Even in the most dysfunctional companies, people need to get along. Businesses that have efficient ways to share information—whether it’s meeting agendas, high-priority tasks, or interoffice gossip—are more successful than those that keep quiet.
It may have occurred to you back in Chapter 19 that you can use Access to share this sort of information. All you need to do is create a suitable database, put it in a shared location, and make sure everyone has Access installed on their computers. However, you don’t need to go through any of this work if you use SharePoint, a Microsoft product that’s explicitly designed for office teamwork. Best of all, the basic version of SharePoint is free, provided you have a computer running the Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 operating system.
SharePoint works perfectly well without Access—in fact, all you need is a decent web browser. Using your browser you can log into your team’s SharePoint site, review the latest information, upload documents, and edit lists of data. For most SharePoint users, this is more than enough. But if you happen to have a copy of Access handy, you get two more options. You can:
Transfer data into and out of SharePoint. This trick is useful if some people in your company use Access and others use SharePoint. Of course, it’s up to you to make sure you keep everyone’s data up to date.
Use Access as a front end for SharePoint. This is the same technique you used in Chapter 21 ...