Access Services 2013 – Getting HTTP 404 when Trying to Open Newly Created App
Access Services 2013 has been touted as the next big thing in SharePoint custom forms. At the November 2012 SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, there was a lot of buzz surrounding InfoPath being replaced in future releases (beyond 2013) by Access services. This comes as a pretty big shock to most business users; particularly the ones that lean heavily on InfoPath in their current SharePoint farms. As SharePoint consultants, we have solved several business problems for clients using InfoPath forms. Some of which, are fairly complex. I’ve been able to use Access Services 2013 a fair amount since it was RTM’d. (I have not been able to use the Office 365 version of the product, so the rest of this blog will be written from my experience using an On-Prem solution.)
Getting Started with On-Premises Access Services
If you’re starting from scratch with an On-Premises implementation to leverage Access Services 2013, you probably discovered the Microsoft TechNet published White Paper (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30445). Access Services leverages the new Application Platform in SharePoint 2013 so you’ll need to configure that prior to the install. (Here’s the TechNet article for the setup: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/fp161236(office.15).aspx) The two together do a good job of getting you ready to go with Access Services and give you the ability to create a new Access App. You can create the app. You can see the app in your SharePoint site. Once you attempt to open your newly created app, in most cases you’ll get a generic HTTP 404 error.
“But I followed the two TechNet articles exactly! Why can’t I get into my new Access App?!” Any good SharePoint admin will immediate begin troubleshooting this by searching through the server event logs and through the SharePoint ULS logs. In this case you’ll probably come up empty handed. What gives?
The solution is to create Web Application that does not use a host header. Once you have a web app, create a site collection, and that’s it. You don’t have to do anything else. The site collection simply cannot have a host header in IIS. The site collection doesn’t store any content related to the app platform. The only purpose it serves is to complete the redirect from your SharePoint site to the app URL you configured for your app platform. The way SharePoint 2013 serves apps, it is required to have a site collection without a host header to complete the redirect.
Now that you have a working Access App, you can start building.