Intact this week launched a ReAccess service through which it leverages microservices, functions and containers to migrate existing database applications based on Microsoft Access and other desktop databases to the Cosmos DB service running on the Microsoft Azure cloud.
To facilitate the transition to ReAccess, Intact also unfurled a managed PowerLine cloud service for automating application delivery that ensures all data stored on the Azure cloud is automatically encrypted at rest.
Company CEO J. Larry Aultman says that although many desktop database applications have been replaced over the year, there are still millions of these applications on which businesses depend. The challenge many of these organizations now face is that those applications have become inaccessible as employees are suddenly required to work from home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
That issue will encourage many organizations to rapidly migrate as many of those applications as possible to the cloud simply because there is no time now to retrain employees on using an alternative application, notes Aultman. The ReAccess service makes it possible to maintain business continuity more easily by migrating existing desktop database applications to the Azure Cloud in as little as two hours, he says.
Intact has been developing ReAccess to provide a means to migrate desktop database applications running on Windows 7 to the cloud. With the end of life of Windows 7, interest in migrating legacy Windows applications to Azure has increased, Aultman notes. The new application even sports a Windows 10 user interface and even makes it possible for employees to work offline because the replication and updating process between databases is managed by Intact.
It’s not clear how long the majority of employees at organizations may be required to work from home. Even after the pandemic has subsided, however, it’s probable many more will be working from home more often. In some cases, organizations may decide they no longer even need a physical office.
Less clear is the degree to which organizations will continue to rely on desktop applications based on database platforms that came to the fore in the 1990s. While many of those applications may still be serviceable, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the seminal moment when organizations decide the time has come to either modernize those applications or retire them altogether. Many organizations also may conclude that even if they do decide to modernize their legacy applications, they may not want to allocate staff resources to manage them.
Intact, along with Microsoft, is clearly betting a significant number of organizations will choose to modernize their existing applications by migrating them to the Azure cloud alongside other productivity applications such as Microsoft Office 356. In fact, the more data that gets created using Microsoft Office 365 the more sense it makes to migrate other Windows applications to the cloud.
It may be a while before the last desktop application running on a local instance of a 32-bit database is finally put to pasture. However, it’s clear now that it’s now only a matter of time before the final nail is put in that proverbial database coffin.