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Publishing an Access Database on the Web

Posted on 2010-09-01
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hi all,

we recently created an access database to keep track of of our inventory and ordering system.  right now its kept locally on our shared network drive.  eventually all employees will use it.  my question is, is it possible to publish the database on the web, like on our company site, with a web interface so that even remote employees can access it easily?  thanks.
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Question by:PigoMan
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by:peter57r
ID: 33577683
In the terms that you've asked the Q then yes.
The main issue is.. "with a web interface " - which you will have to build.  You cannot automatically carry over any UI features from your Access front-end; all you would be 'publishing' would be the tables and that just involves placing the file in a suitable folder.

However you won't find much enthusiasm for using an Access database as the data store for a web application,  even amongst Access developers.  SQL Express or full SQL server would generally be preferred.

If you are Sharepoint users or think your IT future involves Sharepoint you can look at the new features of Access 2010 and Sharepoint 2010 which enables the development of a limited functionality web front-end to a Sharepoint data store.
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by:andreyman3d2k
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What version of Access are you using? Access 2003 has the Data Access Pages, which is essentially a tool for making your DB (and forms-interface) available online for browsing/updating. This features is absent in later versions...
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by:PigoMan
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andreyman3d2k: i am using access 2007
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by:andreyman3d2k
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In this case you will indeed need to custom-build a web interface for it. As Peter said, Access is not typically used for this purpose, so if you are going that route you might consider something like MySQL, or some of the options Peter suggested.
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LukeChung-FMS earned 500 total points
ID: 33581196
Access doesn't let you run it as a web site, however you can give your employees the ability to run it remotely in a few ways.
Since it's a multi-user database, it should be using a split database design where one shared database is the back-end database containing the data and each user has a front-end database. For more information on split database designs, read our paper: http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/DatabaseSplitter/Index.html
Assuming that's the case, if each of your employees has a copy of Access and you Access application database on their PC, they can use your application if your network supports VPN and they can log in and link to your back-end database.
Alternatively, if they have VPN, you may find the application runs faster if they VPN and remotely run a local machine which has a copy of your application.
If your backend database is in SQL Server and that's exposed to the web, then they can link to that.
If you host your data in SQL Server using SQL Azure, you can have your Access database linked to that and that should perform pretty well. The challenge there is that each user's IP address must be set in SQL Azure so that its security will allow that connection to receive the data.
For more information on Access and SQL Azure, read my papers:
Microsoft Access and Cloud Computing with SQL Azure Databases (Linking to SQL Server Tables in the Cloud)
http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/cloud/link-to-azure-sql-database.html
Deploying Microsoft Databases Linked to a SQL Azure Database to Users without SQL Server Installed on their Machine
http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/cloud/deploying-linked-azure-sql-databases.html
Hope this helps.
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by:cquinn
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