Microsoft Access 2019 Review

Without a doubt, Microsoft Access remains to be one of the most powerful Office Apps. Here is our experts' detailed review of the new Microsoft Access 2019.
The new Microsoft Access 2019 version is in many ways similar to the 2013 and 2016 preceding versions - but with some great new features.
Access 2019

If you are looking to upgrade your MS Access software, the new 2019 version is a great bargain. It is much light (unlike Microsoft Access 2016) gives a pleasant user experience such as more advanced tools to choose from and faster navigation options to consider.

Microsoft Access 2019 Features

Microsoft Access 2019 is easy to install and use. If you have used other versions of this application, you should not be worried about how to navigate the new version. But that's not all it has some improved features that improve the user experience, among which include:

1. Property Sorting

Property Sorting is a very useful feature for people who design using Microsoft Access. You don't have to spend lots of time searching for a property if you want to make an adjustment. Access 2019 has the "All" tab in which you can locate all the times. All you need to do is locate the "All" tab and then click the sort button to put properties in alphabetical order. This comes as a huge help for those time-consuming "blind-spot" moments.

To use this feature, here's the procedure:

  1. Open the property sheet in design mode to display forms and reports
  2. Tap the sort toggle button that is placed on the upper right corner of the sheet. The properties will be sorted in alphabetic order.
  3. To restore to default settings, tap the toggle button again.
    property sorting in excel

 2. Large Number Data Type

Access 2019 now has a new data type field called "Large Number." Previously, there was a limitation to the size of the numbers you would enter in the data fields. And, it is compatible with the SQL Server “bigint” data type. This is where Access 2019 gets better.   

The Large Number Data type is for storing very, very large numbers, i.e. it can support huge numbers from -2^63 up to +2^63. This is something that older Access versions lacked.

Besides, you can import data from SQL servers by simply enabling the “Support Bigint Data Type for Linked/Imported Tables” setting.  

To make use of the Large Number Data types option:

  1. Click the Access option dialog box 
  2. Select Type of support.
  3. In the support section, you can then choose the Support Bigint Data Type for Linked/Imported Tables option.
How to import tables in excel

3. Accessibility Improvement

The new application has been developed with enormous considerations for those users with disabilities.  Individuals with visual impairments, who initially used the Windows narrator, will enjoy some further improvements. They now have at their disposal many functions that could not be recognized or read in the older versions using windows Narrator and other assistive technologies.

Here are the improvements that have been made for Windows narrator:

  • The options group name in the dialog box, along with its qualities.
  • The filter menu arrow on columns in the datasheet can be read.
  • Multiple columns in the Lookup or Combo Box are now easily read and accessed.
  • More control elements, such as tab controls and checkboxes, will be called out.
  • Navigation has also been improved immensely; you can use the left or right arrow to move radio buttons. Furthermore, you can toggle the button by pressing the space bar or the enter key.
  • The readout of column names and sheet contents is better.
  • Narration, when control is focused on, has also improved significantly.

Here are the notable improvements for using Windows high contrast mode:

  • The record navigation bar filter button at the bottom of the datasheet is now visible.
  • When you edit text, the saved import tab is visible in the manage data tasks dialog box.
  • Forms and reports are displayed in high contrast mode in the form of datasheet column headers, themed command buttons, and specific cell text color in datasheets.

Access 2019 now includes a “Label Name” control to help assistive technologies detect and highlight user-defined contents and associate it with other contents.

Further accessibility improvements include:

  • To create a table, click Alt+H.
  • Opening the filter menu of a table click Q
  • To find and replace, press FD
  • To pass over all sections in a popup form, click F6 and Shift+F6 shortcuts.

4. ODBC Connection Retry Feature

For Access database systems that link to other types of data sources such as the SQL Servers, connections often failed. To make matters worse, it meant you had to close and restart the database to access what you needed. Now, you'll not suffer this fate anymore. Access 2019 attempts to automatically re-open the connection by itself. Once you lose connection here's what will happen:

  1. You will receive an error message
  2. The application will attempt automatically try to re-establish the lost connection
  3. If not successful, you can no longer work with objects from the failed data source but can continue with your work in other unaffected parts of your database.
  4. If you opt to keep trying to recover the lost objects, the application will try to recover them.

5. Easier Values editing Capabilities

Initially, older Access Versions had editing challenges. You had to click some icon at the bottom that guided you into the edit list. This issue has been rectified in Access 2019 by introducing a keyboard shortcut that opens into the list dialog box. You just press CTRL+E while in the list box, and an edit list items dialog box pops up. 

