Location of Reusable Code Libraries?

OS is Windows 7 (64-bit) and Access is 2010 (32-bit). Each workstation has a local (read-only) copy of an ACCDE frontend.  The frontend links to tables in two (secured) MDB backends.  The backends sit on a shared server drive.

The frontends reference reusable code libraries: three (read-only) MDE files, and one (read-only) ACCDE file.  The custom libraries sit on the shared server drive.

This works in practice, but I am apprehensive about frontends sharing custom libraries on the server. How risky is this architecture?
billparsAsked:
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
My Database Loader copies my Library MDA down to the same folder that the FE is copied to (MDA copied first).
This works very well.
At a minimum, from a performance standpoint ... not sure I would have the libraries on the server.  Can't say I've ever tried setting a Reference to a file on a server.

mx
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
I can't see any risk. These files are read only - you should in fact be able to mark the files physically as Read-Only - and usually they are relatively small, so with a decent network, neither is speed a concern.

However, many years have passed since I last used a library as my shared code has been too little - a handful of modules which I just copy and paste into the application - so this is not based on experience.

/gustav
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
Well for me ... I have 45 dbs at work, all of which use several common functions in my library MDA ... and I continually improve/update the code in various functions ... so, that would not be practical.
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Oh, that's a lot - then it makes sense. The alternative would be a nightmare.

/gustav
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billparsAuthor Commented:
Many experts have stated that a single (i.e. shared) frontend file can lead to corruption of the backend database, and that users should each have their own (read-only) copy of the frontend.  If, however, all those frontend copies share a single library file, could this also lead to corruption of the backend database?
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
"and that users should each have their own (read-only) copy of the frontend."
Not sure what you mean by 'read only' FE?  Other than that - definitely separate ... a must.

However ... even though the a common Lib file on a server (if that were the case), the bigger is will be that ... each Function' would have to support 'multi-user' operation ... such that if two or more user FE's called the same code simultaneously, the results would not be mixed up. This is another BIG reason I copy Lib master down to local work station.
Further in my setup at work, user my have several different dbs open at once.  My database loader copies each FE into it's own separate folder, as well as the Lib master. So in this regard, there is never, ever any conflict.  This has proven to work extremely well over the last several years.

mx
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
> Not sure what you mean by 'read only' FE?

If you can make the file read-only no user will - per definition - be able to write to the file, thus many can share a single copy in a shared folder as temporary data will be forced into each user's default temporary file location. This works very well, and corruption is not possible.

Of course, if your app writes to, say, a table in the FE itself, the file cannot be made read-only.

/gustav
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billparsAuthor Commented:
Can any experts share any additional insights?
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
Not sure what you are looking for?
I thought I pretty much covered it, as well as Gustav ....

What other exact questions do you have ?

mx
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billparsAuthor Commented:
Joe,

I do not have any more specific questions.  I have read so many posts by experts who warned against sharing Access frontends on a network drive that I assumed someone would have a cautionary tale from their own experience of sharing Access libraries from a network drive to unshared frontends.

Perhaps not.

If nobody else cares to share any horror stories, should I split points between you and Gustav?

Bill
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
You are haunting ghosts. Those horror stories are about front-ends which - normally - are written to by the user when used. That doesn't happen for a library file.

Also, you can safely share a front-end if you mark the file itself as write-protected. Per definition, this cannot be neither bloated or corrupted. Then all temporary data, normally written to the front-end itself, will be forced to users' own temporary folders and files. Of course, this requires that the front-end has been designed to not actively write to internal tables, making changes to itself, etc.

/gustav
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft Access MVP)Database Architect / Systems AnalystCommented:
"I have read so many posts by experts who warned against sharing Access frontends on a network drive"
"Each workstation has a local (read-only) copy of an ACCDE "
These seem to conflict.  Just to be sure, what again exactly are you wanting to do, or concerned about?

I personally would not share a FE or Library file on a server. That is why I built my database loader a few years ago. Each user is isolated from another, and each db and lib file per user is also isolated from each other.  Only the BE is shared. This combination has resulted in virtually a corruption free paradigm, operating over a 1Gb Fiber Optic WAN.
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billparsAuthor Commented:
Gustav: "[Y]ou can safely share a front-end if you mark the file itself as write-protected...."

Joe: "I personally would not share a FE or Library file...."

Thanks to you both for your insights.  They do not (necessarily) align, but they are both the type of insight I sought.

Bill
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
They do align. Like Joe, I would never share a normal read-write frontend on a server.

/gustav
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