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How can I provide remote access to a MS Access application that has a different database in 19 remote offices from a VPN solution in the main office?

Posted on 2008-10-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
Hello,
   I am helping a company who has 19 remote offices.  They want to allow their staff remote access to a access database that is housed in their home office/remote office.   So, staff person A works in the New York office and needs remote access to it's database and staff person C works in the Miami office and needs access to it's database.  Unfortunately the application is currently a MS Access MDB that references a SQL backend.  I am thinking that publishing a application pointer for each office on Citrix or other way?
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Question by:hdennig
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by:Bradley Haynes
Bradley Haynes earned 100 total points
ID: 22653305
I have found Terminal Service to be very good at providing remote access with security.
On the back end make sure the DB has specific log ins for the remote users and set up a DMZ to protect the network. Actually the DMZ should be the first thing you do or have your Network Engineers do.
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by:dphantom
dphantom earned 100 total points
ID: 22653302
That could work, but Access is not very friendly with multiple simultaneous users.  I'd limit access if you decide to do it this way to no more than 2-3 people.
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by:Jim P.
Jim P. earned 200 total points
ID: 22654140
We have several published app Access DB that run in a Citrix Metaframe environment.

If you are running virtual servers and have no data in the front-end then you should have no problems.

Even without the virtual server, that would be the route I go.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 600 total points
ID: 22654865
Access is fine with multiple users, especially when you're working with a server-type backend. The performance issues that accompany Access are almost all related to the Jet database engine, which isn't a factor in this case. So long as every user has their OWN copy of the frontend file you'll be fine.

As others have said. Terminal Server, Citrix, et al is the best method to use for this. I manage several Access apps on a TS environment - one that supports around 75 users, about 15 or so that are concurrent at any time - and have found the performance to be very acceptable. There are some challenges - printers can be a pain, and if you need to share data from the workstation to the TS box you can run into some issues - but overall it's the best method to use.

That said, I also support 2 applications that use Access as a FrontEnd to a remote SQL Server backend. These are small - about 15 users total, with 7 - 9 typically concurrent - but they have been very pleased with the performance. One of these is an ADP file, the other is an unbound application that uses ADO to read/write data to the server. The unbound application is very stable and has no performance issues; the ADP is okay, but certainly is not as peppy as the unbound app.
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Expert Comment

by:Jim P.
ID: 22968674
Glad to be of assistance. May all your days get brighter and brighter.
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