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Database scheme for multiple users

Posted on 2002-06-07
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
My VB program uses an Access database. I am green on networks, and pretty green on database stuff too. (but pretty fair with VB)

The program curently is intended for installation and use on a local machine as the users each create personal  databases. But the IT managers don't like this, they want it to be installable on the network drive rather than install and maintain local machines.

How is this generally handled?

Brian
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Question by:brayle
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Arthur_Wood earned 100 total points
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Install the actual database on the Netpwrd SERVER - a machine that ALL of the networked PCs have access to.  The install the application on each PC, and in your code, you would make a CONNECTION (you may need to read about ADO - ActiveX Data Objects and Connections) to the Database.  This can most easily be accomplished by setting up a Database ODBC connection DSN (Data Set Name) on each PC - this can be accomplished from the Setup Panel on each PC.

This is manageable if there are not TOO many PCs that you must deal with. For instance, I did exactly this with an application at a former job-site, wityh about 50 PCs on the network - required about a day, going to each PC to set it up and install the VB application.

If the number of PCs is large, or if they are in many different places, then you can actually make the connection in the software, using what is called a DSN-Less connection.  However, the problem that rises then is that this may require the EVERY PC have the same mapping to the Network drive where the database is located.

Arthur Wood
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by:escheider
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Good advice arthur.

Other things to keep in mind:

1.  Handling multi-users in the same database
2.  Record locking so multiple users don't modify or delete the same record at the same time.
3.  Managing problems that will occur due to extra network bandwidth.
4.  Setting up a test environment for testing prior to rolling it out to production.

The good thing about doing it this way is central management of the data.  

In addition to DNS and DNS-less connections, you can also use OLEDB to create your connection object to the database, but will require a mapped drive letter on each machine (as Arthur has suggested).
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by:brayle
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Looks like as much work as just setting up each user, but then I guess the advantage is just one database to maintain.
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