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An Access database with simultaneous multiple users

Posted on 2014-10-01
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Having a Access database that is accessed by simultaneous multiple users.  Can that be a problem?
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Question by:metro156
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by:Daniel Kline
Daniel Kline earned 167 total points
ID: 40356097
If all the users are accessing the same database file, it should not be a problem.  However, if you have enough users to overwhelm the power of the machine serving up the database file, you may have issues first in performance and then with a failure when sessions timeout and data is lost because the server does not respond in a reasonable amount of time.
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by:Dale Fye (Access MVP)
Dale Fye (Access MVP) earned 166 total points
ID: 40356159
Generally, as long as each user has their own front-end (application) ON THEIR PC (not shared) and the tables in that application linked to a common backend database containing only the data files, located on a network file share, you should not have a problem.

However, this will be influenced by the speed of the network and the number of simultaneous users.  I've generally had good success with up to 25 simultaneous users, but that will depend on your network bandwidth.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 167 total points
ID: 40356666
To add a couple comments:

1. To Dale's point, the stability of the network and the stations is the largest problem.

2. It's important to understand that with a JET/ACE data store, the sever acts as nothing more than a file share.  All the DB processing is carried out client side.  There is no server side process running.

Given the above, you generally can run up to about 30-40 without issue if good application design and development.   Beyond that, it's hard to keep a stable environment.   At that point anyway, your starting to look for other features, such as on-line backups, and roll back and roll forward operations.   This is where most switch to SQL Server for the data store and keep the Access Front End.

 To further this point, I've seen a 200+ user reporting app that was mostly read-only.  So primarily  the issue is not one of performance (unless your running in the millions of records), but with stability.

Jim.
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