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How best to make an Access Database available on the web

Hello All,

We have an Access 2010 database that I designed.  It does not use anything complex (I am just not that advanced), but it is loaded with code on multiple forms and subforms.  What we want to do is to make it available to salespeople who are on the road and users at other locations than the main location.

I would like to use Sagekey to package the front end of the program (the forms and reports) into a downloadable exe.  Right now the database is not split and when someone needs access to it we put a shortcut on their desktop.  We also want to use Sagekey so that we don't have to load Access 2010 on everyone's machine (and we also think it would be easier if the user downloads the exe and installs it instead of trying to put a shortcut on their desktop).

Here is the biggest problem though.  My program (MINE) uses linked tables that are in another program.  That other program (I'll call it OTHER) is on the same server as MINE so they talk to each other with no problem.

One of the other IT people set up virtual machines which have Access 365 on them (so the Access 2010 requirement might be moot) and he set up these VMs to be able to get to the server with both MINE and OTHER on it.  I installed MINE on the VM so the front end is now on the VM and the back end is still on our server.

I tested MINE on a VM and it ran REALLY SLOW.  I assume it is running slow because it has to go thru the internet to get the data on the back end.

I do not know if I am explaining this very well, but we would like to give all the salespeople and users at the other locations access to their own VM which would give them access to MINE.

Can anyone give me advice on how to distribute this program (MINE) so that others can use it and it runs at a good speed (we are also considering using EQL-Data as a way to get it "up on the internet")

1 Solution
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
Some would argue not to use Access at all...
...Move the back end to one of the SQL server variants and create a web app in .Net

Or use this:

Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
If you 'expose' your Access database on the internet, anyone can download it and get your data.  That's why many say you shouldn't use Access on the internet.  The few hosting companies that allow you to use Access make you put it in a directory that is Not directly accessible from the web.  That allows only local web programs in ASP or ASP.NET to access it.
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Odd that you get performance issues with the VM setup. That's generally a good way to do this.

Are the HyperV server and the machine hosting your backend on the same network? It doesn't sound so, and that's most likely where your performance issues lie. Anytime you introduce network hops to a database (and especially an access database) you'll generally see performance go down.

Can the Access BE be installed directly on the machine hosting the VM? There's little impact to that machine, and nothing other than the .mdb/.accdb file itself need be installed. The FE takes care of all the data manipulation and such, so the only places which need Access installed would be the FE machines (virtual or not).

EQL Data is the simplest solution to this, but of course that requires monthly hosting.

Or you could move to 2013 and create one of the new Web apps, which seem to be gaining in popularity.

Or you could scrap the Access UI altogether and create a true web application using a language like ASP.NET, PHP, etc.
alevin16Author Commented:
Hey Everyone,

Thank you for the comments, trust me if I could code in another language I would, but I know VB in Access so I had to stick with it.

LSMConsulting, I am going to ask the IT guy who set this up about what you asked.  Maybe he can do that and that might help.

I will keep you posted!

Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Remember too that the directory that stores your BE file will need to have Full Permissions for the RemoteDesktopUsers group (or whatever group they've added your VM users).
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