Link workbook to an Access database to use Excel as front-end GUI.
Let's be up front...
MS Excel's database functionality is lacking. MS Access' reporting/GUI functionality is severely lacking. Why not create the ability to unite the two?
Excel's worksheet grid UI rocks for data presentation, especially for ease of use. The closest thing in Access to Excel's grid is the data sheet. Well... the data sheet stinks, like a dead carcus. Let's not even get into Access' poor and sorry reporting features - or lack thereof. Because we can create awesome user forms in Excel, how about the ability to create a table in an excel worksheet and link that table directly to a table/query within an access database whereby that data in the Access database is being directly (and immediately) viewed or edited from within the linked worksheet(s). Or maybe even, the ability to link individual cells to fields in an Access table without creating a table in Excel? And, how about some navigation controls in Excel to put on the worksheet to navigate through and edit the linked database? On this note, can we please make the data form in Excel somewhat cosmetically appealing? Can we also make the data form recognize in-cell drop-down lists in the ranges which are being displayed in the data form whereby the data form also has a drop-down list for that corresponding field? Now, back to my genius idea... because the Excel workbook is already linked to the access database being used as its front-end, visually appealing paper forms can also be created in Excel worksheets to print out reports and data, because again, Access' report features are horribly lacking and cannot produce attractive/meaningful reports.
A.C. WILSON commented
I agree 1000%. My memory may be faulty, but I seem to recall posting a very similar idea here, several years ago.
Excel as a reporting front-end needs to be linked DYNAMICALLY to the Access database. Access's report "feature" drove me nuts because it's so unfriendly to use, especially for making modifications. Our (before I retired 2.5 years ago) report formats changed frequently, plus all of my colleaugues were thoroughly fluent in Excel, but not in Access reprot design.
Gypsy Prince commented
I'm not surprised, which is why my employer is on a projected path to dump all things Microsoft by 2022. Their (MS) modern ways of doing things don't mesh well with ours. We can't continue with a company that changes and abandons its technologies every few years before they even get the bugs worked out of them. New and trendy technologies are absolutely worthless to us on the business admin side. We just need technologies which are consistent and reliable. 30 years from now we will likely be using the same accounting and office software. No need to change what works for flashy bloat.
Ed Hansberry commented
I wouldn't hold my breath on this. MS seems to be moving to Power Platform for this kind of thing, which does support Excel as a backend, and a front-end soon. Between Power Apps and Power BI, plus whatever data source you want, like CDS or on-prem sources like SQL server or even Access databases, all of the functionality you discuss is there, and much MUCH more.
It seems they are removing features from Access, not adding. They will not add Power Query to it (that idea with well over 1K votes was rejected), Data Access Pages was killed, Pivot queries were killed, and the Access to SQL upsizing wizard was killed.
They haven't officially said of course, but Access seems to only get nominal features to keep it on par with other Office 365 apps, but there are no real breakthrough features.
Gypsy Prince commented
I don't want to just be able to present data. I want to be able to directly manipulate and manage (input, delete, view, and update) the MS Access database through a linked MS Excel worksheet(s) in the exact same manner as with an Access form, hence, my stating using an Excel workbook as a GUI. Why Access doesn't have an Excel-like grid control to drop on their forms is beyond me. And why Excel can't directly link to and manage an Access database is also beyond me... except for the fact that Microsoft has a long history (and has gotten even worse in the last decade) of producing what they want to force customers to buy and conform to rather than producing what the customers actually want or need.
[Deleted User] commented
I think what you're looking for is already included in Excel 2013 and after, called Power Query.
If you're looking to input values in excel and have it update the access database, PQ won't do it, but if you're simply looking to present the data from the database in a more appealing presentation, PQ is your answer.