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Connect an iPhone app to MS Access DB

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Hey Experts!!

I'm not sure if it's even possible, but can I connect to a Microsoft Access 2003 DB through an iOS app? Or should I convert everything to MySQL?  The problem with converting is that they are so heavily invested into the MS Access DB with an intranet right now.  

Any and all suggestions are welcomed!
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Question by:LZ1
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by:als315
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You can try one of remote desktop clients:
Thinstuff iRdesktop, Jaadu RDP, iTap RDP, WinAdmin etc.
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by:LZ1
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What they're actually thinking of is developing an app that the client can connect to the DB and view all of the information
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by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
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<<What they're actually thinking of is developing an app that the client can connect to the DB and view all of the information >>

  You can continue to use JET for a data store and write a front end in something like ASP.net.

  Another option to look at is Sharepoint 2010 with Access services, which lets you put web enabled Access DB's on a share point site.

  Last, you might want to look at this:

  www.eqldata.com

  Which let's you put an Access DB on the net basically un-modified.  Don't know anyone that's used them yet, so if you decide to try them out, would really like some feed back.

  Last, Terminal Services has been mentioned, but if you through Citrix Access Essentials on top of that, then you can access un-modified Access apps via any web browser.

JimD.
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by:darbid73
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Have you had a look at Cellica Database in the iTunes store? see here Linke to Home Page
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by:LZ1
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@JDettman: There will be updating/editing to these records.  The eqldata link you provided is nice, however they wanted everything to be done inside of the app.  The ultimate goal is to have the client install this app on their iPhone/iPad/iPod. Then update their information via the app, which would ultimately write it back to our DB on our own server.  

Please forgive my ignorance to the subject, I'm a front-end developer not a programmer by any means.

Overall it seems like it can be done, unless I'm mistaken(in which please let me know).  There may be some additional leg work that has to be done in order for everything to work correctly, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
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by:DockieBoy
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I had a brief look at Celica Database (I think it is called), an iPhone app, but have not played with it yet, from what I saw, looks like a fair bit of work, but might do the job.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 250 total points
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<<@JDettman: There will be updating/editing to these records.  The eqldata link you provided is nice, however they wanted everything to be done inside of the app.  The ultimate goal is to have the client install this app on their iPhone/iPad/iPod. Then update their information via the app, which would ultimately write it back to our DB on our own server.  >>

  Ah, your tackeling it a bit differently then; it's not remote access that your looking for, but the ability to work off-line.

  Unfortunately, replication was dropped from JET starting with Access 2007, which might have been a solution (not sure if you could get Access to run on an iPhone).

  You do get that with SharePoint 2010 and Access 2010, but I know of no one that's using that feature yet in production and being that it is brand new, there are bound to be some issues with it.  

  Again, on top of that, I don't know that you'd get Access or JET to run on an iPhone.

  I am a bit surprised at the approach your taking.  Most simply go for remote access via a mobile device as keeping a db local on a phone and then synching would bring up a number of issues.

JimD.


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by:gawhemant
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You should write a web Service which will connect to the database, and your iPhone app should be making calls to the web Services.
I have implemented it in various application.Actually we are having centralized database for our website/windows application/iPhone app.
You can get the result in XML format and parse the data using parser methods in objective-C.
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by:LZ1
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So it seems the bottom line is this: The only way to connect to an MS Access 2003 DB is to use Objective-C. If that can happen, I can't use JET or Access on the iPhone itself.

I understand that the client app is dated and the request seems a bit silly.  But I had to ask.  

Thanks everyone!
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by:darbid73
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I am not sure you have covered it all.  There are a number of ODBC solutions and that means a direct connection to a database.
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by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
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<<I am not sure you have covered it all.  There are a number of ODBC solutions and that means a direct connection to a database. >>

  While ODBC may be available, I don't know how you get JET to actually run on the phone as JET is composed of Windows based DLL's.

  And since JET internally has never been documented, it's not even possible to write something to replace it and deal with the file directly.

JimD.
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by:darbid73
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I was thinking and I must add from Theory as I have not tried it something like this -

here is a link to an ODBC SDK - LINK

Here is how to remotely access MSAccess. - LINK
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by:LZ1
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So then it can't be done?  
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by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
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<<So then it can't be done?   >>

  I don't see how.  Sure you can access it from the phone remotely via a browser, but to get a MDB (JET based DB) used right on the phone?  No.

Jim.
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by:LZ1
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Thank you Jim.  Your points are then still very well deserved!  

I appreciate all of the follow ups!!!
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