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How to connect Access 2013 to a web hosted database

Posted on 2014-03-31
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Last Modified: 2014-04-04
I have a split Access 2013 database (.accdb) and I would like to host the back end data files on a cloud server for sharing with others.  I don't currently have SharePoint capabilities and am trying not to add that expense.  I have uploaded the back end to my windows web server and created a DSN name.  I now can't figure out how to point the Access front-end database to that cloud DSN.  I have used the ODBC option under External Data to create a new User DSN.  I can enter the remote DSN name, but there is nowhere to enter the URL of the remote server.  

What can I do to resolve this? Thanks in advance for any and all help.
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Question by:pseyler
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:COACHMAN99
ID: 39968219
did you not specify the URL when you created the DSN? You shouldn't need to create a new DSN if you have already done it. Just pick the one you want.
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:pseyler
ID: 39968253
Thanks for the suggestion but that's the heart of my problem. Using either the Win8.1 odbc manager or the access client I couldn't find anywhere to enter the URL. Is there another place to create the dsn?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:COACHMAN99
ID: 39968274
Assuming 32-bit Access. Use C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe to create the DSN, then click Network on the Select Database form, and the blue hyperlink at bottom to 'Connect to a website ...'
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Author Comment

by:pseyler
ID: 39968291
This is getting closer, but I get errors with every variation of the address that I try.  I have already created a DSN on the hosting website:  dsn1001770_database4.  The website itself is www.competitiveresources.com.  My challenge is to create a connection on the local computer that my Access front end can use to connect to the web-hosted data.
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Expert Comment

by:COACHMAN99
ID: 39968315
I believe the DSN should be on the local machine (created as specified above).
The (local) DSN provides the connection to the remote database.
Once the DSN connects properly (via the Test button) then you connect the FE to the DSN.
Often times the HOSTING COMPANY provides a service to respond to incoming requests (usually specifying a port)..
An alternative is to use ADO connections to the back-end, and configure the connection strings accordingly.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 1500 total points
ID: 39968909
Unless you can navigate to that web-based database using Windows Explorer, you can't do this. Access doesn't support remote connections, so the database must reside on a "local" network resource. Access is not a "server" type database, and therefore does not have all the features of it's bigger brothers like SQL Server.

Also, sharing an Access database in this manner can be troublesome, depending on what you actually mean by "sharing". If your sharing data (i.e. tables ONLY, no forms, reports, etc) then you can sometimes get by with this. If you're expecting people to open Forms and Reports, then please do yourself a favor and adapt another technology for this. If you must share the database, and you don't want to make changes, then the simplest way is to setup a RDS system. These sorts of setups aren't cheap, however.

If your app needs are fairly simple, then you might consider using an Access 2013 web app. There are quite a few limitations on that platform, however, so often it's not the best choice for anything other than fairly simple apps.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pseyler
ID: 39979612
Thanks to all.  It helped me to know that I should quit wasting my time with this approach.
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