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Accessing My Small Database from Anywhere

Posted on 2013-02-04
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Last Modified: 2013-02-04
Hi,

I have a client who with an access database (I developed).
There are 3 users on the system and the level of data processed is very low.

Indeed, it is a non-critical system.  I.e. It would not be a disaster if it was not accessible for a short period.

My users travel around and need full use of the database via wireless connections.  So for instance, my client might visit one of their customers and then fill in details of the visit on their iPad - directly into the Access database.

So the requirement is simple.
Anytime, anywhere access to existing simple Microsoft Access Database.

There seems to be a variety of solutions out there.
What way should I go?


Thanks , as ever , to all experts.
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Question by:Patrick O'Dea
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Assisted Solution

by:Kash
Kash earned 75 total points
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does your client have a fixed IP and a domain ? if there is then it is fairly easy to do so.

All you need to to open ports on the router and forward it to the right place / IP where the database resides. It should then be accessible. That is one way of doing it.

the second option would be to have a use of VPN. Let the router do the VPN for you.

then all your client needs is the FIXED IP and username/password details. Once on site, he/she can dial VPN and he will be as he was in office and can then connect to the DB. hope this helps.
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by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 75 total points
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The only reliable way to do this is to use remote desktop technology. You can't reliably run an Access database across a WAN.

There are many remote technologies, from the builtin Remote Desktop to paid commercial products like ScreenConnect or TeamViewer. I'm not sure of the best remote product for the IPad.
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by:peter57r
peter57r earned 75 total points
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So each user has an Ipad.
How do they get in to the Access application when they are in the office?
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Expert Comment

by:shalomc
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TeamViewer works fine on an iPAd, so does Logmein.
I prefer Logmein because it gives me a better centralized control, but it is up to you to decide.

The laternative to using a remote desktop would be to write a custom application for the iPad, possibly using HTML5 so it works on all mobile platforms.

You will end up with a 3 tier application: the access database, a web server with custom code, and the ipad app.
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
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Thanks for feeback so far.

A couple of comments.

1. My technical skills relate to Microsoft Access.  So the solution must be not get to complicated on the "infrastructure" side.

2. Given 1 above, I would guess that the only way to use the database on an iPad is by logging onto the internet.   I.e. An "app" would be out of the question at this point.

3. Does the fact that i want to use an iPad make life much more complicated than using a wireless laptop?


Sorry that my questions are not more focussed.  When I google the issue of putting my access database in the cloud or similar, I seem to be presented with loads of possibilities.  But perhaps they are somewhat misleading?
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Expert Comment

by:shalomc
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How do the client's users access the database at the moment?
Do you have a single PC / terminal server with remote desktop?
Do you have 3 installations for 3 users?
An iPad for this matter is just like a laptop.
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
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shalomc,

Client has a small network in their office.
The database is held centrally on this server.
3 desktops PC's (but iPads are used when they leave the office which is frequently).

One PC has full microsoft access.
The other 2 have a runtime version  of access.

Thanks for your assistance.
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Accepted Solution

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shalomc earned 275 total points
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Create a Logmein account. Free for 5 or less users, although the paid subscription has it's benefits, like real customer support and improved features.
Install logmein clients on all 3 PCs.
Install logmein apps on the iPads.
Connect ipads to PCs.
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Expert Comment

by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
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Also check out www.eqldata.com

Any device that has a browser can use the DB.

Jim.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
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Thanks,

I give the "logmein" route a try.
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
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Thanks Jim,
I will look at the www.eqldata.com

(Incidentally, you're famous!   ...... I listened to your podcast on "cloud" for Access a few days ago.   Very interesting, but some of it a bit beyond my level..)
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)
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<<(Incidentally, you're famous!   ...... I listened to your podcast on "cloud" for Access a few days ago.   Very interesting, but some of it a bit beyond my level..) >>

 Not really.  I'm just one of many voices in the Access world.

 Actually, if you look at it the other way, EE needs to fill air-time with something<g>.

Jim.
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