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Running a FoxPro based Database via a router to router VPN connection across 2 domains

Deluxepackages
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
First off, let me start off by stating, I am by no means an expert with networks, but have been asked over the past 4 years to care for our 2 separate networks (at 2 locations). My primary job is Graphics and Customer Service. With that said, recently we decided that the 2 locations should talk via a VPN connection so that we can access the files from both locations. This has been a very long process (3 months) and finally the VPN is up and we have just in the past couple of days been able to establish trust between the 2 domains.

The next step is....we want to be able to run the Accounting Software, which is a FoxPro Based Database. To make this easy to follow, let's say our two locations are LA and Sacramento. The files for the Accounting software are located in LA and we at Sacramento want to be able to run them. I am being told by the people who made the Database, that we have to run it off a mapped drive. In Sacramento, I have mapped the drive to the same location and same drive letter, as we do down in LA. And I have created a shortcut on my desktop to run this software targetting the mapped drive and required files.  We have been successful at getting the program to run but what normally takes 20 secs is now taking 10 mins to even load. And then to run anything else it locks up the system.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!!
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Unfortunately the last thing you want to run over a VPN is an application making use of a database. There is so much "chatting" going on that the performance is terrible, and further more it can result in corrupt data. The best way to deal with this is to connect to a computer in LA (where the data resides) using remote desktop or a similar utility, over the VPN, and run the accounting application in this way. Doing so means only the screen changes are transmitted across your VPN, and performance is usually great. If you are not familiar with remote desktop please advise and we can provide the necessary details.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mobility/getstarted/remoteintro.mspx

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Commented:
I have actually done something similar to this by using PC Anywhere to get us access, but this is not the solution we want. 1) We have dificulties printing, 2) File export and transport is dificult, but the reason it makes it not a solution is 3) only one person can be on the system at a time. We need to have 3+ people accessing the database at the same time.  Any other suggestions.
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Top Expert 2013
Commented:
Terminal Server would be the only other option I could suggest. Basically the same solution but allowing multiple simultaneous users. Not a cheap answer though.

If you want to do some tinkering, different articles claim to have it working. Below is a link explaining how to allow a second user to connect to an XP machine using remote desktop. Includes a link to the required Terminal Server file for download. good luck:
http://sig9.com/articles/concurrent-remote-desktop
http://winfaq.msterminalservices.org/faqs2.cfm?id=460&category=2&sortby=date
Helpful comment by one successful "tinkerer"
It worked perfectly after I worked around one issue...I had to modify the .reg file. Instead of "ControlSet001" I had to change the path to "CurrentControlSet". After that, it worked like a charm! Thanks!
from: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/Q_21577223.html?query=concurrent-remote-desktop&clearTAFilter=trueEE

One other option which I have not tried is a third party utility to allow up to 21 users:
http://www.thinsoftinc.com/

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Commented:
Thanks RobWill, I will look into these articles, but I will more likely end up going to the Terminal Server. I had already thought that was the path that I might have to take, but was hoping there might be a cheaper path I was over looking. Thanks again.
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Top Expert 2013

Commented:
Thanks Deluxepackages,
The last option from ThinSoft looks interesting. I think you would be limited by the hardware with XP, but 3 users might work fine with a GB or more of RAM, and $300 sounds pretty good. I don't know if they have a demo version though. It would be nice to test first.

Good luck with it.
--Rob
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