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access hosted front and back ends

Posted on 2014-02-06
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Last Modified: 2014-03-13
Right now I have a few servers but am thinking of decommissioning them soon and going to the cloud.

My setup is as follows:
back end - both MSAccess and SQL Server depending on DB risiding on Windows 2003 Server
font end - MS Access

What sort of hosted solutions are there for both front and back end ?

Budget is relatively low so open source or low cost would be best here.
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Question by:Shawn
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 1200 total points
ID: 39839625
<<What sort of hosted solutions are there for both front and back end ? >>

 In terms of Access, you'll need someone willing to basically lease/rent a server to you in order to run terminal services.  Your FE's will be installed there, which you'll remote desktop to.   Your BE JET DB's could be there as well, but you'll probably want a second server for SQL BE's

 Inifinitly Virtual, Rackspace, etc all will do that.

 You'll be the one to maintain everything on that server.

Jim.
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LVL 58
ID: 39839632
<<Budget is relatively low so open source or low cost would be best here. >>

  And on that point, there is no "open source" for hosting your Access DB.   Someone will need to run a server, and their not going to do it for free.

Jim.
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LVL 85
ID: 39839977
The new Office365 plans seem to be fairly low-cost, but it's an ongoing monthly expense, and there would likely be some upfront cost associated with purchase of desktop Office products.

What exactly are you trying to do? Do you host applications on your machines, and others use those apps? More information would help to provide better suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:Shawn
ID: 39840006
right now I just want to be able to remotely give access to MS Access. email, office, file management would be a bonus but not essential.

monthly payments are what I'm looking at right now. Rackspace is doing a custom quote but I fear it will be out of budget.
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Author Comment

by:Shawn
ID: 39840518
just got a trial of Office365. It seems you can build an Access database to share on the Web. They give you a local version of Access 2013, then you upload it to your sharepoint area and can access it online there.

$15/month per user if it works.
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Author Comment

by:Shawn
ID: 39840660
looks like an Access web app would need to be done from scratch rather than sort type of conversion. Not really an option to redo the DBs from scratch.
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LVL 58
ID: 39840694
<<looks like an Access web app would need to be done from scratch rather than sort type of conversion. Not really an option to redo the DBs from scratch. >>

 That is correct and web apps at this point have limited capability.  No VBA and no reporting capability.

Jim.
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Author Comment

by:Shawn
ID: 39840704
ok, web apps are out.

back to previous idea...or what about Citrix? I've never used it and am not sure what a setup would look like.
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LVL 85
ID: 39840719
If monthly fees are okay with you, you might consider www.eqldata.com. They can host your database as-is, and you can add users (for additional monthly fees) as needed.
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LVL 58
ID: 39840757
@Scott,

 I'm not sure their into hosting per say; they host the web side, but I believe it's up to you to keep the "main" database on a server somewhere else.

 May be wrong on that though, but that's always what I've understood the setup to be with them.

Jim.
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LVL 85
ID: 39840766
Ahhh ... I wasn't aware of that. I assumed they "hosted" the database for you, and you had full rights to makes changes and such.

I asked them for an extended trial for the MVPs, and didn't get much traction from them. I lost interest after that
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Shawn
ID: 39840775
so I looked into Citrix hosting and it seems a little prohibitive for my purposes.$50/user/month at the low end.

Hosted Terminal Server looks like it might be the solution. Just need to find one that is reasonable now. Rackspace is getting back to me.

Any other TS hosts anyone knows of?

on the aside I can't believe how limited/archaic Access web apps is...seems like they took a 10 year step back.
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LVL 58
ID: 39841587
<<Any other TS hosts anyone knows of?>>

  It's not a cheap proposistion.  Either you rent a server and do all the work; installing, admin tasks, but the software, etc

or

 You have someone do all that for you.

You will find that for this, the cheapest route is to maintain your own hardware and do everything in-house.  Of course that depends largely on what you feel your time is worth.

Jim.
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Assisted Solution

by:Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 800 total points
ID: 39841672
on the aside I can't believe how limited/archaic Access web apps is...seems like they took a 10 year step back.
Seems like they're playing catch-up with other web technologies, but then look at some of the other offerings out there in the same arena. Unless you're willing to invest the time, money and energy into really learning a web language you'll end up with the same thing. Most "slick" web apps are created with Java, .NET, php or others, and most of those make extensive use of commercial suites (which ain't even close to cheap). By the time you factor in the total cost of implementing a professional, reliable and "slick" web app you've got a serious chunk of change out there. Compare that to the cost of Office365, and the decision becomes a bit simpler.

For my money, if I need to put an app on the web, I think you're wasting your time trying to move desktop applications to the web. The two platforms (web vs desktop) are just too different to have much in common, and the concepts of data management, user experiences, etc etc are much too different for there to be much in the way of "conversion". I'm not a big fan of the direction Access has taken recently, but then I have no say in that matter. I'll keep using it - it's still the best RAD system out there - but that doesn't mean I have to like where it's headed!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Shawn
ID: 39928362
thx everyone for the insights
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