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Microsoft Access Database Question

Posted on 2011-02-23
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I have a Microsoft Access database with customer names & other information in it. Is it possible for me to make this database available to other users on my LAN by putting the .mdb file in a shared location. Is this a safe thing to do? How can I have one database with the customer information in it so all of my users on the LAN will be able to access it? I have about 6 users who will be accessing it. Thanks
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Question by:wantabe2
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LVL 21
ID: 34965514
You really need to split the database if you wan to share it. Otherwise you have a high change od data corruption.
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Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 34965523
I wrote this article on the subject.

Splitting your Access database into application and data

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LVL 75
ID: 34965555
First, you are going need to split your database into a Front End (everything but tables) and Backend (only tables).  

How to manually split a Access database in Microsoft Access
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304932

Splitting Microsoft Access Databases to Improve Performance and Simplify Maintainability
http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/DatabaseSplitter/Index.html

Once that is done ... you need to give *each* user a *separate* copy of the 'master' FE ... which is linked to the BE on the server.

Start with these two suggestions.

mx
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by:wantabe2
ID: 34965570
By splitting the database, will more than one user be able to view & print at the same time? The back end will be stored on a Windows 2008 file server.
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Expert Comment

by:ropenner
ID: 34965573
you can do it.

If the data is static then all you need is a backup.

If the data is a copy then it doesn't matter if it is corrupt.

If the data doesn't need to be newer than 1hour and the file is small enough to copy every hour then you can schedule the original to be copied to the shared location every hour.

If the data needs to be current, there is only one copy and cannot be corrupted by a LAN user then there may be ODBC other USER restrictions (read only) that you can put on the file for those users.

If you do not restrict permissions, and the data is valuable, then someone could write a program to corrupt the data, whether intentionally or just by mistake.

You can also make the database easily available from within a web browser only, which will only allow the IIS (assuming windows machine) process access to the data, and then you can expose whichever parts of the database you wish to the users and it will be secure.

ASP and IIS will allow you to display the data from a .mdb file.  If it is windows server 2003 it has JET drivers and an ODBC link can be made, but I think 2008 makes it more difficult and you may need to setup a virtual server.

If you wish to make it really easy, then you can move the data to MYSQL and PHP and install WAMP on the windows machine.  This way the data is portable to UNIX and WINDOWS platforms and versions of windows no longer matter.  There is a default database administration script that comes with WAMP.  Scripts are simple to write to expose the data to your 6 people.  i don't know if you can do this, because you may have many reports and forms in ACCESS that could be prohibitively costly to move to another language, but if it is straight tables then anything is possible.
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by:wantabe2
ID: 34965608
If I put all the information in a mysql database will my users be able to view & edit the data in real time with MS Access? I ask this because the information in the database will change daily.
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by:ropenner
ID: 34965620
no
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LVL 75
ID: 34965622
"By splitting the database, will more than one user be able to view & print at the same time?"
Yes.

However ... there are *many* considerations for a multi user db.   I suggest you become familiar with the content in the following articles - before you get to deep into this - all of which are related to multi-user databases in Access:

100 Tips for Faster Microsoft Access Databases:
http://www.fmsinc.com/MicrosoftAccess/Performance.html

Ken Getz tips from Access 2002 Developer's Handbook:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa188211%28office.10%29.aspx 

Improve performance of an Access database
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/access-help/improve-performance-of-an-access-database-HP005187453.aspx

Microsoft Access Performance FAQ:
http://www.granite.ab.ca/access/performancefaq.htm

mx

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LVL 75
ID: 34965640
I thought we were talking about an Access database ?

mx
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Assisted Solution

by:Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVP
Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 34965657
wantabe2,


If I put all the information in a mysql database will my users be able to view & edit the data in real time with MS Access? I ask this because the information in the database will change daily.

If you are asking can you use an Access front end with an mySQL server back end then Yes you can.

I currently have some Access Front End apps that use a mySQL or MS SQL Server back end.



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