Continue using workgroups in Access 2007, or something else?

Posted on 2010-08-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Looking for some insight/suggestions....

Our application has used workgroups for security since it was built in Access 97 many years ago.    Now that we're (finally) migrating to 2007, we're unsure as to whether we should continue using workgroups, or use some other means to secure the accdbs, which link to tables in a Sybase database containing confidential information.

We've gotten the workgroups to work fine in 2007, but we're concerned that workgroups will be de-supported altogether in Access 2010.  

Does anyone have suggestions as to what we could use to secure the accdbs instead of workgroups? I'm reading up on Access 2007 security, but I'm not seeing a clear way to do this.  

Or are we going to be safe, continuing to use workgroups, since they'll still be usable in Access 2010?

Question by:L_Malchiodi
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 33465383

"You should not convert your database if it relies on user-level security. As with replication, Access 2007 supports user-level security for .mdb databases, but not for .accdb databases. If your database application relies on user-level security to keep certain users from viewing or editing data or from changing the design of objects, or to change the way different users navigate in your application, you need to redesign the application before you convert to the new format."

from this link

Transitioning Your Existing Access Applications to Access 2007

see this link too
Security Considerations and Guidance for Access 2007


Author Comment

ID: 33465486
Thank quick question while I read these links. Will we still be able to leave these databases in Access 2002/2003 format when we migrate to Access 2010?
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 33465511
yes..the databases in Access 2002/2003 format will still work in A2010
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Author Comment

ID: 33465570
Hm...we're in kind of a bind, then.  We've already converted the databases containing the most code, and done significant development work in them.   We can't really go back at this point.   My mistake.

I think we're stuck with workgroups, then.   From what I'm finding around the web, it looks like they'll still work with that the case?
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 33466223
yes, i believe you can still use the workgroups in A2010
LVL 85
ID: 33473475
To be clear, so long as you have not converted to the .accdb format, your workgroup security will still work.

However, it would seem that you would use the security features of your Sybase database to provide data security. In that case, the only feature that Access ULS would provide would be a "navigation" type of paradigm. If that's all you're using ULS for (i.e. determining which user can open specific Forms, etc) then you can build a system that would mimic this.

The ONLY security feature in 2007/2010 is the database password. This is a much more secure password than older versions but I doubt it would do what you need (and it wouldn't protect your data at all).

Author Comment

ID: 33487849
Thanks, we're going to stick with the workgroups, as they seem to work well for us with 2007, and provide the security we need.

Now for how to enable them in 2007.  For my own PC, I've done the command in the Immediate window in the Access VBA editor that allows you to bring up the workgroup administrator and join.     Our application is installed on customer PCs with Install Shield.   I understand that what the workgroup administrator is  just setting something in the registry.  Would either of you know what that would be, so we can have our InstallShield package make the necessary registry change?
LVL 85
ID: 33487912
I have no idea what you mean by this:

"I understand that what the workgroup administrator is  just setting something in the registry"

If you mean you want to launch the Workgroup Administrator, then just do this:

DoCmd.RunCommand acCmdWorkgroupAdministrator
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Expert Comment

by:Rey Obrero (Capricorn1)
ID: 33487926
LVL 120

Accepted Solution

Rey Obrero (Capricorn1) earned 500 total points
ID: 33487934
see this link

and expand

About workgroups and workgroup information files

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