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Access - FrontEnd BackEnd Question

Posted on 2014-02-26
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Last Modified: 2014-02-27
Hi,

I have a new database with perhaps 6 or 7 users - fairly lightweight user activity.

I will split it into backend and frontend.

It suits best (for reasons I won't go into) to simple split the database once and NOT on each users PC.   i.e. just one version of the frontend.

QUESTION: Is there benefit in splitting this way OR must I put a front end on each users PC?
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Question by:Patrick O'Dea
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mbizup earned 100 total points
ID: 39890485
You really should put a front end on each user's computer.  That is accepted as best practice for a multitude of reasons.

- Better performance
- Less prone to corruption
- Allows you to have user-specific tables if temp tables are needed to create reports etc...
- and so on
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by:DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Access MVP)
DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Access MVP) earned 100 total points
ID: 39890512
If you want to minimize pain, heartache, suffering, depression, anxiety  and a LOT more ... then put a separate copy of the FE on each user's workstation - for the reasons list by mbizup.
Until you do this .... all bets are off when problems start happening ...

mx
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by:Jim P.
Jim P. earned 100 total points
ID: 39890598
I'll put a third vote for individual front ends, for all the same reasons.

If you are worried about version issues, there are multiple resolutions.

I have a limited term conversion utility Acc DB's that will be going out of use in a few months. I named the DB App_Convert_Util_V05.mdb. When the DB opens it does a directory search of \\Server\Share\App_Convert_Util_V*.mdb. If it finds a App_Convert_Util_V08.mdb it asks the user if they want the newer version, and then copies it to the user's desktop. The highest version is 62 currently of all the different utilities. Since I figure I'm not going to get to V99 I'm not worried.

In your case it sounds like a long term project and you have a concentrated BE, you can have a Version table in the FE and in the BE have another Version table linked to the FE. On DB open run something to compare the two tables and do a similar thing.

That will take a lot of the angst out of the problem.
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:Gustav Brock
Gustav Brock earned 100 total points
ID: 39891132
You may have your reasons, and it can be possible to run off a single FE file.

However, Access has a habit of writing temporary data into the FE and that may cause troubles. To prevent this, write-protect the physical file (right-click, Properties, mark Read-only). Then temporary data are forced into true temporary files.
This will bring up a warning when a user opens the file. That, however, can be avoided if you open the FE from a shortcut with the /runtime switch, which again may cause other troubles. But check it out.

/gustav
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by:Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006
Armen Stein - Microsoft Access MVP since 2006 earned 100 total points
ID: 39892070
If you need more reasons to run the FE locally, here are two:

1. When rolling out a new version, you can't replace the old shared FE until everyone logs out.

As Jim said, a local FE can use fairly simple version checking code to check whether it is current and prompt the user to copy the latest version from the "master" on the server.

2. Related to mbizup's point about user-specific temp tables - sometimes it's handy to have session-specific queries (change the SQL property of a query in code).  These definitely need a local one-user FE.

Cheers,
Armen Stein
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39892670
Folks,  I think the message is loud and clear!!

It will definitely be a split database !!
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