Value editing capabilities in Excel

6. New Data Charts

The new Access version is revolutionizing data presentation in the simplest of forms. You will have about 11 data presentation charts that are easy to comprehend from which you can choose. Some of the charts you will encounter include the following:

  • Column charts

With this presentation chart, categories are represented by the X-axis (horizontal axis), while values are displayed on the Y-axis (vertical axis).

Excel Column charts
  • Line charts

The line chart allows for an even distribution of categories on the X-axis and an even distribution of values on the Y-axis.

Line charts
  • Bar charts

With this chart, the categories are placed along the Y-axis, while the values are placed on the X-axis. The organization of the axis is the reverse of the standard placement like in other charts.

Bar charts
  • Pie chart

For a pie chart, the data categories are represented like slices of a pie. The data values are expressed as percentages to the whole pie. What percentage of the pie does the pie slice represent?

Pie chart
  • Combo charts

Combo charts combine several chart types to represent data entries. For instance, you could use a column chart and a line chart to describe different but related data items.

Combo charts

7. Linking to dBASE

Microsoft Access 2019 has reintroduced dBASE linking. The feature used to be available in past versions then it went away. But now it's back. This will allow you to open and import files from the dBASE files (.dbf) files. You can also export your data to the same dBASE files. Besides, if you need to link to a system written in dBASE you now can as if the table were stored in Access. And if you want to extract data permanently out of dBASE you can now do that too.

Linking to dBASE

8. Tell Me Box Improvement

This is probably the most interactive platform that Access has ever had with its users. But it hasn't worked well in previous versions. Access 2019 improves the user experience with the Tell Me Box and allows users to search content that they'd be looking for in an Access database. The system responds by giving you a list of recommendations that is related to what you are searching for from which you can choose accordingly.

As soon as you type in your query, the application will give you answers for easy to answer questions. However, if your query is hard to solve, the system will provide you with a variety of close options that closely match your needs. It is hard to remember where you place your items hence this feature is of great help to users.

validation rule in excel

9. Connectors to Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics

With the rise in the adoption of third-party cloud services, Microsoft has risen to the occasion and added a new “From Online Service” section. Placed in the external data tab, the option allows you to use external data services such as SharePoint Lists and Data Services. The new application has incorporated Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

10. New Label Name Property for Controls

A new label name property for controls has been incorporated into the new Microsoft Access application. This feature allows you to associate label controls by merely cutting and pasting the same content into different controls.

Such a feature will ease accessibility with assistive technologies as they can easily make out associated label names and controls.

Label controls

11. Master Database Creation and Management

The Microsoft Access 2019 will enable you to store, analyze, organize, and share data just like older versions. You will be able to create tables, work with data sheets as well as validate data in these sheets. Moreover, you can still use XML Data Access page design and visual basic automation.

Interaction with other windows applications such as word and excel is more effective and efficient.

12. Easy to Resize Objects in Design Windows

Resizing table objects in older versions was quite a task. The clickable areas of the table were hard to grab by the mouse and resize accordingly. Such is a problem of the past as with the new version; you can effortlessly grab whatever objects you want to resize using the mouse and work as intended. 

Pop-up forms were also hard to grab by the mouse and move, but the problem has been solved. You can now quickly grab them and move them as you please.

13. Improvements on the Navigation Pane Scrolling

Scrolling through a DPI display mode was quite a hustle in the preceding versions of Access. Undesirable and unexpected behavior could alter operations. Microsoft has addressed the issue in the 2019 version, and your scrolling should be flawless.

Other Features 

In addition to the newly incorporated features, Access boasts of some extra beneficial qualities that you will surely enjoy, such as:

  • It is easy to integrate, can work correctly with SQL, Sybase, and oracle for front-end or back-end tables.
  • With a large storage capacity, you can store many gigabytes in Access 2019.
  • Data importation is simple; you can gather data from other sources and use it in Access with ease.
  • Cost-effectiveness, in comparison with other database management systems, Access 2019 is a deal of a lifetime.
  • Can be accessed remotely, you can view and modify your Access databases remotely over a dependable connection.

However, it also comes with its share of flaws, that could include the following:

  • It is a finite database management system. It cannot hold vast amounts of data as it comes with a file size limit.
  • Data is saved in a single file. Such slows down the application’s performance.
  • Multimedia data is hard to work with within this program. Due to the single file saving system, multimedia data would be hard to work with since it requires more space.
  • It is not dependable on time-critical transactions. It takes time to process data into the required form.
  • Security issues, generally, no security improvements have been made in the new version; hence, the safety of your data is still questionable.
  • Poor relational design controls and forms are difficult to customize. You need to have some level of SQL programming language knowledge to master the use of access. 

Despite the few setbacks the application wields, it is a huge improvement from its preceding versions, and you should give it a try.


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