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Securing a back-end mdb file

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have an Access 2003 database that is split (front / back-end).  I would like to be able to secure the back-end to stop certain people being able to link to the tables (via Excel etc), or open it through Access.  However, I still need to be able to go into it and make my changes (plus setup the link for the front-end).

I am not using an mdw file (and if possible would like to stay away from it), but I could just do with a few pointers.

I do appreciate that you can't completely secure an Access database, but I just need a little more control.
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Question by:Andy Brown
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Accepted Solution

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 250 total points
ID: 34978660
The only way you can insure that other programs don't link to the database is through User Level Security. Otherwise, if the user can find the database they can do what they wish with it.

If you need data security the recommended course of action is to move the data store to a more robust database engine, like SQL Server Express. SSE is free and integrates very easily with Access. While it's not quite as simple to work with a local Access tables, you can use SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to work with the tables, views, etc etc. It's easy to setup and maintain, and generally doesn't require much more than installing the SSE software, "attaching" your database (or upsizing your Access database), and then relinking your Access FE to the new SSE tables.

This route does require some rework of queries, but in many cases you'll find that it's a simple step to do this.
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Assisted Solution

by:als315
als315 earned 250 total points
ID: 34978845
You can hide back end from other users:
1. Create shared folder on network (Access_Shared, for example), create subfolder in it (Access_Locked, for example), and in it subfolder (Access_BE)
2. Give full rights for your users in Access_Shared
3. Place your backend to Access_BE
4. Link frontend to backend
5. Deny "List Folder Contents" in access rights for your users (not for you) for folder Access_Locked.
6. Enable Full access for your users for folder Access_BE (you will need to disable "Enable Propagation ..." in Advanced properties
Users will be able to work with backend, but will not be able to browse to it's folder
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Author Closing Comment

by:Andy Brown
ID: 34978886
Superb - this should do the trick nicely.

Thanks as always - have a great weekend.
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