (before the three current Office 365 SMB ones were introduced), but the company decided to remove it from those plans when they were announced in 2014.

Now, Access is coming back to two of the three Office 365 SMB plans.

"Soon, Access will be rolling out to Office 365 Business and Business Premium subscribers. Access will be automatically installed for these customers as part of their next regular Office client update, rolling out between December 1, 2016 and January 30, 2017," Microsoft officials announced on Nov. 4. Customers who are on the Deferred Channel won't get Access until June 2017.

Access will continue to be included in the Office 365 ProPlus, E3, and E5 plans, Microsoft officials said. New enterprise data connectors for Access are also coming in early 2017, officials said today, including ones for OData Feed, Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and Amazon Redshift. These connectors are available to those with Office 365 ProPlus E3 and E5.

It's interesting to see how Microsoft is beefing up what's included in its SMB-focused versions of Office 365 as of late. As I blogged recently, Microsoft is working to add more new single-purpose mobile apps to its Office 365 Business Premium offering, including MileIQ, Bookings, Invoice, Spend, Point, and Presence.

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